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Grappler Gold

Genesee County Championships Preview

By Steve Widzinski, 12/20/13, 5:15PM EST


Noah Gonser (Daniel Mears/The Detroit News)

P15 #7/D3 #1 Tristan Serbus, Corunna (10) – State 8th
P15 #15/D1 #5 Jon Hollingshed, Midland Dow (12) – 2X RQ
Demetric Hall, Flint CA (11) – RQ
Norm Golden, Fenton (12) – RQ
Drew Hutchinson, Clio (9)

Very interesting weight to start things off. Hollingshead was upset by previously unranked Jared Hassenauer of Armada on Wednesday, so as a result Serbus becomes a pretty clear favorite. Additionally, I was a little bit conservative predicting Hutchinson, but he is a talented kid who had a lot of success on the middle school, and this may be the weekend he breaks out. Upperclassmen and retuning RQ’s Hall and Golden are not to be slept on either.

Predicted Finish: Serbus, Hollingshed, Hutchinson

P15 #5/D1 #2 Noah Gonser, Grand Blanc (11) – State 3rd
P15 #6/D1 #3 Max Johnson, Davison (10) – 2X GFC AA
P15 #8/D3 #3 Arthur Payne, Montrose (11) – State RU
P15 #11/D2 #2 Jakob Chapman, Flint Kearsley (11) – State 5th
D1 #10 Deven Perez, Davison (10)
D3 #10 Zach Zoll, Lake Fenton (9) – Top 25 Freshman
Trevor Williams, Burton Bendle (10) – RQ
Emilio Campos, Corunna (10)
Hank Richter, Durand (10)
Hunter Corcoran, Lake Fenton (9)
Brady Holbstein, Flint Beecher (11)

This chart should be absolutely awesome. No clear favorite to win, and at least 4 kids who are top contenders to win a state title in their respective division. Gonser has really impressed me as of late, and I think he is the best bet to come out on top. He fell to Johnson in the finals of this tournament last year, but came back to avenge that loss at this year’s GFC. Overall, the separation between Gonser, Johnson, Payne and Chapman is pretty marginal, not to mention that Perez and Zoll both have the upside to surprise. Throw sleeper Campos into the mix as well, and I expect at least one significant upset to go down here before the mats are rolled up.

Predicted Finish: Gonser, Johnson, Chapman

P15 #2/D2 #1 Mason Smith, Clio (11) – State Champ
D1 #6 Nathanial Flemming, Grand Blanc (11) – SQ
D1 #9 Jacob Madrigal, Davison (12) – 2X SQ
D3 #5 Jared Corcoran, Lake Fenton (12) – State 5th
D3 #9 Johnnie Freeze, Millington (11) – SQ
Steview Coleman, Flint Beecher (10) – RQ
Derek Wadley, North Branch (11)
Saban Spangler, Swartz Creek (10)

Smith, the defending D2 state champ, will look to make it back-to-back county titles on Saturday. However, opposition will be plentiful with 4 other ranked wrestlers also expected to be present. Flemming specifically is a major darkhorse who is coming off an eye-opening GFC performance, but I think Smith takes care of business and maintains control of all his matches.

Predicted Finish: Smith, Flemming, Madrigal

P15 #1/D1 #1 Lincoln Olson, Davison (11) – 2X State Champ
D3 #1 Jerry Fenner, Birch Run (11) – State Champ
Zack Shaw, Linden (12) – SQ
Brad Osborn, Burton Bentley (11) – SQ
LJ Martin, Flushing (11)

With Birch Run and Davison scheduled to compete at Agon II/Mat Mayhem on Saturday I’m not 100% sure we will be seeing either's full ‘A’ team at counties on Saturday. Hopefully that’s not the case though, as a potential Olson/Fenner showdown at this weight could be the day’s feature match. As the 2X defending state and county champ Olson is the favorite, but Fenner has a state title of his own and will be looking to avenge a loss suffered at Olson’s hands in last year’s county semifinals. Assuming this is how the weights play out, I don’t see either being challenged to heavily prior to the finals.

