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Grappler Gold

Indi Districts Preview: 145-285

By Steve Widzinski, 02/06/14, 7:00PM EST



D1 145 @ Grand Haven
#8 Taylor McPhail, Muskegon Mona Shores (12) – SQ
#10 Jonah Zimmerman, Hudsonville (12) – RQ
HM Matt Mills, Grand Rapids FHC (10) – RQ
HM Davon Rivera, Grandville (12)
HM Brandon Zych, Rockford (12) – RQ
Luke Averill, Grand Haven (12) – RQ

From a parity standpoint, this is about as good as it gets. 7 guys who are capable of sneaking into the top 8 at state if everything falls into place, but none of whom are a lock to advance from districts.

Prediction – McPhail, Zimmerman, Mills, Zych

D1 145 @ Alepna
#3 Thomas Garty, Davison (12) – 3X SQ, 2X Placer
#4 Milik Dawkins, Flint CA (11) – State 6th
#5 Dom Russ, Davison (12) – 3X SQ, 2X Placer
#6 Dareus Boddie, Saginaw Heritage (12) – SQ
RJ Centalia, Alpena (12) – RQ

Assuming Garty is down at 145, I could believe just about any order of finish 4 ranked guys, who should cruise through regionals next week, and are all safe bets to stand on the podium. I’m tempted to pick Garty, but the substantial mat time he missed due to injury combined with the fact he has only been down to 145 on select occasions makes me tentative.

Prediction – Dawkins, Russ, Garty, Boddie

D2 145 @ Yale
#3 Dillon Ellsworth, Lapeer East (11) – State 5th
#8 RJ Smith, Yale (12) – 2X State Placer
HM Nick Harris, Lapeer West (12) – SQ
HM Kyle Pepper, Holly (12) – RQ
Demetrius Reid, Warren Woods Tower (11) – SQ
Davion Logan, Pontiac (12) – RQ
Hunter Turner, North Branch (12)

Absolutely insane depth, this looks like a region, not a district. Ellsworth just made the move down from 145, and although Smith is having a strong season, I think Ellsworth takes care of business. Pepper has quietly been very solid at 152 the past couple seasons, it will be interesting to see how the drop works out for him.

Prediction – Ellsworth, Smith, Pepper, Harris

D4 145 @ Hesperia
#2 Kyle Nixon, Pine River (12) – 2X State Placer
#3 Travess Smith, Hart (12) – 2012 SQ
#4 David Jacobs, Hesperia (12) – State 7th
HM Dakotah Findlay, Whittemore Prescott (12) – RQ
HM Ben Jamieson, TC St. Francis (12)

Excellent group with 3 of the 4 guys I see as serious title contenders at this weight. Nixon is the most established, but Smith has flown under the radar for a couple years, and I think he is in store for a breakout postseason.

Prediction – Smith, Nixon, Jacobs, Jamieson

D1 152 @ Portage Norhtern
#3 Dom Latora, Portage Central (12) – 2X State Placer, 1X RU
#10 Anthon Colaianne, Hartland (12) – 2012 SQ
HM Kamyab Kamali, East Lansing (11) – SQ
HM AJ Presley, Holt (12) – 2X SQ
HM Marco Reyes, Holt (12) – 2X RQ
Aaron Cummings, Grand Haven (11) – RQ
Nick VanDeWalker, Portage Central (12) – 2012 RQ
Tanner Maschke, Brighton (11)

Word has it a couple of these guys may be up at 160, but either way this is some remarkable depth. Latora should have little trouble winning it, but from there just about anything could happen.

Prediction – Latora, Reyes, Colaianne, Kamali

D4 152 @ Mayville
#1 Austin Hughes, Saginaw Nouvel (12) – 3X State Placer, 2X RU
#4 Aaron Bauman, New Lothrop (12) – 2X State Placer
#6 Colin Henry, Marlette (12) – SQ
Antonio Torrez, Mayville (11) – RQ

Not the deepest of districts, but some big time firepower. Hughes has been a state RU the past couple years and anything short of a state title in his final go around would be a disappointment. Bauman is a stud as well though, and Henry had some very impressive wins at 160 and 171 early in the season.

