Montabella senior credits wrestling with changing his life

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Tristin Almanza will be the first to admit that the younger version of himself did not exactly inspire confidence.

Tristin was a kid without goals. He didn’t care about school and just wanted to get back home to play his Xbox. He was in and out of the school office almost every day for getting in trouble and goofing off.

All-Area 2022 Winter Sports Awards

All-Area 2022 Winter Sports Awards

Tri County’s Jake Nelson signs LOI to continue wrestling career at Cornerstone University

Jake Nelson showed the same level of determination and readiness Tuesday afternoon that he had following his loss in the state wrestling finals.

After falling in the 171-pound championship match in Division 3 about a month ago, it only took Nelson about five minutes to shake off the loss and look toward his future, which included signing onto his college of choice to continue his career in wrestling. He’s been ready since his opponent’s hand was raised after his final match — he’s even more ready following his signing.

Lakeview Wildcat youth wrestling produces 17 state placers

Lakeview wrestlers took to the mat this past weekend at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo to compete in the MYWAY Individual State Championship Finals.

Leaving it all on the line

Seven of nine local wrestlers in blood rounds finish with victories at state finals, six place in top five

The odds were stacked against Tristin Almanza from a young age.

As a middle schooler, Almanza was over 300 pounds and wasn’t even close to the athlete or person he is today. As a sophomore, Almanza took up wrestling and it changed his life.

‘On to bigger and better things’

Tri County senior Jake Nelson looks toward bright future after falling in state championship match, 4-3

Jake Nelson walked off the mat at Ford Field dejected, not a single word uttered.

He’d reached the pinnacle of wrestling — the state championship match. He came in confident — his Tri County coaches, his family, anyone who knows Jake Nelson would be confident, as well. Nelson exuded confidence throughout his run at the MHSAA individual state wrestling finals on Friday, leading him to a 3-0 record into the state championship match at the 171-pound weight class of Division 3.

Lakeview’s Perez brothers face off at state finals, finish 3rd, 4th

Joe and Cam Perez answered the same question all weekend — they knew it was coming.

“Are you guys brothers?”

Frisbie’s fantastic freshman season ends in championship loss

Madasyn Frisbie had one goal in mind. She wanted to bring an individual state wrestling championship back to Belding — the first since 2004.

Wrestling in the first-ever girls division sanctioned by the MHSAA, the freshman was one match away from accomplishing her goal.

Roaring toward the podium

11 of 18 area wrestlers qualify to day two of MHSAA individual finals, two advance to state championship

Belding’s Jack Ward trotted off the mat at Ford Field in Detroit and found his head coach waiting to celebrate — more importantly, his father, Art Ward, was there to share a moment of pride.

The two Wards, who have their names littered all over the Belding wrestling record books, embraced one another in a moment of joy and excitement. Jack had just earned All-State recognition for the second year in a row after finishing sixth in the state last season. 

ALEX FREEMAN: Redemption and glory await

A few weeks ago, a state finalist wrestler from last season told me he was disappointed by the venue for last year’s individual state finals.

Things were split last year due to COVID-19 protocols — Divisions 1 and 3 wrestled at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo and Divisions 2 and 4 wrestled at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.