#1 Cam Bertucci (Photo: Gary Williams)
P15 #2/D2 #2 Ian Parker, St. Johns (10) – #19 Flo/IM #17, State RU
P15 #8/D4 #1 Davian Gowens, Hesperia (10) – State 6th
Austin Wieczorek, East Kentwood (9) – GFC 3rd
Emilio Sanchez, St. Johns (9) – GFC 6th
Drew Mandell, Dundee (10)
Lee Grabowski, Brighton (9)
Analysis – There’s a good chance Parker is up at 112 this early in the season, but if not he should absolutely run through this weight. Otherwise, Gowens is the clear favorite, but Wieczorek is a hammer freshman that could surpise. The other 3 should be solid as well, but at this point there’s little evidence that they could finish any higher than 3rd assuming these weights hold.
Predicted Finish: Parker, Gowens, Wieczorek
P15 #10/D1 #5 (103) Grant Morrison, Brighton (10) – GFC 5th
D1 #7 Jared Bennett, Rockford (11) – State 6th
D2 #6 Dylan Wilkins, Sparta (10)
D2 #9 Brandon Arend, Stevensville Lakeshore (10) – SQ
D3 #7 Ken Reinhart, Dundee (11) – State 6th
D4 #8 Cory Agens, Hesperia (12) – 2X SQ
Austin Krantz, Byron Center (12) - RQ
Analysis – Pretty deep field that a number of guys could win. There’s a decent shot this chart ends up featuring a 2014 state placer from all 4 divisions. No way to pinpoint a favorite as of now unless Parker is up a weight, but I like Bennett just a little bit more than anyone else.
Predicted Finish: Bennett, Arend, Wilkins
P15 #1/D1 #1 Cam Bertucci, Grand Haven (11) – State 3rd
D1 #4 Stephen Jendritz, Rockford (11) – State 8th
D3 #7 Zach Blevins, Dundee (10) – State 8th
Jackson Renicker, Brighton (10) – State 8th
Billy Doran, Byron Center (12) – RQ
Nathan Weber, Stevensville Lakeshore (11)
Lucas McFarland, St. Johns (9)
Analysis – This one should be all Bertucci. Jendritz and Blevins are tough kids that will make him wrestle, but Cam has been in and out of the national rankings for over a year and should have little trouble taking care of business. Renicker is another to keep an eye on. He came out of now where at the end of last season to place in D1, so it will be interesting to see how he fares up a couple of weights.
Predicted Finish: Bertucci, Jendritz, Blevins
P15 #10/D2 #3 Jake Busing, Byron Center (11) – State 7th
D2 #8 Aaron Ward, Stevensville Lakeshore (11)* – 2X SQ
Kyle Bohnschack, Brighton (11) – RQ
Alex Parris, Sparta (10) – RQ
Charlie Hang, East Kentwood (12) – RQ
Austin Kleiner, Hesperia (12) – RQ
Derek Droste, St. Johns (10)
Analysis – With Ward out due to injury, it will be Busing v. the field a here. I wouldn’t say an upset it is totally out of the question, especially this early in the season, but it would be quite a surprise to see any of the listed guys knock off the 2X all-stater.
Predicted Finish: Busing, Bohnschack, Droste
P15 #2/D4 #1 Zack Yates, Hesperia (12) – State Champ
Robert Dente, Stevensville Lakeshore (9) – Top 25 Freshman
Brad Ronning, Sparta (11) – RQ
Matthew Dolleman, GR Northview (10) – RQ
Sean Sterling, Dundee (9)
Jake Relkema, Byron Center (11)
Analysis – No doubt that Yates is a stud and should be nearly untouchable here, but I’m actually more interested in the freshman: Dente & Sterling. Both have the potential to be among this year’s best, and I’d be fascinated to see how they compete against a defending state champ.
