Attention Readers: We're Back
C&G Newspapers is pleased to have resumed publication. For the time being, our papers will publish on a biweekly basis as we work toward our return to weekly papers. In between issues, and anytime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.
 West Bloomfield High junior Devon Issac, left, and senior Luke Stracner prepare to face off in a recent practice. Lakers coach Greg Alessi mentioned both as key pieces to the team this year.

West Bloomfield High junior Devon Issac, left, and senior Luke Stracner prepare to face off in a recent practice. Lakers coach Greg Alessi mentioned both as key pieces to the team this year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


West Bloomfield High wrestling looking to have fun and improve

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 29, 2018

 Senior Austin Bashi, right, and sophomore Kareem Al-Hariri work on escapes. Bashi finished fourth at the Division 1 state meet in the 103-pound weight class last season.

Senior Austin Bashi, right, and sophomore Kareem Al-Hariri work on escapes. Bashi finished fourth at the Division 1 state meet in the 103-pound weight class last season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Advertisement

WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield High wrestling coach Greg Alessi has been with the program for 31 years, and nothing makes him happier than seeing his wrestlers develop over their time with the program.

This season, the Lakers are young and will struggle to field a full lineup, due to a low turnout. Alessi said this is his lowest number of wrestlers since he took over the program in 1988.

With such a young team, Alessi’s main focus this season is to develop his players and make sure they continue to work hard.

“We’re going to practice every day. We’re going to work hard. We’re going to improve,” Alessi said. “Hopefully, because it’s a young group, there will be improvements from the beginning of the season to the end of the season in March.”

Despite the lack of depth on the team, Alessi does have a few wrestlers with high expectations. Alessi mentioned senior Austin Bashi (103 pounds), junior Jeremy Sarter (119), junior Devon Issac (171), senior Luke Stracner (189) and junior Demetrie Ruiz (135) as players who should have solid years.

As a senior, Bashi is hoping to claim a Division 1 state title, and his coach believes he has what it takes. He finished fourth at states last season and has been working with the coaches to make sure he can learn as much as possible.

“It would be a happy moment, not just for me, but for my coaches. I’m trying to win it for the school and for the coaches,” Bashi said.

One younger wrestler who Alessi has been impressed with so far this year is sophomore Kareem Al-Hariri, who will compete in the 112-pound weight class. Alessi said Al-Hariri has improved a lot since last season, and the coach expects him to have a solid year.

Al-Hariri wants the team to win districts, and he would like to make it out of regionals. He noted that the coaching staff has helped him a lot over the offseason.

“One of the assistant coaches runs summer conditioning once a week for the offseason, and Kareem’s gone to all of them. He’s committed through the offseason and it shows,” Alessi said. “I hadn’t seen him wrestle in a few months, and just coming into the room and watching him, it showed. He’s improved quite a lot.”

Even with a decline in numbers, Alessi is excited about the future of the program. He loves the commitment of his assistant coaches and the work ethic of the kids within the program.

“We’ll plug away, and we’ll make them better. That’s all we can do. They’ll be better in March than they are today. I can guarantee that,” Alessi said.

The Lakers will open the season at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in a quad meet at home.

Advertisement