Division 1 wrestling


D1 Preview: Facundo Seeks to Make Champion's Climb One More Time

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

March 31, 2021

Helping Davison to its first Division 1 team championship since 2006 on Tuesday was just the latest of many highlights over the career of senior Alex Facundo.

And it might have been just the start of his most memorable week as part of the Cardinals program.

On Saturday at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Facundo will attempt to become the 29th wrestler (or 30th, depending on the results of Dundee’s Stoney Buell in Division 3 on Friday) to win four MHSAA Individual Finals championships. Facundo previously won at 152 pounds as a freshman, 160 as a sophomore and 171 last season, and he’ll be looking to repeat at that weight in his final Davison match.

Below we look at Facundo and nine more contenders to watch Saturday in Division 1, plus list all of the top seeds heading into the tournament, champs and runners-up back from 2020 and every wrestler who will make the trip to Kalamazoo with an undefeated record.

Even then, we surely missed a few who will end up making headlines Saturday – but make sure to come back to Second Half late that evening as we’ll interview and report on all 14 Division 1 champions.

Wrestling begins that day at 10 a.m., and this season it’s a one-day event. Spectators remain limited, but all matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv. See the MHSAA Wrestling Finals page for more information and to follow results this weekend.  

119 Caden Horwath, Davison sophomore (23-0) – He’s the top seed at this weight after winning 103 last season as a freshman top seed, when he finished 43-2.

119 Louden Stradling, Battle Creek Lakeview sophomore (26-0) – The 119 bracket is loaded, and Stradling hasn’t lost again since dropping a 7-2 decision to Horwath to finish runner-up at 103 last season.

125 Andrew Hampton, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek senior (31-3) – He missed becoming Stoney Creek’s second Finals champion ever with a 7-3 loss to Dakota’s Brendan Ferretti (see below) in last year’s 119 title match, but Hampton is back as the top seed at this weight and also earned a third place at 112 as a sophomore.

130 Brendan Ferretti, Macomb Dakota senior (30-0) – The top seed at this weight will look to finish his prep career with his third-straight championship to go with last year’s at 119 and his 2019 win at 112 (and third place at 103 as a freshman.)

135 Dylan Gilcher, Detroit Catholic Central sophomore (22-1) – The top seed at this weight opened his high school career last year with a championship at 112 and 40-3 record.

140 Mason Shrader, Brighton senior (27-0) – After finishing sixth at 103 as a freshman and eighth at 119 as a sophomore, Shrader jumped up to finish runner-up last season at 125 and has earned the top seed at his weight this time.

145 Zach Johnson, Brighton senior (25-1) – He’s earned the top seed at this weight after finishing runner-up at 140 last season, fifth at 135 as a sophomore and fifth at 125 as a freshman.

160 Josh Barr, Davison sophomore (22-0) – The top seed at this weight this weekend won 152 last year also as a top seed and is a combined 61-0 over his two seasons.

171 Alex Facundo, Davison senior (22-0) – The top seed at his weight brings in a career record of 131-2 as he wrestles his final matches for Davison before going on to Penn State.

189 Manuel Rojas, Detroit Catholic Central junior (25-2) – He’s the reigning champion at this weight and enters this weekend as the second seed with a combined 71-3 record over the last two seasons.

Other 2020 runners-up: 130 Aiden Smith, Brighton junior (26-1, 112 in 2020); 145 Camden Trupp, Detroit Catholic Central senior (20-2, 135 in 2020).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 103 Justin Gates, Davison freshman (19-0); 112 Drew Heethuis, Detroit Catholic Central sophomore (26-0); 152 James Johnston, Davison senior (22-2); 189 Remy Cotton, Traverse City Central sophomore (25-0); 215 Jimmy Colley, Davison junior (15-1); 285 Jayson Roy, Jackson senior (27-0).

Also undefeated: 103 Caleb Weiand, Macomb Dakota sophomore (29-0); 112 Cole Dunn, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior (26-0); 130 Tyler Herrema, Grandville senior (27-0); 135 Caden Jacobs, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central senior (28-0), 145 Shamar Askin, St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior (20-0); 152 Vance Jackson, Birmingham Seaholm senior (16-0); 171 Avery Dickerson, Hartland junior (28-0); 215 Lu Peterson, Wyandotte Roosevelt junior (23-0); 285 Nick West, Lincoln Park senior (22-0).

PHOTO: Davison’s Alex Facundo, far right, holds up his chart after winning the 171-pound championship during last year’s Division 1 Finals at Ford Field. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)