BY: Mario FloresContributing Writer
In what has been regarded as one of the deepest state wrestling tournaments in recent years, Mitch Craig of Walled Lake Central and Noah Hosking of Milford were two of six area wrestlers who competed this past weekend in the MHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament at the Palace of Auburn Hills. This tournament is jammed with emotion as everyone is wrestling harder than ever have to have a shot at the ever-elusive title of State Champion. The opening Ceremonies are passionately filled with pride and the energy is electric in anticipation of competition. Last Thursday, 896 of Michigan’s best wrestlers converged on the Palace to crown 56 state champions from 14 weight classes and 4 divisions. The top 8 wrestlers from each weight class earn All-State Honors.
Huron Valley was strongly represented by six local grapplers from four area high schools. Walled Central was represented by 103-pound freshman Kaleb Marion, 112-pound sophomore Daniel Shear, and now 160-pound All-Stater Mitch Craig. Walled Lake Northern was represented by 135-pound Christian Lauderback. Walled Lake Western had a sole wrestler in 130-pound junior Austin Murray. Topping off our area competitors was Milford High School 285-pound All-State senior Noah Hosking.
In the Wake of the International Olympic committee voting to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, these gladiators continued to train relentlessly in their respective rooms to prepare for this competition. Mitch Craig, senior from Walled lake Central, entered the tournament with a 42-5 record and was ranked ninth in the state headed into the tournament. After dropping his quarterfinal bout to state finalist Dean Vettesse of Rochester, Craig responded with a major-decision over Lansing Everett’s Jacqwese Williams 17-7 earning himself a spot on the podium among the state’s best.
Milford senior Noah Hosking took the plunge into the deep end of the pool by moving up from the 215-pound weight class to the heavyweight division at the individual district tournament. By doing so, he declared his intent to compete in the 285-pound division at the state tournament. While most wrestlers are dieting and running to drop weight, Hosking took his 50-3 record and third place state ranking into the tournament with a title on his mind. Although Hosking was not the favorite to win the tournament, MichiganGrappler.com picked him to be in the finals in their individual state preview. The former 215-pounder came out with a purpose winning by pin in the opening round over Paul Scott of Lake Orion. The following morning, Hosking lost a 6-4 nail biter in the quarter finals to Adam Ortman of Temperance Bedford. He bounced back by pinning his Westland John Glenn opponent in the consolation bracket to earn All-State honors. He later lost again to Adam Ortman in the medal rounds to end his career sixth in the state. The palace was also graced with the wonderful voice of the sister of Hosking, as she sang the national anthem at the opening ceremonies to start the tournament.