Ferris Wins More Than Bracket with 1st Finals Title

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

April 3, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS – Caden Ferris wanted family bragging rights. 

His brother, Tyden Ferris, was a two-time runner-up at the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals, so with a win Saturday at the Division 4 championship meet, Caden would have one up on big brother. 

The Delton Kellogg junior won those bragging rights and his first title with a thrilling 13-11 overtime victory against 2020 champion Camden Orr of New Lothrop in the 215-pound Final at Van Andel Arena.  

“I was obviously very tired, but I was counting on that he was more tired than me,” Ferris said. “I just guess I had more will to win.” 

Ferris (33-2) trailed Orr 7-1 at one point, and 10-7 late in the third period before getting a pair of takedowns to send the match to overtime, where he secured the winning takedown. As he was trailing early, Ferris said his thoughts floated to the sibling rivalry. 

“I gotta beat my brother in something,” Ferris said of his thoughts. “He never got first.” 

Ferris, who has committed to Central Michigan, came into the meet as the top seed, as he technically already defeated Orr in the Regional Final. Orr (24-2) injury defaulted that match, however. Despite missing the opportunity to wrestle Orr in the Regional, Ferris knew what he was up against. 

“I knew he liked to shoot, and my favorite move the underhook, and I know he likes the fireman that counters that,” said Ferris, who placed eighth at 215 pounds as a freshman but didn’t wrestle in the Finals as a sophomore. “I practiced a lot of defense, mostly offense.” 


Champion: Connor Younts, Clinton, Fr. (28-2) 
Decision, 5-0, over Loreto Frangedakis, Capac, Sr. (19-4) 

Younts already had quite a start to his high school career, helping to lead Clinton to a Team Finals trophy this past Tuesday. Now he can add an Individual Finals title after a dominant performance. 

He pinned his first two opponents on the day, before shutting out the final two, 10-0 in the semifinals and 5-0 in the Final. 

“I’m just excited,” Younts said. “I had to work hard all season. I thought I was going to make it here, and I knew I was going to do good. I thought I was going to win, and I did.” 

Younts was one of an MHSAA-record 11 Clinton wrestlers in the Finals. 


Champion: Coy Perry, Clinton, Fr. (31-1) 
Decision, 3-2, over Connor Busz, Clinton, Soph. (26-5) 

Perry battled a leg injury and his own teammate to claim an individual title in his first season.  

The two wrestled each other four times this winter, with Perry coming out victorious in each matchup. A third-period takedown was the difference in the latest bout. 

“It’s been close every time,” Perry said. “It’s tough. When it gets down to this point, it’s very emotional. It’s on your own, too, because obviously (Clinton coaches) can’t coach, so it’s on pretty much both of us to determine what we do.” 


Champion: Aydan Sturtevant-Roesly, Hesperia, Sr. (25-4)  
Decision, 2-1, over Zak Shadley, Clinton, Soph. (28-5) 

Sturtevant-Roesly wasn’t sure how his season would go after dislocating his kneecap and tearing a ligament in his knee. 

It went pretty well. 

After finishing seventh at 103 as a sophomore and sixth at 112 as a junior, he reached the top of the podium with a hard-fought victory. 

“I’ve been through a lot this season,” Sturtevant-Roesly said. “I wasn’t sure how this season was going to play out for me, but I came out and we did it. It’s everything. I’ve been working for this for a long time, and I really wanted it today.” 


Champion: Randy Frailey, Hanover-Horton, Sr. (29-0)  
Decision, 3-2, over Nik Shadley, Clinton, Fr. (28-2) 

Frailey has been on the podium before, finishing eighth at 119 in 2019, but he always envisioned himself at the top of it. Thanks to a late second-period takedown, it’s now more than a vision. 

“It’s like nothing else,” Frailey said. “I’ve always imagined this moment in my head a billion times. It really lived up to it, and it’s just amazing.” 

