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Recapping Michigan at the GFC

By MI Grappler, 10/08/20, 10:00AM EDT



Dakota sophomore Caleb Weiand was the top Michigan finisher here, placing 4th.  The returning state qualifier actually had a lead in the semis over nationally-ranked Javaan Yarbrough (OH) before the dangerous Yarbrough reversed him for the fall.  Talan Parsons, one of the top incoming freshmen, was 5th, knocking off Colin Martin of Virginia, who was ranked as a top-200 Junior High wrestler in the nation last year.


All four semifinalists in this weight were Michiganders.  DCC's Drew Heethuis scored a last-second takedown in OT over Davison freshman Justin Gates in the top half, while Dundee's Braeden Davis scored a major decision over Marcello Milani in the bottom half.  Davis would go on to win the title over Heethuis, 3-2, as the two traded takedowns but Davis picked up a riding time point.  Milani finished 4th, while Gates was 6th.  Milani split matches with nationally-ranked Ethan Rivera (FL).  Three others made deep runs in the weight, as Nolan Wertanen of St. Joseph, Thomas Zielinski of West Catholic and Jak Keller of Rockford all fell in the blood round.


Davison sophomore Caden Horwath was dominant on his way to a title, scoring bonus in every match except his final, which he won a convincing 7-1 decision.  He also defeated DCC's Anthony Walker in the semis, 12-1.  Walker turned in one of the more impressive runs in any weight, placing 3rd after entering as the 12 seed.  Among his wins were two over top-50 incoming freshman Bryce Luna (CA) and #16 Nick Corday (GA).  A pair of sophomores advanced to the quarters and came up one match from placing in Dundee's Kaden Chinavare and Dakota's Orion Wilson.  Chinavare knocked off #20 Ayson Rice (SD), 10-6, to advance to the quarters.  Wilson defeated Darrell Rochester (GA), a state champ and Fargo AA.


Aaron Lucio of Stevensville Lakeshore was the lone Michigan placer in this weight, finishing 8th.  The sophomore was gritty all tournament long, as each of his final three wins were won in overtime.  His most notable win came over Virginia state champ Max Martin, 3-1 SV.  Zein Bazzi of Dearborn Hts. Crestwood also turned in a great tourney, going 3-2.


Without a doubt the deepest weight in the tournament, Michigan was able to put two into the top-eight here.  Dylan Gilcher finished 4th, defeating nationally-ranked Braden Basile (FL) and beating Logan Frazier (IN), ranked in the top-100 for the class of 2023, twice.  Ashton Anderson was 8th and picked up a huge win over Garett Lautzenheiser (OH), who was ranked top-10 in the country heading into the tournament.  Of his other four wins, three were over state finalists - from GA, FL, and VA.   Brendan Ferretti of Dakota was one match shy of placing.  He picked up wins over a FL state runner-up, GA state champ, and CA state placer.


Casey Swiderksi joined an elite club as he won his third career GFC title.  Only Mark Hall, Zac Hall, and Nic Bouzakis have ever accomplished that feat.  The Dundee junior opened with four straight bonus point wins before winning 5-3 over Dy'Vaire VanDyke (OH) in the semis and then 4-2 over 2x FL state champ Danny Nini in the finals, thanks to a takedown late in the third period.  Westland John Glenn's Ty Cowen put together a nice tournament as well, going 3-2.


While no Michiganders placed in this weight, a few were able to put together impressive runs.  Brighton's Mason Shrader came up one match shy of placing, going 4-2, and losing to wrestlers who placed 4th and 6th.  Austin Fietz of Dundee was 3-2 and was ousted by Shrader in a tight 2-0 match.  DCC freshman Darius Marines was also 3-2, picking up a notable win over WA state champ Jeremiah Zuniga.


Another major breakout performance came from Woodhaven's Nate Jerore, who finished 4th in a super tough weight class.  Jerore made it to the quarters and then defeated Lakeshore's Micah Hanau in OT in the bloodround before taking out VA state champ Patrick Jordon in his next match.  Hanau had a strong tourney as well, defeating 5th-seeded Hayden Zinkin in OT and in the consolation bracket, and also winning a state finals rematch over Lowell's Zeth Strejc, 5-0.


Owen Norman of Caledonia made the deepest run at 145, advancing to the bloodround.  Among his wins included one over FL state runner-up Tyler Cabral.  Clinton's Landis Gillman was the next closest to the podium, finishing 3-2 on the tournament and advancing to the consolation round of 16. 


Four of Michigan's top senior middleweights all finished in the top-8 as Dundee's Tyler Swiderski was 5th, Rockford's Trenton Wachter was 6th, Davison's James Johnston was 7th, and Brighton's Zach Johnson was 8th.  All four won their bloodround matches on Friday night making for an impressive showing from the group.  Swiderski also knocked off #17 Brendon Abdon (FL) by fall in the consis.  In terms of head-to-heads, Swiderski beat Wachter and Johnson.  Wachter beat Johnston and Johnson.  Johnston beat Johnson.  Johnston beat Waller (NJ), who beat Swiderski.  So not too much separation between the four.


Davison's Josh Barr took home his first GFC title here after placing in the high school division four times previously (dating back to 6th grade).  He won his final four matches by decision but was in control from start to finish in every one.  Stoney Buell was 4th, dropping a last-second bout in the quarters to eventual finalist Ceasar Garza (CA).  


Michigan took home half of the top-eight spots in this weight, headlined by DCC's Manny Rojas winning the tournament.  Rojas bonused his way to the finals, before winning 7-3 over VA state champ Domonic Baker.  Avery Dickerson was 6th, Max Callahan was 7th, and Leo Galasso was 8th - all of whom improved on their seeds of 11th, 10th, and 12th, respectively.  Callahan and Galasso both defeated 2x GA state champ David Bertrand, Dickerson defeated GA state champ Dalton Battle.


One Michigan placer at 189 - Cody Brenner of New Boston Huron.  Brenner battled back from a second-round loss to Stephen Little, the eventual runner-up, 3-2.  On his way back through the consis, his biggest win came over nationally-ranked Michael Tal-Shahar (FL), 3-1 in OT.


No Michigan entries at 215 or 285