Trombley Prevents History, Makes His Own

March 5, 2016

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

AUBURN HILLS – Jarrett Trombley ended a bit of history Saturday night at the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

And along the way, he kept his own bit of history going.

The Lake Fenton sophomore beat Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior Devin Schroder 6-4 in overtime, preventing Schroder from winning his fourth MHSAA championship and becoming just the 22nd wrestler to accomplish that feat.

And Trombley won his second straight Division 3 Finals title, to go with the 112-pound championship he earned last year while wrestling for Corunna High School.

"Pretty much everyone knew who won this match would be a (four-time) champion, whether it was me in two years or him today," Trombley said. "I'm just really happy to hold him back from history and make some of my own history today."

It wasn't easy, though, as the match went into an extra period, where Trombley secured the win with a takedown.

"That's why we work so hard, Trombley said. "We were both very well-conditioned athletes; it just came down to whoever had the most heart."


Champion: Anthony Gallagher, Perry, Jr. (42-1)
Decision, 2-0, over A.J. Geyer, Lake Fenton, Jr. (51-9)

After shaking hands with the opposing coaches, Anthony Gallagher sprinted across the mat and jumped into his coach's arms.

He first wanted to share his special moment with two people who helped realize his dream.

"This is amazing," Gallagher said. "My coaches and I put so much work into this. So much blood, sweat and tears, and to finally see what I've wanted to accomplish since the start of the year is amazing."

What's even more amazing is that Gallagher is the first wrestling MHSAA champion at Perry High School in 41 years.


Champion: Spencer Good, Jackson Lumen Christi, Jr. (43-4)
Decision, 6-3, over Blain Wood, Caro, Soph. (51-6)

Good was better than good; he was great this weekend in Auburn Hills. And because of that, the Jackson Lumen Christi junior is a champion.

Good said it was old-fashioned work ethic that helped him come out on top in his weight class this weekend, and it showed in the Final as he took the match to Wood from the start.

"I am so thrilled with this; this is the best feeling I have felt in my life," Good said. "There is so much work and effort put into this sport, and this is the dream behind it all. You put in so much work, to finally accomplish this, it's a big deal."


Champion: Aaron Kilburn, Richmond, Sr. (44-4)
Decision, 7-1, over Trevor Robinson, Shepherd, Fr. (49-6)

Kilburn is a man of few words. He let's his talking be done on the mat.

Kilburn won his second title with a workmanlike 7-1 decision.

The Richmond senior won his first title at 112 pounds at the end of his sophomore season.

"It feels a little different this time since it’s my senior year," Kilburn said "Going out with a bang, that's a bonus."

Even though it was Kilburn's day, he looked back at Richmond history to get through his last year.

"Watching him (Richmond 4-time champion Devin Skatzka) dominate this tournament for four years helped," Kilburn said of his former teammate who accomplished that feat last year. "He just dominated this tournament, and showed me."


Champion: Alex Martinez, Ida, Sr. (45-0)
Decision, 4-3 OT, over Kole Krauss, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Sr. (43-2)

As a freshman, Martinez advanced to the Finals, only to lose a tough match and finish runner-up.

It took two long years to get back to wrestling Saturday night at The Palace for a championship, but that's where Martinez found himself, wrestling Krauss for the title at 130 pounds.

The match went to overtime, and Martinez rode Krauss out for a hard-fought 4-3 victory.

"I got the early takedown in the first, and that's what I knew I had to do right away to win," Martinez said. "I wrestled him earlier in the season, and that's how I beat him then; I got an early takedown in the first.

"Then in the second period I rode him out," he added. "In the third period, I got a little gassed, I'm not going to lie. Triple overtime, I was stuck on bottom all match, so I went on top and that is usually my best position. I got that side headlock, and got it done." 


Champion: Reiley Brown, Whitehall, Sr. (51-1)
Decision, 2-1 OT, over Matt Santos, Saginaw Swan Valley, Sr. (51-2)

It was a battle of returning champions at 135 pounds, and the match would not disappoint, as Brown rode out Santos in triple overtime for the win, 2-1.

"I expected that match completely," said Brown, who will be wrestling at Central Michigan University next year. "I knew we were going to be defensive on our feet. I knew it was going to be close, and I knew it was going to come down to the mat wrestling like it did. Whitehall is known to be dominant on top, that is what we work at."


Champion: Jwan Britton, Whitehall, Sr. (51-2)
Decision, 5-4, over Zach Blevins, Dundee, Sr. (49-5)

Britton didn't get a chance to watch teammate Reiley Brown win his MHSAA title. He was busy in the tunnel of The Palace warming up for his match as Brown was finishing off Matt Santos.

