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Grappler Gold

Oakland County Championships Preview

By Steve Widzinski, 12/19/13, 4:00PM EST


Toth could become 4th 4X champ in 54 years

Myles Amine wrestles in last year's Oakland County Finals (Scott Confer)

P15 #3/D1 #1 Ben Freeman, WL Central (9) – #2 Overall Freshman
P15 #4/D1 #2 Alex Hrisopoulos, Oxford (10) – State 5th
D2 #10 Brendon Ladd, Ortonville Brandon (10)
Kevin Thomas, Troy (11)
Justin Miller, WL Northern (11)

Hard to know whom to expect here, as to my knowledge Hrisopoulos has yet to wrestle 103, and Walled Lake Central is rotating Freeman and Marion at 103/112. For selfish reasons I am really hoping that a Freeman/Hrisopoulos showdown happens, so I am putting them both here, for the sake of intrigue if nothing else. Assuming it does go down that way, I expect both to steamroll their way to finals. From there, I think Hrisopoulos’s motor will allow him to score some points and stay in the match, but in the end I see Freeman’s diverse offense and polished top game being too much to overcome.

Predicted Finish: Freeman, Hrisopoulos, Ladd

P15 #9/D1 #4 Mike Volyanyuk, FH Harrison (11) – State Runner-Up
P15/10/D1 #4 (103) Kaleb Marion, WL Central (10) – SQ
D2 #3 Bryan LaVearn, Ortonville Brandon (10) – State 6th
Kyle Gray, Avondale (10) – RQ
Chase Walkowiak, Farmington (11) – RQ
Bailey Kammerer, Oxford (11)

There’s a pretty good chance Freeman and/or Hrisopoulos end up here, but if not I feel pretty comfortable calling Volyanyuk and LaVearn in the finals. LaVearn, the defending county champ, pinned Volyanyuk in last year’s semifinals. However, Volyanyuk made some huge strides during the season, going on to place higher at the D1 state tournament than he did in Oakland County. I like him to reverse last year’s outcome on Saturday.

Predicted Finish: Volyanyuk, LaVearn, Marion

D1 #7 Daniel Shear, WL Central (11) – SQ
D2 #8 Colton Cleaver, Holly (10) – SQ
Parker O’Brien, Detroit CC (12) – SQ
David Moore, Lake Orion (12) – RQ
Aaron Parr-Bessemer, Berkley (12) – 2012 RQ

Quite a balanced field here. All 5 of the listed guys have a pretty reasonable shot to come out on top. Although there’s not a tone of criteria for separation, Shear is coming off a highly productive offseason, so he’s my pick.

Predicted Finish: Shear, Cleaver, Moore

P15 #7/D1 #3 Kyle Noonan, RH Stoney Creek (12) – State 5th
D1 #7 Cameron Wilkie, Clarkston (12) – 2012 SQ
Damion Davis, Pontiac (12) – RQ
Eric O’Neill, Farmington (12) – RQ
Gordy Dwyer, Ortonville Brandon (10)
Colin Campbell, Oxford (11)
Dominic Pattera, WL Central (12)
Tim Nelson, Milford (11)
Hunter Truba, Hazel Park (10)

There’s some pretty good depth present, but with 2X county champ Zdebski out due to injury I think this is Noonan’s weight to lose. Wilkie is a very capable kid that will certainly be in the mix as well, but I feel pretty confident picking Noonan to repeat on last year’s county title.

Predicted Finish: Noonan, Wilkie, Pattera

P15 #6/D1 #4 Ross Bahro, West Bloomfield (12) – State 4th
P15 #13/D1 #5 Evan Toth, Detroit CC (12) – 2X SQ
D1 #9 Brandon Conrad, Waterford Kettering (12) – SQ
Brett Foltz, Clarktston (12) – RQ
Tyler Dukart, Rochester (12) – RQ
Dan Allor, FH Harrison (11) – RQ
Joe Saferian, Hazel Park (12)
Brenan Munley, Waterford Mott (12)
Robert Woods, Southfield (12)

In the 53-year history of this tournament, only 3 wrestlers have won 4 Oakland County titles: Tyrone Logan (85-88), Josh Houldsworth (07-10), and Alec Mooradian (08-11). On Saturday, Toth will have a chance to join this elite club, a pretty remarkable feat for a wrestler who has yet to place at the state tournament. However, leading a deep field of challengers is Bahro, Toth’s opponent in last year’s final. Toth won the match by major decision, but Bahro made some pretty substantial progress during the season, eventually placing 4th at the state meet. I can’t say I feel good betting against Toth at this tournament, but I think Bahro avenges last year and finally gets county gold as a senior.

