D2 Preview: St. Joe's Wertanen, Holly's Gonzales Seek to Climb for 3rd Time

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

March 3, 2022

Only five returning Individual Finals champs are part of this weekend’s Division 2 brackets at Ford Field, and two of them won in a different division a year ago.

But two more of that few are wrestling for an especially elite honor.

St. Joseph senior Nolan Wertanen and Holly senior Jacob Gonzales both will wrestle for their third Finals championships and are among contenders we’ve highlighted below.

The Grand March on Friday begins at 10 a.m., with wrestling through semifinals that evening. Wrestling begins again at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship matches at 3:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Ford Field. All matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv, and we’ll talk to all 14 champions in each division for our Second Half coverage published later that evening and overnight. See the MHSAA Wrestling Finals page for more information and to follow results this weekend.

112 Adam Polk, Pontiac sophomore (34-2) – Last season’s champion at 103 could run into the top seed in this bracket in his second match but has lost only twice this winter, both times by decision.

119 Nolan Wertanen, St. Joseph senior (47-0) – The top seed at this weight hasn’t lost since his sophomore season and can add a third championship after winning 103 in 2020 and 112 in 2021. He has a 149-3 career record despite missing the second half of his freshman season with an injury.

125 Tayden Miller, Mason junior (33-0) – Last year’s runner-up at 119 is the top seed at this weight this weekend and also finished third at 103 as a freshman.

130 Louden Stradling, Gaylord junior (20-1) – He’s pursuing his first championship and top-seeded after finishing Division 1 runner-up at 103 as a freshman and 119 as a sophomore wrestling for Battle Creek Lakeview.

135 Aaron Lucio, Stevensville Lakeshore junior (50-0) – He’s up two weights after finishing runner-up last season at 125 and suffering his only loss of the winter in the championship match. He was third at 119 as a freshman.

145 Max Brown, Whitehall senior (37-6) – The top seed at this weight was last season’s Division 3 champion at 140, and he’s also placed third at 130 and fourth at 125 as his team has moved back and forth between the two divisions.

152 Micah Hanau, Stevensville Lakeshore senior (48-2) – He’s the top seed at his weight after finishing third at 140 last season and winning 130 as a sophomore. He also finished fifth at 125 as a freshman and has a 152-13 career record.

160 Jacob Gonzales, Holly senior (45-0) – The champion at 152 the last two years is top-seeded at this weight and hasn’t lost since he was a freshman; his career record is 171-3.  

189 Kael Wisler, New Boston Huron senior (51-1) – He’s the top seed and seeking his first championship after finishing runner-up at 171 last season and eighth at that weight as a sophomore.

285 Ira Jenkins, Whitehall senior (47-0) – He also was a Division 3 champion last winter and hasn’t lost in two years, carrying a 172-11 career record into this weekend. He was fifth at 171 in Division 2 as a sophomore and third at 152 in Division 3 as a freshman.

Other 2021 runners-up: 135 Gage Race, Jackson Northwest junior (35-5, 130 last year); 152 Jack Conley, Lake Fenton junior (45-5, 145 last year); 171 Jacob Halsey, St. Joseph senior (47-1, 152 last year); 171 Nicholas Blanchard, Whitehall senior (45-2, 152 in Division 3 last year); 189 Carson Crace, Lowell junior (23-9, 160 last year).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 103 Ja'Marcus Smith, Detroit Mumford senior (16-1); 112 Jackson Blum, Lowell freshman (33-3); 140 Jacob Brya, St. Johns senior (38-0); 171 Cameron Macklem, Goodrich senior (42-3); 189 Adam Haselius, Jackson Northwest junior (41-1); 215 Carter Blough, Lowell senior (33-2).

Also undefeated: 112 Connor Greer, Bay City John Glenn freshman (37-0); 171 Mikus Bishop, Harper Woods sophomore (17-0); 215 James Campbell, Mattawan senior (33-0); 285 Joshua Cook, Ferndale senior (49-0).

PHOTO St. Joseph's Nolan Wertanen, top, works toward a pin during Friday's Division 2 Team Quarterfinals. (Click to see more from 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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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.)