Predicted Finish: Yates, Dente, Sterling
P15 #10/D4 #2 Trent Roesly, Hesperia (11) – State 7th
P15 #11/D3 #4 Brendan O’Connor, Dundee (12) – State 3rd
D2 #7 (130) Patrick Blommel, Stevensville Lakeshore (12) – 2012 SQ
Antonio Reyes, Grand Haven (11) – SQ
Collin Busing, Byron Center (12) – RQ
Jose Ramos, Brighton (11) – RQ
Logan Eaves, Hesperia (10) – RQ
Brandon Idema, GR Northview (11) – RQ
Analysis – One of the more interesting weights, this one features a pair of frontrunners who have some recent history. Roesly, formerly of Newaygo, had an awesome GFC that included a 10-6 win over O’Connor in the 7th place bout. Assuming he is eligible to wrestle immediately, they seem likely to meet in the finals. They will need to be on their game early though, as there is plenty of depth behind them with 2 SQ’s and 4 RQ’s also projected.
Predicted Finish: Roesly, O’Conor, Blommel
P15 #7/D2 #1 (135) Noah Hanau, Stevensville Lakeshore (11) – State 4th
P15 #8/D2 #3 Joel Rees, Sparta (10) – State 4th
D2 #6 Nolan Waddell, Byron Center (12) – State 8th
D3 #3 Brad Scholl, Dundee (12) – SQ
Analysis – Now here is a weight that should be lots of fun. With Zac Hall up at 145 for opening weekend, 3 State Placers and an SQ are left to fight it out. Lakeshore’s lineup will likely result in top-ranked Hanau being up a weight for most of the season, and he won’t have to wait long for his first big test. Rees is a top-5 sophomore who had a strong summer, and in my opinion is the favorite. Seasoned vets Waddell and Scholl aren’t too far behind, and their presence should make for some very strong semifinal matchups.
Predicted Finish: Rees, Hanau, Scholl
P15 #1/D2 #1 (140) Zac Hall, St. Johns (12) – #5 Flo/#4 IM, 3X State Champ
P15 #5/D3 #2 Doug Rojem, Dundee (12) – State Champ
P15 #13/D2 #5 Mark Bozzo, St. Johns (12)* - State 4th
D4 #7 David Jacobs, Hesperia (11) – State 7th
Dustin Clapp, Stevensville Lakeshore (12) – SQ
Brandon Zych, Rockford (12) – RQ
Luke Averill, Grand Haven (12) – RQ
Tanner Maschke, Brighton (11)
Analysis – Fans won’t have to wait long to see the first battle of defending champs this season! With Bozzo out this weekend, Hall moves up to 145 where he will likely see Rojem. It wasn’t a great preseason for Rojem, but he’s always been a guy who steps it up a notch in-season, so I’m not too concerned. That being said, with all due respect, Hall is on a whole different level. Rojem may be able to use his size and mat skills to slow Hall down and keep the score close, but I see no way that Hall loses this match. In fact, I’ll go ahead right now and say that Cole Weaver is the only kid currently ranked at 140 or 145 with a chance to take out Hall this season.
Predicted Finish: Hall, Rojem, Jacobs
P15#1/D2 #1 Logan Massa, St. Johns (11) – #3 Flo/#6 IM, State Champ
P15 #11/D4 #3 (145) Chase Siersema, Hesperia (12) – 2X State RU
D2 #7 Gunner Harrison, Stevensville Lakeshore (12) – State 8th
D3 #9 Sean Marogen, Dundee (12) – SQ
Jaxon Smith, Byron Center (11) – SQ
Ryan Heiserman, Dundee (12) – RQ
Aaron Cummings, Grand Haven (11) – RQ
Analysis – As of last month Massa is ranked as the state’s top wrestler at any weight class, and Saturday’s results will reflect it. I’m high on some others in the field here, especially Siersema, but truth be told the only way anyone gets to the 3rd period is if Massa wants them to. He is just that dominant.
Predicted Finish: Massa, Siersema, Harrison
P15 #1/D1 #1 Dakota Juarez, Grand Haven (12) – State 4th
D2 #9 Drew Wixson, St. Johns (11) – RQ
D4 #5 Mark Workman, Hesperia (10) – State 5th
Beau Mourer, Brighton (11)
Garrett Thornsberry, Dundee (12)
Donny Mandell, Dundee (12)
Mike Hyuser, Byron Center (11)
Analysis – Juarez is 1 of 5 Power 15 #1’s expected to compete on Saturday. For the record, that means that of the state’s top wrestler at each weight, a staggering 36% will be in attendance! Anyways, like the other top dogs, Juarez should take care of business without too much trouble. He’s not the type who usually wins by wide margins, but I doubt he’s ever in serious trouble. As for the rest of the field, Workman and Wixson are clearly the top contenders, and I’d expect them to meet in an intriguing semifinal opposite Juarez on the bracket.
