D1 Preview: Heavy-Duty Contenders

March 2, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Often, the most intriguing bouts heading into a weekend of wrestling at The Palace of Auburn Hills are scheduled somewhere in the middle weights. 

But this weekend, arguably the best matchup could come in a rematch among the heaviest competitors in Division 1.

Keep an eye out for returning finalists Dan Perry of Lapeer and Ali Wahab of Dearborn Heights Crestwood locking up again at 285 pounds after Perry won 3-2 in last season's championship match to finish undefeated and hand Wahab his only loss of 2014-15.

They are two of 10 contenders we’ve broken out below among many to watch this weekend at the Division 1 Individual Finals. Follow all the matches beginning with Thursday's first round on a subscription basis live on MHSAA.TV, and click here for results at MHSAA.com. And come back to Second Half this weekend as we’ll interview all 14 title winners.

112: Max Johnson, Davison senior (27-0) – The champion at this weight in 2014 slid to fifth last season, but he’s coming off helping Davison to the team runner-up finish last weekend and is considered the favorite again.

112: Mike Mars, Westland John Glenn sophomore (48-2) – Last season’s champion at 103 pounds has lost to only Warren Woods Tower’s Elijuh Weaver, who Mars beat in last season’s Final, and another favorite at this weight in New Baltimore Anchor Bay’s Jack Medley.

119: AJ Facundo, Davison sophomore (28-9) – Last season’s champion at 112 might have a few more losses than other contenders, but he was one of the few to win all three of his matches at last weekend’s Team Final and beat an equally-impressive field to emerge a year ago.  

135: Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central junior (38-0) – Last season’s champion at 125 has only one high school loss, which came when he was a freshman and still went on to win the Division 1 title at 103.

140: Dylan Steward, Grand Ledge senior (45-1) – Steward won the Division 1 championship at this weight last season despite a loss at his Regional, and his loss this season came in December to another reigning champion, Dresden Simon of Dansville.

145: Nathan Atienza, Livonia Franklin junior (53-0) – Atienza may have surprised only a bit last season reaching the 140 Final with four losses, but he’s the top seed and favorite this time around.

160: Blake Montrie, Temperance Bedford senior (47-1) – After winning the championship at 152 last season, in overtime, Montrie has again lost only once, to Dundee’s Sean Sterling in December.

215: Luke Ready, Brighton senior (37-1) – The reigning champion at this weight is also, predictably, the top seed this time and is the only competitor at his weight with fewer than three losses.

285: Dan Perry, Lapeer senior (50-2) – As noted above, Perry won one of the most exciting matches of the 2015 Finals and can expect something similar in his final high school match before continuing at University of Michigan next season.  

285 – Ali Wahab, Dearborn Heights Crestwood senior (57-0) – He fell to Perry in last season’s Final only 3-2, and it was his only loss of the season; Wahab can finish with a little revenge on his way to continuing his career at Old Dominion.

Other 2015 runners-up: Southgate Anderson junior Donte Rivera-Garcia (125, 51-2, 112 in 2015), Bay City Western junior Noah Schoenherr (130, 45-2, D2 119 in 2015), Dearborn Fordson senior Abe Ajami (140, 38-3, 130 in 2015),  Kalamazoo Loy Norrix senior Nick May (189, 47-0, 189 in 2015).

Also undefeated: Ann Arbor Pioneer junior Rayvon Foley (103, 54-0), Bloomfield Hills senior Kajuan Caldwell (145, 23-0), Utica Eisenhower senior Owen Donovan (145, 45-0), Hartland senior Sage Castillo (152, 55-0).

More of note: Detroit Catholic Central freshman Kevon Davenport (119, 43-3), Monroe senior Carl Antrassian (119, 52-2), Davison senior Deven Perez (125, 35-6), Oxford senior Alex Hrisopoulos (140, 46-5), Holt junior Kolin Leyrer (152, 38-3), Lapeer senior Devon Pingel (171, 47-3), Davison junior Brenden McRill (189, 34-2).

The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard.

PHOTO: Lapeer’s Dan Perry and Crestwood’s Ali Wahab compete during last season’s Final at 285; they’re the favorites again this weekend. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Performance of the Week: Detroit Catholic Central's Darius Marines

March 8, 2024

Darius Marines headshotDarius Marines ♦ Detroit Catholic Central
Senior ♦ Wrestling

Marines became the 36th wrestler in Michigan high school history to win a fourth Individual Finals championship as he clinched the 157-pound title with a 10-2 major decision over Roseville's previously-undefeated Jay'Den Williams on Saturday at Ford Field. Marines became the third Detroit Catholic Central wrestler to earn four Finals titles. 

The clinching victory put Marines at 50-0 to close this season, and 138-9 for his career. His previous championships came at 145 pounds as a freshman, 152 as a sophomore and 157 last year as a junior. He won by technical fall, pin and then major decision on the way to meeting Williams in the championship match. He also helped the Shamrocks to Division 1 team titles the last two seasons. Marines will continue wrestling at the college level and is considering multiple Division I opportunities.

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♂️POW: Darius Marines #wrestling #individual #detroitcatholiccentral #letsgo #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♂️POW: Darius Marines #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #muhammadali #joker #pasta #japan #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

March 1: Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

PHOTO DCC's Darius Marines, left, wrestles Roseville's Jay'Den Williams in the Division 1 157-pound championship match Saturday at Ford Field. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)