BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Grapplers are ready to hit the mat after working hard during pre-season conditioning and since the winter season began.
“We are going to be pretty tough this year,” said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Head Coach Joe Wood.
The Wolves begin the season ranked fourth in the state as a team.
“I don’t want to use it as an indicator because success is earned not given,” Wood added. Out of the 14 weight classes they also have 10 wrestlers ranked in their individual weight classes.
“The guys have been working hard all summer. We are excited to see how this year pans out for us,” Wood said.
The Wolves are led by senior captains Cole Wiegers, Ethan Polick, Mac Hanselman and Jake Billette who not only lend leadership but will help with experience as all four were state qualifiers last year. Billette finished in third place at the MHSAA Division 1 Wresling Individual State Championship.
The team also has two more state qualifiers returning – junior Jacob Jones and sophomore Rocco Spindler.
“We add Conor Donahue coming back to wrestle, which is good,” Wood added. “He is a returning state placer. We have key seniors, too. Devin Trevino, he is a senior and new to Clarkston. He is a tough kid.”
The Wolves open the season on Wednesday with a home dual against Holly and Imlay City, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
“Holly is not ranked but they are tough,” Wood said. “They have five weight classes where they have guys ranked in the state. Imlay City is always a tough group. Then, we wrestle Hartland and they are ranked fifth in the state. We are really excited about getting in there and going after it. We roll right into the Oakland County tournament. We took second last year and depending on how the guys do we would like to improve on that.”
They head to the Romeo Duals this Saturday before going against Hartland and Howell on Dec. 12. Then, they have the Oakland County Championships on Dec. 21 and 22 before they head into the holiday break.
“We are really excited about where our program is headed and the possibility of doing well this year,” Wood said. “We are really excited for this year. We hope everyone can stay healthy and we compete well. We are going to work hard – there is no question about that. They have no option to work hard.”
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE