Four Indians earn All-State wrestling honors
Four Tecumseh High School wrestlers earned All-State honors at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division II Individual State finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Saturday, March 2.
Finishing in the Top 8 of their respective weight classes gave Tecumseh senior Joe Rebottaro (285), juniors Ricky Azelton (103) and Preston Pelham (215), and freshman Landon Pelham (189) All-State honors.
Tecumseh’s head coach Tony Greathouse said that Landon Pelham made history by becoming the first ever freshman to earn All-State honors in the Indian’s wrestling program.
Landon Pelham won his first round match by pinning Dakota Sherrick of Greenville (4:33) before losing by decision (18-14) to Ryan Casey of Niles in the quarterfinals.
He then went 2-2 in the consolation bracket to finish sixth in the state at 189-pounds. Landon Pelham defeated Hunter McCoy of Dearborn Heights Annapolis by Major Decision (16-6) and Cameron Stoel of Hamilton by decision (9-4) before losing by pin (2:14) to the eventual third place finisher, Mike Hovater of Chelsea.
Landon Pelham finished his historic season with a new Tecumseh High School freshman record of 47-13.
Rebottaro placed fifth at 285-pounds to improve on his eighth place finish last year. Rebottaro won his first two matches of the tournament, defeating Wade Stacey of Vicksburg by Major Decision (14-3) and Billy Belcher of Spring Lake 2-1 in overtime to advance to the championship semifinals. After advancing, he lost 5-3 in overtime to Trent Hurd of Eaton Rapids. Rebottaro then went 1-1 in the consolation bracket to finish fifth overall, losing 3-2 in overtime to Colton Pfaendtner of Saint Clair but defeating Billy Belcher of Spring Lake 6-1 in overtime.
Rebottaro went 48-11 during his final season with the Indians.
Also finishing fifth for the Indians was Azelton at 103-pounds. It was his first all-state honor after finishing just one match from placing at state last year.
Azelton won his first match by Tech-Fall (18-1, 5:24) over Devin Bisard of Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills but was pinned (5:37) by eventual runner-up Ian Parker of Saint Johns in the quarterfinals. Azelton battled back with two straight consolation victories, 4-2 against Brandon Arend of Saint Joe and 8-4 against Michael Higley, Edwardsburg, to guarantee a Top 6 finish before falling by Major Decision (14-4) to Foster Karmon of Allegan in the consolation semifinals. Azelton won his fifth place bout (5-2) over Bryan Lavearn of Ortonville Brandon.
Azelton finished the season with a record of 40-16.
Junior Preston Pelham notched his first all-state honor at 215-pounds. He won his first round match by Tech-fall (18-0, 4:07) against Shane Skorupski of Spring Lake, and then lost by Major Decision (13-3) to Jordan Haggerty of Petoskey in the quarterfinals. He came back with a hard-fought win by pin in overtime against Joe Perry of Lapeer East in the consolation bracket to earn All-State honors. Pelham rounded out the tournament going 1-1 in his final two matches to finish seventh. He lost 3-1 to Chase Challender of Charlotte but defeated Jacob Alarie of Bay City Western 2-1 to place seventh.
Preston Pelham finished his junior season with a record of 49-11.
Tecumseh seniors Anthony Lesko and Cole Amstutz both made their second consecutive appearances at the state tournament but fell just short of placing.
In addition to his opponents, Lesko (47-9) was battling a shoulder injury that plagued him the last month of the season. Despite his injury, Lesko went 1-1 in his first two 145-pound matches before losing 8-1 to Grant Sharkey of Auburn Hills Avondale in a rematch of the regional finals.
Amstutz (39-12) found himself on the losing end of back-to-back nail biter matches at 160-pounds. He lost by 5-4 and 4-2 decisions.