But Britton knew something special happened for the Whitehall wrestling program, and he wanted to keep that feeling going in his match.

And that happened, as Britton beat Blevins on a late takedown.

"I didn't even get to watch his (Brown's) match, but we both had a plan to come out here and wrestle for a championship," Britton said. "My coach said I was better on my feet, so when he was up by one in the third because I cut him early, I knew I could win on my feet."


Champion: Kanen Storr, Leslie, Sr. (58-0)
Technical fall, 17-2, over  Jaycob Sharp, Remus Chippewa Hills, Soph. (50-7)

On a night when several past champions, and a few multiple champions like Schroder and Lowell senior Lucas Hall went down to defeat, Storr, a returning two-time champ, was not about to fall by way of the upset.

"Sitting back in that tunnel, watching all these upsets go down, it's a crazy thing," Storr said. "Guys I thought would never lose, went down. But they may have let up, they might have gave those extra points up that they shouldn't have. Going into my match, I really changed my mindset  to score and get a comfortable lead, to score, score and score."


Champion: Sean Sterling, Dundee, Jr. (47-4)
Decision, 4-2 OT, over Collin Lieber, Croswell-Lexington, Jr. (54-1)

Sterling reached into his school's past for inspiration for what he did Saturday night, earn a championship with a 4-2 overtime win over the previously undefeated Lieber.

Now he will be an inspiration for Dundee's future.

"The entrance to our building, there is a picture of every state champ, and every day I walk into school and look at every single one of them," Sterling said. "And now I am going to be one of them. Knowing that some kid will be looking up at me now, that's cool."


Champion: Foster Karmon, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Sr. (34-0)
Decision, 9-3, over Tyler Childs, Birch Run, Sr. (43-9)

Karmon has had a great high school career that spanned over two schools.

He started by winning an MHSAA title his sophomore year, and then carried that success over to Catholic Central his past two years.

He won his third overall title, and second at GRCC.

"I don't think it's really set in completely," Karmon said. "It's been a good career. I had a good time at Allegan, and a good time at Catholic Central. Each program had upside. A lot of history at Allegan, and a lot of good workout partners at Catholic Central. And a lot of good coaches at both."


Champion: Daniel Thompson, Lake Odessa Lakewood, Jr. (49-2)
Decision, 6-5 OT, over Adam McCann, Midland Bullock Creek, Sr. (53-1)

Thomson picked up a little scouting report from a friend, Lapeer senior Devon Pingel, that helped him win Saturday.

"That helped me a lot. I owe a lot to him, because my focus was to stay aggressive progressively throughout the match. That helped a lot when we got into overtime," Thompson said.

Unfortunately, Thompson's friend Pingel was losing his championship match a mat away from Thompson. 


Champion: Brandon Whitman, Dundee, Soph. (48-1)
Decision, 2-1, over Jared Roehl, Millington, Jr. (44-2)

When two reigning champions meet on the mat, the margin of error shrinks, and the matter of victory can be as little as a little more work and effort to pull out the win.

That was the case when Whitman and Roehl met for Roehl's title Saturday night.

Whitman, who won at 171 last year, found that little bit extra in beating Roehl by the score of 2-1.

"That was tough," Whitman said. "At the beginning of the year we kind of figured we were going to face him, and we knew we were going to have a tough time with him. I knew I had to practice harder to get the job done."


Champion: Quintin Wilber, Montrose, Sr. (48-4)
Decision, 8-2, over Tyden Ferris, Delton Kellogg, Soph. (54-3)

Wilber not only showed his great athleticism during his 8-2 win, but also after, completing a near-perfect back flip to seal it.

And during the post-match interview, Wilber wanted to flip some of the credit to the people he said helped him realize his dream of a title.

"This feels real good," Wilber said after his win. "I went in with the mindset I could do it, and I went in and got after it. I want to thank my (workout partners) for pushing me and getting after me. And to all my teammates, thank you."


Champion: Trent Hillger, Lake Fenton, Jr. (63-0)
Fall, 1:27, over Maddox Maki, Williamston, Sr. (45-6)

Hillger may have had the most impressive weekend of any champion in any division at The Palace.

He pinned his way to his second championship, including a fall against reigning heavyweight champion Maki in the Final in one minute, 27 seconds.

Hillger won his first title at 215 pounds last year.

"Being a state champ last year, I wanted to come back as a returning state champ and not lose my title," Hillger said "I wanted to be aggressive and use my speed to my advantage. Coming up from a lighter weight class, a lot of these heavyweights are slower, and I wanted to go out there and wrestle my match."

