By Dan Robelen / WLD
As the season got rolling, Dexter’s wrestlers and coaches set a series of goals for the season. One of those goals was to place in their home tournament, the challenging Al Ritt Invitational.
On Saturday, that long-awaited goal became an achievement. With a 4-1 record on the day, Dexter took second in the Al Ritt Invitational.
“It’s nice to achieve a goal like this,” said Dexter head coach Matt Chisolm. “I think with a little work, we’ll take first next time.”
Principal Craig McCalla, who runs the tournament, commented, “I’m not sure when the last time was we placed at this tournament.”
Dexter picked up dominant wins over Ann Arbor Pioneer (74-6) and Lincoln Ypsilanti (72-5) and another over the wildcat team (68-6) put together from junior varsity wrestlers from all the teams. Their only loss came in a closer-than-the-score 26-42 match with perennial powerhouse Belleville.
The Dreadnaughts finished the day with a scrappy win against another strong team, Hanover Horton.
Senior Mark Young continued his season-long unbeaten streak, and senior Jasper Howell notched his 100th high school career win. “That was very exciting,” Coach Chisolm said. “Jasper has worked for a long time to get where he is right now.”
Jasper said he was “very appreciative” of his support system. “I didn’t expect this much support from everyone,” he said. “It was all really cool seeing people react. Even a random guy from Hanover Horton came over and shook my hand and congratulated me on getting my 100th win.”
At the tournament, Dexter awards the Al Ritt award. It goes to a Dexter wrestler who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership, and success on the mat. This year, the award went to senior Dylan Lorincz.
Along with his academics and wrestling wins, Chisolm emphasized the effect Lorincz has on the team. “Just the teammate that he is, the role model that he presents in the wrestling room. He’s always the first one there and the last one to leave. He’s always encouraging his teammates, being a good mentor,” Chisolm said.
The significance of the award was not lost on Dylan. “It means a lot, considering how many not just great wrestlers, but good people, have won the award before me,” he said.
The Al Ritt Invitational leaves Dexter’s duel record at 12-2 for the season. They travel to Monroe on Wednesday night for an SEC quad meet, then compete in the Mike Kelly Invitational at Fowlerville on Saturday.
There are more goals to be achieved, but keeping a trophy at the Al Ritt Invitational checks another box on the team’s ambitious list for the season.