By: John Raffel
Frankenmuth wrestlers excel
Saturday, wrestlers from all over the State of Michigan went to battle for the chance to qualify to the State Tournament at Ford Field come early March. Going to the state tournament is a dream that many of these young men and women have had for their entire lives. A chance to compete on the biggest stage for high school wrestling is a goal sought after by wrestlers across the nation, and that dream was fulfilled for two Frankenmuth Eagles at Yale High School this past weekend.
Konner Roche took 2nd at Districts the week before in Montrose and was able to secure a well earned 3rd place at the Regional tournament wrestling at 145lbs. His first match of the day, came against Gary Loper from Algonac, who he was able to pin in 1:19. He then wrestled the other District's Champion from Clawson, Michael Pizzo, who is ranked 7th in the State. He wrestled well but eventually lost 7-0. Roche came back in the match that would determine whether he would qualify to the State tournament against Tom Waggoner from Caro. Roche defeated Waggoner 10-4 to qualify to states. Roche went on to wrestle a match that would help determine his placement in the State Tournament, against #15 ranked, Kevin McKiernan from Richmond. Roche was able to secure the pin in :59 seconds to finish off a great day of wrestling.
Chris Mills took 1st at Districts and finished 1st again at Regionals. He started off his path to a Regional Championship at 160lbs. against Gavin Resk of Richmond, who he soundly defeated 5-0. He then faced the other District's runner-up, Noah Englehardt, from Algonac, who he defeated 9-4. Mills' final match of the day came against, William Vernier from Livonia-Clarenceville who won his District the week before. Mills wrestled great and eventually edged out his opponent 4-2 in a well controlled victory.
"It was a phenomenal day of wrestling for these young men, and they have grown so much as wrestlers and people throughout the season. They were able to keep their dreams alive, and qualify for the state tournament, where they plan to do big things. There's a large weight lifted from your shoulders when you qualify to States because you still get a chance to go win it all, but now they are headed for their final goal of the season; to become 2020 State Champions."