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Grappler Gold

Holt Invite Preview

By Steve Widzinski, 01/17/14, 5:00PM EST



D1 #1 Ben Freeman, WL Central (9) – GFC 3rd
D1 #2 Nolan Smith, Portage Northern (10) – SQ
D1 #8 Tyler Rogaliner, Temperance Bedford (11) – 2X RQ
D1 HM Austin Wieczorek, East Kentwood (9) – GFC 3rd
Kyle Boxeth, Saline (10)

Analysis – Plenty of talent here, but I think that Freeman is on another level. Ben is a consensus top 10 guy in the nation at 106, and I’d expect him to win by comfortable margins against some very good competition on Saturday. With his #2 ranking Smith is the favorite to make the finals opposite Freeman, but I don’t think there’s a whole ton separating him from Rogaliner and Wieczoerk, and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if either were to pull the upset.

Predicted Finish: Freeman, Rogaliner, Smith


D1 #1 Benny Gomez, Holt (11) – State Champ
D1 #2 Max Johnson, Davison (10) – 3X GFC AA
D1 #4 Kevin Fuller, Saline (11)
D2 HM Noah Schoenherr, BC Western (9)
D1 #3 (103) Kaleb Marion, WL Central (10) – SQ
Deven Perez, Davison (10)
Matt Heaps, Portage Northern (9)

Analysis – Perhaps the most intriguing weight of the tournament, this should shed some light on the current status of the D1 title race at 112. Gomez beat Johnson at the GFC and is the favorite, but Johnson has shown he can wrestle with him, and both will have a chip on their shoulder Saturday. So far this season Fuller may be the most improved wrestler in the state. He’s wrestling absolutely out of his mind, and it will be very interesting to see how he matches up against Johnson and/or Gomez.

Predicted Finish: Gomez, Johnson, Fuller


D1 #7 Jacob Madrigal, Davison (12) – 2X SQ
D2 HM Coby Moore, BC Western (9)
Parker O’Brien, DCC (12) – SQ
Mik Strayer, Howell (11) – RQ
Dante Latora, Portage Central (9)
Jaycob Bechtol, Holt (10)

Analysis – Not much in the way of superstars, but this weight has its fair share of SQ caliber kids. Madrigal is a veteran and former state placer who seems like a pretty good bet to win it all. Moore and Latora are both freshman who have had some very promising results early on, and both should be able to compete with anyone on the chart.

Predicted Finish: Madrigal, Moore, Latora


D1 #1 Lincoln Olson, Davison (11) – 2X State Champ
D1 #2 Martin Rodriguez, Holt (12) – State RU
D1 #3 Trevor Zdebski, DCC (11) – 2X State 3rd
D1 HM Bradley Stewart, Temperance Bedford (10)
D2 HM Blake Jackson, BC Western (10) – RQ
Charlie Hang, East Kentwood (12) – RQ
Nick Trackwell, Howell (10) – RQ
Austin McCarty, Ypsilanti Lincoln (10)

Analysis – Here we have another chart that will carve a pretty clear picture of the D1 title landscape at this weight. #3-ranked Zdebski is a stud who has been very competitive with Olson in the past, but he’s still getting up to speed with only a few matches under his belt this season, and I’m pretty sure it will be Olson and Rodriguez that end up in the finals for what I see as a very intriguing matchup. M-Rod has been a bit inconsistent in the past, but has also shown some greatness. If he’s on his “A” game there’s no doubt in my mind he can beat Olson. However, by the same token, if Olson gets to his offense early I can see him opening the match up and winning pretty handily.

Predicted Finish: Olson, Rodriguez, Zdebski

D1 #2 Ben Calandrino, Howell (12) – State 5th
D1 #5 Derek Humphrey, Davison (12) – 2X SQ
D1 #6 Evan Toth, DCC (12) – 2X SQ
D1 #9 Mino Trevino, Holt (11) – 2012 SQ
D2 #10 Mike Rojas, BC Western (12) – 2011 SQ
Zach Schneider, Midland (12) – RQ

Analysis – There’s a decent chance that half of the D1 state placers at this weight are on this chart come Saturday. Calandrino is the heavy favorite, and I think he wins comfortably against whomever he runs across. The most interesting storyline will be a potential rematch between Toth and Humprhey. For those who don’t remember, the last time they met it ended with Toth pinning Humphrey to clinch the D1 state title for DCC. Humphrey had been Toth earlier that year, and I imagine he has been anxiously awaiting the rematch for quite some time.

Predicted Finish: Calandrino, Humphrey, Toth


D1 #2 Matt Miller, Davison (12) – State RU
D1 #5 Jordan Markey, Ypsilanti Lincoln (12) – 2X SQ
D1 #8 Kolin Leyrer, Holt (9)
D1 #10 Jake Helminski, Temperance Bedford (12) – RQ
D2 #4 Tom Schoenherr, BC Western (11) – State 8th
Eli Joseph, DCC (12)
Greg Johnson, DCC (12)
Uberto Bernal, East Kentwood (10)

Analysis – Yet another extremely deep weight, everyone who cracks the top 6 on Saturday should be close to all-state worthy. Miller is an absolute monster at 135 who lives and dies by the big move. Meanwhile, Markey is an absolute hammer and one of the toughest guys in the state to hand fight with. I could see it going either way, but I’ll predict Markey to scrap his way to an upset.  The rest of the field will be a battle. Schoenherr has been very solid all year, and I like him to crack the top 3.