Predicted Finish: Bahro, Toth, Foltz

P15 #4/D1 #2 Thomas Keyes, Troy Athens (12) – State 7th
D1 #10 Matt Gudenau, West Bloomfield (11)
D2 #7 Sam Johnson, Holly (10) – SQ
Austin Murray, WL Western Michigan (12) – SQ
Nate Vandermeer, Clarkston (10) – RQ
Eli Joseph, Detroit CC (12)
Keith Lee, Southfield (12)
Jason Metawar, Waterford Mott (11)

Another extremely deep weight, Keyes headlines a group that should include 4-6 State Qualifiers or so this March. I am high on several guys here, particularly Johnson, but if Keyes wrestles like he did at the state tournament last March I don’t see him losing. Joseph looked very solid for DCC last week, so he’s another one to keep an eye on.

Predicted Finish: Keyes, Johnson, Joseph

P15 #5/D1 #3 Myles Amine, Detroit CC (11) – State 3rd
D1 #7 Eddie Schlickenmeyer, Oxford (12) – State 4th
Davion Williams, Southfield (12) – SQ
Mario Giglio, West Bloomfield (12) – RQ
Jack Dionne, Clarkston (12) – RQ
Dillon Maier, Rochester (11)
Anthony Chudler, WL Western (12)
Andrew Ellicott, Troy (11)
Brock Mather, Avondale (11)
Jared Davidson, South Lyon (12)
David Joyner, Milford (11)

Should be an interesting matchup here between Amine and Schlickenmeyer, who sit atop what figures to be an extremely deep weight class. They met several times last year with Schlickenmeyer taking Amine down to the wire, but Myles really set himself apart with a great offseason, and I think he wins comfortably on Saturday.

Predicted Finish: Amine, Schlickenmeyer, Dionne

P15 #2/D1 #1 Malik Amine, Detroit CC (12) – State Champ
D1 #7 Christian Lauderback, WL Northern (12) – 2X SQ
D2 #10 Trevor Boudreau, Ortonville Brandon (12) – RQ
Davion Logan, Pontiac (12) – RQ
Ryan Morgan, Rochester (10)
Mike Cardinale, Clarkston (12)
Tre Flores, Holly (12)
Joey Walker, Livonia Clarenceville (12)

A very solid group, but I don’t see anyone who stops defending state champ Amine from winning his 3rd Oakland County. Logan is one of a few relatively unknown kids worth keeping an eye on though. With Pontiac down in D2 this year I think he has some real sleeper potential.

Predicted Finish: Amine, Lauderback, Boudreau

P15 #2/D1 #1 Nick Bennett, Detroit CC (12) – GFC Champ
D1 #9 Jack Addy, Rochester Adams (12) – 2X SQ
D2 #10 Kyle Pepper, Holly (12) – RQ
Thor Wardell, Ortonville Brandon (11) – RQ
Dashawn Cole, Pontiac (11) – RQ
Domanick Slagle, Livonia Clarenceville (11) – RQ
Joe McKinley, Hazel Park (11) – RQ
Anson Patrick, Troy Athens (11) – RQ
Tyler Slating, Clarkston (12)
Noah Kinne, Oxford (11)

This is an awesome field, but now way, no how, does anyone stop Bennett. The kid is an absolute hammer, and I think he is just too well rounded for any of the projected competition to score enough points to even come within sniffing distance of an upset. Expect a pack of quality wrestlers to vie for second place, with Addy leading the charge.

Predicted Finish: Bennett, Addy, Pepper

P15 #6/D1 #4 Wes Maskill, Oxford (12) – State 5th
P15 #10/D1 #5 Andrew Price, RH Stoney Creek (11) – 2X SQ
D1 #6 Tyler Morland, Detroit CC (9) – #3 Overall Freshman
D1 #7 PJ Kern, WL Northern (12) – 2X RQ
Max Wardell, Ortonville Brandon (12) – RQ
Dazon Cole, Pontiac (12) – RQ
Jacob Stitely, WL Central (11)
Cameron Fyffe, Livonia Clarenceville (11)

Now we start to get into the really fun weights. From here on up this tourney should be an absolute blast. Maskill is the favorite based on what he did in the state tournament, but Price handled him to the tune of a shutout major decision in last year’s Oakland County final. All that before even mention of super-frosh Morland, who I am greatly tempted to pick, or Kern, a nails tough veteran. All that being said, Maskill came a long way over the course of last season, but Price looked awesome coming out of the gate. Once again he’s off to a hot start, and assuming he’s down from 171 I like him to repeat.