Prediction – Hughes, Henry, Bauman, Torrez

D1 160 @ Rochester
#5 Andrew Price, RH Stoney Creek (11) – 2X SQ
#6 Wes Maskill, Oxford (12) – State 5th
#9 Aaron Wells, Utica Ford (12) – SQ
Devon Fulcher, Lake Orion (12)

Maskill could pass as a 189lbr, but if he gets back down to 160 it should set up an intriguing Oakland County finals rematch with Price. Last time around Price won pretty comfortably, but, as we all know, Oxford kids have made a habit of peaking this time of year.

Prediction – Maskill, Price, Wells, Fulcher

D2 160 @ Milan
#1 Logan Ritchie, New Boston Huron (11) – 2X State Placer
#5 TJ Barnes, Romulus Summit Academy (12) – 2X SQ, 1X Placer
HM Tristen Elkins, Jackson Northwest (11) – 2X RQ
HM Jarret VanHavel, Mason (10) – RQ
Vince Bartaway, Trenton (11) – SQ

Ritchie looks like the guy to beat at this weight in D2, but I wouldn’t count out Barnes either. Neither guy is shy about putting points on the board, so this could be one of Saturday’s best district finals.

Prediction – Rithcie, Barnes, VanHavel, Elkins

D3 160 @ Michigan Center
#8 Donny Mandell, Dundee (11)
#10 Austin Rathburn, Manchester (12)
HM Justin Fratrick, Grass Lake (12) – SQ
HM Garrett Thornsberry, Dundee (12)
Alex Phillips, Ida (11) – RQ

A lot of different ways this one could play out. All year long Mandell seems to have been flirting with greatness. On one hand I feel like he is a legitimate dark horse to win a state title, but on the other I would not be blown away if he didn’t even qualify for states. This Saturday should be a good indicator of which way his postseaosn will go.

Prediction – Mandell, Rathburn, Thornsberry, Fratrick

D1 171 @ Portage Northern
#5 Nick Brish, Brighton (12) – 2X SQ
#8 Jacob Harvey, BC Lakeview (12) – RQ
#9 Dean Honkala, Howell (12)
HM Nate Smith, Hartland (12) – SQ

This Portage Northern district just won’t quit. Seemingly every weight has 4 guys worthy of wrestling at the Palace. Brish looked stellar at KLAA’s last weekend and I think he controls whomever he wrestles in the finals. Honkala had been enjoying a great season as well. He went down to injury at KLAA’s, but hopefully it was not serious enough to keep him out of action for Saturday.

Prediction – Brish, Harvey, Honkala, Smith

D3 171 @ Mt. Morris
#3 Justin Sloan, Chesaning (11)
#5 Trent Hilger, Lake Fenton (9)
HM Alex Elasivich, Montrose (11) – RQ
HM Alex Proudfoot, Perry (12) – SQ
John Norton, Lansing Sexton (11) – RQ
Cody Conklin, Corunna (12)

It’s hard to know what to make of Sloan. He had a couple good wins under his belt, but nothing compared to his then-upset of #4 Roehl at conferences last week. He is definitely tough, but a showdown with Hilger this weekend should be a good measure of whether or not he can contend for a title.

Prediction – Hilger, Sloan, Elasivich, Proudfoot

D4 171 @ Bangor
#5 Brody Conner, Lawton (11) – State 5tth
#6 Jason Nash, Decatur (12) – State 6th
#8 Jacinto Arreola, Hartland (12) – 2X SQ
HM Manny Lawson, Gobles (10) – RQ

Excellent chart with 3 guys who are favorites to finish on the podium. Conner has had an awesome season and is a good bet to win, while I think Nash and Arreola will be very evenly matched in a semifinal battle on the opposite end of the bracket.

Prediction – Conner, Nash, Arreola, Gobles

D1 189 @ Saline
#2 Derek Hillman, Brownstown Woodhaven (12) – 2X SQ, 1X Placer
#6 Mitchell Gross, Salem (12) – RQ
#10 Ben Beallas, Temperance Bedford (12) – RQ
Devin Burnison, Ypsilanti Lincoln (11)
Jacob Moorer, Ypsilanti (12)

Excellent group that is pretty clearly defined. Hillman is good enough to win a state title at this weight, which may be toughest regardless of division, and he should cruise. Gross looked awesome last week and I feel good picking him to get by Beallas, who in turn is a good bet for 3rd, leaving an evenly matched Burnison and Moorer to battle it out for the final spot in a rematch from last weekend’s SEC tournament.

