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D'Ambrosio, Gonzalez hit the mats running this season with 100 career wins

The Imlay City wrestling team traveled to Williamston for the Johnson and Monette Memorial Duals on Saturday where the Spartans won four of their five duals. Highlighting the team was senior Anthony D’Ambrosio who picked up his 100th career win.


“I was super excited. I knew I was pretty close last year, so I planned on getting it early this year,” D’Ambrosio said.

Anthony D'Ambrosio celebrates his 100th career win on Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

D’Ambrosio (157-lbs) finished his junior season with an eighth-place finish at the MHSAA Division 3 State Finals and his 100th career win in sight. After starting the season 5-4 against some of the top Division 1 teams in the state such as Detroit Catholic Central and Romeo, he took to the mat this weekend with the goal of going 5-0 and picking up the milestone victory.


And he did just that. Two of his opponents voided their matches, he pinned two others, and won once by a 9-1 major decision.


After being limited to 11 matches his freshman year due to Covid, D’Ambrosio said 150 career wins would be tough–although not impossible. And with the momentum of last year’s historic regional-championship season and a tough early-season schedule this year, he and his teammates are more motivated than ever.


“We’re gone straight to the hammer this season with tougher opponents,” D’Ambrosio said. “Last season’s definitely going to be hard to top. We’ll just have to do it again and do it better.”


Anthony's younger brother Dominic D'Ambrosio, a junior, also went 5-0 on the day at 132-lbs, and so did senior Julian Rojas (126-lbs).


Imlay City is currently ranked No. 9 in the state for Division 3 wrestling teams, and joining the Spartans in the top 10 are Algonac (No. 3), Richmond (No. 4), and Yale (No. 10), reminding everyone in the state just how competitive the sport is within the BWAC. It also will make for some exciting conference matches come January.


“Even the teams who aren’t ranked have their own stellar individual wrestlers,” D’Ambrosio said.

Jaxon Gonzalez with his coaches Jon Gelinski, Joe Lilly, and Harry Barnhart after his 100th career win.

Wrestlers such as Jaxon Gonzalez, a senior from Croswell-Lexington who returns as an all-state athlete himself and just picked up his 100th career win on Saturday as well.


“I was pretty excited. It’s been a dream of mine since freshman year after seeing all the other guys get 100 wins and having their name put on the list,” Gonzalez said. “It was a great experience.”


The Pioneers traveled to the Blue Devil Classic at Gull Lake High School where they went 3-2 as a team with wins over Paw Paw, Hastings, and Plainwell, led by Gonzalez who went 5-0.

“Coming into the tournament, I had my mind set on one thing and that was getting 100 wins and going 5-0,” he said. “I was pretty dead set on making sure I won every match.”


Which he did: three times by pin, once by a 17-5 major decision, and another time by an 8-5 decision. It was his fourth match of the day against Paw Paw when he won by pin in 34 seconds.


Juniors Gabe Dove (215-lbs) and Joey Scaramuzzino (190-lbs) also went 5-0 on the day.

“It means a lot. I’ve been working at it since freshman year. Vincent Scaramuzzino (’21) and Ben Davis (’21) inspired me to strive to be as good as they were,” Gonzalez said. “It’s like a little boost to help keep me going. Realizing that I’ve got one goal acocompished and I want the next one.”


And that would be to win a state title.


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


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