25 Michigan High School Wrestlers You Need To Know

25 Michigan High School Wrestlers You Need To Know

The high school season begins Wednesday in Michigan. Here are 25 of the state's best wrestlers you need to watch this season.

Dec 8, 2021 by Mark Spezia
25 Michigan High School Wrestlers You Need To Know
High school wrestling begins Wednesday in Michigan.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

High school wrestling begins Wednesday in Michigan. 

Here are 25 of the state's best wrestlers worth watching this season:

Logan Badge (Clinton) — senior, 189 pounds 

The Central Michigan recruit finished 37-0 and captured his third Division 4 state championship. Badge can join Fowlerville's Adam Coon (2010-13) as Michigan's only four-time state champions at weights 189 or above. That will not be easy, however, with Clinton moving to Division 3 this season. Badge boasts a 105-3 career mark. 

Josh Barr (Davison) — junior, 171 pounds 

Barr, ranked second nationally at 160 pounds, won his first Fargo title this year, finishing atop the 160-pound freestyle division. He bested #4 Aiden Riggins, an Iowa state champion, in the title match. Barr also knocked off two-time Wisconsin state champion Braeden Scoles, ranked seventh nationally. Last season, he won a state title and finished unbeaten for the second straight year with a 28-0 mark. He has gone 67-0 the past two seasons. Barr has announced his the top five schools on his recruiting list — Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa and Virginia Tech.

Jackson Blum (Lowell) — freshman, 112 pounds 

Blum, ranked 15th in the country at 113 pounds, is arguably the state's top freshman. 

This fall, he was Grappler Fall Classic champion, defeating three state champions in the process. Blum also went 5-2 at Super 32, beating 2021 Michigan state champion Drew Heethius (Detroit Catholic Central) along the way. Blum competed in Fargo this year as well, shutting out Minnesota state champion Jack Nelson. 

Jacob Brya (St. Johns) — senior, 140 pounds 

After winning Division 2 state championships as a freshman and sophomore, Brya was unable to compete last season. The Northern Illinois recruit is chasing a third title this season. He boasts an 83-2 career record.

Jimmy Colley (Davison) — senior, 215 pounds 

Colley captured a state championship last season after placing third as a sophomore and fourth as a freshman. He was 20-2 last season and owns a 71-18 high school mark. 

Remy Cotton (Traverse City Central) — junior, 189 pounds 

Details: Cotton, ranked 14th in the nation at 182, went 28-1 last season, his only loss coming in the Division 1, 189-pound state title match to Detroit Catholic Central's Manny Rojas. Cotton had beaten Rojas earlier in the season. Cotton was also seventh in the state as a freshman and owns a 70-11 career record. 

Braeden Davis (Dundee) — junior, 119 pounds 

Davis, #1 in the 113-pound national rankings, captured the 113-pound Junior freestyle title in Fargo, becoming just the second Michigan wrestler to win both Cadet and Junior freestyle championships there. In September, he knocked off New Jersey's Leo Deluca, ranked fifth nationally, at Who's #1. Davis is a two-time state champion and finished last season 29-0, winning every match by pin or technical fall. He owns a 67-4 career mark. 

Omari Embree (Warren Woods-Tower) — senior, 189 pounds 

Embree was unable to compete in last season's regional tournament, ending his quest for a third Division 2 state championship. Embree brings an 80-10 career record into this season. He will be playing college football next season at Army. 

Justin Gates (Davison) — sophomore, 119 pounds 

Gates capped a perfect freshman season with a 26-0 record (12 pins) and the Division 1, 103-pound state championship. This fall, he was third at both the Brian Keck Preseason Nationals and IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Nationals.

Zach Gibson (Lake Odessa Lakewood) — senior, 130 pounds 

Gibson captured a Division 3 state championship last season, finishing 33-1. He was fifth in the state the previous two seasons and owns a 124-16 career record, 77-6 the past two years.

Dylan Gilcher (Detroit Catholic Central) — junior, 140 pounds 

Gilcher is ranked 10th in the nation at 138 pounds. He beat nationally-ranked state champions Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania, #7 at 138) and Ryder Block (Iowa, #17 at 132) at the Cadet World Trials last spring. He won his second straight state championship last season, finishing 29-1. He lost only to unbeaten, Division 1 140-pound state champion Mason Shrader (Brighton). Gilcher owns a 69-4 high school record.

Jacob Gonzalez (Holly) — senior, 160 pounds 

Gonzales, a Brown recruit, captured his second consecutive state championship and finished the season unbeaten for the second straight year (21-0). He is ranked #17 nationally at 152 and boasts a 127-3 high school record. Gonzalez finished seventh in the 152-pound freestyle competition in Fargo for All-American honors, knocking off Kansas' Dylan Elmore, ranked #19 nationally. Along the way, Gonzales also bested Michael Kilic, a two-time Georgia state champion who is ranked #11 in the nation. 

