Juniors Isaac Torrey and Keegan Moore complete wrestling season at the Palace

Juniors Isaac Torrey and Keegan Moore complete wrestling season at the Palace

An undefeated regular season, 39-3 final record, state qualifier and conference champion were the laundry list of achievements racked up by junior Isaac Torrey. Junior Keegan Moore had a list of his own. He finished 41-7 overall, was a state qualifier, an all-state award winner, and 32 pin count holder (3 shy of the record). Both individuals made it to the state tournament.

The accomplishment of making it to the state tournament itself is a brutal task that requires the ability to maintain weight and go through grueling practices weeks longer than originally planned. Head coach Brad Anderson, a former Division One wrestler and now ten year head coach, knows the grind of becoming a top tier contender.

“Nobody fully understands, unless you’re in it, getting to the state tournament,” Anderson said. “It’s a lifetime of work that culminates towards that tournament. These guys have to watch their weight, stay lean, stay healthy, nurse their injuries, and stay mentally prepared. These guys have been wrestling since 8 and 9 years old, putting in incredible amounts of work.”

The road to The Palace is a long and grueling one. After placing in the top four in your district, region, and state, you get the recognition of being one of the sixteen best wrestlers in your weight class.

Isaac’s journey to the tournament was fairly straight forward. He is now one of five FHC wrestlers to ever head into the state tournament undefeated. After sweeping both the conferences and districts, his first loss would come in the Regional Final to future state champion Kolin Leyrer of Holt High School.

Isaac got off to a hot start at the Palace. He started by winning his first match over Josh Jernagin of Walled Lake and got into the quarterfinal match. This was the most anticipated match coming into the tournament in Isaac’s eyes.

“I knew I would have a manageable first match,” Isaac said. “I was really focused on my quarterfinals match which was against a third ranked [in the state] opponent. He jumped out to a quick lead after he got his tilt. I was prepared, but he still got me and forced me to play catch up. I didn’t quite get it.”

After a tough loss with a final score of 11-8, Isaac got moved into a placing bracket. It was here where he suffered his second loss, 5-0. Isaac would finish 11th and barely miss the all-state cut.

“He had a dream season up until the end obviously,” Anderson said. “Being one of five Rangers to have an undefeated season is a big deal; he’s in the company with a lot of state wrestlers. I foresee Isaac’s finish to this year propelling him to even greater heights in his senior season.”

Keegan did not have the perfect regular season record, but when two losses come from an opponent ranked first in the state, it becomes a challenge to keep that unbeaten record. Keegan still had outstanding success, as he placed third in his District and Region.

Keegan worked his way to 7th place in the state, going 2-2 on the weekend. The “Pit Viper”, as nicknamed by his head coach, led the team this season in pins.

“We call him [the pit viper], because he is dangerous in any position,” Anderson said. “Keegan is different, because he is incredibly creative. He relies on not only strength and quickness, but he has a myriad of moves that take them from their feet to their back very quickly.”

Despite numerous successes and achievements from the season, Keegan and Isaac both will be returning for their senior seasons at the end of 2017. Both will come back even hungrier to bring home  more hardware next season.

“This year it was really cool,” Keegan said. “I’ve always wanted a circle on the wall (showing the achievement of all-state status). After I got it, I wasn’t quite satisfied. Next year I’ll come out looking for first.”