Source: Sherman Publications

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5 grapplers win state medals

by Trevor Keiser

March 06, 2013

OHS senior Rocco Borg (right) placed third in the 145-pound weight class.
It is the dream of every high school wrestler to qualify for the state tournament and to stand on the podium adorning a medal and All-State honors. For five Wildcat Wrestlers that dream came true after last weekend's Individual State Tournament held at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Senior Rocco Borg took third place at 145 pounds and finished 51-3 on the season; Junior Eddie Schlickenmeyer, fourth at 130 pounds and 42-8 record; Freshmen Alex Hrisopoulis fifth place at 103 and 45-6 record Junior Wesley Maskill, at 152 pounds and 42-8 record; and Senior Dan Curtis placed seventh at 119 pounds and 40-14 record . Juniors Zach Wood and Ben Line also qualified for States at 285 and 215 pounds. Wood who went 1-2 at the tournament and ended the season with a 39-9 record; Line also went 1-2 at the tournament and finished with a 40-9 record.

"I am happy with how the kids finished their tournament. I think we got a couple kids that are bummed out they didn't make All State and we got a couple kids bummed out they didn't make the finals," said Head Coach Brandon Rank. "But the thing that I've taken from the tournament and the thing that really resonates is, all those kids wrestled back. They didn't hang their heads. They came back and won matches."

First matches, which were held Feb. 28. Wood was the first winner of the day beating Jerron Thomas of Carmen Ainsworth by a technical fall of 21- 4

"Coming into the match I was pretty nervous, but it was pretty easy once I a hang of it and got comfortable with the environment," he said. "It's just exciting to be here for the first time."

It was also Hrispoulis first time.

"It feels awesome, the atmosphere is great, and wrestling is good," he said. "I love it."

Hrispoulis beat Chase Spanos from Westland-John Glenn in a 3-0 decision.

"I was a little nervous at first, but once the match progressed it all went away," he added. "It felt good."

Daniel Curtis took a hard loss to Shayne Wireman from Holt in his first round on a 7-0 decision. "I knew the kid was pretty tough, he's ranked first right now, Curtis said after the match. " I've had some shoulder problems and figured I got nothing to lose this kid is ranked higher than me and I just went out there and gave him a good match and tried to come out with a win."

As far as the atmosphere was concerned, Curtis said "it's awesome."

"It's not like any other tournament you go to in school season," he added. "It's just overwhelming and just all around fun tournament."

Oxford got back on the winning track with Schlickenmeyer beating Austin Murray from Walled Lake Western in a technical fall of 22-4. "I would have liked to pin him, but it's more important to win the match then to pin," he said.

Being his third time at states, Schlickenmeyer said it gets easier.

"It's not as overwhelming."

Borg at his fourth state tournament said it's his "favorite place."

"It's awesome," he said. "I love every second of it. I love the atmosphere and I love the pressure of it."

Borg defeated Thomas Garty of Davison in a tough 5-2 decision. The key to the victory he said was "mental toughness."

"He was very difficult. We wrestle each other a lot so we know each other's styles," he said. "Last year I versed him six times, so I guess we know what we do."

Maskill was a qualifier last year but didn't place. "I had to come back and try to get on that podium this year," he said. "I am only a junior this year, so I am looking for big things."

Maskill beat Senad Tukelija from Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central on a 9-0 major decision. "I knew he was going to be pretty tough and I went out there and gave it my all," Maskill said. "With the state tournament being the last meet of the year, you got to go out there hard."

In the final match of the day Line won by a 11-3 major decision over Vicent Pizzo of Wyandotte Roosevelt.

"It felt awesome. That kid was ranked above me pretty high," he said. "It was definitely a cool win."

It was also Line's first time at state.

"Obviously I watched my brother (Prescott Line) make it all four years of his career so I felt I had to step up and do something," he said. "I worked hard and made it."

Even though Oxford is losing Borg and Curtis, along with Joseph Alexie-Ruff, Marty Giannola, Samuel Hendrix, Liam Logan, and Thomas Spicuzza to graduation, Rank said the outlook for the future looks good because they are bring back "a lot of fire power."

"We got five returning state qualifiers, three returning placers and others guys who are right on the bubble of being state qualifiers," he said. "It will be hard to see those seniors go, but we got some young guys who are hungry for those spots."