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Posted: 01/02/13

Wrestlers place 5th out
of 38 at county tourney

Observer Sports Writer
      Considering they had just 12 of the allowed 14 wrestlers to compete at the Macomb County Tournament this past weekend at Chippewa Valley, a fifth place finish out of 38 teams is not too bad. Not too bad at all.
       "The inconsistency was a little frustrating at times, but the positives far outweighed the negatives,'' said Romeo Coach Jim Cali. "Of the 12 wrestlers we entered, only four were seniors, so when you look at taking fifth place, we have to feel pretty good about that. The county tournament is big. There are a lot of teams, all the different kids, two gyms, and people all over the place. Sometimes it is hard to keep your focus, especially as a young wrestler. We had six of the guys wrestling up a weight class and a few fighting sickness. Through all of the obstacles, we still showed up ready to compete."
       The top placer for Romeo was 160-pounder Alex Christofis, who took second place despite feeling ill.
       Evan Richardson (140¬≠pounds), Will Jackson (171) and Larry Rekar (189) all took fourth place and heavyweight Austin Espinoza finished in eighth.
       Tyler Perry, who wrestled at 130 pounds, went 3-2 on the day but did not place and Dylan Alcini (140), Evyn Bryant (145), Seth Decent (152) and Ryan Naughton each went 2-2.
       "Austin is an amazing story," said Cali. "A freshman placing at heavyweight is almost unheard of, but he wrestled beyond his years. Larry (Rekar) was close to making the finals and Will (Jackson) knocked off the #2 seed on his way to a great finish.
       "Evan (Richardson) was in the mix in another very tough weight class. He had to beat some really good kids on the way to fourth place and Alex Christofis showed what a champ and leader he is by defeating some really tough competitors while fighting a fever. It was a fantastic effort.''
       Team Scores: (Top 10 of 38)
       1. Richmond 250.5. 2. Dakota 204. 3. Anchor Bay 189. 4. Lincoln 133. 5. Romeo 122. 6. Warren Woods-Tower 120.5. 7. Lamphere 104. 8. (tie) Chippewa Valley and Port Huron Northern 101. 10. Roseville 93.
       Romeo also hosted a B-team tournament over the weekend and the Bulldogs took third by going 5-1 on the day. Romeo knocked off Port Huron Northern 32-19, Chippewa Valley 39-30, Eisenhower 44-24, L'Anse Creuse 39-24 and lost to Warren Woods Tower 30-26.
       B-Team individual results: (119) Brett Peterson 3-2, (135) Shawn Malkowicz 3-0, (135) Anthony Quas 3-0, (135) Quinn Walker 4-1, (152) Tanner Dondero 4-1, (152) Hunberto Flores 5-0, (189) Chris Zanke 4-1, (285) Max Bradley 3-1 and (285) Reece Eller 1-0.
       "As coaches and players, we can enjoy it for a day and then we have to look at where we need to improve,'' said Cali. "We are going to take a few days off, enjoy our families on Christmas, and get back to work. I love the attitude on the team. I don't think anybody was satisfied<which is good."

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