Believe it or not the decade is halfway over, at least from a high school wrestling perspective. In this feature Michigan Grappler's High School Analyst Steve Widzinski reviews the top wrestlers of the past 5 years. Over the next few weeks a half-decade dream team will be released for each respective division followed by a 1st and 2nd statewide dream team.
Most Outstanding Wrestler – Cole Weaver, Hudson (2014)
As a senior Weaver was an undefeated state champion for the 3rd consecutive season, finishing his career with a record of 210-7. Among his many season highlights were tournament titles at the Detroit CC Invite and Hudson Super 16. At the state tournament Weaver went untouched, recording a fall, a tech-fall, and a pair of lopsided decisions. He finished #2 in the postseason power 15 at 140lbs behind only 4X D2 state champion Zac Hall of St Johns.
103lbs – Davian Gowens, Hesperia (2014)
Unfortunately he was off the mat for a lot of the season, but by the time the state tournament rolled around Gowens was one of D4’s most dominant wrestlers. He advanced to the state finals with a pair of falls and an injury default before winning by major decision against teammate Corey Agens to win his first state championship as a sophomore. Gowens finished the season #7 in the Power 15 and with a record of 21-3 where his only losses came at 112lbs. He also followed up with a strong postseason, reaching the round of 12 at Flonationals.
112lbs – Brandon Fifield, Leslie (2011)
As a junior Fifield broke out and won his first state title, recording 2 falls, a major decision, and a decision along the way. His only loss of the season came in a tightly contested match with eventual 4X D1 state champion Freddie Rodriguez of Holt/Grand Ledge. Fifield was ranked #2 in the postseason Power 15, trailing only Rodriguez. He went on to turn in a solid postseason performance as well, advancing to the round of 12 at the inaugural Flonationals.
119lbs – Logan Griffin, Erie Mason (2014)
After winning his first state title in thrilling fashion the year prior, Griffin repeated as champ in controlling fashion as a junior. In the finals he won soundly by a score of 6-2 against Dansville’s Dresden Simon, a GFC runner-up and Cadet Folkstyle AA. Griffin finished the season with a record of 34-4 along with a #8 ranking in the Power 15, and then had a terrific run at Flonationals the following month where he finished 4th at 113lbs.
125lbs – Zack Yates, Hesperia (2014)
As a senior Yates capped one of the better careers in recent memory by dominating his way to a 2nd consecutive state title while posting the first undefeated season of his career at 47-0. He was unchallenged at the state tournament, recording 2 falls, a tech-fall, and a major decision. Yates was ranked #2 in the postseason Power 15, and one of the highlights of his season came when he defeated former D3 state champ Jerry Fenner of Birch Run to win the Goodrich Tournament of Champions.
130lbs – Carter Ballinger, Jonesville (2014)
Following 3 consecutive top-6 finishes, Ballinger navigated his through a stacked bracket and reached the top of the podium for the first time as a senior. In the finals he scored an OT takedown to defeat Lawton’s Kyle Barkovich in one of the tournament's most exciting matches. Ballinger finished the season with #7 ranking in the postseason Power 15 as well as a record of 57-1, which was highlighted by a win over D1 3rd place finisher Kyle Abdellatif of Ypsilanti.
135lbs – Collin Zeerip, Hesperia (2010)
As a senior Zeerip put the finishing touches on one of the greatest family legacies in MHSAA history, winning his 3rd consecutive state title to join his older brothers Justin and Brandon as multi-time state champions. He dominated his way to the state finals, recording a fall, tech-fall, and major decision before winning by decision in the finals to help him earn a postseason Power 15 of #3. Zeerip finished the year with a record of 60-2, netting him over 230 career wins.
140lbs – Jacob Perrin, New Lothrop (2014)
In his final high school season Perrin overcame an upset bid and defeated Grass Lake’s Chad Decker by a score of 7-6 to repeat as state champion. Ranked #5 in the postseason Power 15, Perrin ended the season with a record of 63-2 to put his career win total over 220.
145lbs – JD Waters, Hudson (2014)
Waters had a bit of an up and down senior season, but he peaked late in the year and performed extremely well when it mattered most. Wrestling on one of D4’s most loaded charts, Waters recorded 3 falls and an OT decision in the semis to win back-to-back state titles. His most impressive win of the season was a decision over D1 state champ Myles Amine of DCC, which helped earn Waters a #10 mark in the postseason Power 15.
152lbs – Jared Bruner, Addison (2013)
Bruner was phenomenal as senior, winning his 2nd consecutive state title in convincing fashion to help land him a postseason Power 15 ranking of #4. He finished the season with a record of 51-3, which included runner-up finishes at the Goodrich Tournament of Champions and New Lothrop Hall of Fame Tournament.
160lbs – Devan Marry, Hudson (2012)
After having his bid for 4 state titles derailed by Sam Mehan of Sand Creek the year prior, Marry bounced back to defeat Mehan for his 3rd title as a senior. Marry, who was ranked #3 in the postseason power 15, finished the year at 50-2 whilst extending his career record to 229-16. Individually, Marry’s season was highlighted by an OT win over eventual 2X D1 state champ Jordan Cooks in the finals of the Detroit CC Invite. As a captain, he also helped guide Hudson to their 4th consecutive team title.
171lbs – Taylor Krupp, New Lothrop (2014)
Krupp capped his senior season in epic fashion, narrowly defeating Flonationals AA Shane Rodenburg of Kent City for his first individual state title, and also playing a key role in a team state championship the week before as New Lothrop dethroned 5X reigning champs Hudson. His final record stood at 56-0, and Krupp was listed #5 in the postseason Power 15.
189lbs – Jacob Cooper, Springport (2014)
After winning his first state title the year prior as a sophomore, Cooper seamlessly jumped up all the way from 160lbs and repeated as champion. A preseason GFC runner-up and postseason Flonationals AA, Cooper finished the season with a record of 45-2 and a Power 15 ranking of #4.
215lbs – Joe Ostman, St Ignace (2013)
Due to his location in the Upper Peninsula Ostman flew under the radar during his high school career, but at the state tournament as a senior season it was clear he was one of the most dominant upperweights in recent MHSAA history. Ostman finished #2 in the power 15 as a senior, posting a 50-0 record for his 2nd consecutive undefeated season. He was completely untouched at the state tournament, recording 3 early falls before winning by tech-fall in the finals.
285lbs – Ryan Prescott, Whittemore Prescott (2014)
As a junior Prescott pinned his way through the state tournament and took another step towards establishing himself as one of the state’s all-time great heavyweights. A 2X state champ/3X finalist, Prescott earned the #1 spot in the postseason Power 15 and went on to earn runner-up honors at Flonationals.
Please login to comment.
Let’s get the conversation started! Post your comment.