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February 26, 2014

Roseville High grapplers have eyes on the prize going into state finals

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Roseville High senior wrestler Jeff Fresch, left, is one of two Panthers competing in the 2014 MHSAA state finals. Fresch is pictured during a Feb. 15 regional match.

ROSEVILLE — Roseville High senior wrestlers Jeff Fresch and Tyler Petrone are no strangers to the Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals.

Both grapplers have qualified for the finals, set for Feb. 27-March 1 at The Palace of Auburn Hills, for the second time. Fresch, wrestling at 145 pounds, finished third in his weight class at a Division 1 regional to qualify for the state finals. Petrone, battling at 189 pounds, also placed third in his weight class to advance.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class at regionals advance to the state finals. The top eight placers in each weight class in Division 1-4 earn All-State honors at the state finals.

Each wrestler said their previous experience was enjoyable, adding that they will be more focused this time around.

“Last year, I was taking it all in,” said Fresch, who has a 26-17 record. “The ceremonies and everything. It just gets your nerves going. I thought there’d be a little bit of pressure on me going back, but my coaches told me to wrestle with no pressure, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Petrone said he learned the competition at the state finals is fierce.

“You have to be ready to go,” said Petrone, who will take a 45-4 record into the finals. “It’s all fun and games until you step out onto the mat, but last year’s appearance was one of the best times of my life.”

Each wrestler will take a different approach into this year’s competition.

Fresch said he will go in with a more calm approach and put more of an emphasis on his matches instead of the atmosphere.

Petrone’s focus is more on technique. He said keeping good position to avoid giving up points will be his emphasis.

“Now, I know what the state finals are all about,” Fresch said. “I’m going to go in looking to win.”

Winning a state title is the ultimate goal; however, both wrestlers feel earning All-State honors would be a good feather in their caps.

“Finishing anywhere on the podium would be a good finish to my career here,” Petrone said.

“I definitely want to wrestle in college,” Fresch said, “and earning All-State honors would definitely be something to hang my hat on.”

For pairings and match times, check www.mhsaa.com

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.