Predicted Finish: Price, Maskill, Morland

P15 #1/D1 #1 Drew Garcia, Detroit CC (12) – 2X State Champ
P15 #5/D1 #2 Shon Powell, Brother Rice (12) – State 7th
P15 #6/D2 #2 Andrew Scott, Holly (12) – State 6th
P15 #13/D1 #4 Shane Shadaia, Rochester (12) – State 7th
Matt Sears, Ortonville Brandon (12) – RQ
Zack Carter, Waterford Kettering (12) – RQ
Wyatt Hardin, Oxford (10)
DeVon Bazile, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (10)

Another awesome weight, this one features a 2X state champ, and 3 others who could very likely end up finishing top-3 at the state tournament in March. Factor in that there’s a good chance Price and/or Maskill could end up here, and things have the potential to get really nuts. No doubt Garcia is the man to beat, and to be honest I don’t see that happening. Of the rest field, I am particularly high on Scott, who went 1-1 with Devon Pingle last offseason, the eventual state champ in his weight class.

Predicted Finish: Garcia, Scott, Shadaia

P15 #3/D1 #2 Logan Marcicki, Detroit CC (12) – State Runner-Up
P15 #5/D1 #4 Shwan Shadaia, Rochester (12) – State Champ
D1 #6 Alex Sovel, WL Central (11) – RQ
James Donahue, South Lyon (11) – RQ
Logan Mendelson, Birmingham Groves (12)
Peter Price, RH Stoney Creek (12)
Tyler Lovelace, Milford (11)
Dalton Bedgood, Waterford Kettering (12)
Roderick Rubbs, Southfield (12)

Perhaps the most anticipated individual matchup of this tourney, defending state champ Shadaia and 2011 state champ Marcicki appear to be on a collision course. Both are riding recent losses: Shadaia’s at the hands of Derek Hillman, while Maricki lost a state finals rematch against Jordan Cooks. Marcicki missed this tourney last year, but was a champ in 2010 and 2011. Shadaia, meanwhile, won his first Oakland County title at 215lbs last December. The size advantage goes to Shadaia, while Marcicki is without a doubt the more seasoned. It’s a tough call for me, but I think Shadaia wins a defensive struggle while Marcicki continues to adjust to the upperweights.

Predicted Finish: Shadaia, Marcicki, Sovel

P15 #2/D1 #2 Matt Okaiye, Waterford Kettering (12) – State 3rd
P15 #7/D1 #5 (189) Nick Giese, Detroit CC (12) – State 3rd
P15 #12/D1 #4 Josiah Thomas, Brother Rice (12) – State 8th
P15 #13/D1 #5 Ben Line, Oxford (12) – SQ
Prince Onwenu, WL Central (11)
Trent Bekker, Farmington (12)
Michael Robinson, FH Harrison (12)

This should be an absolute slugfest between the top 4, and all are very capable of finishing the day on top of the podium. Okaiye is the favorite after finishing 3rd at the state meet last year and 2nd in Oakland County. Giese was also a 3rd place state finisher and county runner-up last year, but his success came at 189. He is once again an 189lbr, but due to teammate Logan Maricki he is likely to spend the majority of the season at 215. State placer Thomas and qualifier Line are not far behind, but Okaiye is a flat out monster. That being said, these were all guys that made huge strides over the course last season, so a lot comes down to who is the most match-ready at this early stage of the season.

Predicted Finish: Okaiye, Giese, Line

P15 #9/D1 #4 Zach Wood, Oxford (12) – SQ
P15 #15/D1 #6 Paul Scott, Lake Orion (12) – SQ
P15 #15/D1 #7 (215) Jimmy Russell, Detroit CC (12) – SQ
D1 #9 Cameron Daniels, Rochester (12) – RQ
Makene Culpepper, Southfield (11) – RQ
Jonathan Dixon, South Lyon (12)
David Murray, Troy (11)
Brandon Krol, Milford (10)
Jamie Demers, WL Northern (11)

This is a really solid crop of big guys, and I am especially interested to see how Russell fares. He is not a particularly big 215lbr, but so far he has looked phenomenal bumping up to take on the big boys. This will be far and away his stiffest test yet, but I think he moves his feet and uses his athleticism to put points on the board and win his Oakland County debut.

Predicted Finish: Russell, Wood, Scott


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