• All

Midwest Recruiting: Wrestlers Whitman of Dundee and Trombley of Lake Fenton become four-time champion at individual finals at Ford Field

By: Dan Stickradt, March 3, 2018, 8:17 pm

Detroit – Brandon Whitman dreamt to be a state champion wrestler.

Now he’s more than that. The Dundee senior has joined an elite class.

Whitman wrapped up a stellar four-year career with his fourth state title in Division 3, becoming just the 24th wrestler in Michigan High School Athletic Association history to reach that plateau Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit

“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a state champion,” he said. “Once I won as a freshman, the goal was to win four in a row. I am the first four-time state champ in (Monroe) County history, I believe. And only a small group in the state (history) has captured four titles. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Whitman debuted onto the high school scene in 2014-15, where he finished as the 171-pound state champion. He followed that up with back-to-back titles at 189.

Competing at 215 this year, Whitman only wrestled 27 seconds combined in his first three matches on Friday and Saturday. In the finals, Whitman downed Richmond’s Colton McKiernan, 6-0, to cap his career.

Whitman, who will wrestle this spring at two All-America showcases in Pennsylvania and Indiana, did not allow a single point during the championship weekend and finished his career 202-3, including back-to-back undefeated seasons. Whitman’s only losses are to current collegiate All-Americans, and two of those losses came back during his freshman season and then in his sophomore season.

The Mr. Wrestler favorite and an All-America candidate, Whitman is ranked third in the country in his weight class by three separate sources and will take his talents to North Carolina. 

“I have been looking forward to this moment all along,” said Whitman, who carries a 3.9 GPA. “All of this shows all the hard work (I) put in and the hours and hours of work and sometimes staying late to keep working hard. It was all worth it.”

Trombley joins Whitman an elite class

Lake Fenton’s Jarrett Trombley joined Whitman in the four-time champions club with an 8-2 decision over Dundee’s Christian Killion in the 130-pound, Division 3 final.

Trombley wrapped up a 194-1 career and did not lose a match since midway through his freshman season while he was a student at Corunna.

“It’s an amazing experience, but I think it makes this experience 10 times greater winning as a senior,” offered Trombley. “This one right now because it’s the (title) I’m living right now and it’s my last one. 

“This is something that all wrestlers dream about growing up. But winning four is an amazing accomplishment and something I will never forget,” added Trombley.

Malczewski makes Dakota mark

Layne Malczewski not only capped a fine senior campaign with a 59-0 record for Macomb Dakota, but he also departs as the school’s all-time best.

Malczewski finishes as a four-time state placer, which includes a 225-23 career record. Malczewski was third at 112 as a freshman, third at 140 as a sophomore and fourth as a junior at 160.

“This is the best feeling in the world, going out a state champion,” smiled Malczewski. “It’s something that all wrestlers shoot for, but not everyone gets to live it.”

Cassiday connection

Beaverton’s Kyle Cassiday didn’t have much time to celebrate his Division 4 state championship at 189. He wrapped up a 59-1 campaign with an 8-1 decision over Leroy-Pine River’s TJ Rizor, then got a chance to watch his brother, Eric, accomplish the same feat the very next bout at 215. 

Eric Cassiday followed up with a 4-0 victory over Bronson’s Chase Gibson in the 215-pound finals to conclude a 52-1 campaign. 

“We talked about it, but it couldn’t have worked out any better than this,” said Kyle Cassiday. 

W.L. Central senior continues family tradition

Nick Freeman watched his older brother, Ben, win his fourth state titles last season. Now he owns two of his own.

The Walled Lake Central senior blanked Westland John Glenn’s Anthony Gibson, 2-0, in the Division 1 140-pound title match. 

“It’s so competitive in our family,” Freeman said. “We were always wrestling around at home and we pushed and challenged each other growing up. Now we have all of these titles between the two of us.”

Lake Fenton senior hits milestone

Jackson Nevadomski couldn’t ask for a better scenario to record his 200th victory — in the state finals.

Navadomski of Lake Fenton defeated Dundee’s Tylor Orrison via a pin in 2:59 in the 160-pound weight class in the Division 3 final. 

He quickly ran over to the stands, scaled the wall and went to see his family.

“I got so excited. I wanted to share this moment with my family and friends as soon as I could,” said Nevadomski.

As for adding a new skill in the future?

“I don’t think I’ll be adding high jumping. I don’t think that’s in the cards,” he said. “I was just so excited.”

Catholic Central’s Gilcher covers his tracks

Detroit Catholic Central’s Derek Gilcher defeated Oxford’s Sergio Borg, 6-5, in the Division 1 finals at 135, avenging an earlier defeat. 

Borg finished as a four-time state placer and Gilcher kept him from placing first. 

“I always try to put constant pressure on (my opponent) and wear him down,” said Gilcher. “I think I did that. I wrestled better in the second and third period and wore him down. It feels great to beat him (this time).”

Upset special

Davison freshman Alex Facundo might have finished his debut campaign 34-0, but he was the underdog against Detroit Catholic Central’s Cameron Amine, a two-time state champion.

Facundo posted a 4-2 upset win over Amine in the 152-pound weight class in Division 1. 

“I love (being) the underdog. Don’t mind it at all,” said Facundo. “He was a two-time state champ and pretty good. But I was not intimidated at all. I went after him and had nothing to lose.”