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Wrestling Preseason Top 20 Individuals: Storr of Leslie ranked No. 1, Parker of St. Johns is No. 2

By: Jeff Chaney, December 15, 2015, 12:32 pm



Michigan continues to grow as a state in the sport of wrestling, proving it is a force to be reckon with nationally.

The state continues to produce top-notch wrestlers that have succeeded at the national level and have gone on to have great careers in college.

Last year former Lowell state champion Gabe Dean of Cornell won the NCAA Division I 184-pound National Championship, joining former Allegan three-time state champion Cam Simaz, who also won a national title for Cornell.

Below is State Champs Sports Network’s Top 20 wrestlers for the 2015-16 season.

1. Kanen Storr, Leslie, Sr. 140-pounder — This two-time state champion will be taking his talents to Iowa State to wrestle for former state of Michigan legend Kevin Jackson and the Cyclones.

2. Ian Parker, St. Johns, Sr. 130-pounder — Parker will be joining Storr at Iowa State. This St. Johns state champion has had a great offseason prior to his final year.

3. Jelani Embree, Warren Lincoln, Jr. 171-pounder — Embree may not have won a state championship last year, but his match with St. Johns and University of Michigan wrestler Logan Massa at the Finals was an epic battle, lost by Embree.

4. Devin Schroder, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Sr. 125-pounder — This three-time state champion will be wrestling in the Big Ten next year at Purdue.  

5. Lucas Hall, Lowell, Sr. 125-pounder — Already has a big win this year, beating Schroder in a tight match in the finals at the Allegan Invitational last week. Hall will compete at Michigan State next season. 

6. Dan Perry, Lapeer, Sr. Heavyweight — Ranked fourth nationally, Perry looked strong last year on his way to a Division 1 state championship in the weight class. Perry will compete at Michigan next season.

7. Trent Hilger, Lake Fenton, Jr. Heavyweight — This 240-pound stud has the move of a lower weight wrestler, but the brute strength of a heavyweight. Could have a huge match against Perry this weekend at the Genesee County.

8. Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central, Jr. 135-pounder — This two-time Division 1 state champion just committed to wrestle for Michigan at the next level. 

9. Max Dean, Lowell, Sr. 189-pounder — Would have been a favorite to win his second state championship last year, but sat out the entire wrestling season with an injured wrist suffered during football season. Dean is expected to attend Cornell.

10. Foster Karmon, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Sr. 160-pounder — This two-time state champion Cougar will be wrestling at Cornell next year.  

11. Brandon Whitman, Dundee, So. 189-pounder — One of the youngest wrestlers on this list, but definitely not one lacking of talent. He’s ranked 10th nationally and already has a state championship under his belt.

12. Luke Ready, Brighton, Sr.  215-pounder — Was a key force in helping his team win a team state title. Followed that up a week later by winning a title for himself.

13. Dom LaJoie, Gaylord, Jr. 119-pounder — This slick lower weight shines on this biggest stage, already winning two state titles. 

14. Ravon Foley, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Jr. 103-pounder — The smallest wrestler on this list, but one with a big heart. Ranked 19th nationally.

15. Matt Santos, Saginaw Swan Valley, Sr. 145-pounder — This returning state champion has already committed to wrestle at Michigan State University next year. 

16. Stave Garza, New Lothrop, Sr. 152-pounder — This beast was a big reason his team won its second straight team state title last year.

17. Reece Hughes, Hartland, Jr. 140-pounder — One of the most talented wrestlers in the state without a state championship. Could win a team and individual state title this year.

18. Dresden Simon, Dansville, Sr. 135-pounder — Gave Kanen Storr his only loss last year. Then went on to win a state title of his own in March. Simon will compete at Central Michigan next season. 

19. Jarret Trombley, Lake Fenton, So. 119-pounder — Transfer from Corunna, where he won a state title last year. 

20. Landon Pelham, Tecumseh, Sr. 215-pounder — Like Hughes above him, well decorated wrestler still looking for that first state title. Pelham will compete at Central Michigan next season.