Storm the Palace

Clarkston News Sports Writer
Four Clarkston grapplers won spots at the state finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills after success at the MHSAA Wrestling Individual Regional meet this past Saturday.
Senior Jake Calvano and sophomore Conor Donahue placed in second while sophomore Mac Hanselman finished in third and senior Jacob Rygielski took fourth.

Jacob Rygielski, Jake Calvano, Mac Hanselman and Conor Donahue. Photo provided
Jacob Rygielski, Jake Calvano, Mac Hanselman and Conor Donahue. Photo provided

“As a coaching staff we are very happy for all four of these wrestlers,” said Freddie DeRamus, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Wrestling. “All four of these wrestlers represent the ideals Clarkston Wrestling. They have all had their up and downs in their young wrestling careers but they bounce back every time.”
Next week’s trip to the Palace will be the first visit for Calvano and Donahue.
“Both of them have really turned the corner at the end of the season,” said DeRamus.
It is a return trip for Hanselman and Rygielski.
“Some wrestlers don’t get downstate once. We are very happy for both and hope they can both come back with medals,” said DeRamus. “We feel as a staff all four
of these wrestlers can come home with hardware.”
Donahue (130) finished in second place and went 2-1 for the day with wins over Swartz Creek’s Joe Carpenter, 6-0; and Oxford’s Garrett Tyrrell, 7-0. He lost to Lapeer’s Hunter Hohman in the championship round, 7-4.
Calvano (152) finished in second place and went 2-1 with wins over Lapeer’s Griffin Boustead with a fall, 1:25; and Waterford Mott’s Erik Arnegard, with a fall, 3:21. He lost to Romeo’s Trevor Houghton, 9-1.
Hanselman (112) finished in third place, going 3-1 for the day. He defeated Flushing’s Brennan Herr with a fall, 1:22; Rochester Adams’ Varun Mangal, 6-4; and Traverse City West’s Damian Ballan, 3-0. He lost to Davison’s Steven Garty the eventual champion, 5-2.
Rygielski (135) finished in fourth place for the day, going 2-2 for the day. He defeated Grand Blanc’s Eugene Durbin, 7-3; and Oxford’s Joe Vackaro, 7-2.
He lost to Bay City Western’s Noah Schoenherr during his second match, 15-4; and Western’s Victor Schoenherr, 3-0.
The Wolves lost to Oxford during the team regional meet on Feb. 15, 34-15.
DeRamus said one word described the match – tough.
“Our younger kids are tired of losing to Oxford,” he added. “Hats off to Oxford though they were prepared and their fans were, too. We got off to a slow start and had a hard time catching back up. The dual could have went either way, but Oxford and their fans were ready. Best of luck to them.”
He described the entire season as solid especially since they knew coming into the season the wrestlers in the heavier weights wouldn’t have a lot of experience.
“A year ago at 160, 171,189, and 285 we had all seniors with over 30 wins,” he explained. “That’s hard to replace but the wrestlers we had in there this season filled in nicely for us. The sophomore and freshman classes we have now we should be ok moving forward.”
The dual against Oxford was the last for seniors Calvano, Rygielski, Percy Fowler, Alex Minuth and Nevin Strayer.
“We have all learned a lot from our seniors these last four years,” said DeRamus. “These young men are exceptional individuals. They have been great teammates and leaders for us this year. They all have truly battled throughout their careers on and off the mat.”
He added they stepped up this season and it showed a lot of character.
“Every one of these seniors fought for this year and we wish them all the best moving forward and we thank them for their commitment to this program,” he said.

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