BY DAN STICKRADT
What’s a combined 670-99 and features four state champions?
If you guess anything to do with high school wrestling, than you are on the right track. The aforementioned record is the combined totals of the 15 young men who were named to the All-North Oakland Area Wrestling First Team for 2011-12.
This talented group featured 14 state qualifiers and 13 state-meet placers, plus a resume that would lure a host of college coaches in a heartbeat. Three of these wrestlers capped the season with perfect records, while seven featured four or fewer losses while 13 posted at least 40 wins and four of them compiled at least 50 wins on the season.
There are so many accolades on the first team alone that it’s hard to list them all. And that’s just the first team.
Below is a brief capsule of this year’s All-Area First Team squad, selected by NOS staff in conjunction with area coaches.
Meet the first team:
103 POUNDS: JUSTIN KIM, Rochester: A junior in his third season in the Falcons’ lineup, Kim was one of six state placers for Rochester this season and finished with a fine 38-4 record. Among his top performances were placing third at the Oakland County meet and winning the OAA Red-White Super Meet, Division 1 Rochester district and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse regional titles. At the Division 1 state finals, he finished sixth.
112: EDWIN SCHLICKENMEYER, Oxford: A transfer from Sterling Heights Stevenson, where he was fifth in the state at 103 last year, this sophomore had another fine season wearing a new uniform. At Oxford, Schlickenmeyer finished 32-9 with multiple medals at large meets. He was second at the county meet (119) and followed that up with second at the OAA Super Meet, second at the Rochester district and fourth at the L’Anse Creuse regional. He was 1-2 at the state meet, missing out on a medal by one win.
119: JOSH WOOD, Rochester: After finishing as the state runner-up in Division 1 during his first two years of competition, those coming at 103 as a freshman and 112 as a sophomore, Wood was dealt some bad luck just two days before the regional at L’Anse Creuse, breaking a bone in his hand during practice which left him on the sideline. The junior still had an exceptional campaign. He finished 41-4, placed second at the county meet (125) and won the Rochester district among several large meet performances. He also missed the OAA Super Meet due to injury.
125: MASON CLEAVER, Holly: Another talented junior, Cleaver was healthy all season and posted a 51-2 mark overall. Cleaver was the Oakland County and Flint Metro League champion and followed that up with wins at the Warren Fitzgerald district and Tecumseh regional. At the Division 2 state meet, he finished as the state runner-up after placing fifth as a sophomore.
130: ANTHONY GONZALES, Holly: The first of four state champions on the All-Area First Team, Gonzales plowed through the season nearly unscathed with a 48-3 record. He was exceptional at the large meets, earning third (140 weight class) at the county meet and following that up with wins at the FML, Warren Fitzgerald district and Tecumseh regional. At the D-2 state finals, he toppled Kyle Simaz of Allegan for the state crown.
135: KAELEN RICHARDS, Rochester: A repeat offender on the All-Area squad, Richards has developed into a fine competitor in his own right and finished third in the state in Division 1 this season. Among his more notable performances were finishing second at the county meet and first at the OAA Red-White Super Meet, Rochester district and L’Anse Creuse regional. The junior and three-time state placer finished 50-6, the most win by any of Rochester’s wrestlers this season.
140: DEAN VETTESE, Rochester: The latest in line of several successful wrestlers in his family, Vettese actually transferred over from Auburn Hills Avondale to Rochester last summer and made an immediate impact for the Falcons. A state-qualifier last season in Division 2, Vettese made the cut in Division 1 this season and claimed third in the state. Finishing with a 45-7 record, Vettese won titles at the county, OAA Red-White Super Meet, district and regional tournaments.
145: AARON MORGAN, Rochester: Just a five-hundred wrestler last season, Morgan took his talents to another level in his sophomore season. This season he finished 40-12 and placed eighth in the state in Division 1. He was also fifth at the county and won the OAA Red-White Super Meet, Rochester district and L’Anse Creuse regional crowns.
152: NICK VANDERMEER, Clarkston: Also coming from legacy of successful wrestlers, Vandermeer’s junior campaign made him Clarkston’s sole representative on the first team. Vandermeer placed at all of the large tournaments, including second at the county and Hartland district, won the OAA Red-White Super Meet, placed fourth at the Davison regional and seventh at the Division 1 state finals. He was 40-12 overall.
160: MARTY GIANNOLA, Oxford: The second of three Wildcats on the first team, all hailing from the Division 1 state runner-up team, Giannola was impressive down the stretch for Oxford. In the final month, he emerged as the champion at the OAA Red-White Super Meet, placed third at both the Rochester district and L’Anse Creuse regional and placed eighth at state. He was 45-18 overall as a junior.
