Grapplers start season on top
December 22, 2010 - By Mike Musary
Special to The Review
The Lake Orion varsity wrestlers split their first two dual meets, won four out of five duals at Owosso, and won both matches in their final December dual, starting the 2010/11 season with an 8 – 3 record.
Dec. 1, Orion traveled to Brighton and whipped Ann Arbor Skyline 84 – 0, but lost to host Brighton 48 – 9. Dec. 8, the Dragons traveled to Avondale for their first Oakland Activities Association (OAA) meet of the season. Lake Orion had an exciting 33 – 32 victory over Avondale, but fell to Rochester Adams 41 – 18.
Dec. 10, Lake Orion finished in second place out of six teams at the Owosso Modified Duals. The Dragons only loss on the night was 64 – 10 to St. Johns who is ranked number one in the state at Division 2. Lake Orion had four wins on the night thumping Saginaw Arthur Hill 72 – 8; beating Mt. Pleasant 62 – 13; defeating Flint Carman-Ainsworth 59 – 16; and pounding Owosso 66 – 9.
Lake Orion traveled to Livonia Stevenson Dec. 15, and defeated Birmingham Brother Rice 51 -13 and beat Parma Western 44 – 23.
The Dragons have several new faces in their lineup this season. The team will be depending on senior captains Dom Arnold (152) and Adam Gros (171/189) for a lot of scoring. Arnold is a 2010 state qualifier, currently ranked ninth in the state, and voted the 14th top wrestler in Oakland County. Adam Gros was voted the 25th top wrester in Oakland County.
Fellow seniors, Demitri Hudson (160) and Mitch Ladd (171/189) will also be counted on for points.
Head Coach Cory Kuzinski said, "We have a very young lineup and are learning on the fly. It was nice to go to Owosso and have success after facing a few tough teams early. For our meet on Wednesday at Livonia Stevenson, we didn't get to practice on Monday and Tuesday because of snow days. Managing weight was an issue for several of the kids and we didn't get a chance to make adjustments from last weekend's wrestling."
"All that being said," he added, "the kids stepped up and did a great job. John Atwater beat a quality opponent; Dan Deachin continues to look solid and he locked up our dual against Parma Western with a well fought victory. John Yeglinski is hot on he's won six of his last seven matches despite weighing only 185 and wrestling in the 215 pound class."
Lake Orion participated in the 46-team Oakland County Wrestling Tournament held at the Pontiac Silverdome Dec. 17 and 18.
Although there were plenty of seats available, the venue was less than stellar. Macomb County ran their varsity and J.V. tournaments simultaneously causing a major schedule delay on the first day of the tournament.
After all of the wrestling was over, Lake Orion finished in 12th place out of 46 Oakland County high schools.
The Dragons had four all-county wrestlers. Freshman Highlen (112) and sophomore Ethan Gros (160) both took fifth place.
Senior captains Arnold (152) and Gros (171) both took home seventh place medals. Other wrestlers that competed at the O.C.C. included Moore (103), Letica (119), Masters (125), Atwater (130), Ellis (135), Grupido (140), Deachin (145), Basso (189), Yeglinski (215) and Boyer (285).
Kuzinski said "We finished about where I thought we would. Most of the guys put themselves within a match or two of placing, but they just aren't ready yet to make that jump to being an all-county wrestler. We'll do what it takes to get our underclassmen ready for next year."
Lake Orion will next host a quad meet 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Lake Orion High School.
It will be alumni night and all former Dragon wrestlers attending will be honored. West Bloomfield, Capac, and Yale will be the other three schools in attendance.