March 2, 2012 —
By Bill Mullaly
Hudson will send a school record 11 wrestlers to the individuals finals meet this Thursday-Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills as these Tigers look for gold in the form of an individual state championship. Here is a look at who will be going to The Palace and how they might fare in the biggest high school event of the year for the state of Michigan’s wrestlers. This three-day spectacle is the highlight of the season for high school wrestlers and the Tigers will be well represented.
Five Fabulous Seniors
• Devan Marry is the headliner for Hudson in this tournament. He comes in at 46-2 this year and for his career overall he is 225-16. Marry has already won two individual crowns and those came in 2009 and 2010. Last year he was a runner-up last year at 160. Marry has already won county, league, district and regional titles. He would become one of just a handful of wrestlers who have won three individual titles during their prep career. He might meet Sam Mehan of Sand Creek in the final and it would be a rematch of Marry’s lone loss ever at The Palace. Watching those two go at it would be worth the price of admission.
• Joel Varney is the lone returning state champion from last year who is headed back to The Palace. Varney is now 47-2 on the season and for his career he is 174-43. He was third at 145 pounds as a sophomore and won it all at that weight last year. This year he will go at 152 pounds where he already has won county, league, district and regional crowns. He is favored to win it all but at this time of the year anything can happen.
• James Herron is sporting a mark of 42-7 as he heads north to The Palace for individual glory. For his career he is now 152-73. He has already won county, district and regional crowns this winter. Last year at the finals meet he was 4th at 171 pounds. This year he will compete at 189 pounds and look for him to equal or better his fourth place finish from last year.
• Lucas Sparapani will head to The Palace for the first time in his career and he is excited about his chances. He will compete at 135 pounds where he was a regional runner-up. He has a mark of 35-12 this season and for his career he is 127-64 overall.
• The final senior is Cody Walden who will grapple at 189 pounds and he comes to The Palace as the fourth seed out of the Manchester regional. If he wins the first match against a number one seed watch out because Walden is better than his record of 27-21. For his career he is 65-66 and you know he wants to end his career with a record above the .500 mark.
One huge junior
• Mention the name Zach Rieger to most any Hudson sports fan and they will think of a massive 300-pound wrecking machine who destroys anything or anyone in his path. Rieger is just under that 300-pound mark as he has slimmed down to 285 where he will compete this weekend. He takes a mark of 44-4 into the state finals at heavyweight. He is now 130-28 for his career. He was sixth as a freshman at 285 and last year he was seventh and he will guarantee you he will do better this time around. He could win it all especially, if he can get past Hesperia’s Brett Martin. Those two could meet in the semifinals on Friday night.
Three standout sophomores
• Cole Weaver has what they call “unfinished business” to take care of this weekend at The Palace. He is still not happy with last year’s runner-up place as a freshman at 112. Weaver is now 48-0 and the only unbeaten Tiger on the team. Weaver wrestles year round and this to him is just another meet but don’t let him fool you as this is the big one. This is the showcase event for high school wrestlers and Weaver will be standing on the top podium with the championship medal around his neck for the weight class of 119 pounds. He is now 108-7 for his career.
• Isaac Dusseau at 103 pounds has already won league, district and regional crowns with a record of 36-9. Last year also at 103 he was sixth in the state. He has an overall mark of 88-22 for his two-year career. He could make a long run this weekend and who knows he just might win it all.
• JD Waters is making his first foray to The Palace but he comes in with some strong credentials. He is a district and regional champion with a season record of 41-12. His overall career mark is 63-32. He just keeps getting better each time out and he could be peaking at the right time and he could make a lot of noise this weekend at 125 pounds.
Two Ferocious Freshman
• Roddy Hamdan will go at 103 pounds and he might be the second best in the state next to his teammate Isaac “Spike” Dusseau. He is a regional runner-up with the loss coming to Spike. Wouldn’t it be great if these two meet at The Palace again? Hamdan is 35-11 this year in his first high school season on the mat but he has years of wrestling experience.
•Tyler Roberts will grapple at 112 pounds with a mark of 36-12. He was fourth at the regional but he was a league champion. If he gets past his first round foe at The Palace he could make a great run also.
Good Luck to all of the Elite Eleven Tigers as they journey for personal and team glory at The Palace of Auburn Hills today (Thursday)-Saturday.