171: CODY DEVOE, Rochester: Bumping up from 160 to 171 this season, Devoe placed at the state meet for the second straight season, finishing seventh in Division 1 this year. A four-year veteran for the Falcons, Devoe was also third at the county, won both the OAA Red-White Super Meet and Rochester district crowns and placed second at the L’Anse Creuse regional. His final prep season saw him post a 52-6 record.
189: SCHWAN SHADAIA, Rochester: An identical twin who also starts on the varsity football team as a sophomore, Schwan was only a part-time varsity competitor in wrestling as a freshman last season. This season he improved by leaps and bounds and capped the campaign by placing seventh in Division 1. He was also fourth at the county, third at the OAA Red-White Super Meet, first at the Rochester district and champion at the L’Anse Creuse regional. He finished the year 46-16.
215: PRESCOTT LINE, Oxford: Named Mr. Football and Parade All-American in the fall, this three-sport athlete and three-time state placer also goes down as one of the best wrestlers in school history. A two-time state champion at 215, Line toppled Demitrius Renfroe of Wayne Memorial 5-1 in the state title match. Line also captured his second straight Oakland County title back in December and also counted wins at the OAA Red-White Super Meet, Rochester district and L’Anse Creuse regional. He ranks amongst the top five in career wins (185-24) at Oxford and finished 49-0 this season. He also set school records for pins in a season (39) and career (133).
285: NICK GAJDZIK, Rochester Stoney Creek: Perhaps the most dominant wrestler in school history, Gajdzik was state runner-up as a junior at 215 and bumped up to 285 this season and was unstoppable. Gajdzik counted the county, OAA Red-White Super Meet, Rochester district and L’Anse Creuse regional titles among his many wins and even knocked off an unbeaten opponent in the district finals. Finishing a perfect 46-0, Gajdzik, also an All-Area First Team pick in football, captured the school’s first state crown with a 2-1 victory over Temperance Bedford’s Logan Rummer in his final high school match. He added wins at the Walled Lake Northern, Rochester Adams and Monroe Jefferson tournaments. Gajdzik did not give up one offensive point all season and finishes with a 156-15 career record. Also an Academic All-State honoree in football and wrestling, Gajdzik will wrestle at Harvard University next winter.
AT-LARGE: SHAWN SCOTT, Holly: Competing at either 189 or 215, Scott chose 215 for the postseason and capped his senior season with a 52-0 record and over 200 career wins, finishing a stellar 214-26. He was the Oakland County champ at 189, the same weight class he won in the Flint Metro League. Scott also captured the Warren Fitzgerald district and Tecumseh regional titles and capped the season with a 3-1 victory over St. John’s Payne Hayden to win the D-2 215-pound state title.
COACH OF THE YEAR
FRANK LAFFERTY, Rochester: A near unanimous selection by his peers for 2012 Coach of the Year, Lafferty took over an average program and has built it into a top 10 team in Division 1 over the past seven seasons.
This winter, Rochester shared the OAA Red Division crown with Oxford after going 5-0 in league duals and finishing second at the OAA Red-White Super Meet. It marked Rochester’s first league crown since winning the OAA Division II in 1997.
The Falcons also finished 24-5 overall with all losses coming against top 10 teams, and captured its first district crown since 1993, a two-decade gap.
Rochester also placed high at several meets, finished third out of nearly 50 schools at the Oakland County Championships back in December. The Falcons reached the Division 1 regional finals before falling to eventual state runner-up Oxford in a meet that went down to the final weight class (34-30 final). Rochester also cracked the state rankings this season, believed to be the first time since the mid-1980s that has occurred.
Next season, Rochester will bring back most of its starting lineup and key reserves and could be a team to watch in the hunt for a spot in Battle Creek, sight of the Elite Eight every season.
ALL-AREA WRESTLING 2012
103: Justin Kim Rochester
112: Edwin Schlickenmeyer Oxford
119: Josh Wood Rochester
125: Mason Cleaver Holly
130: Anthony Gonzales Holly
135: Kaelen Richards Rochester
140: Dean Vettese Rochester
145: Aaron Morgan Rochester
152: Nick Vandermeer Clarkston
160: Mary Giannola Oxford
171: Cody Devoe Rochester
189: Schwan Shadaia Rochester
215: Prescott Line Oxford
285: Nick Gajdzik Rochester Stoney Creek
A-L: Shawn Scott Holly
COACH OF THE YEAR
Frank Lafferty Rochester
103: Nick Bis, Ortonville Brandon jr.; 112: Seth Birchmeier, Rochester soph.; 119: Tyler Gibson, Holly; 125: Kyle Hill, Oxford sr.; 130: Mike Willits, Oxford soph.; 135: Noah Cantera, Oxford sr.; 140: Rocco Borg, Oxford jr.; 145: Andrew Scott, Holly soph.; 152: Jacob Peasley, Oxford sr.; 160: Eric VandenBossche, Ortonville Brandon sr.; 171: Chris Calvaro, Clarkston jr.; 189: Ethan Frick, Clarkston sr.; 215: Serge Andreou, Rochester Stoney Creek sr.; 285: Matt Smith, Ortonville Brandon sr.; At-Large: Scott Devos, Clarkston sr.; Coach: Erik Donders, Ortonville Brandon.
