Randy Frailey, right, of Hanover-Horton High School defeated Nik Shadley of Clinton 3-2 in the 125-pound weight class state finals at Van Andel Arena on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
(April 4, 2021 12:01 PM) A handful of years ago Hanover-Horton High School didn’t have a junior high wrestling program, had a hard time finding someone to coach a varsity team, and spent a number of years as a coop program with Vandercook Lake.
But a MYWAY program – Hanover-Horton Comet Youth Wrestling – was about to change all that.
Saturday at Van Andel Arena introduced a new era for the school in wrestling circles.
Seniors Chris Sorrow and Randy Frailey won Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 individual wrestling state championships.
Frailey finished the season with a perfect 29-0 record in winning the state title at 125 pounds. He defeated Nik Shadley of Clinton 3-2 in the finals on Saturday.
Teammate Sorrow won the school’s second state title – in history – on the same mat 10 minutes later with a title at 135 pounds. He defeated Dillon Raab of Bark-River Harris 9-3 in the finals.
Sorrow finished the season with a 25-1 record, having missed part of the season with a positive COVID-19 test.
A total of nine Jackson County wrestlers earned all-state honors Saturday during the state championships at Grand Rapids. Wrestlers had to finish in the top eight of their respective weight classes to earn all-state medals.
Reid Garcia of Lumen Christi finished the season with a 23-9 record, good for sixth place at 125 pounds; Conor Fitzpatrick of Lumen Christi was fifth at 130 pounds finishing with a 29-3 record; Springport wrestler Gavin Caudill was eight at 130 pounds with a 20-9 record; Trenton Holden of Grass Lake placed third at 171 pounds finishing with a 28-2 record; Barak Haring of Springport finished fifth at 189 pounds with a 22-9 record; Trent Hocter of Hanover-Horton (18-3) was sixth at 189 following an injury in the semifinal round; Wally Gilbert of Lumen Christi placed third at 285 pounds finishing the season with a 30-2 record.
Hanover-Horton Coach Doug Cure said the Comets have lost a great senior class, but there are more coming.
“It was a really good day for us, but we still have a lot of youth in the wrestling room,” Cure said. “We are there … we are not going away.”
Sorrow wrestled right after Frailey on the same mat at Van Andel. He was inspired by his teammate’s win.
“I saw Randy win and it gave me a boost,” Sorrow said. “But that is how we have built the program, having a family connection.
“We just kept motivating everyone and coming together as a team.”
The senior struggled with a positive COVID-19 test early in the season, but learned to follow the guidelines.
“Staying away from other people has been tricky,” Sorrow said. “Some of us went online (learning).
“We have been able to get through it as a team.”
Frailey has been working toward a state title for nine years, using the MYWAY program to propel him and others into the wrestling program. Both Frailey and Sorrow expect to wrestle at Siena Heights University next fall.
“This is something I have been working for since I was nine years old,” Frailey said. “It is amazing.”
The amazing part of it may be that the senior had to cut weight every year coming off a football season. Frailey said he cut weight from 145 pounds – football playing weight – to 125.
“I have to thank my parents for that,” Frailey said. “It is just conditioning, dieting, and staying disciplined.
“Wrestling is all about discipline.”
And it all came together for the Comets on Saturday as the duo won the school’s first two individual wrestling championships.
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