One Howell wrestler continues to state tournament

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Sports Editor: Danielle Hamilton

With winter sports coming to a conclusion, the wrestling season is over for all but just one. Senior Ben Calendrino is the only wrestler on the Howell team who made it past districts and regionals, pushing him to states.

There are two parts of playoffs for wrestling: the team part and the individual part. The Howell wrestling team as a whole did not make it through their district. They lost to our neighbors and rivals, the Brighton Bulldogs.

“It was sort of disappointing that we didn’t make it farther, but all in all it was a good season,” says senior Nathan Pajur, who lost in his individual district final for his weight class.

Howell competed in three different tournaments which they placed well in. They placed second at The Herm Wilkinson Class as well as The Dave Melton Team Tournament and the team placed first place at the Livonia Franklin Invitational.

“We had some major set backs with many key starters missing key parts of the season because of injuries. This allowed many younger wrestlers to have the opportunity to compete at the varsity level,” says head varsity coach Joe Adam, who has been coaching wrestling at Howell for 14 years.

Howell finished off the season with an overall winning record of 16-14. They also finished tenth place in the KLAA (Kensington Lakes Athletic Association). For the 17th straight year, the team earned Academic All-State for having a 3.517 team GPA.

Individual state finals will begin on February 27 and conclude on March 1. This will take place at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Calendrino will wrestle in the 130 pound weight class for division one. His current record is 49-1. In the first round, he will wrestle Keith Lee who has a record of 40-12. Calendrino will have to win four matches in order to come out on top.

Calendrino was inducted into the Howell Hall of Fame after last year’s season. He has been an outstanding wrestler for Howell the past four years and is currently holding second place in Howell’s all-time win list with 179 wins and counting. With this being his last year of high school wrestling before he goes off to wrestle at Eastern Michigan University, he is doing everything he can to be a state champion.

“I’ve been going to different cities to practice with different people and have been studying film on opponents I presume I will have. I have also been reading a book called Mind Gym which has really focused me on the mental part,” says Calendrino.