Making their community proud

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5 of 8 area wrestlers in blood rounds end day 2 with wins at state finals

Case Johnson ended his first day at Ford Field with a shrug and a determination to get back at it the following day.

The Greenville sophomore was overpowered by a better wrestler in Adam Haselius of Jackson Northwest, the eventual state champ, in the state semifinals at the 215-pound weight class in Division 2. Johnson is a strong wrestler — even as a sophomore in a high weight class, he doesn’t get thrown around like that by anyone.

ALEX FREEMAN: The Eagles were missed this weekend

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When I first arrived at the Daily News, I was dropped into the position of covering one of the top wrestling programs in Division 4: Carson City-Crystal.

I spent a lot of time on the phone interviewing then-head coach Kacy Datema about his elite wrestlers, constantly reaching milestone wins of 100, 150 and, in the case of the legend himself, Jamison Ward, 200. From writing up team previews of their next potential state championship season to attending every major meet I could of theirs, I spent a lot of time around the CC-C wrestling program — the loyal, longtime readers know as much.

Craner’s tremendous finals run comes to end in state championship

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With six of their wrestlers qualifying for the state finals this season, the most in the program’s history, the Belding Black Knights program certainly announced its presence as an up-and-coming one in West Michigan, thanks in large part to its influx of talented, young wrestlers.

However, when there’s a handful of wrestlers that fit that bill, sometimes the quiet ones can get lost in the mix. Sophomore Gavin Craner is a wrestler who, prior to this weekend, had flown under the radar — going about his business and quietly working himself into a force to be reckoned with at the 175-pound weight class in Division 3.

‘Stop and smile, Mady!’

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Belding sophomore Mady Frisbie wins first state wrestling championship in second appearance

Mady Frisbie had Grand Blanc’s Lilianna Garcia compromised. Frisbie, a Belding sophomore, was just mere inches from pinning the Grand Blanc junior. Frisbie was also mere seconds from victory, leading 5-0.

Garcia was rotated about 45 degrees, her upper body was nearly flat on the ground while her lower body was under Frisbie. The positioning looked grueling for Garcia, just brutally painful. The end of Saturday’s state championship match, be it the timer or the referee’s whistle, may have come as a physical relief for Garcia. Frisbie’s style is aggressive, she inflicts a lot of pain on kids to try and break them physically and mentally.

Surviving the chaos

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10 of 18 area wrestlers advance to podium-placement matches

Just one year ago, the Perez family was celebrating a tremendous accomplishment in a once-in-a-lifetime wrestling match.

Lakeview brothers Joe Perez and Cam Perez found themselves in the third-place match of the 103-pound weight class in Division 4. It was a celebratory match — younger brother Cam won but both wrestlers ended the day as All-State finishers. It was a dream come true for father Abe and mother Jen to watch their boys on the All-State podium side by side.

ALEX FREEMAN: Make way for the new blood

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Every year, just before the dawn of March, a plethora of new storylines are presented to us in the form of the MHSAA individual wrestling state finals.

It’s always fun to see the spread of wrestlers who made it past their regional rounds and will compete with the best of the best down at Ford Field this Friday — all wrestling for a shot to make it onto the All-State podium on Saturday.

18 Area wrestlers qualify for individual state finals

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Wrestlers who place in the top four of their weight class at their individual regional wrestling meet advance onto the state finals. Individual regionals took place Saturday, Feb. 18, and 18 area wrestlers were able to place in the top four and qualify for individual regionals, which start Friday, March 3.

Greenville wrestling season comes to an end in regional finals with 69-3 loss to No. 1 ranked Lowell

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The Greenville wrestling team has been dreaming of a rematch against conference rival Lowell since losing to the Red Arrows on Jan. 20.

The Red Arrows got the best of Greenville, 65-9, in the first matchup of the season and the group has been working hard just for a chance of a rematch since then. They’d have to go through two opponents in the district and regional round to get there, but the dream rematch was back at Wednesday’s regional finals at Kenowa Hills High School.

Lakeview wrestling falls in regional semifinal for third straight year, loses to St. Louis, 45-20

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Great seasons do have to come to an end, it’s just a natural course in sports. Lakeview’s wrestling season came to an end on Wednesday as a team after a wildly successful season.

The Wildcats lost to St. Louis, 45-20, on Wednesday in Ithaca. The Sharks came into the dual ranked No. 3 in the state in Division 4; head coach Todd Barton knew that the Sharks would be a challenge for his Wildcats, but not insurmountable.

Reaching the mark

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TC senior wrestler reaches150 career wins

Just a 10-year-old, Ian Boden remembered his first time walking into the wrestling room at Tri County High School.

For some, it’s their first chance to get into the room where the big high schoolers practice in hopes to be held in the same regard as those wrestlers that seemed like heroes to the young kids.