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WRESTLING: Huron League Preview





The Flat Rock wrestling team is young but the coaches are experienced and that combination could pin down plenty of success for the Rams in the upcoming season.

Larry Dishaw begins his 13th season as head coach at Flat Rock including the past five seasons. For the past four seasons John Cecil has been the assistant coach giving the Rams and a solid teaching staff.

Flat Rock, 12-11 last season, will feature a roster void of any seniors but full of talent.

The Rams’ top returning wrestlers are juniors Jason Johnson at 125 pounds, Brandon Fisher at 140, Jacob Salter at 152 and Eric Antolak at 215.

A few of the newcomers include freshman Joey Talerico, and two juniors, Mackenzie Quick and Cameron Theicke.

“Our strengths will be that it looks like we will be able to fill every weight class,” Cecil said. “This is a great group of kids who are eager to learn and work hard every day. We just want them to be better at the end of the year.”



Huron

Sometimes coaches are hesitant to come right out and say that they have a dominant team and have high expectations.

But Jake Shulaw isn’t one of those coaches. Then again it’s easy to be confident when your roster is loaded with talent.

“We should have a very solid lineup from top to bottom,” Shulaw said. “Every guy has varsity experience which should help us at the end of the season.”

The goals are set at Huron and they are understandably high.

“We are looking for our fourth straight Huron League championship and we hope to make a run for a regional championship and a trip to the team state finals.”

Helping them getting there will be junior Logan Ritchie (160 pounds, fourth in the state), state qualifiers Judah Caballero (junior, 112 pounds), Jon Wellman (junior, 125), Deion Copley (junior, 215), and regional qualifiers Nick Phelps (sophomore, 130), Eli Caballero (senior, 119) and Aaron Escobar (senior, 140).

The top newcomers include sophomores DJ Christy (103 pounds) and Steven Poet (119), junior Riley Griffin (171) and senior Jeff Henderson (285).

Huron was one of the most dominant programs in the state in the late 70s and early 80s and it looks like the Chiefs are headed back to elite status.

“We are not there yet, but we are putting in the work to get there,” said Shulaw, whose Huron team went 26-2 last year and opens Dec. 7 at the Birch Run Duals.



Riverview

Jason Dodd begins his second year as head coach at Riverview and seventh season with the program.

The Pirates finished fourth last year and had four individual league champions, including two back on the roster this season.

Riverview was an impressive 18-9 last year and district runner-up to Trenton.

“We have very high expectations this season,” Dodd said. “We return many starters from last year's team and have added a few talented wrestlers as well.”

Last season, seven of Riverview’s 14 wrestlers were either freshmen or sophomores.

“We feel with last season’s experience now under our belts, we should be able to take that next step and take the program to a higher level and compete for a league, district and regional championship,” Dodd said.

Still, the Pirates will be young.

“With that youth comes the lessons still to be learned,” Dodd said. “How to properly train, prepare and compete day in and day out will be a learning experience. But we are growing every day.”

Competing in the Huron League is never easy. And this year will be no different.

“Our league is top heavy with a handful of strong programs,” Dodd said. “We also have very tough district and region, but we feel confident that we can compete in all three. We know we are still somewhat young overall, but also gifted with talent and a great team work ethic. So the general feeling within the program right now is, ‘why not us, why not now?’”

Top returners are state qualifier and sophomore captain Brandon Garcia (145 pounds). Last year as a freshman, Garcia lost in the "blood round" at the state finals, falling one victory short of all-state honors.

Riverview also has three regional qualifiers returning, starting with senior captain Teddy Lossing (140), who was league and district runner-up last season. Also, senior captain Victor Korkis (160) and returning league champion sophomore Dakota Martin (152) are back for the Pirates.

New to the team this year is heavyweight wrestler Ippokroutis Makarounas (285). He is a junior and first-year wrestler, but has a lot of potential.

“He is very strong and explosive and a quick learner,” Dodd said.

A couple freshmen are expected to win their wrestle-offs and earn a spot on the varsity lineup. Adam Ritchie (130), Aaron Mullins (135) and Evan Begeman (215) have shown glimpses of really good wrestling and are expected to contribute this season.





Last Updated: 12/3/2013 2:08:23 PM EST

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