Jelani Embree capped off a brilliant career with his second state title and a Flonational championship in 2017. After finishing 4th at Super 32 in the fall, Embree was dominant throughout the MHSAA season, going a perfect 36-0. A former Grappler Fall Classic champ, Embree has been a 1st Team Dream Team member the past two seasons and ends his career with a record of 128-1. He'll head to Ann Arbor in the fall but you can be sure we'll see more of him on the Freestyle and Greco circuit this summer.
MI GRAPPLER WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR:
2017 - Jelani Embree (Warren Lincoln), 2016 - Ian Parker (St. John's), 2015 - Logan Massa (St. John's), 2014 - Zac Hall (St. John's), 2013 - Adam Coon (Fowlerville), 2012 - Taylor Massa (St. John's), 2011 - Roger Wildmo (Durand), 2010 - Jackson Morse (Lowell), 2009 - Dan Yates (Hesperia), 2008 - Ben Bennett (Rockford), 2007 - Justin Zeerip (Hesperia)
After not being in the state finals for the first time in six years last season, the Blue Devil head coach lead the team to an outstanding year in 2017. Falling only to the D1 and D2 state champs, DCC and Lowell, during the year, Richmond won the Division 3 title in an instant classic over Dundee, 28-28 on criteria h- most first match points scored. In addition to knocking off a couple of the top-8 D1 teams, Day's squad defeated Ohio Division 2 state runner-up Wauseon and Division 3 semifinalist Mechanicsburg. Day was also able to lure national power St. Paris Graham of Ohio to the state of Michigan for the first time ever for a dual in January.
Past Coaches of the Year:
Brandon Day, Richmond (2017), Todd Cheney, Hartland (2016), Tony Greathouse, Brighton (2015), Dave Dean, Lowell (2014)
LaJoie burst onto the scene this year by going unbeaten at 103 pounds. He navigated a tough bracket at the Palace, defeating the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place wrestlers en route to his title. He joins his brother Dominic on the team and marks the first pair of brothers to ever be First Teamers in the same season.
Kamali continued to shine as one of the elite lightweights in not only the state but the country as well. He won his second straight D1 title in 2017 and tacked on a title at Flonationals a couple weeks ago.
Coming off of winning a Cadet Greco title last summer, Hamdan went unbeaten in the state of Michigan during his sophomore campaign on his way to title number two. What locked down the top spot on our list was winning the DCC invite- a weight that included Kamali, Mikey Mars, Jack Medley, and Elijuh Weaver.
LaJoie capped off one of the great careers in Michigan history with this third state championship in 2017. The future Cornell Big Red went 52-0 on the year, scoring bonus points in 47 of those bouts. This is his second time making the First Team Dream Team (2015).
Trombley's pursuit of four titles remains in tact after he dominated his way to his third championship this season. With a perfect 57-0 record, he solidified his spot on the First Team for the second straight season.
Saxton found a new home at Chip Hills in his senior year, after three all-state finishes at Lakeview. He was 3rd at the GFC in the fall, and ended his year unbeaten with his first state title. He'll head to CMU in the fall.
An obvious argument can be made for Freeman as WOTY. With four state titles and a 163-1 record, he completed one of the all-time great careers in state history. The future Wolverine is also one of the most well-traveled grapplers in the state, earning multiple AA honors around the country. With his fourth 1st Team Dream Team selection, he joins Taylor Massa as the only other wrestler to do so.
The Shamrock sophomore won his second state title in 2017, up from 125 a year ago. He was a runner-up at the GFC in the fall and 3rd at Flonationals, in addition to winning the DCC invite during the season. A 3rd Teamer a year ago, Amine ended his year on a 31-match win streak.
Fedewa was stellar in his final year with the Red Wings. He started out with a 3rd place showing at the GFC and a win over then-defending champ Kam Bush. He carried over that momentum into the season where he turned in a perfect 53-0 record and won a state title over a very tough Dustin Gross.
Sterling won his second straight title for Dundee and turned in a 28-0 record. He didn't see any action until mid-January, but proved to be one of the state's top middleweights once again. A 2nd Teamer last year, Sterling will head to Mt. Pleasant in the fall.
The Northwestern-bound senior was unbeaten in 2017, scoring bonus in 35 of 37 matches. He was particularly dominant at the state tournament where he scored tech falls in the semis and finals. The DCC senior ends his career as a 2x D1 State Champ and earns his spot on the 1st Team for the first time.
Whitman capped off his junior campaign with his third state championship and an undefeated season. He won the prestigious Brecksville, OH Holiday tournament and the Hudson Super 16 en route to a 45-0 record. The recent North Carolina commit will join Trombley in pursuit of a fourth state title in 2018.
A 2015 1st Team Dream Teamer, Roehl finds himself back on the 1st Team after turning in a 38-0 record and winning title number two. He's been one of the top big men in the state throughout his career, winning two championships and making the finals three times. Roehl will be a Chippewa next year.
Hillger capped off an amazing career with this third state championship for Lake Fenton. One of the most dominant heavyweights in state history, he pinned or teched every opponent this season. He was also chosen to represent Team USA at the Dapper Dan, the first Michigander since 2013 to have such an invitation. Hillger will head off to wrestle for Wisconsin next season.