Drew Heethius (Detroit Catholic Central) — junior, 119 pounds 

Ranked 16th nationally at 113, Heethius went 30-0 last season, capturing a Division 1, 112-pound state title. He was also third in the state as a freshman and owns a 70-8 career record. Heethius was 4-2 at Super 32, knocking off Wisconsin state champion Noah Tonsor. Last summer, he finished seventh in Fargo to become an All-American, beating four-time Idaho state champion and Kent State recruit Cade Orr along the way. 

Caden Horwath (Davison) — junior, 125 pounds 

Horwath is ranked sixth nationally at 113, but he should wrestle at this weight in Davison's lineup. He finished eighth in Fargo for All-American honors, despite losing his final two matches by injury default. Horwath won a second straight state championship last season and finished 27-0 and boasts a 70-2 career mark. 

Ira Jenkins (Whitehall) — senior, 285 pounds 

Jenkins couldn’t have been much more dominating last season, pinning 40 of 42 opponents on the way to a Division 1, 215-pound state championship. The University of Michigan signee needed just a combined four minutes and 17 seconds to finish off his four state-tournament foes and finish 38-0. Jenkins also placed fifth in the state at 171 as a sophomore and was third at 152 as a freshman. He has a 125-11 career record.

Ryker Johnecheck (Williamston) — senior, 135 pounds 

Johnecheck, who was committed to Air Force, won his second straight Division 3 state championship last season, finishing 27-0. The three-time state qualifier's career mark is 119-10, including 71-2 the past two seasons. He posted a combined 6-4 record in freestyle and Greco in Fargo.

Darius Marines (Detroit Catholic Central) — sophomore, 152 pounds 

Marines capped his freshman season with the Division 1 145-pound state championship and a 17-2 record. He was one of only two Division 1, freshman state champions. Marines finished third at the Grappler Fall Classic. 

Bronson Marry (Hudson) — senior, 140 pounds 

After helping Hudson to its first football state championship since 2010, Marry is taking aim at his second wrestling state title in three years. He won a Division 4, 112-pound crown as a sophomore before placing second at 130 last season. Marry was also second in the state as a freshman. His career record is 98-16 and 63-7 in the past two seasons.

Isaiah Pasik (New Lothrop) — senior, 285 pounds 

Pasik finished 25-0 last season, winning a Division 4 state championship. He was also third in the state as sophomore, beating future Division 2 state champion Jayson Roy (Jackson). 

Pasik, a three-time state qualifier, owns a 107-13 career record, including 68-3 the past two years.  

Manny Rojas (Detroit Catholic Central) — senior, 189 pounds 

Ranked 12th in the national pound-for-pound rankings and #4 at 170, Rojas captured his first Fargo crown this summer as a Junior at 170 pounds after placing second twice as a Cadet. The Iowa State recruit bested Brayden Thompson, ranked #6 at 170, of Illinois in the final. Rojas also knocked off state champions Brody Baumann (Indiana) and Sabino Portella (New Jersey). Rojas avenged an earlier loss to Traverse City Central's Cotton, ranked #14 in the nation at 182, for his second straight state championship. Rojas was 32-2 last season, including a win over Division 1, 215-pound state champion Jimmy Colley (Davison). The three-time state qualifier has a 99-12 career high school mark.

Jamarcus Smith (Detroit Mumford) — senior, 103 pounds 

Smith, currently ranked 15th in the nation at 106 pounds, was only able to wrestle 11 matches last season, but still finished 8-3 and was fifth in the Division 2 state tournament. The three-time state qualifier owns a 70-8 career record and went 3-2 at Super 32, knocking off several state placers.

Casey Swiderski (Dundee) — senior, 145 pounds 

Swiderski is #1 in the 138-pound national rankings and 17th pound-for-pound. The Iowa State signee pulled off a shocker at Who's #1, edging Indiana's Jesse Mendez, then-#1 pound-for-pound, 7-6. Swiderski also finished second in the 138-pound freestyle competition in Fargo. He racked up some impressive wins, including against New Jersey state champion Ty Whalen, #5 nationally at 145, and New York state champion and 12th-ranked Rocco Camillaci. 

Swiderski captured a third state championship last season and finished 30-0. He has a 115-3 high school record. 

Caleb Weiand (Macomb Dakota) — junior, 103 pounds 

Weiand finished second in the state in Division 1 last season. His lone loss came in the state title match against Davison's Justin Gates, who has moved up to 119. Weiand, also a state qualifier as a freshman, finished 31-1 last season and owns a 68-16 career record. 

At AAU Scholastic Duals in June, Weiand beat Sloan Johannsen, a South Dakota state champion and Fargo All-American. 

Nolan Wertanen (St. Joseph) — senior, 119 pounds 

Wertanen is seeking a third straight state title after going 35-0 last season and winning the Division 2, 112-pound crown. He has an 81-2 record the past two seasons. 

Orion Wilson (Macomb Dakota) — junior, 112 pounds 

Wilson finished third in the state in Division 1 last season, posting a 30-5 record. He improved from sixth as a freshman and takes a 73-17 career record into this season. Wilson was sixth in the Grappler Fall Classic, knocking off state champions Sloan Johannsen (South Dakota) and Christian Guzman (Florida) in the process.