Wrestlers from across the state descended on Ford Field in Detroit last weekend for the MHSAA individual championship tournament. Six Raiders competed in the tournament. With the assistance of Raider Head Coach Mark Holdren, we have provided a recap of each wrestler's performance below.
At the beginning of the year, Caiden had the goal of qualifying for the individual state tournament. When we go to the end of the season, we had to start working on adjusting his goals to include placing as a freshman. He was excited to think that he would be only the third freshman from Portland to qualify and even more excited to think that he would be the only freshman to ever place.
Caiden has wrestled well during the regular season, but he really stepped it up during the post season. During his Regional finals he lost a 5-4 match with Jordan Rodriguez of Chesaning. Rodriguez place 7th in 2018 and ended up 2nd this year.
Next, he wrestled Jacob Orweller from Perry who had beaten the Regional Champion from Reed City 4-3. He had another second period pin to put him in the semifinals and guarantee a top six place finish.
In the semifinals he wrestled Hunter Assenmacher from Ida who was a returning state champion. Assemacher was very tough from the start to the end. He scored a technical fall over Caiden 18-2.
In the consolations, Caiden drew Kanon Atweel of Lakewood. Atwell had beaten Caiden 2-1 in the Regional consolation finals two weeks earlier. At the state tournament he again had the edge over Caiden winning 5-2.
In Caiden's placement match he wrestled Austin Fietz of Dundee who had placed third in the state tournament last year. Unfortunately, he lost a close 5-3 match.
Qualifying for the state tournament is tough to do for a freshman. Because Trent placed fourth in Regionals, he was drawn into a first seed from another Region. Unfortunately, he was drawn into the number one seed for the tournament Corey Gamet of Michigan Center who was 47-0 for the year. Trent was pinned in the first period.
In the wrestle backs he was pinned by Austin Kilbum of Richmond who ended up third overall.
Jared was one match away from placing in the state tournament. He started out with a loss to Pierce Muthui-Edwards of Harper Woods 13-6.
In the wrestle backs he won his next match over Nicholas Dawson, Gladstone 4-2 in overtime.
In the blood round match Jared was down in the third period by two points. He tied the match with about 30 second left by scoring a takedown. Jared had been pushing the pace of the match and had his opponent tired. With 8 second in the match his opponent scored a reversal and Jared lost 6-4. It was heartbreaking, but those are the things that happen at the state tournament.
Kyle was also a match away from placing in the state tournament. Kyle started with a pin over Bryson Jensen of Manistee who was a Regional champion.
Next, he lost to Hunter Mullins of Imlay City 10-2 in the quarter finals.
During the wrestle backs Kyle lost to Noah Babin of Algonac 4-2. Hunter Mullins ended up in fourth place, Bryson Jensen finished in fifth place and Noah Babin placed seventh.
The 160-pound weight class was very tough and Kyle was right in the mix. He wrestled a good tournament and with a little luck would have brought home his own medal.
Zac was another wrestler that was just a win away from placing. He started with a loss to Cole Alsup of Coloma by a takedown in overtime.
In the wrestle backs he wrestled well and defeated Dan McKieman of Richmond in tie breaker period 4-1.
In the blood round he lost to Griffin Barnette of Montrose by fall in the first period.
Owen set Portland wrestling history as he repeated as state champion. For more details on Owen’s accomplishment, please click HERE.
Holdren was proud of his wrestlers’ accomplishments. He said, “I felt we had a great state tournament. For the most part we wrestled above ourselves by bringing a state champion and 6th place medal back to Portland. We had three wrestle in the blood round with two of them losing very close matches. I am proud of these wrestlers.
Photo courtesy of AJ Guilford and Jamie Trierweiler.