By: Butch Harmon
Wrestling state preview
Top teams statewide: Detroit Catholic Central, Davison, Hartland, Oxford
Detroit Catholic Central has won three of the last four D1 state team titles, including the last two. While the Shamrocks lost some talented wrestlers last year, they return eight state qualifiers and are gearing up for another run at the title. Senior Drew Garcia (171 pounds) is a two-time state champion, while senior Malik Amine also won a state title last year, and senior Logan Marcicki won a state title in 2011.
Davison lost in the state finals to Detroit Catholic Central, and the Cardinals' power-packed lineup this season is led by a trio of two-time state champions. Junior Lincoln Olson (125), senior Justin Oliver (140), and senior Jordan Crooks (171) are all setting their sights on their third individual state titles. The Cardinals also have plenty of depth. Seniors Derek Humphrey (135), Dom Russ (145), and Thomas Garty (152) are a trio of two-time state placers. Senior Jacob Madrigal is a two-time state qualifier, and senior Matt Miller (140) was a state runner-up last year.
As usual, Hartland will have another squad capable of making it to Battle Creek at season's end. The Eagles have made it to the state finals for 14 straight seasons, and with eight state qualifiers returning, they are poised to make it 15. Senior Austin Eicher (140), a returning state champion, leads the way along with junior Jacob Gorial (145), who was a state runner-up last year.
Oxford returns five state qualifiers this season. Senior Wes Maskill (160) and sophomore Alex Hrisopoules (103) both placed fifth at the individual state meet last season.
Top area teams: Holt, Grand Ledge, Rockford
Holt returns five state qualifiers from a team that won a regional championship last year. Junior Benny Gomez (112) is a returning state champion who leads the way along with senior Martin Rodriguez (125), who was a state runner-up. Senior AJ Presley (160) is a two-time state qualifier, while senior Kyle Granger (145) and junior Mino Trevino (130) also qualified for state last year.
Grand Ledge will battle it out with Holt for the top spot in the CAAC. The Comets return three state qualifiers, led by senior Jay Jay Brickley (119), a two-time state qualifier. Junior Patrick Powers (140) and sophomore Dylan Steward (135) also qualified for state last year. Grand Ledge has talented freshmen looking to work their way into the lineup in Cole Janes (103) and Jack Snauko (112).
Rockford will be battling it out with Grandville, Grand Haven, and Forest Hills Central for D1 supremacy on the west side of the state. The Rams return senior Stephen Jendritz (119) and junior Jared Bennett (112).
Top area individuals: Benny Gomez (112) Holt, Lincoln Olson (125) Davison, Martin Rodriguez (125) Holt, Justin Oliver (140) Davison, Jordan Crooks (171) Davison, Brian Darios (285) East Lansing
HSSS State final prediction: Detroit Catholic Central over Davison
Publisher Miniard is taking former MSU teammate Roy Hall's Davison Cardinals
Top teams statewide: Lowell, St. Johns, Lakeshore, Lincoln
Lowell has fallen to St. Johns in the last two D2 state championship finals. This is Red Arrows head coach Dave Dean’s final season at Lowell before heading off to a college position at Cornell University, and this year’s squad is loaded with talent. Lowell returns eight state placers, led by returning state champ Bailey Jack (125). Senior Garrett Stehley (189) and sophomore Zeth Dean (119) are a pair of returning state runners-up, while sophomore Lucas Hall (103) finished fourth last year. Junior Jordan Hall (140) is a two-time state placer. The Red Arrows also have firepower in senior Kanon Dean (160), who placed fifth at state, and sophomore Max Dean (171), who placed sixth.
St. Johns has won the last four state titles, but with five state champions having graduated, it faces some retooling this season. The cupboard is far from bare, however, as junior Logan Massa (152) is a returning state champion and one of the finest individual wrestlers in the state. Senior Zac Hall (140) is a three-time state champion who is geared up to make it four this year. Senior Angus Arthur (189) is the third returning state champion. St. Johns also adds junior Tyler Wildmo (189) to the lineup. Wildmo placed third in Division 1 last year while wrestling for Davison. Sophomore Ian Parker (112) is a returning state runner-up, while senior Mark Bozzo (145) placed fourth. The Red Wings also have a talented cast of freshmen waiting in the wings, led by Emilia Sanchez (103) and Lucas McFarland (119).
