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Blue Water Area wrestling 2022-23 season preview

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Wrestling in the Blue Water Area is a pretty big deal. Last winter, five local teams won a district championship and 23 athletes from eight different schools earned all-state honors. This year, many of them are returning ready to wrestle for more titles.

Let’s preview the season ahead:


Last year’s record: 23-3 overall, District Champions

Coach: Brian Ranger, entering his 12th season

Key returners: Sky Langewicz, Chris Campbell, Lucky Gartin, Steven Shannon, Alex Bright, David Clemons, Mark Romanowski, Reid Hiltunen, Josh Kasner, Daniel Ladd, and Derik Maciag

Losses to graduation: Jake Kasner, Evan Hiltunen, and Chase Helzer

Coach’s comment: It’s hard not to be excited. We started 10 underclassmen last year on a pretty good team. We may still start 10 underclassmen, but it’s a group that received a lot of experience last year and is a group that has a tremendous amount of talent and potential. We’re going to work hard, stay as healthy as we can, and see where we stack up team-wise and individually at the end of the season.

First meet: Battle for the Belt at Algonac (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.)


Last year’s record: N/A

Coach: Chris Loomis, entering his first season

Key returners: Brent Corneau, Mark Schlanderer, and Joseph Abramovitch

Losses to graduation: Dallas Stanton

Coach’s comment: After years of low numbers here at Almont, we are trying to build the program back up. We start that process with 12 freshmen on this year's squad and zero seniors. Our goal is to improve individually each and every day, gain valuable experience each time out on the mat, and keep growing our numbers so that over time, our wrestling room can compete with the true powerhouse programs within the BWAC. A daunting task for sure, but one that our kids are committed to achieving.

First meet: Quad at Millington (Thursday, Dec. 8)


Last year’s record: 12-12 overall

Coach: Dan Coenen, entering his 13th season

Key returners: Kyle Coenen, Kyle Reppert, Zac Dykes, and Jasper Viviano

Losses to graduation: Byron Peterson, Brad Tolin, and Sal Viviano

Coach’s comment: We have a lot of kids on the team this year, but we are very young. About half of the team consists of freshmen, which is a good problem to have in my opinion. We do have some key returning wrestlers with Kyle Coenen and Kyle Reppert. Kyle Reppert was a state qualifier last year and Kyle Coenen took sixth place at the State Finals. Although we have a very young team, a handful of freshmen are coming in with some real experience and will most definitely make an impact.

First meet: Home quad with Center Line, Royal Oak, and Utica (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.)


Last year’s record: 25-16 overall, Stanford Meridian Tournament Champions

Coach: Joe Lilly, entering his 25th season

Key returners: Jaxon Gonzalez, Joey Scaramuzzino, Berk Boyer, and James Gumtow

Losses to graduation: Andre Penney, Miguel Puebla, and Ethan Durecka

Coach’s comment: We’re hoping to fill all our weight classes and be competitive. The BWAC is very, very strong for wrestling. We are young but looking to improve every day and reach some goals by the end of the season.

First meet: At Romeo (Wednesday, Dec. 7)

Imlay City

Last year’s record: 27-6 overall, District and Regional Champions

Coach: Tony D’Ambrosio, entering his ninth season

Key returners: Cristian Rager, Tanner Land, Dominic D’Ambrosio, Julian Rojas, Travis DuPont, Chris Galiana, Anthony D’Ambrosio, and Latham Perry

Losses to graduation: Cristian Rojas, Austin Herrera, Chris Torres, Lance Wolford, and Aaron Evely

Coach’s comment: We have a lot of first-time wrestlers in the room. I’m looking forward to everyone working together to help each other be at their best.

First meet: Quad at Lapeer (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.)