After Frailey’s victory, he was able to stand matside and watch his teammate, Chris Sorrow, claim his own title at 135. 

“It’s just amazing,” Frailey said. “We really fuel each other – he helps me, I help him. We’ve come up together, so it’s indescribable.” 


Champion: Jesse Brumm, Vermontville Maple Valley, Sr. (32-2)  
Injury default, 3:45, over Bronson Marry, Hudson, Jr. (25-1) 

Brumm had a 5-0 lead in the match before Marry was injured and unable to continue.  

It was the fourth all-state finish for Brumm, who was third at 130 in 2020, sixth at 119 in 2019 and runner-up at 112 in 2018. 

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Brumm said. “I’ve worked hard, and I think I deserve it. It’s a miracle to me. I’ve done everything I could for it.” 

Marry was making his third-straight Finals appearance, as he was the champion at 112 in 2020, and runner-up at 103 in 2019.  


Champion: Christopher Sorrow, Hanover-Horton, Sr. (25-1) 
Decision, 9-3, over Dillon Raab, Bark River-Harris, Soph. (33-2) 

After placing sixth as a junior and seventh as a sophomore – both times at 135 – Sorrow decided to go big this year.

A seven-point third period, including five points from nearfalls, gave him his first Individual Finals title. 

“I wasn’t necessarily going for that, but if I saw an opening where his weight shifted, I just took it as far as I could,” Sorrow said. “I’m ecstatic.

“Like (Frailey) said earlier, we’ve been training since sixth grade for this. To come here and accomplish this in our senior year together, back to back, is just a great feeling.” 


Champion: Cole Stone, Carson City-Crystal, Jr. (32-2)  
Major Decision, 9-1, over George Ames, Clinton, Jr. (27-1) 

After finishing sixth at 140 pounds as a sophomore, Stone committed himself even more to wrestling this past offseason, and it paid off with a dominant performance in the Finals.

He earned a takedown in each period and added nearfall points in the third to claim his first title against previously unbeaten Ames. 

“I’ve been working hard all year,” Stone said. “I wanted to leave it all out there. I had nothing to lose. It was a great match. I just went in and tried to attack as much as possible. To come from sixth last year as a sophomore to a state champion, it’s surreal. I couldn’t have even imagined this. I’ve visualized this moment multiple times, and the feeling is still there.” 


Champion: Caden Natale, Hudson, Sr. (27-1) 
Decision, 4-3, over Kent McCombs, Clinton, Jr. (29-3) 

Natale was making his third appearance in the Finals, coming off a championship performance at 130 in 2020 and a runner-up finish at 119 in 2019.  

While he was wrestling with torn ligaments in his right knee, he took inspiration from a friend who had passed away to fuel him in a hard-fought battle against McCombs, who was a runner-up at 145 a year ago. 

“I lost a good friend not too long ago,” said Natale, who also had a third-place finish as a freshman. “I wore a shirt last year, wore a shirt this year. I got blood time and I was like, ‘I need to do this. It’s not just for me right now, it’s for him.’ It was an old club team of ours, Inflict Wrestling, and that’s what I do. I just keep going and I inflict damage, and I just pulled it out because I was just better on my feet.” 


Champion: Gavin Wilmoth, Traverse City St. Francis, Jr. (34-1)  
Major Decision, 14-2, over AJ Baxter, Clinton, Sr. (28-3) 

Wilmoth took a giant leap forward this season, going from not making the podium as a sophomore, to Finals champion as a junior.  

“He was someone standing in the way of my goal, and I had to beat him,” Wilmoth said. “I was coached up well for this match, and I just went out and hammered.

“It’s a relief. I’ve been looking forward to this since like seventh grade. It’s a weight off my shoulders, and it feels great.”  

Baxter was also a runner-up at 103 as a freshman and fifth at 119 as a sophomore. 

Division 4 Wrestling Finals 2


Champion: Spencer Konz, Clinton, Sr. (26-3) 
Decision, 3-1 OT, over Shenard Foster, Detroit Loyola, Jr. (15-2) 

In the third postseason matchup between the two, it was Konz who came away with the most important victory. 

