Wrestling squads fall in district round

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published February 17, 2016

 Ferndale’s Justin Morris works for a pin against an opponent from Warren Fitzgerald in a team district semifinal. The Eagles beat the Spartans 40-36.

Ferndale’s Justin Morris works for a pin against an opponent from Warren Fitzgerald in a team district semifinal. The Eagles beat the Spartans 40-36.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Advertisement

MADISON HEIGHTS — Ferndale High boys wrestling coach John Bassier was proud of his squad’s effort.

The Eagles had just gone toe-to-toe with Madison Heights Lamphere in a Division 2 team district final Feb. 10.

“We wrestled real well. Unfortunately, we had two voids, which made it harder,” Bassier said following the 41-28 loss.

Of the 14 matches, each squad came out the victor seven times, but Lamphere made its mark with four pins compared to Ferndale’s zero.

“It’s pretty close. They had more pins, which is definitely what the sport is all about, but I thought the kids were as competitive as they could be,” the coach said.

The title was Lamphere’s fifth in a row and 12th in the last 14 years.

In the semifinals, Ferndale beat Warren Fitzgerald, which won the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, 40-36.

The Eagles clinched the victory in the second-to-last match. Heading into the third period, Ferndale’s Donovan Pitts-Reed and Fitzgerald’s Joseph Jean-Baptiste were tied at 4-4. Pitts-Reed then took over, scoring five straight points and eventually securing a pin to seal the match and send Ferndale to the final.

The Eagles ended the season 13-5 overall and tied for second in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division with North Farmington and just behind Pontiac High.

Bassier expects to return the vast majority of his team next season, noting that he had only one senior on the current squad.

“We’re real optimistic about the future,” he said. “It’s a hardworking group.”

Bassier said it was a squad that competed stronger in team events than in individual tournaments.

“They seemed to get energy and feed off of each other,” he said.

A goal for next season is to add more wrestlers to the roster. Bassier said depth and competition within the team at each weight will only make the grapplers better.

He said he often points to the picture frames hanging in the practice room of All-State wrestlers and those who have reached individual milestones, telling his team that many of them were practice partners making each other better.

“It’s no coincidence,” he said.

In other local wrestling
Berkley High’s season came to a close in a D-1 district semifinal.

The Bears fell to Warren Mott 60-21 Feb. 11 at Royal Oak High. Mott then beat Southfield High for the district title.

The individual district tournament took place Feb. 13. The top four finishers in each weight class will head to the regional level Feb. 20. See next week’s edition for the grapplers that earned spots in the state final March 3-5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Advertisement