Tower sends school-record 11 wrestlers to state finals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published February 24, 2017

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WARREN — The Division 2 individual wrestling state finals will have a distinct Titans flavor to them this year.

That’s because the Warren Woods Tower wrestling team will send 11 grapplers to the finals, set for March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. That number is a school record. The previous record was six wrestlers, set last year.

“It’s pretty cool,” Titans coach Greg Mayer said. “Our whole team has been focused all season after how last year ended. Everybody’s been working really hard, and we’ve had a lot of success. Hopefully that continues at The Palace.”

Tower fell 31-26 to Gaylord High in last year’s team state quarterfinals. The Titans sat at 27-0 and competed in the state quarterfinals Feb. 24, after press time. For full coverage, visit candgnews.com.

The team success can be attributed to the individual success, Mayer said. The Tower wrestlers have cheered each other on at districts and regionals.

Four Titans grapplers — sophomores David Stepanian (103 pounds) and Chaise Mayer (112), and seniors Joey Schindler (135) and Nico Martini (140) — all won regional championships. Three other Tower wrestlers, including senior 119-pounder Elijuh Weaver, who won a state title last year at 112 pounds, finished second at regionals. Five Tower wrestlers will compete at the state finals for the first time.

Stepanian finished fifth in his weight class as a freshman. He said the goal this year is to compete in the championship match.

“Last year was fun, and I think I did OK, but now I want to win,” said Stepanian, who will take a 34-1 record to The Palace. “We’re competing with the best wrestlers in the state. We want to show everybody what Tower has to offer.

“It’ll be great to have so many of my teammates there. We’re all really supportive of each other.”

Chaise Mayer, 45-1 entering the state finals, hopes to pick up one more win in Auburn Hills this time around. The sophomore got to the 103-pound championship match before falling 3-2 to Parma Western’s Corey Gamet last season.

Mayer said he’s motivated to bring home a state title.

“I don’t want to feel what it’s like to lose my last match of the year again,” Mayer said. “None of us do. We all have high expectations for ourselves, and we’re confident we can perform well at the state finals.”

Greg Mayer said the team’s approach won’t change going into the state finals. 

“If our guys execute, we’ll be in good shape,” he said.

For full coverage of the finals, visit candgnews.com.

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