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State victory for Vandermeer

March 06, 2013 - Nick Vandermeer flipped opponent Jordan Atienza from Livonia Franklin onto his back 4 minutes, 17 seconds into the match and it was over. The Clarkston High School senior won the 2013 state title in the 152-pound weight class at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Saturday.

"He had one of the toughest weight classes in the tournament," said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Coach Derek Moscovic. "He wrestled an exciting match and kept everyone on their toes. To be in that weight class and finishing with a pin is a huge accomplishment."

Senior Chris Calvano (189) finished in second place after a 4-3 loss to Rochester in the MHSAA Wrestling Individual Finals and went 3-1 for the tournament.

"He lost to a tough kid," said Moscovic. "Chris went after him. It turned out not to be his day but he had a heck of the season."

Adam Myers (215) placed fourth after a 15-3 loss to a familiar foe, Matt Okaiye from Waterford Kettering, finishing 3-2.

"I was proud of the way they wrestled and the way they represented Clarkston," said Moscovic. "They had a good tournament."

All three opened the tournament on Thursday with wins. Vandermeer opened with a 7-0 decision over Mike Babicz from Detriot Catholic Central.

"It was a tight match," he said after the win. "I wrestled smart and did exactly what I needed to do. It is always good to get a win over Catholic Central."

Vandermeer added it would boost his confidence as he went further in the tournament.

"I know what I can do," he said. "It makes me realize what I need to do in the match."

Calvano also opened the tournament with a win over DCC with a quick pin on Jimmy Russell, 56 seconds into the match.

"That kid used to go to Clarkston so I guess you could call him a traitor, The thing is DCC kids use the same style so it was easy to counter," Calvano smiled. "It always feels good to know you are done for the day. You can go home, hang out and get a good night's sleep."

He added he didn't do anything differently to prepare for the state finals and went through his normal routine.

"I have gotten to the point you just get rid of all the nerves because all of the nerves take your energy," Calvano noted.

Myers also took charge at the beginning of his first match leading to a pin 27 seconds into the match.

"It helped me to get pumped to continue wrestling and win my matches," he said.

Feeling confident for the next set of matches of Friday, the boys won their quarterfinals matches. Vandermeer beat Portage Central's Dominic Latora with a fall after being behind in the match in points.

Calvano and Myers tied their opponents at the end of three matches and won in overtime. Calvano beat Wyoming's Jack Rozema, 4-3, and Myers beat Oxford's Ben Line, 5-3.

"They kept their composure," said Moscovic, adding Vandermeer also had to win in overtime in the semifinals. "They kept wrestling. They kept their heads in the match. They wrestled until the end, which is something we preach. They were all positive and kept with it. It paid off for them."

All three moved onto the semifinals and Calvano and Vandermeer went onto the finals after posting wins.

Myers lost and went on to take on Matthew Mulcahy from Grand Haven for the chance for third place.

He beat him in a 5-0 decision and went on to face off against Okaiye. He lost 15-3.

Moscovic noted Myers began wrestling in ninth and did great for his first visit at the finals.

"What an accomplishment for someone who never even participated in wrestling before his freshman year," he added.

Vandermeer, Calvano and Myers finished the season with All-State honors.

"It was an honor to coach them," said Moscovic. "They represented the program with great intregrity and honor."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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