Source: Sherman Publications

Seven Oxford grapplers headed for Palace

by Trevor Keiser

February 20, 2013

Seven Oxford wrestlers will find themselves competing in the individual state championships beginning Feb. 28 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

“It’s pretty exciting. We had five guys in the finals that were underclassmen. Things like that bode well for the future, but give them a chance to get on a big stage of competition a little earlier in their careers, so they can learn. Hopefully they do well,” said Head Coach Brandon Rank. “By next year it’s old hat to them and there is no bright lights anymore.”

The underclassmen include Freshman, Alex Hrisopoulos at 103 pounds and Juniors Edwin Schlickenmeyer at 130, Wesley Maskill at 152, Ben Line at 215 and Zach Wood at 285.

Rank said to have Seniors Rocco Borg at 145 and Dan Curtis at 119 pounds have been the “mainstay of the program the past four years” also going to states gives leadership to the younger guys.

Rank said the regional tournament is a tough one where wrestlers win two matches before losing two matches and everyone is good.

“Our guys went out there and those seven guys showed they’re better than good. Even the couple guys who took losses, took them early and were able to bounce back and refocus and continue moving on,” he added. “Those are exciting things to see.”

Hrisopoulous, Schlickenmeyer, Line, and wood all took first place. Meanwhile Curtis took fourth winning two and losing two, Borg took third winning three and losing one, and Maskill took second winning two and losing one.

“It’s tough watching guys get knocked out and not have their goals come true for them,” said Rank speaking of Mike Willits, 140, who won one and lost two; Tom Spicuzza, 160, lost two and Marty Giannola, 171 , won one and lost two and did not make it to states, but Rank said they fought hard.

“It just wasn’t their day that day. They’re not going to sit around feeling sorry for themselves, they’re going to be back in practice helping the other guys get ready. It’s unfortunate, but those are the tough lessons wrestling teaches you,” he said. “At this point we’re looking forward to getting into the palace and looking to buying some state championships and some high placements.”