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Three grapplers earn state medals

Alex Hrisopoulos earned second place in the 112-pound class. (click for larger version)
March 05, 2014 - Of the eight individual wrestling state qualifiers, three Wildcats came home with All-State honors and wearing medals.

Alex Hrisopoulos took second at 112 pounds, after being pinned by Max Johnson, of Davison, with seven seconds left on the clock in the first round. Hrisopoulos finished the season with a 46-9 record.

"I don't even know (what to say). It happened so quickly. I barely even got a chance to wrestle," Hrisopoulos said. "I am really disappointed, but you (have) got to see the positive in it and move on from it and come back next year."

"Alex did a great job getting to the state finals with the chance of being a state champion as a sophomore," said Head Coach Paul McDevitt. "Looking at his bracket (at states) it was kind of what we hoped for and what we expected. He had a really good chance to get here (to the finals) if he wrestled his way and he did."

Senior Ben Line received a sixth place medal at 215 pounds after a 6-4 loss to Brandon Houle, of Rockford, in the third bout. Line finished with a 43-10 record.

"Ben has been one of our go-to-guys all season long. He has had a great season overall and had his sights set on being a state champ and was disappointed. He had some close matches (that) he lost along the way," McDevitt said. "Being sixth in the state and an All-State wrestler is not a bad finish for him."

Wesley Maskill took a seventh place medal at 171 pounds after beating Josh Burnahm, of Macomb-Dakota, 42-11. He finished with a 51-7 season. Maskill called it "a hell of an experience."

"It's a bummer the way it ended out because I was going in with the mindset (of) a state champ, but you got to take it one match at a time," he added. "That was my last high school match ever, so I had to make it the best. Getting that last win and being two-time All-State feels good."

McDevitt said Maskill won his last match of his high school career "in convincing style."

"I had a lot of coaches saying (the) 171 weight class was the toughest chart and it was," he said. "He had his sights set on being a state champion and was really disappointed in how he finished, but I couldn't be prouder because it was a real tough chart and battle for everybody."

Other state qualifiers included Noah Kinne who finished with a 33-20 record at 160 pounds. "Noah Kinne got all the way to the blood round and ran into the Oakland County Champ Andrew Price from Stoney Creek and had a really close match with him," McDevitt said. "It was a great match. Probably Noah's best match with that kid."

Oxford had double qualifiers at 189 pounds with Grant Krause and Wyatt Harden. Krause finished with a 32-10 season record and Harden 16-4.

"Tt was their first trip here," noted McDevitt. "It can be intimidating being out on the Palace floor with a big crowd and bright lights, but they both handled it well and went out and battled hard."

"It's pretty exciting and definitely different with all the people here, especially since I am a sophomore and it was my first year here," Harden added. "I am pretty proud I made it. I still have two more years to come, so I expect a lot out of myself (over) the next couple years."

At 215 pounds, senior Jamal Pettiford finished 18-9 on the season. "It was my goal at the beginning of the year to be a state qualifier, so I was pretty proud of myself," Pettiford said. "I didn't get to place, but (I) still had fun."

McDevitt said Pettiford spent a lot of time as a as backup, but always came in when he was needed. "He didn't have a ton of experience, but (he) had a fantastic end-of-the-year tournament at districts, regionals and then qualifying for states," continued McDevitt. "He came in here did well and didn't even look nervous. He was ready to go."

Last, but certainly not least, was senior heavyweight Zach Wood at 285 pounds, who finished with a 32-5 record.

"Zach has worked really hard over the years and done everything you could have asked for, but fell a little short in the blood round and got caught in the cradle, got pinned and ended his season and that's not how he wanted to go out," McDevitt said. "He handled it graciously, just like I would expect from a captain leader. It was a tough break, but I am really happy for him because he did have a great season."

McDevitt said Wood went a long way for his team all season long. "Having a heavyweight I can always count on to get six points for the team when I needed him was a big, big part of us having that team success," he said. "I know he fell a little short individually, but he led this team to a semifinal appearance, which was really special for this group of kids and I am really proud of him for helping us do that."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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