By Shane Preston
After finishing as a close third in the competitive Downriver League last season, the Roosevelt wrestling team will send a battle tested group to the mats this year in hopes of bringing home some hardware.
The league title was split by Southgate Anderson and Woodhaven for the second consecutive year last winter and Roosevelt coach Brett Greene expects to be in the thick of it with those two powerhouses this season.
“This year we should compete for (one of) the top three spots in a tough Downriver League,” Greene said. “Looking ahead, every league meet should be a battle and the top spot will be determined by whichever team gains the most bonus points.”
The Bears return 11 starters from last year’s squad and will be led by a pair of state qualifiers in senior Jake Campbell and junior Kyle Cox.
Campbell was a runner-up at regionals last season after claiming Downriver League and district titles at 103.
Cox finished third at the league meet, fourth at districts and fourth at regionals at 119 pounds.
Junior Nick Biundo returns to the mat after qualifying for regionals last season at 135 along with senior Jesus Plasencia (171) and juniors Nick McPhall (125) and Dominic Dupree (135).
Roosevelt seniors will include Beckham Caldwell, Madison Mackenzie, Anna Tertal and Zach Tolbert.
Juniors Dominic Baker, Matthew Burns, Pablo Bustos, Jared Deichelbohrer, Tyler Livernois, Emilio Plasencia, Brett Scott and Scott Vargas will all see time this season as well.
Sophomores will include Mike Ferrar, Kyle Preauneau and Matthew Rose.
Other new faces who will be looking to contribute for the Bears will be Alex Biundo, Michael Blackwell, Weston Bridges, Xavier Byrne, Matt Gardner, Nathan Jerore, Dominic Jones, Damian Keathley, Javier Navarez, Lu Peterson, Alex Runions, Logan Stalling, Jadyn Tittle and Joe Valentine.
The Bears opened the season with a quad meet at Trenton on Dec. 5 followed by the Rocket Duals at John Glenn High School on Dec. 8. Roosevelt will host the Wayne County Invite on Dec. 15 to close out the month before returning after the new year to begin the Downriver League schedule.