By Jeff Steers
New Michigan Center High School wrestling Coach Mark Ward Jr. heard last summer that Corey Gamet could be coming to the school.
When Ward found out that Gamet was a two-time state wrestling champion, he waited and hoped Gamet would enroll at MCHS.
Gamet moved from the Western School District to Michigan Center in order to help his grandmother and to get a fresh start.
After a trying junior season at Western, he wanted a change.
“Corey has been nothing but a blessing to this program,” Ward said. “We have wrestlers at both ends of the spectrum – experienced wrestlers who should have a chance to win state titles and young guys.
“Corey has been nothing but good for the younger guys.”
Gamet said he was injured in his first match of the season in 2017-18 at WHS. He came back too soon and suffered injuries to his shoulder and ribs. The two-time state champ wrestled only five times last year before calling it quits.
Gamet calls the situation a difference of opinion.
“In the end I would rather be an All-American wrestler at Fargo than a three- or four-time state champion in high school,” Gamet said.
Gamet has been wrestling for 13 years. He started to hone in the sport in junior high as he started attending workouts at Simmons Academy of Wrestling in Williamston. Simmons is one of few four-time undefeated state champions in the state of Michigan.
“They teach you mental toughness and how to stay in matches,” Gamet said of the academy. “It gives you confidence and an edge in those close matches.”
That paid off almost instantly in high school for Gamet. He won a state title in Division 2 at 103 pounds with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Chaise Mayer of Warren Woods Tower as a freshman.
A year later he defeated Mayer at 112 pounds – again by one point in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 state finals.
It appeared as if Gamet would become a four-time state champion after his sophomore season.
The injury early in the season threw all of that into a tail spin.
“I had a shoulder and ribs out of place,” Gamet said. “I sat on the couch for a couple of months and needed physical therapy.”
He returned to training for two months before taking fifth place at a national meet at 120 pounds last summer.
Those types of tournaments are what interested coaches from North Dakota State in Gamet. Head Coach Roger Kish is from Lapeer, Mich., and a four-time state champion.
His assistant is about the same weight as Gamet and could provide him with a training partner for years to come.
He signed with the school in November.
“I like the coaches, they have the same personality as I do, and they have great facilities,” Gamet said.
The move to MC
Gamet reached out to Josh Rankin about a possible move to Michigan Center. Rankin, a senior, finished third in the state in his weight class as a junior at MCHS.
“He told me how much he liked the school,” Gamet said.
Gamet started attending some open gyms and enrolled in the school in the summer.
“I had a chance to come in here and battle with Josh on a daily basis,” Gamet said. “We both have the same goal of winning a state title.”
Both Rankin and fellow senior Brock Kuhn are highly-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes.
“My dad always says you have to learn to fly with the eagles,” Gamet said. “Wrestling has taught me self confidence and not afraid to of tough opponents.”
When asked what his record is this year, Gamet said “something and zero. I have no idea what the something is.”
At 30-0 – and his closest match being a 9-point win over a ranked opponent in a higher division – it appears as if Gamet is poised to return to the top of the podium the first week in March in Detroit.