Predicted Finish: Olson, Fenner, Shaw

D1 #10 Derrien Vaughn, Flint CA (11) – RQ
Mitchell MacArthur, Flint Kearsley (12) – 2012 SQ
Dylan Wibert, Corunna (11) – RQ
Connor Boike, Flushing (10) – RQ
Kyle Adams, Grand Blanc (12) – RQ
Zack Adkins, Durand (11) – RQ
Kurt Schlack, Davison (10)
Adam Grim, Birch Run (11)

One of the tourney’s most open weights, any number of guys could step up and make a name for themselves by coming out on top. As of now I see MacArthur and Vaughn as favorites to meet in the finals, but an upset on either side would not be too surprising.

Predicted Finish: MacArthur, Vaughn, Boike

P15 #13/D1 #5 Derek Humphrey, Davison (12) – 2X SQ
D2 #5 Chase Smith, Clio (10) – RQ
D3 #8 Zac DeLong, Otisville Lakeville (12) – SQ
Dan Kapraun, Flushing (11) – RQ
Cody Graham, Midland Dow (11) – RQ
Jacob Low, Burton Bendle (12) – RQ
John Barry, Lake Fenton (12)
Justin Elliott, Birch Run (10)
Travis Wildfong, Flint Kearsley (10)

Another weight that is quite open for the taking. Humphrey and DeLong, a pair of defending county champs, are the most established of the field. However, Smith is off to a hot start, and if he is down to 135 I like him to come out on top.

Predicted Finish: Smith, Humphrey, DeLong

D1 #2 Justin Oliver, Davison (12) – 2X State Champ
D2 #10 Dylan Tarrence, Flint Kearsley (9)
Ean Taylor, Birch Run (10) – SQ
Matt Dewyer, Clio (10) – RQ
RJ Dickinson, Burton Bendle (12) – RQ            

No questions who the guy to beat is at 140. After missing last year’s
tournament with injury, expect Oliver to dominate his way to a 3rd and final Genesee county title. 

Predicted Finish: Oliver, Tarrence, Dewyer

P15 #3/D1 #2 Dom Russ, Davison (12) – State 4th
P15 #11/D2 #3 Dillon Ellsworth, Lapeer East (11) – State 5th
P15 #14/D1 #4 Milik Dawkins, Flint CA (11) – State 6th
D3 #5 Anthony Griffin, Otisville Lakeville (12) – State 8th
Jeremiah Osterhout, Burton Bendle (11) – RQ
Austin Reim, Midland Dow (10)

Another weight class that is absolutely stacked with contenders, 145 should feature some of Saturday biggest individual matchups. Of the 4 state placers I’d say Russ, last year’s county champ, is the favorite. However, Dawkins really impressed me this summer, and I think he comes in and pulls a mild upset. Ellsworth is not to be slept on either, and he is fresh off a big Wednesday win over D1 state placer Alex Bozinoviski of Macomb Dakota.

Predicted Finish: Dawkins, Russ, Ellsworth

P15 #8/D1 #3 (145) Matt Miller, Davison (12) – State RU
D3 #5 Mitch Franklin, Birch Run (12) – State 7th
Nick Harris, Lapeer West (12) – SQ
Brenan McRill, Davison (9) - #4 Overall Freshman
Cody Sanders, Lake Fenton (12) – RQ
Jeff Searle, Midland Dow (11) – RQ
Chandler Sweeney, Millington (11) – RQ
Hunter Turner, North Branch (12)
Tristan Nevamdomski, Lake Fenton (11)

Davison has a lot of choices to make in the middleweights, and given Genesee County’s unlimited entry rules it is very difficult to predict who will be there. Miller comes in off an upset loss suffered at the hands of Jacob Heaps last weekend, and will be looking to finally secure a county title after finishing 3rd, 4th and 2nd in previous tries.

