The 2010-2011 MHSAA wrestling season is officially underway. This Saturday’s Don Johnson Invitational at Lansing Eastern headlined a very competitive weekend of wrestling around the state of Michigan. Highly regarded teams such as St. Johns, Temperance Bedford and Lake Fenton all were in attendance. Top wrestlers from Divisions 1, 2 and 3 clashed giving the tournament a good mix of talent and several state championship caliber finals matches.
At the starting weight of 112, returning state champion Jacob Schmitt of St. Johns picked up right where he left off, pinning his way through the bracket to claim the championship. The nationally ranked sophomore went untested all day and looked very sharp pinning Zach Henderson of Hudsonville in the finals.
Schmitt’s teammate Brant Schafer kept St. John’s momentum going by taking home the championship at 119 lbs. Schafer battled with returning state runner-up Todd Melick of Lake Fenton. Schafer looked very strong and showed why he is a state title contender, controlling the match and defeating Melick 5-2.
St. Johns continued to roll at 125 lbs, when Josh Pennell scored a quick fall in the finals over Mason Allison of Temperance Bedford. Pennell was dominant all day, pinning and teching his way through the bracket, proving why he is a serious threat to win a state title this year.
The 135 lbs weight class featured one of the day’s premier matchups. Fargo All-American Camryn Jackson of Lansing Eastern and returning state placer Zach Corcoran of Lake Fenton met in a highly anticipated finals match. Jackson looked sharp scoring a quick takedown in the first period. However Corcoran took control of the match with strong riding in the second and third periods and took home a title with an impressive 6-3 decision.
Top ranked Brian Gibbs of Temperance Bedford showed why many people have him pegged as this year’s 140 pound state champion in division 1. Gibbs cruised to the finals where he controlled Fowlerville’s Travis Kern for a 9-0 major decision.
Division 1’s top ranked Jared Zimmerman of Hudsonville and Division 2’s second ranked Travis Curley met in another big time finals matchup at 145 lbs. Curley looked very impressive, controlling the match in neutral and coming away with a 7-3 decision, showing why he is a state title threat in D2.
One of the day’s premier matchups occurred in the 152 lbs finals. Lake Fenton Senior Justin Melick who is ranked #1 across all divisions at 140 crossed paths with St. John’s Junior Jordan Wohlfert, the top ranked wrester at 152 lbs across all four divisions. The match featured quite a bit of action, but neither wrestler was able to come away with many points. Wohlfert came out ahead with a 2-0 decision in one of the day’s best matches.
Taylor Massa of St. Johns, currently ranked #2 in the nation at 160 by InterMat was the headliner in the 160 lbs bracket. Massa met with Lake Fenton Senior Connor Brancheau in the finals for a rematch of last year’s Division 2 semi-finals. Massa put on a takedown clinic scoring a very impressive 25-10 technical fall.
Division 3’s top ranked Drew Morris of Lake Fenton faced quite a test from Dewitt’s Nate Knauf. The unranked Knauf pushed Morris to his limit, tying the match midway through the third period. However, Morris was able to score a late takedown and eventually came away with a 6-3 decision to take home the 171 lbs title.
After winning the 215 lbs state title as a freshman, Fowlerville Sophomore Adam Coon looked dominant up at 285 lbs this weekend. Coon met with Temperance Bedford Junior Logan Rimmen in a battle of talented upper weights. Coon pushed the pace in neutral and jumped out to an early lead, eventually scoring a fall late in the third period to win the 285 lbs championship.
The last match of the day at 103 lbs featured two of Michigan’s top little men battling it out in a marquis finals match. Returning state champion Mitch Rogaliner of Temperance Bedford scored a 6-5 double overtime decision over Martin Rodriguez of Grand Ledge in the semi-finals to earn a spot in the finals against nationally ranked freshman Zac Hall of St. Johns. Rogaliner and Hall battled back and forth with the score tied at four late in the third period. Hall took control of the match late when he took Rogaliner down and scored two near fall points to jump to an 8-4 lead. Hall was victorious by a final score of 9-5 in a very impressive high school tournament debut.
St. Johns, who is currently ranked as Michigan’s top team across all divisions, controlled the team race finishing well ahead of the competition. Trailing St. Johns was Temperance Bedford who is currently ranked #6 in Division 1. The new look Lake Fenton squad had three champions, helping them earn a 3rd place finish. Rounding out the top five was Hudsonville in 4th place and Fowlerville in 5th.
- St. Johns
- Temperance Bedford
- Lake Fenton