Last year’s record: 2-11-3 overall, 6th in the MAC-White

Coach: Doug Ferrier, entering his third season

Key returners: Jacob Tunich, Chris Larson, Hunter Grimm, Connor Babel, Colin Sabo, and Colt Melton

Losses to graduation: Kyle Ferrier

Coach’s comment: This looks to be a promising year. We are bringing back a tough, hardworking group that is setting the tone for a large group coming in. Almost 30 kids came out to wrestle this year, which is the highest it's been in a long time. The past few years we have been voiding a lot of weight classes, which obviously isn't a good thing to do if you're trying to have a competitive team. The coaching staff here is excited after watching this group and seeing how well they are catching on and the hard work they are putting in.

First meet: Battle for the Belt at Algonac (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.)

North Branch

Last year’s record: 20-12 overall, Mt. Morris Team Tournament Champions

Key returners: Mason Knight, Logan Pung, and Dillan Murphy

Losses to graduation: Darren McLeod

Coach’s comment: Looking to improve on last season. We have a very young team this year and will rely on those guys. We do have some key returners which will obviously help our lineup.

First meet: At Essexville-Garber (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.)

Port Huron

Last year’s record: 5-10 overall, 7th in the MAC-Gold

Coach: Brandon Wardlow, entering his second season

Key returners: All of our underclassmen returned, and our only sophomore and junior from last year returned as well, David Cartee, and Aidan Buckhana

Losses to graduation: We lost four seniors from last year's team that filled some key weight classes for us, Alexander Brown, Devon Bearden, Zachary Dean, and Matthew Chapdelaine

Coach’s comment: I'm excited to see what the season holds for us. I think we made strides last year as far as improvement goes and we've had a dedicated group throughout this offseason so that's a big help too. We're still a very young team both in terms of age and wrestling experience, but I think we make up for it in our work ethic and tenacity. The team knows that we're still in a bit of a rebuilding period since I've taken over, but they also know that you can win and be successful while rebuilding and these wrestlers are hungry for it.

First meet: Battle for the Belt at Algonac (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.)

Port Huron Northern

Last year’s record: 17-10 overall, 3rd in the MAC-Blue, MAC-Blue/Gold/Silver Tournament Champions

Coach: Brian Michell, entering his fourth season

Key returners: Ben Howison, Bradley Cooper, Caiden Crosby, and Kenny Thomas

Losses to graduation: Andrew Denney, Andrew Howison, Alex MacLean, and Hunter Norton

Coach’s comment: We are excited for this upcoming season. We lost four seniors last year that were major contributors for us every week. We will be a young team, but there is plenty of hard work taking place and plenty of opportunities for our young kids to get some valuable matches.

First meet: At Frankenmuth (Thursday, Dec. 8)


Last year’s record: N/A, BWAC and District Champions

Coach: Brandon Day, entering his 20th season

Key returners: Thirty-eight athletes return this season, led by Noah Harris and Eddie Olsen who were all-state finishers

Losses to graduation: Kevin McKiernan, Wesley Peters, and Matt Dwyer

Coach’s comment: We have a hardworking young group that we are excited to watch develop throughout the season. Our expectations are extremely high.

First meet: George Hamblin Invitational at Richmond (Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.)

St. Clair

Last year’s record: 17-13 overall, 2nd in the MAC-Blue, District Champions

Coach: Jake Scillian, entering his third season

Key returners: Warren Westfall, Nathan Tallon, Robbie Johnson, and Jack Wiegand

Losses to graduation: Maddox Mozal and Donny Bacon

Coach’s comment: We have quite a few seniors this year who are ready to lead, and we just brought in 14 freshmen. We enter the season with a lot of potential and are ready to turn some heads and get noticed.

First meet: Battle for the Belt at Algonac (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.)


Last year’s record: 22-7 overall, District Champions

Coach: Rob Majcher, entering his 26th season

Key returners: Alex McMillin, Robert Harrison, Jeremy Griffith, Landon Sopha, and Cole McLaughlin

Losses to graduation: Easton Moran, Seth Woolman, David Watson, and Masen Joppich

Coach’s comment: We have some key spots to fill in our lineup, but the kids had a great offseason and are eager to step up. We hope to compete in the top half of the always-tough BWAC and advance in the team state tournament.

First meet: Quad at Dakota with Rochester and Lake Orion (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.)


For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli

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