Predicted Finish: Miller, McRill, Franklin

P15 #7/D3 #1 Jared Elliott, Birch Run (12) – State RU
P15 #8/D3 #2 Carson Whaley, Lake Fenton (12) – State 6th
P15 #8/D1 #5 (152) Thomas Garty, Davison (12) – State 5th
D3 #7 Jared Roehl, Millington (9) – #5 Overall Freshman
Kane Williams, Clio (9) - #7 Overall Freshman
Alex Elasivich, Montrose (11) – RQ
Erik Partio, Midland Dow (12) – RQ
Dmario Blue, Flint CA (12) – RQ
Zach Reynolds, Grand Blanc (12) – GFC AA
Seth Dixon, Lapeer East (12)

Yet another that is absolutely stacked, and should feature some mega-matchups as early as the quarters. I leaned towards experience picking the 3 returning state placers. However, Roehl and Williams are both among the state’s elite freshmen, and I would not be overly shocked to see them upset any of the predicted top-3.

Predicted Finish: Elliott, Whaley, Garty

P15 #3/D2 #1 Devon Pingle, North Branch (10) – State Champ
P15 #10/D2 #4 James Davis, Flint Kearsley (11) – RQ
D1 #6 Herbie Keskes, Flint CA (12) – SQ
D3 #6 Trent Hilger, Lake Fenton (9) – Top 25 Freshman
Robert Tucker, Swartz Creek (12) – RQ

Defending state champ Pingle is a clear favorite, but the talent extends far beyond him at 171. Davis may be the best junior in the state who has yet to qualify for the state tournament, and Hilger is a freak freshman that will turn heads.

Predicted Finish: Pingle, Davis, Hilger

P15 #2/D1 #1 Jordan Cooks, Davison (12) – 2X State Champ
D3 #5 Andy Donoho, Lake Fenton (12) – SQ
D3 #9 Chase Hull, Lake Fenton (12) – RQ
Ethan Barnette, Montrose (11) – RQ
Noah Raymond, Lapeer West (12) – RQ
Tanner Thomas, Davison (10)
Austin McNeil, Linden (12)

In each of his previous trips Cooks has emerged with a county title, and I don’t see that trend changing on Saturday. There are some other quality wrestlers in the field, but nobody who I believe is capable of stopping Cooks from becoming a 4X Genesee County champ.

Predicted Finish: Cooks, Donoho, Hull

P15 #11/D1 #3 Jerron Thomas, Flint CA (12) – SQ
Quintin Wilber, Montrose (11) – SQ
George Lahar, Birch Run (10) – 2X RQ
Jake Ellis, Davison (11)
Jakob Luckett, Lapeer West (12)
Jake Perry, Lapeer East (11)
Nevin Donnell, Lake Fenton (11)

An SQ at 285 last season, Thomas has become an absolute force at 215. I think he wins in controlling fashion, while Lahar and Ellis are the best of the rest in what should be a deep and balanced field.

Predicted Finish: Thomas, Lahar, Ellis

P15 #10/D2 #4 Tyler Eible, Clio (12) – 2X SQ
D2 #10 Dan Perry, Lapeer East (10)
Bruce McClean, Montrose (11) – SQ
Justin Dowen, Flushing (12) – RQ
Jordan Pierce, Durand (12)
Dakota Powers, Davison (11)

A pretty solid group of big guys, but I think that neither Eible nor Perry will have much trouble in reaching the finals. Perry was extremely impressive as a freshman last year, and I am tempted to pick him. However, Eible is the defending champ, and I lean towards him winning a tight defensive struggle.

Predicted Finish: Eible, Perry, McClean


Recent News

Letter from Hall of Fame Football Coach Noel Dean to EMU Football Coach Chris Creighton

Sign The Petition (Click Here)

Chris ,


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 2 days before giving the program the axe

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.


Noel Dean


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