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Evolving into a storm

Matt Vandermeer signs his letter of intent to Lake Erie College. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
June 29, 2011 - For family and friends attending his graduation open house on Saturday, Matt Vandermeer gave them a special treat - he signed his letter of intent to Lake Erie College.

The Clarkston High School 2011 graduate will join the NCAA Division II Storm Wrestling team in the fall.

"I really liked the campus down there," said Vandermeer after visiting the college in Painesville, Ohio. "They are a small school focused on education. It is exactly what I needed."

"We are really happy with the program down there," said dad, Pete. "It is brand new but they have recruited a lot of good kids out of Ohio and Pennsylvania."

Matt is the only wrestler from Michigan and one of their highest ranked wrestlers after finishing his last season for the Wolves as state champion in the 171-pound weight class.

Matt said he was all set on going to Olivet College and was going to sign before Lake Erie College called him.

"A good family friend who I have been wrestling with a long time called Lake Erie and told them I wasn't recruited yet," said Matt. "They needed a 174-pounder."

He decided to take a look and it turned out to be the college for him.

"There were a lot of teams that wanted him," said Pete. "Lake Erie actually said we want you and this is what we can do for you. We are overjoyed."

Pete expressed how happy he was with the college, especially after President Michael T. Victor took the time to meet Matt, Pete and his mom, Carol.

Matt will wrestle for Head Coach Kevin Hoogenboom in the Great Lake Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

He is projected to wrestle in the 174-pound and 184-pound weight classes, depending on what the team needs.

Matt began wrestling when he was five-years-old.

"He has had some good years," said Pete. "He has had some bad years. Each a learning year."

He finished his senior year taking second place at the Oakland County Wrestling Meet and the Tournament of Champs. He finished as MHSAA District Champion, MHSAA Regional Champion and MHSAA State Champion.

He ended his high school record career with a 170-32 record.

His advice to aspiring athletes is to keep wrestling.

"Keep working hard," Matt added.

He will focus on studying business at Lake Erie College.

"He is moving right up the ladder and it is real positive for him that Lake Erie wanted him," said Pete.

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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