By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half
There is no offseason for a championship wrestler.
And if he’s on the verge of making MHSAA history, he may get only a week off before getting back to work.
Hudson's Jordan Hamdan and Detroit Catholic Central's Kevon Davenport are ready to hit the mat again and train for next year in an attempt to become the state's 25th and 26th four-time individual champions.
Both won their third straight Individual Finals titles last weekend at Ford Field, as Hamdan took the 130-pound weight class in Division 4 with a 10-0 major decision victory over Robert Rogers of Burton Bendle and Davenport won the 145-pound Division 1 title with a 7-1 decision over Vic Schoenherr of Bay City Western.
"This Sunday and Monday I will get in some practice time and then go from there," said Hamdan, who finished this season with a 52-0 record. "It never ends. If you stop training then someone can catch up, so you have to keep improving."
Davenport is ready as well.
"(Being a four-time champ) is always in the back of everyone's mind when you get here," Davenport said. "I got my three in; now the next step is number four."
Davenport said he is open to advice from the 24 wrestlers who have already forged the path of four straight titles.
That historic club increased by two members this year as Dundee's Brandon Whitman and Lake Fenton's Jarrett Trombley became four-timers Saturday evening.
"Wisdom is everything; experience is everything," Davenport said. "Even if there is a little bit that they can teach me, I will take whatever I can get."
If Hamdan and Davenport can become Nos. 25 and 26, they will be the first four-time champions from their highly successful programs.
Hudson and Detroit Catholic Central have each had multiple three-time champions – for Hudson, Devan Marry (2009-10, 2012) and Cole Weaver (2012-14) were three-timers, and for the Shamrocks Trevor Stewart (2003-05), Alec Mooradian (2009-11), Ken Bade (2011-13) and Drew Garcia (2012-14) claimed three titles.
"There is a lot that can go wrong trying to win four," Hudson coach Scott Marry said. "Injuries, sickness, being in the right weight class and keeping your weight under control. I think Jordan will be a good recipient of it because of what he does. He believes in the process and all the training that goes into avoiding those pitfalls."
Added Detroit Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock about Davenport: "Kevon could be the first for us. We have created such an environment at Catholic Central so that these guys flourish in it. We have very committed parents and very committed wrestlers."
Commitment is what all great wrestlers can agree is the key to making it to the top of the podium.
"I will put in the work," Hamdan said. "If I do what is necessary, I will still be comfortable no matter what the pressure becomes to be a four-timer. I will be focused on the goal. It all boils down to putting in the work."
Hopefully that will be enough.
"There is an element of luck involved to win four," Scott Marry said. "But you make your own luck. Keep you weight in control, study your opponents and train and that will help you seize that opportunity.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Kevon Davenport’s arm is raised in victory after the Detroit Catholic Central junior earned his third MHSAA championship Saturday at Ford Field. (Middle) Hudson’s Jordan Hamdan also won his third individual title and receives a salute from the crowd. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Shayna Hruska ♦ Iron Mountain
Junior ♦ Wrestling
With an 8-2 decision win in the 106-pound final Saturday, Hruska became the first female champion at the annual Upper Peninsula Championships, and she then was selected the event’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for going 3-0 also with pins in her first two matches of the tournament. Those victories improved her record to 18-6 this season.
Hruska began wrestling in third grade and finished fourth at 97 pounds as a freshman at the 2021 Michigan Wrestling Association Girls Championships. She then finished second at her District to reach Regionals competing in the bracket with the boys last season. She entered last week’s U.P. Championships title coming off a runner-up finish at the Escanaba Elks Invitational on Jan. 7 and the championship at 106 at Kingsford’s Ray Mariucci Wrestling Invitational on Jan. 14.
@mhsaasports 🤼♀️POW: Shayna Hruska #performanceoftheweek #wrestling #upchampionship #outstandingwrestler #congrats #meetchamp #uppower #mountaineers #ironmountain #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @shaynahruska ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
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Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
(Photos courtesy of the Iron Mountain High School athletic department.)