Lakeshore will be a threat from the southwest corner of the state. The Lancers have six state qualifiers returning, led by senior Noah Hanau (140), who placed fourth at state last year. The Lancers also have a talented crop of freshmen.
Lincoln returns five state qualifiers and adds, arguably, the top freshman wrestler in the state in Jelani Embree (160).
Top area teams: Lowell, St. Johns, Greenville, Bay City Western, DeWitt
Mid-Michigan wrestling teams dominate Division 2 this year, as Lowell and St. Johns will be overwhelming favorites to battle it out for the state title.
Greenville has captured four consecutive regional titles, and with five regional qualifiers back, it will be eying a fifth straight trip to Battle Creek. Senior Alec Ward (145) is a two-time state placer who has his sights set on an individual state title this year. Seniors Will Parmalee (135), Jake Hopkins (152), and Jordan Dassinger (160) and sophomore Andrew Bowen (189) round out Greenville’s list of returning regional qualifiers.
Bay City Western welcomes back four state qualifiers and will be looking to upend Greenville at team regional time. Juniors Chris (140) and Tom (135) Schoenherr are a pair of returning state placers. Chris was a runner-up last year, while Tom placed eighth. Freshman Noah Schoenherr (112) will be trying to make it three Schoenherrs at the state finals this season. The Warriors also welcome back senior Jacob Alarie (215), who placed eighth at state, and senior Jacob Wibirt (130), who qualified for state.
DeWitt returns a number of talented wrestlers, led by seniors Aaron Young (130) and Kam Melton (130) and sophomore Austin Melton (140).
Top area individuals: Ian Parker (112) St. Johns, Zeth Dean (119) Lowell, Bailey Jack (125) Lowell, Nathan Ellis (125) Goodrich, Jaedin Slapsky (130) Eaton Rapids, Zac Hall (140) St. Johns, Jordan Hall 140) Lowell, Chris Schoenherr (140) Bay City Western, Alec Ward (145) Greenville, Logan Massa (152) St. Johns, Angus Arthur (189) St. Johns, Garrett Stehley (189) Lowell
HSSS State final prediction: Lowell over St. Johns
Publisher Miniard says "Zac Hall left Ithaca and four state football titles to get four wrestling titles at St Johns and match Metcalf at Davison" Hall and St Johns get their 4th!
Top teams statewide: Richmond, Dundee, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Allegan
Richmond will be looking for its fourth state title in the last five years. The Blue Devils have a talented, veteran team that returns 10 individual state qualifiers. Junior Devin Skatzka (160) is a two-time state champion, while senior Nick Burg (140) is a returning state runner-up. Sophomore Aaron Kilburn (112) placed third last year.
Dundee captured last year’s state title, and with six state qualifiers returning, it will be a force again this year. Seniors Doug Rojem (145) and Teddy Warren (15) both captured state titles last season, while senior Brendon O’Connor (135) placed third.
Grand Rapids Catholic Central has eight returning state qualifiers, and the Cougars are poised to make a serious run at a state title. Sophomore Devin Schroder (119) is a returning state champion and one of the premier individuals in the state. Junior Nate Limmex (140) is also gunning for a second consecutive state title.
Allegan, a perennial state power in Division 2, dropped to Division 3 this season and has the talent to make a run at a state title. Senior Kyle Simaz (160) is a three-time state finalist in Division 2 who captured a state title last year. Foster Karmon (125) is one of several talented sophomores in the lineup. Karmon placed third at state last year.
Top area teams: Swan Valley, Lake Fenton, Chippewa Hills, Birch Run
Swan Valley welcomes back five state qualifiers, including four state placers. Sophomore Matt Santos (125) leads the way after placing second in the state last year. Senior Anthony Schiavone (119) placed fourth last year, while senior Josh Flores (152) and sophomore KJ Suitor (103) both placed seventh.
Lake Fenton builds around a trio of state qualifiers and has some impressive newcomers. Senior Carson Whaley (171) placed sixth in Division 1 last year while wrestling for Grand Blanc. Senior Jared Corcoran (119) also placed at state last year. In addition, the Blue Devils have several talented freshmen ready to make an impact.