103: Kyle Noonan, Rochester Stoney Creek soph.; Dan Curtis, Oxford jr.; Justin Schofield, Rochester Adams; Greg Miller, Clarkston; Ethan Lisewski, Clarkston; Trevor Hatfield, Holly; David Moore III, Lake Orion; Kevin Thomas, Troy; John Potwardowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep soph.
112: Matt Lillie, Rochester Adams; Conner Ryan, Clarkston; AJ Shepherd, Lake Orion; Rasheen Hatton, Pontiac; Connor Welbourn, Troy.
119: Cameron Wilkie, Clarkston; Steve Biebelhausen, Rochester Adams; Anthony Moore, Oxford; Trevor Larson, Rochester Stoney Creek; Tommy Keyes, Troy Athens.
125: Charlie Highlen, Lake Orion; Alex Potoniec, Rochester Adams; Jack Dionne, Clarkston; Tyler Dukart, Rochester; Jesse Mitchell, Auburn Hills Avondale; Lucas Carroll, Clarkston; Carson Berger, Troy.
130: Trevor Bourdeau, Ortonville Brandon soph.; Jon Ozerties, Auburn Hills Avondale; Cam Masters, Lake Orion; Joey Gunther, Rochester; Brian Turner, Troy Athens; Gabe Prizer, Troy.
135: Jazz Hubbard, Troy Athens; Jesse Torres, Holly; Ryan Howcroft, Rochester Adams; Anton Letica, Lake Orion; Brock Mather, Auburn Hills Avondale; Deshawn Cole, Pontiac; Josh Rusgo, Troy.
140: Grant Ulrich, Clarkston; Grant Sharkey, Auburn Hills Avondale; Zack Jones, Holly; John Atwater, Lake Orion; Davion Logan, Pontiac; Anson Patricks, Troy Athens.
145: Wes Maskill, Oxford soph.; Jack Addy, Rochester Adams; Dieshawn Stewart, Pontiac; Andrew Price, Rochester Stoney Creek fr.; Max Wardell, Ortonville Brandon soph.; Troy May, Auburn Hills Avondale; Chris Mikhjian, Rochester Adams; Trevor Wiesemann, Rochester Stoney Creek; Dan Sheridan, Lake Orion; Frank Camaj, Troy.
152: Shane Shadaia, Rochester soph.; Jake Pankey, Rochester Stoney Creek jr.; Devon Fulcher, Lake Orion; Jordan Moses, Pontiac.
160: Ethan Gros, Lake Orion; Jamell Humphrey, Pontiac; Jacob Blomberg, Auburn Hills Avondale; Dillon Brancheau, Auburn Hills Avondale; Steve Lott, Rochester Adams; Darren Witherspoon, Rochester; Drew Heathcote, Rochester Stoney Creek.
171: Liam Logan, Oxford jr.; Blake Cuthbert, Holly; Durham Basso, Lake Orion; Austin Denha, Rochester Stoney Creek.; Steve Toperowski, Troy Athens; James Yanik, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep sr.
189: Matt Wilson, Auburn Hills Avondale; Jack Sicheneder, Rochester Adams; John Yeglinski, Lake Orion; Chris Coderneanu, Troy Athens.
215: Adam Myers, Clarkston; Cody Badgero, Auburn Hills Avondale; Mac Boyer, Lake Orion; Alex Holder, Rochester Adams; Charles Walker, Pontiac; Josh Yingling, Troy.
285: Jon Daniel, Troy Athens; Chris Wilson, Auburn Hills Avondale; Zach Wood, Oxford; Luke Haynes, Rochester; Vincent Titter, Lake Orion; David Murray, Troy; Sebastion Williams, Pontiac.
Coaches: Brandon Rank, Oxford; Don Pluta, Holly; Derek Moskovich, Clarkston.
To submit information to www.northoaklandsports.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To advertise, e-mail email@example.com . Follow us on Twitter @LocalSportsFans and more than a dozen other social media networks.
FOR MORE WRESTLING COVERAGE: http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=wrestling&x=10&y=9
Have photos or video of this event that you wish to share? E-mail pertinent information to www.northoaklandsports.com Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at firstname.lastname@example.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Category: All Area Teams, Auburn Hills Avondale, Clarkston, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Holly, Lake Orion, Lake Orion Baptist, Most Recently Updated Stories, Ortonville Brandon, Oxford, Pontiac Academy of Excellence, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Prep Wraps, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Rochester Hills Christian, Rochester Hills Lutheran NW, Rochester Stoney Creek, Top Stories, Troy, Troy Athens, Troy Bethany Christian, Uncategorized