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Posted: 03/27/13

Wrestlers exceed the expectations
again during 2013 season

by RICK DESOTELL
Observer Sports Writer
      No matter what they accomplish the previous year, it seems the Romeo High wrestling team always flies under the radar when it comes to preseason expectations, but year in and year out, they perform admirably and outperform the prognosticators.
       This year was no different.
       With just a handful of seniors in the lineup, the Bulldogs still went 26-16 overall and were second at the MAC Red tournament and fifth in the highly competitive Macomb County Tournament.
       "I was really proud of how our guys handled the ups and downs of the season,'' said Romeo Coach Jim Cali. "When we had our full lineup like we did at the Holly Tournament, we were really, really good. At Holly, we knocked off Birch Run, who made the state semifinals, beat highly regarded Holly, and went 5-0 on the day. Unfortunately, we didn't always have our full team healthy. It did give some younger guys an opportunity to wrestle varsity competition, though.''
       Individual Awards:
       Cody Martin: All League.
       Tyler Perry: All League, District, and County.
       Sam Cali: All League.
       Evan Richardson: All League, District, Regional, State, and County.
       Hunberto Flores: All League.
       Seth Decent: All League, District, and County.
       Alex Christofis: All League, District, and County.
       Larry Rekar: All League, District, and County.
       Ryan Naughton: All League.
       Diego Rodriguez: All League.
       Austin Espinoza: All District and County.
       Ironman (No missed practices): Martin, Anthony Quas, Richardson and Christofis.
       Never been Pinned: Richardson, Christofis.
       MAC Red All-Academic: Max Lucci, Shawn Malkowicz, Chris Maskill, Naseef Pawlitz, Quinn Walker, Evyn Bryant, Decent, Jordan Forest, Brian Keelin, Naughton, Christofis, Will Jackson, Rekar and Richardson.
       Other Awards:
       Richardson: Captain.
       Christofis: Captain.
       Jackson: Captain.
       Rekar: Captain.
       Perry: Rookie of the Year.
       Flores: Most Improved.
       Brett Peterson: Spirit, Dedication, and Loyalty.
       Martin: Stabley Award.
       Team Leaders:
       Wins: Richardson (52).
       Pins: Richardson (28).
       Takedowns: Richardson (76).
       Reversals: Bryant (30).
       Escapes: Christofis (51).
       2-Pt. Nearfalls: Richardson (14).
       3-Pt. Nearfalls: Rekar (22).
       Christofis: 1st in career escapes (all time).
       "Out of the 29 guys who finished the season 25 of them wrestled in varsity competition,'' said Cali. "Some were thrown in a little over their head, but the experience can be very valuable."
       Cali gives a lot of the credit to assistant coaches, Mike Stabley and Ryan Tiseo, who he said maitained a "great practice environment and positive attitudes" throughout the year.
       "Coach Stabley has a great way of keeping it real and Coach Tiseo helps keep it light," said Cali. "Both are great at what they do."
       Cali also credited the seniors with keeping the "real highs" and "real lows" to a minimum.
       "They consistently showed up, trained hard and helped the younger kids," he said. "They will be sorely missed next year. Fortunately we have 19 kids coming back who have wrestled varsity, four guys who practiced with us all year, and a solid group of eighth-graders coming back next season. We are very excited about next year already. We have middle school wrestling back, our club is strong, and we have a great nucleus. The life lessons we learned and the sacrifices everyone made will be forever in our hearts and minds. We are blessed to have such great kids and supportive parents. It is a great group of people to hang out with. From the team dinners, the dual meets, the long Saturdays, to the end of the year banquet, it was a great time. In the end, everyone helped make this a wonderful season full of great memories.''
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