Chippewa Hills has won a regional title three of the past four years. While the Warriors suffered major graduation losses, they still have a solid nucleus around which to build. Senior Zach King (119) is a two-time state placer, while seniors Richie Ostrander (103) and Kevin Briscoe (145) are a pair of returning state qualifiers.
Birch Run has won back-to-back regional titles, and with six regional qualifiers returning, the Panthers are gearing up for a third straight trip to Battle Creek. Senior Jerry Fenner (125) is a returning state champion, while senior Jared Elliott (160) is a returning state runner-up. The Panthers also welcome back Mitch Franklin (152), a state placer, and senior George Lahar (215), a two-time state qualifier. Sophomore Ean Taylor (145) is a talented newcomer in the mix.
Top area individuals: Tristan Serbus (103) Corunna, Zach King (119) Chippewa Hills, Jerry Fenner (125) Birch Run, Matt Santos (125) Swan Valley, Nathan Weckesser (125) Big Rapids, Josh Schlack (130) Freeland, William Young (130) Portland, Jared Elliott (160) Birch Run, Boyd Hubbard (160) Alma, Michael Walker (160) Belding, Logan Emery (160) Clare, Neil McGully (189) Belding, Eric Fader (215) Meridian
HSSS State final prediction: Richmond over Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Publisher Miniard says Coach Rose and coach Simaz are tough and Allegan will create problems for Dundee and Richmond this year dropping from D2 to D3, after all that take Coach Roberts and Dundee to repeat!!
Top teams statewide: Hudson, Hesperia, Lawton, Addison
Hudson is looking to make history this year, as it guns for a sixth straight state title for head coach Scott Marry. With six state placers back, the Tigers have plenty of talent to accomplish that goal. Cole Weaver (140) is a two-time state champion, who returns to lead the way along with Roddy Hamden (112) and JD Waters (145), who also captured state titles last year. Also returning are Issac Dusseau (119), who placed second, and Kyle Johnson (160), who finished third.
Hesperia has lost to Hudson in the finals by eight or fewer points in three of the past five years. It has plenty of talent to challenge again with the return of 10 state qualifiers and seven state placers. Zack Yates (130) is a returning state champion, while Chase Siersema is a two-time state runner-up.
Lawton looks to be the best coming out of southwest Michigan. It returns four state placers, led by Kyle Barkovich (125), who finished fourth last season.
Addison returns six state qualifiers, including three state placers. Senior Jake Voss (135) placed third last year, while junior Jason Richardson (119) placed fourth.
Top area teams: New Lothrop, Carson City-Crystal, Montabella
New Lothrop has reached the state semifinals the last four years. With a total of 11 state qualifiers back this year, it is primed to make a fifth appearance in the state semifinals. Senior Josh Wendling (160) is a returning state champion, and Taylor Krupp (171) is a returning state finalist. Senior Aaron Bauman is a two-time state placer, while Cody Symons (189) placed third last year. Seniors Dakota Clark (215) and Owen Wilson (285) are two-time state qualifiers.
With seven state qualifiers back, including four state placers, Carson City-Crystal is looking to build off last season’s success. The Eagles are led by junior twins Dillon (145) and Darren (152) Decker, who both placed at state last year. Senior Garner Cusack (140) and sophomore Dallas O’Green (130) also placed at state last year, while senior Lincoln Burnham (160), junior Alex Baker (125), and sophomore Taylor Barkley (103) were individual state qualifiers.
Montabella has a pair of state placers back in the fold. Senior Johnny Durham (171) placed fourth, and senior Danny Davidson (285) placed eighth. It also returns seniors Dalton Kukleski (130) and Tristan Viglianco (135) and junior Zack Taubitz (145), who qualified for state a year ago.
Top area individuals: Trevor Hilgendorf (112) Fulton, Dallas O’Green (130) Carson City-Crystal, Dillon Decker (145) Carson City-Crystal, Aaron Bauman (152) New Lothrop, Josh Wendling (160) New Lothrop, Austin Hughes (160) Nouvel Catholic Central, Taylor Krupp (171) New Lothrop, Johnny Durham (171) Montabella, Cody Symons (189) New Lothrop
HSSS State final prediction: Hudson over Hesperia
Publisher Miniard says it time for "The Hornets and coach Campbell" take New Lothrop to end Scott Marry and Hudson's dominance.