The match was tied at 1-1 deep into overtime, and the Clinton senior fought off a leg attack from Foster to come up with a takedown on the edge of the mat and get the victory. 

“I just pulled his arm out and I felt the Merkel,” said Konz, who added his title to a pair of third-place finishes and an eighth-place finish in his career. “I grabbed it, and they gave me two for it.” 

Foster is the only wrestler at Loyola, and finished seventh at 140 a year ago while wrestling for Harper Woods. 


Champion: Brayden Randolph, Clinton, Sr. (31-1) 
Decision, 8-3, over Cole Hopkins, Evart, Soph. (22-1) 

After years of coming close, Randolph was able to add an individual title to his two team trophies. He finished as runner-up at 171 and 160 the past two seasons, and was third at 160 as a freshman. 

He was dominant on his way to securing his title, pinning his first three opponents in 37 seconds, 1:19 and 2:33.  

“This year I’ve been through so much, especially family-wise – I lost my grandpa in November,” Randolph said. “This one was for him. Just getting over adversity through COVID and all that, it means a lot to come out here and do what I love to do, and that’s wrestle.” 


Champion: Logan Badge, Clinton, Jr. (32-1) 
Decision, 3-1, over Hunter Belew, Delton Kellogg, Sr. (33-4) 

Badge moved one step closer to becoming a four-time champion, as he wrapped up a dominant day with his third individual title.  

He won at 189 as a sophomore and 215 as a freshman. On Saturday, he cruised to first-period pins in his first three matches, winning in 43 seconds, 1:22 and 1:12. Belew, who placed fifth at 171 as a junior, presented a different challenge, but one that Badge was able to overcome.  

“Right now, just one more state title to go,” Badge said. “The team is going to be going good for the next couple years; we have a great program. It’s pretty sweet because the guys that are coming are going to help our lineup even more, and we have 11 in the Finals.” 


Champion: Isiah Pasik, New Lothrop, Jr. (25-0) 
Fall, 1:16, over Jake Fischer, Beaverton, Sr. (33-7) 

Pasik moved up the podium with a dominant day. He cruised into the Finals with pins in 54 seconds, 3:35 and 1:41 before pinning Fischer in a rematch of the Regional Final. 

In the championship match, Pasik was able to get an early takedown and take Fischer to his back in the opening minute before turning him again to earn the fall. 

“I felt pretty good,” Pasik said. “I thought I wrestled pretty strong.” 

Pasik was coming off a third-place finish at 285 as a sophomore. 

Click for the full bracket.

PHOTOS: (Top) Delton’s Kellogg’s Caden Ferris, right, faces off with New Lothrop’s Cam Orr at the Division 4 Finals on Saturday at Van Andel Arena. (Middle) Detroit Loyola’s Shenard Foster, in blue, and Clinton’s Spencer Konz battle at 160 pounds. (Below) Clinton’s Logan Badge, right, gains control on the way to his third Finals championship. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Imlay City's D'Ambrosio: Calm, Cool & Contending for School's 1st Mat Championship

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

February 7, 2024

Dominic D’Ambrosio’s answer when asked at 5 years old if he wanted to start wrestling was probably a clue for what was to come.

Bay & Thumb“I remember when my dad asked me if I wanted to wrestle,” D’Ambrosio said. “I think I just said, ‘Sure.’”

It’s not that D’Ambrosio would be nonchalant or aloof when it came to wrestling. He’s quite the opposite, actually. The work he’s put in has him unbeaten at 43-0 as a senior, ranked among the top four at 138 pounds in Division 3, and threatening to become the Spartans’ first Individual Finals champion.

The clue was that D’Ambrosio was going to be calm and cool on the mat, and have a grounded view of the sport off it, which has also helped him reach those heights.