Click for full results

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

PHOTO: Lake Fenton’s Jarrett Trombly works against his Semifinal opponent Friday on his way to claiming a second MHSAA championship Saturday. (Click to see more at

Lowell Enters Another Elite Group of Champs with 11th-Straight Finals Win

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

February 24, 2024

KALAMAZOO – There’s nothing quite like the roar of a crowd after your team has clinched an MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals title.

That’s true whether it’s for title No. 1, or, in the case of Casey Engle and his Lowell teammates Saturday, for their program’s 11th-straight Division 2 championship.

“It’s unreal,” Engle said. “It’s something I look forward to every year.”

Lowell extended its record run of wrestling team titles by defeating Freeland 49-21 in the Division 2 Final at Wings Events Center.

The Red Arrows joined the Grosse Pointe South (1976-86) and Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (1980-90) girls tennis programs in winning 11 straight Finals titles. Only East Grand Rapids boys swimming & diving, winning 15 straight from 1948-62, and Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice boys lacrosse – with 13 straight from 2005-17 – have longer Finals championship streaks in Lower Peninsula or statewide competition.

“I mean, it’s possible (to reach 15),” said sophomore Jarrett Smith, whose pin at 106 pounds clinched the title. “It’s hard to predict that far, four years into the future. We’re losing some key guys, but we graduated 14 last year, five this year, so we’re returning some firepower.”

Lowell is always returning firepower, and it’s consistently adding it, too, giving new waves of Red Arrows the chance to raise a wooden mitten. 

That’s why for coach RJ Boudro, each title remains just as sweet as the last.

“Why would it get old?” said Boudro, who has been in charge for 10 of those titles. “Look at the crowd. When I first walked in here, I looked up, and you see that we have more fans here than anybody else, and that’s what it’s about. Next year will be fun, too. When you can still bring crowds in and you can do it 11 years in a row, there’s more to that than just winning. If it was just about winning, why else would they come? They would probably think it was a foregone conclusion. They love the kids; they love the community.”

One could forgive an outsider for believing it’s a foregone conclusion when Lowell takes the mat for the Division 2 postseason, as it’s won the Final by more than 20 points in each of the past five seasons and in seven of its 11 straight championship victories.

The Falcons’ Elijah Murphy, left, locks up Lowell’s Ari McFarland at 215. So to avoid that feeling creeping into his wrestling room, Boudro makes it clear the Red Arrows’ responsibility isn’t just to win on the mat, but to strive for something bigger.

“We’re not doing it to just win state championships,” Boudro said. “We’re trying to find out who we are, we’re trying to be better men, better women, better coaches. So, it’s not just about winning, it’s about being a better person. Whether I’m a coach or a kid, just trying to find a way to be better. When you’re doing that all the time, you get better, but you feel like you have a purpose. Every single guy on the team feels like they have a purpose, and that’s really important.”

Just 14 wrestlers can step onto the mat in a single dual, and the same number is the max a team can enter into the individual postseason, so accomplishing that can sometimes be as tough as anything else for Lowell wrestlers, and certainly helps motivate them throughout the season – foregone conclusions or not.

“One of our signs up there I saw, it says, ‘Tradition never graduates,’ and it’s true,” Smith said. “We just keep the kids coming. Even our B Team, C Team are competing at the highest level. At the beginning of Districts, we had 17 ranked guys, and you can only send 14. So we have just great partners all around.”

Freeland, meanwhile, was making its first appearance in a Final, after getting to the Quarterfinals for the third time in program history. 

“Outstanding. Outstanding. They’ve been giving their all every match,” Freeland coach Scott VanLuven said. “They’ve been doing it all year. We beat Brighton, we weren’t supposed to. We beat (Bay City) John Glenn in our conference, then we had to beat them again in our District Final when we weren’t supposed to. No one gave us really a chance down here, I think. But they believed, and they did well.”

The Falcons (25-3) still had a shot with three matches to go, trailing 31-21. But Smith put a quick end to that with his pin at 106, and that was followed by a pair of pins from Cole and Carter Cichocki at 113 and 120, respectively.

Of the Arrows’ nine wins in the dual, eight came by either pin or technical fall, as Jackson Blum (138), Jared Boone (165) and Engle (190) also won by pinfall. Logan Dawson (132) and Owen Segorski (144) each won by tech. Cody Foss (126) opened the dual with a win by decision for Lowell (22-3).

Fabian Facundo (150) and Bringham Smith (285) each won by pin for Freeland, while Noah Graham (157), Gibson Shepard (175) and Elijah Murphy (215) all won by decision.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Lowell’s Cole Cichocki, left, lines up against Freeland’s Michael Wilson at 113 pounds Saturday. (Middle) The Falcons’ Elijah Murphy, left, locks up Lowell’s Ari McFarland at 215. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)