Predicted Finish: Juarez, Wixson, Workman
P15 #10/D3 #2 Tye Thompson, Dundee (11) – State 4th
D1 #6 Nick Brish, Brighton (11)
Tom Riemersma, Byron Center (12)
Jeff Rumsey, Hesperia (12)
Analysis – Not the deepest of fields, but as is usually the case with upperweights, it won’t take long for some previously unknown upperclassmen to establish themselves this season. For Saturday, Thompson and Brish are clearly the guys to beat, and, assuming the weights hold, it would be a shock if they don’t meet in the finals. I’m going with Thompson, but neither have competed much all offseason, so I really have no idea what to expect.
Predicted Finish: Thompson, Brish, Rumsley
P15 #1/D2 #1 Angus Arthur, St. Johns (11) – #6 Flo/#13 IM, State Champ
P15 #5/D3 #1 Teddy Warren, Dundee (12)* – State Champ
P15 #11/D4 #4 Eldon Graham, Hesperia (12) – State 4th
Connor Morley, Grand Haven (11) – RQ
Analysis – I’m not sure whether we will see Arthur or Wildmo at 189 for St. Johns, but either way, with state champ Teddy Warren sidelined due to injury, it’s safe to expect that one will end the day on top of the podium. Graham is a very solid kid that could challenge for a D4 title this year, but I don’t see him being able to matchup with kids that are among the country’s top upperweights quite yet.
Predicted Finish: Arthur, Graham, Morley
D2 #2 (189) Ty Wildmo, St. Johns (11) - #19 Flo, State 3rd
D2 #6 Tom Cheslek, Sparta (12) – SQ
D4 #4 Scott Rosencrans, Hesperia (10) – SQ
Brandon Houle, Rockford (12) – RQ
Luke Ready, Brighton (10)
Predicted Finish – Just like at 189, whether it be a Wildmo or Arthur, a nationally ranked St. Johns wrestler should dominate this weight. The rest of the field is quite balanced, and I would not be remotely shocked to see any of the other 4 listed wrestlers opposite Arthur/Wildmo in the finals.
Predicted Finish: Wildmo, Houle, Ready
D4 #4 Wyatt Conkle, Hesperia (11) – SQ
D1 #9 Chase Van Hoef, Grand Haven (11) – RQ
Javarri Kerby, St. Johns (10) – GFC 8th
Predicted – Not too many established big guys in this field, but heavyweight is always the hardest to gauge preseason. Conkle is an enormous kid, and I think he has the potential to take a big leap forward this season after coming within a match of placing as a sophomore.
Predicted Finish: Conkle, Van Hoef, Kerby
Letter from Hall of Fame Football Coach Noel Dean to EMU Football Coach Chris Creighton
I have to do what is right for the state of Michigan. As you know, I have coached high school football in the state of Michigan for the past 27 years. I have great respect for you as a coach and a person. You are just under the wrong leadership at the wrong time.
EMU's Athletic director Scott Wetherbee giving kudos to the team 2 days before giving them the axe. What kind of person does that?
Your president, a guy from South Dakota obviously doesn't understand the culture of Michigan and the value us lifelong Michigan residents not only have for the sport of football but wrestling too.
He doesn't understand how deeply intertwined football and wrestling is in this state. Many coaches are involved in both and have sons, nephews and grand kids that participate in both.
My biggest impact players have been both football players that are wrestlers. I am always and also told to have multi athletic players. This is in stark contrast to HIS position.
I can't stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program. Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.
If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings. I won't speak for the others copied in this email but I wanted them to see my position.
Bottom line is, a guy from South Dakota is dumping on boys in the state of Michigan. I personally have had enough of people like this. Time to get priorities in order.
You are a good man but, you may be at the wrong institution.