“When I was younger, I got an award for being a cool cucumber – the Cool as a Cucumber award,” he said. “When I lose, I just look at it as I can get better from it. At the end of the day, it’s just a game. It’s serious, the work you put into it, but it’s not so serious. If you lose, you just want to get better. I just like to get the work done.”

To be fair, D’Ambrosio doesn’t do much losing.

He’s dropped just nine matches during his four-year career, compared to 159 wins, and a third of those losses came against Dundee four-time Finals champion Braeden Davis, who is now unbeaten and ranked No. 5 in the country at 125 pounds as a true freshman at Penn State.

D’Ambrosio, right, takes to the mat during his early years in the sport. D’Ambrosio was 14-0 as a freshman when COVID-19 ended the Spartans’ 2020-21 season short of the postseason. He placed third at the Finals as a sophomore, and fifth as a junior.

He has his eyes on the ultimate prize this year, and for a moment he allowed the thought to get him out of his even-keeled nature. But even that doesn’t last long.

“It would be pretty special,” he said. “I’ve been working hard for it. But, either way, I’m just going to go and leave it all out there.”

D’Ambrosio is the son of Imlay City coach Tony D’Ambrosio, which in some cases could create more pressure. But not this one. And a lot of that could be credited to Tony.

“We always tried to keep the pressure low and just have fun,” said Tony D’Ambrosio, who is in his 10th year at the helm in Imlay City. “We just focus on getting better. He’s always just wrestled. It’s just how he is. Dominic doesn’t even look at the brackets. He doesn’t find out who he’s wrestling until he shakes hands.”

What happens after they shake hands isn’t what one would expect from someone who could win that same Cool as a Cucumber award every year. 

D’Ambrosio’s matches typically don’t last long. Of his 159 wins, 105 have come by pin, including all three of his wins at the 2023 Individual Finals. As a junior, he set the school pin record at 41. This season, 32 of his 43 wins have been by pinfall.

Just four of his matches have gone beyond the first period this season, and only two of those have gone the distance. 

“This year, he’s really been turning it all on,” Tony D’Ambrosio said. “He didn’t start pinning a lot until later on into middle school and high school. It’s just basic stuff, not anything fancy. He’s a nice kid, but when he’s on the mat, he’s going to turn you over.”

D’Ambrosio, right, works to pin an opponent. Dominic isn’t a thrower, and his pins aren’t the result of catching an opponent in anything fluky. He’s just meticulous, and able to take advantage of any opening he’s given.

“I’m (working on a half Nelson) 100 times, 200 times during the week, so I’ll be able to hit it during the weekend,” he said. “If I got somebody’s head, nobody is getting out of it. I can just flow really well into a pinning sequence.”

As he pins his way through the season, D’Ambrosio is racking up awards. He’s been named Most Valuable Wrestler at four tournaments bouncing between 138 and 144, and at one point found himself ranked No. 1 by Michigan Grappler at 138.

As you would expect, he hasn’t allowed that to get to his head, and as his father puts it, “the only ranking that matters is the podium.”

With District tournaments this week, D’Ambrosio now can focus 100 percent of his efforts on getting to the top of that podium. But don’t expect the pressure to mount in his house or on the mat.

“It would be special,” Tony D’Ambrosio said. “But, again, as long as he goes out there and just does what he does, and does his best – it’s kind of like the NCAAs, you have to have a good weekend. It doesn’t dictate who you are. It would be awesome, and it’s a great goal to have. It would be a great goal to accomplish and be the first (from Imlay City). But wherever he ends up, I’m going to be proud of what he’s done.”

Paul CostanzoPaul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Imlay City’s Dominic D’Ambrosio, right, wrestles to a fifth-place finish at 132 pounds in Division 3 last season at Ford Field. (Middle) D’Ambrosio, right, takes to the mat during his early years in the sport. (Below) D’Ambrosio, right, works to pin an opponent. (Top photo by High School Sports Scene; other photos courtesy of the D’Ambrosio family.)