103 - Reese Fry (Manchester), Jr.
112 - Corey Gamet (Parma Western), So.
119 - Branson Proudlock (Gibraltar Carlson), Jr.
125 - AJ Facundo (Davison), Jr.
130 - Kevon Davenport (Detroit Catholic Central), So.
135 - Nick Freeman (Walled Lake Central), Jr.
140 - Sean O'Hearon (Springport), Sr.
145 - Danny Pfeffer (Fraser), Sr.
152 - Dustin Gross (Dearborn Hts. Annapolis), Jr.
160 - Kolin Leyrer (Holt), Sr.
171 - Collin Lieber (Croswell-Lexington), Sr.
189 - Brenden McRill (Davison), Sr.
215 - Devon Kozel (Bangor), Sr.
285 - Nick Jenkins (Detroit Catholic Central), Sr.
103 - Nick Alayan (Macomb Dakota), So.; Andrew Chambal (Davison), Fr.; TJ Daugherty (Walled Lake Central), Fr.; Andrew Hughes (Grand Ledge), Fr.; Brody Kemper (Grand Blanc), Fr.
112 - Kyle Borthwell (Westland John Glenn), So.; Bryce Brust (Battle Creek Lakeview), So.; Noah Comar (Clinton), So.; Rhett Newton (Detroit Catholic Central), So.; Tucker Sholl (Hudson), So.
119 - Austin Franco (Niles), Jr.; Dakota Greer (Tri County), Jr.; Mikey Mars (Westland John Glenn), Jr.; Jack Medley (Anchor Bay), Sr.; Elijuh Weaver (Warren Woods Tower), Sr.
125 - Skyler Crespo (Mendon), Fr.; Kyle French (Marysville), Sr.; Robert LeFevre (Erie Mason), Sr.; Corbyn Munson (Chelsea), Jr.; Amante Young (Clare), Jr.
130 - Chris Fauson (Charlotte), Jr.; Drew Marten (Tecumseh), Sr.; Robert Rogers (Bentley), Jr.; Warren Stanfield (Walled Lake Central), Sr.; Tony Williams (Stevensville Lakeshore), Jr.
135 - Joshua Edmond (Orchard Lake St. Marys), Fr.; Anthony Gibson (Westland John Glenn), Jr.; Joey Schindler (Warren Woods Tower), Sr.; Noah Schoenherr (Bay City Western), Sr.; Ethan Woods (Manchester), Sr.
140 - Zach Bellaire (Dundee), Jr.; Trent Lashuay (St. John's), Sr.; Avry Mutschler (Lowell), So.; Colin Takata (Birmingham Groves), Sr.; Sean Trombley (Lake Fenton), So.
103 - David Stepanian (Warren Woods Tower), So.
112 - Chaise Mayer (Warren Woods Tower), So.
119 - Rayvon Foley (Ann Arbor Pioneer), Sr.
125 - Donte Rivera-Garcia (Southgate Anderson), Sr.
130 - Xavier Graham (Woodhaven), Sr.
135 - Austin Boone (Lowell), Fr.
140 - Luke Raczkowski (Parma Western), Sr.
145 - Austin O'Hearon (Eaton Rapids), Jr.
152 - Nathan Atienza (Livonia Franklin), Sr.
160 - Lucas McFarland (Dewitt), Sr.
171 - Cash Thompson (Lakewood), Sr.
189 - Ryan Vasbinder (Grandville), Sr.
215 - Nick Cooper (Springport), Sr.
285 - Chase Beard (Allegan), Sr.
145 - Glenn Beardsley (Farwell), Sr.; Brian Case (Davison), So.; Reece Hughes (Hartland), Sr.; Tylor Orrison (Dundee), Jr.; Alec Rees (Sparta), So.
152 - Kameron Bush (Grandville), Sr.; Trevor Houghton (Romeo), Sr.; Jacob Shoop (Mason County Central), Sr.; Gerrit Yates (Hesperia), Jr.; Sam York (Dewitt), Jr.
160 - Layne Malczewski (Macomb Dakota), Jr.; Will Marano (Dearborn Edsel Ford), Jr.; Coby Moore (Bay City Western), Sr.; Cal Stefanko (Davison), So.; Dylan Terrence (Flint Kearsley), Sr.
171 - Nino Bastianelli (Marysville), Sr.; Matthew Heaps (Portage Northern), Sr.; Drake Pauwels (New Boston Huron), Jr.; Ryan Ringler (Cedar Springs), So.; Kane Williams (Clio), Sr.
189 - Aaron Bolo (Iron Mountain), Sr.; Will Feldkamp (Dexter), Sr.; David Kruse (Lowell), Jr.; Colton McKiernan (Richmond), Jr.; Brad Wilton (Mason), Sr.
215 - Eli Boulton (Lowell), Sr.; Ben Cushman (Flushing), Jr.; Tyden Ferris (Delton Kellogg), Jr.; Nick Humphrey (Monroe Jefferson), Sr.; Tyler Marino (Richmond), Jr.
285 - Zach Bailey (Hudson), Sr.; Patrick DePiazza (Cedar Springs), Sr.; Austin Emerson (Temperance Bedford), Jr.; Logan Kennedy (Decatur), Sr.; Lane Potter (Hudsonville), Sr.