Prediction – Hillman, Gross, Beallas, Moorer

D3 189 @ Manchester
#1 Teddy Warren, Dundee (12) – State Champ
#2 Hunter Dunn, Monroe Jefferson (12) – 2X SQ, 1X Placer
#6 Evan Kueffner, Jackson Lumen Christi (12) – RQ
Iain Neff, Manchester (12) – RQ
Ryan Heiserman, Dundee (11) – RQ
Tucker Dillon, Napoleon (12) – RQ
Henry Arbogast, Manchester (12) – 2012 RQ

Woah! Possibly a state finals preview, and that’s without mentioning Kueffner, who may just be a darkhorse to win it all. Warren is the defending state champ and recently returned from an injury suffered back at the GFC. He beat Dunn soundly last season, but in one of his first matches back he was caught in a headlock and lost to D2 #6 Copley, an opponent Dunn has beaten this season. However, don’t discount Kueffner. He is one of only 2 wrestlers to defeat D2’s #3 215, Cameron Lee, this season. The depth behind the big 3 is incredible as well, and this will resemble a regional bracket in terms of quality.

Prediction – Warren, Dunn, Keuffner, Heff

D2 215 @ Fowlerville
#3 Cameron Lee, Lansing Waverly (12)  State 6th
#4 Ty Wildmo, St. Johns (11) – State 3rd
HM Austin McNeil, Linden (12)
HM Jeff Mills, Lansing Eastern (12)

This should feature an awesome rematch between Lee and Wildmo who met last month, with Lee prevailing in a controversial 4-3 decision at Hudson Super 16. They should cruise to the finals, but McNeil and Mills are both SQ worthy kids who will battle for important bracket position next weekend.

Prediction – Wildmo, Lee, Mills, McNeil

D4 215 @ Bangor
#9 Weston DeHaven, Watervliet (11) – 2012 SQ
HM Kenny Aemisegger, Bangor (12) – RQ
HM Austin Kennedy, Decatur (11) – RQ
HM Austin Mayfield, Lawton (12)
HM Charlie Rodriguez, Niles Brandywine (12)
Austin Glynn, Decatur (12)

What an awesome group. Just about any of these guys could finish the day on top of the podium, or not make it out at all. Mayfield was totally of the radar until a couple weeks ago, but after pinning Kennedy he could be a dark horse to place at the Palace.

Prediction – DeHaven, Kennedy, Mayfield, Aemisegger

D1 285 @ Portage Northern
#2 Brian Darios, East Lansing (11) – State 7th
#4 Josh Charneski, Hartland (12) – SQ
HM Toney Anderson, Jackson (12)
HM Matt Lloyd, Grand Ledge (10)
Chaz Meredith, BC Lakeview (12)
Chris Najar, Kalamazoo Central (12)
Montel Windham, Lansing Everett (12)

Very strong weight where the top 2 spots are pretty clearly carved out, and just about anyone else could grab the other 2. Meredith has flown under the radar all season, but has a good shot to advance after pinning Lloyd in the team district final.

Prediction – Darios, Charneski, Meredith, Lloyd

D4 285 @ Hesperia
#1 Ryan Prescott, Whittemore Prescott (11) – 2X State Finalist, 1X Champ#2 Jake Khoury, TC St. Francis (12) – State 5th
#10 Chase Morrison, Pine River (10)
HM Josh Ehrke, Hesperia (10)
HM Keegan Richardson, Mancelona (12) – 2012 SQ

One of my favorite things about heavies is that no matter how crowded a district gets, you virtually never have to worry about anyone moving to a different weight class. That means all 5 of these SQ caliber guys will have to battle it out for 4 spots at districts. Prescott and Khoury should make the finals with little trouble. Morrison won handily over Richardson last weekend, so that means Ehrke and Richardson will likely have to fight for the final spot.

Prediction – Prescott, Khoury, Morrison, Richardson  


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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