February 27, 2013 - Three grapplers are getting ready to take on familiar and new foes this week at the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
From left, Nick Vandermeer, Adam Myers and Chris Calvano prepare for the state finals this week. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
Seniors Nick Vandermeer (152), Chris Calvano (189), and Adam Myers (215) qualified in the MHSAA Individual Regionals, Feb. 16.
"It's going to be fun," Vandermeer smiled.
"It's definitely the most exciting part of the year for me," Calvano added. "It's different than any other tournament I have been to. I am going to it with a lot more experience. I feel a lot more comfortable."
It is the third trip for Vandermeer and second for Calvano while Myers is making his first trip to the finals.
"I am really excited," he said about it. "My goal is to place."
All three are preparing with hard practices and getting mentally prepared.
"I am trying not to get worried about it and to relax," Myers said. "I have been practicing pretty hard to get ready."
"Practices are harder," Calvano agreed. "I am going harder as possible so I don't have any regrets. It's just like going to any other tournament. The competition is always good no matter what."
Vandermeer is preparing by not thinking negative thoughts and keeping his head clear for the three day tournament. He is also focusing on getting his weight right where it needs to be, which he admits has been one of the biggest obstacles for him so far this season.
"It was mostly cutting weight and staying on and around weight," he added.
Vandermeer (40-5) opens the tournament against Detroit Catholic Central's Mike Babicz (34-17).
"I have had a guy from DCC every single time I have gone to finals for my first match," he laughed. "My bracket looks pretty stacked. I am excited to wrestle them."
Calvano (37-4) will also open against DCC as he takes on Jimmy Russell (34-14). He is looking forward to seeing a few opponents including Livonia Franklin's Allen Steele, which would be the third round if both win their first two rounds.
Myers (35-16) is looking forward to seeing Waterford Kettering's Matt Okaiye again but will first open the tournament against Holland West Ottawa's Nate Colvin (35-8).
He added some of his matches this season have already prepared him for the finals as he took on wrestlers who visited states in the past.
"I beat some people who have been to states so I could make my goal to go," Myers said.
"Every match is a battle," said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Coach Derek Moscovic. "Every match is a do or die match. The ones who win move on and the ones who don't drop down. Everyone is there to win a state title. Every match is a high level of competition. There are a lot of emotions and they need to be ready to go at the first whistle."
The first round of finals begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday, following the grand march at 1:45 p.m.
The competition continues on Friday and Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The final round for first place finish begins at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday. The starting weight class for every round is 285 pounds.
All-session reserved tickets are available for $45. single-session reserved are $10. For more information or for tickets, visit www.palacenet.com or call 248-377-0100.
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.