MARTA SANDEE/Contributed Photo
Whitehall wrestler Steven Sika picks up Dundee opponent Todd Olson during their semifinal match at 160 pounds last Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Sika was one of three Viking grapplers to win state titles, along with
AUBURN HILLS — For three Whitehall High School seniors, last Saturday brought the perfect ending to their high school wrestling careers.
The Vikings’ Zack Cooper, Steven Sika and Joe Sika all grappled their way to state titles at their respective weights at the Division 3 individual finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills last weekend.
Whitehall was shut out of the top spot on the podium in 2012 (although Cooper had won titles at Chippewa Hills the last two seasons before moving to Whitehall this year), so to record a trio of victories in 2013 was a welcomed return to form for the top Whitehall wrestlers.
Cooper was dominant throughout his run to the title at 125 pounds last weekend. He had two decision victories, both by seven points, as well as a major decision and a pin on his way to the title. He defeated Blake Russo from Grand Rapids West Catholic by a 7-0 decision in the final match. Cooper finished the season with a 55-1 record and ranked #1 in the state at 125.
Montague’s Smith places 6th
AUBURN HILLS — Montague’s Sawyer Smith had high hopes for a top placement at 152 pounds at the Division 4 individual wrestling finals at Auburn Hills. He entered the tournament ranked second in the state.
Smith didn’t reach that number, but he managed to wrestle his way to the podium, placing sixth.
“Sawyer was a little upset with his performance,” Montague coach Chris Pineda said. “We as coaches were pleased. Sawyer had high hopes of being in the finals, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
R-P’s Stenberg comes in 3rd
AUBURN HILLS — Reeths-Puffer’s Tyler Stenberg came in third place at 140 pounds last weekend at the Division 2 state wrestling finals at Auburn Hills. Stenberg came into the tournament ranked second in the state.
Stenberg beat his first two opponents by technical fall and by decision, but fell in a tight 6-5 decision to Lapeer West’s Adam Nichols in the semifinals. Stenberg got to the third-place match, where he beat St. Johns’ Mark Bozzo by a 4-2 decision to earn his spot on the podium.