Predicted Finish: Markey, Miller, Schoenherr


D1 #2 Justin Oliver, Davison (12) – 2X State Champ
D1 #3 Myles Amine, DCC (11) – State 3rd
D1 #6 Jacob Heaps, Portage Northern (12) – SQ
D2 #9 (135) Jacob Wibirt, BC Western (12) – 2012 SQ
Mike Shaw, Holt (10) – RQ

Analysis – Oliver and Amine have had more than their fair share of battles over the past 5 months, and although 2 have gone to overtime, Oliver holds a 4-0 record over Amine. Heaps is a beast at 140, and with Amine riding a loss to D4 #1 JD Waters, he could have chance to crack the finals.

Predicted Finish: Oliver, Amine, Heaps


D1 #1 Malik Amine, DCC (12) – State Champ
D1 #3 Dom Russ, Davison (12) – 2X State Placer
D1 #7 Kyle Granger, Holt (12) – SQ
D1 HM Jacob Lohr, Temperance Bedford (12) – 2X RQ

Analysis – Amine hasn’t wrestled in a few weeks, so the defending state champ very well may not be in the lineup on Saturday. If he is, it’s likely he’ll meet Russ in the finals for a rematch from last month’s assembly dual. Neither was particularly active, but Amine controlled Russ in a low-scoring decision. It will take some big offensive adjustments if Russ is going to reverse that result. Granger and Lohr are having both having strong senior seasons, and could see each other again when they are battling for one of the final spots on the podium this March.

Predicted Finish: Amine, Russ, Granger


D1 #1 Nick Bennett, DCC (12) – 2X TX Prep Champ
D1 #3 Dom Latora, Portage Central (12) – 2012 State RU
D1 #9 Brenan McRill, Davison (9)
D1 HM Blake Montrie, Temperance Bedford (10)
AJ Presley, Holt (12) – 2X SQ

Analysis – This final should be a rematch from the DCC Invite a couple weeks ago, where Bennett beat Latora pretty handily. Latora has had a few weeks to make adjustments, and it will be interesting to see if he can close the gap with Bennett. If not, we may see him at 160 for the remainder of the season. McRill leads the rest of the field, but Montrie and Presley are both capable of cracking the top 3 as well. 

Predicted Finish: Bennett, Latora, McRill


D1 #4 (152) Thomas Garty, Davison (12) – 2X State Placer
D1 #10 Tyler Morland, DCC (9)
Marco Reyes, Holt (12) – 2011 SQ
Nick VanDeWalker, Portage Central (12)
Trent Turshon, Temperance Bedford (12)

Analysis – Garty hasn’t been in the Davison since lineup since suffering an injury in their dual with Lowell last month, so his presence is far from a sure thing. If he were back, I’d expect to see him and Morland in the finals. The pair met in early December, and Morland jumped out to an early lead before running out of gas. Since then he’s expanded his tank drastically, and with Garty fresh off extended absence, I’d expect a bit of a role reversal this time around.

Predicted Finish: Morland, Garty, Reyes


D1 #1 Drew Garcia, DCC (12) – 2X State Champ
Mark Lange, Davison (12)
Jordan Snyder, Temperance Bedford (11) – RQ
Dean Honkala, Howell (12)

Analysis – Not a whole ton to be said here. There are certainly several quality wrestlers, but none who can compete with Garcia for 6 minutes. Expect him to roll.

Predicted Finish: Garcia, Honkala, Lange


D1 #1 Jordan Cooks, Davison (12) – 2X State Champ
D1 #2 Logan Marcicki, DCC (12) – 2011 State Champ
D1 #5 Nick Giese, DCC (11) – State 3rd*
D1 #6 Alex Sovel, WL Central (11) – RQ
Ben Beallas, Temperance Bedford (12) – RQ
Gage Sivyer, Holt (12)
Mello Frazier, East Kentwood (12)
Austin Hanson, Howell (10)

Analysis – Marcicki has battled injuries all year and has a limited number of matches under his belt, so there’s a decent chance we see Giese here for DCC. If that’s the case, it will be very interesting to see how he matches up with Cooks. Despite some struggles early on, Giese had a big win over IL state champ Ferraro this weekend, and Cooks lost to Ferraro in UTB.

Predicted Finish: Cooks, Marcicki, Sovel


D1 #3 Jimmy Russell, DCC (12) – SQ
D2 #6 Jacob Alarie, BC Western (12) – State 8th
Jake Ellis, Davison (11)
Nathan Pajur, Howell (11)

Analysis – Pretty cut and dry as far as the finals go. Alarie had a couple slip-ups this season, but I feel pretty good picking him to make the finals opposite Russell. As for how they match up, Russell has really come into his own as of late, and I think he comes out and makes a statement on Saturday.

Predicted Finish: Russell, Alarie, Ellis


D1 #7 Adam Ortman, Temperance Bedford (12) – State 5th
Austin Labus, Portage Northern (12) – RQ
Dakota Powers, Davison (11)

Analysis – Ortman is the guy to beat, but the return of Labus makes this weight far more interesting. Labus has yet to compete this season, but is rumored to be making his return on Saturday. He won this tournament a year ago, pinning Ortman in the process, but it’s very tough to compete at a tournament as strong as this one without getting a couple matches under your belt first.

Predicted Finish: Ortman, Labus, Powers

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