By: Butch Harmon
Division 1 individual wrestling finals preview
See more from 2018 MHSAA Wrestling Finals.
103) Favorite: Blake Noonan, Rochester Stoney Creek, 43-0. Top challengers: Brock Prater, Macomb Dakota, 47-3; Owen Norman, Caledonia, 37-3.
Breakdown: Noonan could face a major challenge in a quarterfinal match with Norman who brings a lot of experience to the mat. Prater is the favorite from the other side of the bracket.
112) Favorite: Nick Alayan, Macomb Dakota, 46-1. Top challengers: Andrew Hughes, Grand Ledge, 39-2; Andrew Chamball, Davison, 31-3; Steven Garty, Davison, 35-9.
Breakdown: A quarterfinal match between Alayan and Garty would be interesting. Look for Hughes and Chamball, a pair of sophomores, to battle it out in the semis for the chance to face Alayan in the finals.
119) Favorite: Benyamin Kamali, Detroit Catholic Central, 31-2. Top challengers: Terria Machart, Utica, 46-1; Justin Tiburcio, Macomb Dakota, 48-5.
Breakdown: Kamali is a big favorite to claim a third straight state title. Machart of Utica is a talented senior who could provide a tough test in the semifinals while Tiburcio is a possible finals opponent who is no stranger to the big stage.
125) Favorite: Michael Mars, Westland John Glenn, 49-0. Top challengers: Kyle Kantola, Hartland, 52-1; Anthonie Taylor, Grandville, 28-1.
Breakdown: Mars has his sights set on a third state title. A possible upset could be brewing in the quarterfinals where Taylor of Grandville is a very talented wrestler. Kyle Kantola, a talented junior from Hartland is a strong threat to reach the finals and provide Mars with a major test.
130) Favorite: Josh Edmond, Detroit Catholic Central, 20-0. Top challengers: Jared Riggins, Jackson, 32-2; Isaac Lefler, Westland John Glenn, 44-6; Daniel Guillen, Grand Haven, 31-5.
Breakdown: To finish with a perfect season Edmond may have to avoid an upset bid from Guillen in the quarterfinals. Riggins and Lefler look to battle it out in the semifinals on the other side of the chart.
135: Favorite: Derek Gilcher, Detroit Catholic Central, 35-5. Top challengers: Isiah Berry, Southfield, 44-0, Jack Samuels, Hudsonville, 45-1; Sergio Borg, Oxford, 43-5.
Breakdown: A solid bracket from top to bottom, Gilcher will have a difficult semifinal assignment against Samuels or senior Mike Romanoski of New Baltimore. The other side of the bracket could feature a dandy semifinal between Berry and Borg.
140: Favorite: Nick Freeman, Walled Lake Central, 25-0. Top challengers: Anthony Gibson, Westland John Glenn, 46-4; Noah Anderson, Rockford, 29-3.
Breakdown: Freeman will be tough to stop from winning a second straight state title. Anderson could provide a difficult hurdle in the quarterfinals. Gibson is looking strong on the other side of the bracket.
145: Favorite: Kevon Davenport, Detroit Catholic Central, 37-3. Top challengers: Jalen Smith, Fraser, 46-1; Vic Schoenherr, Bay City Western, 44-2; Jack Richardson, Rockford, 41-4.
Breakdown: A junior, Davenport is going for a third straight state title. Davenport will be tough to keep out of the finals. The other side of the bracket has a nice quarterfinal setting up between Smith and Richardson. Western junior Vic Schoenherr could match up with the winner in the semifinals with the chance to take on Davenport on the line.
152: Favorite: Cameron Amine, Detroit Catholic Central, 40-2. Top challengers: Alex Facundo, Davison, 27-0; Mason Evans, Battle Creek Lakeview, 51-2; Tanner Culver, Hartland, 34-2; Jaden Fisher, Lake Orion, 43-4.
Breakdown: Amine, a junior, is a two-time state champion and the favorite to add number three this year. The road has plenty of hurdles with Fisher a possible semifinal opponent. Dazzling Davison freshman Alex Faucundo could be a finals opponent but he will have to get past Evans, a talented senior from Battle Creek Lakeview, in the quarterfinals and Hartland junior Tanner Culver looms in the semifinals.
160: Favorite: William Marano, Dearborn Edsel Ford, 51-0. Top challengers: River Shettler, Hartland, 41-2; Jay Nivison, Davison, 32-5; Reece Potter, Hartland, 31-4; Dustin Solomon, Macomb Dakota, 30-4.
Breakdown: Marano has a tough road to an unbeaten season. Potter of Hartland could be a quarterfinal foe and Solomon of Dakota would be a major test in the semis. Shettler is the favorite on the other side of the bracket where Nivison could crash the finals as a sophomore.
171: Favorite: Layne Malczewski, Macomb Dakota, 51-0: Top challengers: Isaac Torrey, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 39-3; Cal Stefanko, Davison, 38-4; Ali Makki Dearborn Fordson, 49-3; James Sharpe, Grand Ledge, 33-2.
Breakdown: Malczewski, a Michigan State recruit, will be tough to beat. Makki or Sharpe will provide a challenge in the semifinals while the winner of a Torrey/Stefanko semifinal could be the opponent in the finals.
189: Favorite: Ben Cushman, Flushing, 49-0. Top challengers: Hiram Robinson, Wyandotte, 41-1; Greyson Stevens, Brighton, 45-2, Chris Hackney, Fraser, 18-0; Rory Cox, Detroit Catholic Central, 36-5.
Breakdown: Cushman has his sights set on a second-straight state title and an unbeaten season. Robinson or Stevens is the likely foe in what would be a challenging semifinal. Cox and Hackney look to battle it out on the other side of the chart.
215: Favorite: Easton Turner, Detroit Catholic Central, 35-1. Top challengers: Mitch Hawkes, Jenison, 40-3; Dominick Wilson, Portage Central, 39-1; Brent Booth, Midland Dow, 50-2.
Breakdown: Another possible state champion from DCC, Turner is a strong favorite to take the title. Hawkes, a senior from Jenison, is one to watch on Turner’s side of the bracket. Wilson and Booth look to battle it out on the other side of the chart.
285: Favorite: Austin Emerson, Temperance-Bedford, 44-3. Top challengers: Seth Hoonhorst, Hudsonville, 44-3; Rahmi Khalil, Macomb Dakota, 47-5; Bobacar Diop, Berkley, 38-3; Lance Clapp, Swartz Creek, 40-6.
Breakdown: The heavyweight division is wide open. Emerson is a tested veteran but has a difficult road with Khalil possible in the quarterfinals and Clapp in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Hoonhorst and Biop are a pair of talented heavyweights that may meet in the finals.