Grayling High School wrestling team will send four wrestlers to the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field
Four wrestlers from Grayling High School – junior Max Halstead and sophomores Thomas May, Zach Duncan, and Joe Armstrong – placed high enough at Saturday’s Division 3 Region 9 tournament to qualify for the upcoming Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals.
“Great day for Grayling wrestling. Four qualifiers, one regional champ,” Coach Andy Moore said.
May won the 119-pound division. He pinned a wrestler from Clare to start his day. He won his second match at regionals by injury forfeit. In the finals at 119, May won a 4-2 decision vs. Shepherd to place 1st in the division. May has a record of 27 wins and three losses going into the state finals.
“Good day for Thomas May. He wrestled really good in the top position today. Thomas put himself in a great position for the state tournament,” Coach Moore said.
Halstead took 2nd place in the 145-pound division during Saturday’s individual regionals, an event hosted by Kalkaska High School. Halstead won his first match of the day, defeating an Essexville-Garber opponent by decision, 7-4. He also won his second match with a 7-4 decision, defeating an opponent from Gladwin. He lost to a Shepherd wrestler in the finals to finish 2nd. Halstead has a 38-3 overall record so far this year.
“Max Halstead wrestled in one of the toughest weights today. He didn’t have his best stuff and still came in second place. I look for Max to rebound with a couple of weeks of practice and have a deep run in the state tournament,” Coach Moore said.
Duncan and Armstrong both wrestled at 103 on Saturday. Duncan started his day with a win by pin vs. Gladwin. Armstrong pinned an opponent from Caro during his first bout of individual regionals. Both Grayling wrestlers lost their next matches. Duncan won by pin vs. the Caro wrestler that Armstrong defeated in the first round of the bracket. Armstrong won by pin vs. a different Caro opponent. The wins clinched state berths for both wrestlers. They faced each other in the battle for 3rd/4th place to end their days. Duncan won the match by pin to finish 3rd. Armstrong took 4th. Duncan has a 31-9 record this year going into the state finals, and Armstrong is 36-10 so far this season.
“Zach Duncan was amazing today. He was sick most of the week and wrestled really well today. Zach wrestled up a weight class all year. He would always get the toughest kids to wrestle. I think it prepared him for the postseason success he is having,” Coach Moore said. “I was happy to see Joe Armstrong qualify for the state tournament. He is a hard worker and all the time he put in this season really is paying off.”
The Vikings had a total of seven regional qualifiers. Senior Logan Joseph (189), junior Nick Bluemlein (heavyweight), and sophomore Jordan Wakeley (130) also wrestled on Saturday at Kalkaska but they did not win enough matches in order to advance to the state finals. Joseph posted a record of 30-9 this year. Bluemlein had 22 victories in 2018-2019 and Wakeley had 13 wins.
“It is always sad to see someone wrestle their final high school match. Logan Joseph did that today. Logan ends his career 133-61. He was a three-time regional qualifier, two-time conference champion, two-time conference runner-up, and team captain. He will be missed next season for sure,” Coach Moore said.
The 2018-2019 MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals will be held at Ford Field on March 1 and March 2.