FHC wrestling waves its 2022-2023 season farewell


For any sports team, the end of a season means the end of practice and competitions for the underclassman and a difficult goodbye for the seniors who have grown with the program. For the FHC varsity wrestling team though, this ending means so much more than a goodbye. 

This season may not have been exactly what the boys wanted, but with the cards, they were dealt, a 13-11 record is a ratio to be respected. 

“The season had some ups and downs. Illness and injury nagged us at the beginning of the year but we came together and were able to have some solid team victories, a district championship, a tournament victory, and a winning season,” head coach Brad Anderson said. “This is a tough area for wrestling, a lot of gritty teams, and we are close to breaking through.”

This year the team saw many returning seniors, and some that took a chance on a winter sport they had never done before. Six seniors mentored and supported this talented group from day one of practice until the last underclassman competed at regionals. These five returners and the one new face to the crowd truly proved what it means to be a Ranger, and the FHC community couldn’t be more grateful. 

“It will be pretty sad to see the seniors leave us this year,” junior Alex Korff stated. “We had a handful of great senior leaders and they will be missed a lot.”

It isn’t just the underclassman who will miss the seniors though; coach Anderson has watched the wrestlers grow over the past few years and has been there to cheer them on since day one. 

“The seniors will be sorely missed,” the coach stated. “They worked incredibly hard and are just all-around good guys. They put in four years on the mat and some of them have the wrestling since they were in the youth club. I appreciate their time, commitment, and effort.”

When some seniors were asked about some of their specific season highlights, all had different answers about what their favorite moments were.

Landon Cooke stated, “My favorite moment would have to be FHC vs Grandville because it was the first match of the season and I was up against the #14 in the state and I went out there and pinned him.”

For the new senior, Everett Phipps, wrestling on the team may not have been the easiest change, but the team welcomed him with open arms, and the friendships made all the difference. Although he had never wrestled before, Everett had some impressive wins throughout the season that got the crowd on its feet cheering for him up until the last second. 

“My favorite meet was definitely the OK White duals because the team energy was very strong that day and I won my first match,” Everett said. 

This team had many season highlights though besides the boys’ own personal triumphs. The boys tournament championship at the West Catholic Dunneback on January 7. Blake Jacobs, Landon Cooke, and Greyson Ripmaster all took first along with many wrestlers placing for the team. A specific highlight that coach Anderson was proud of was the district championship over Northview which had been a goal since day one of the season. The last big accomplishment to point out was Landon Cooke, Blake Jacobs, Michael Campbell, and Alex Korff qualifying for the individual regional championship along with Ashley Schenck qualifying for the state finals for the third year in a row. 

The team has so much to be proud of at all levels, and even though the season is over for all but one, it is important to look back at all the good that happened this season and the joy they brought to the community. Until next season, the state finals will be on March 3 and 4, so make sure to follow Ashley’s journey to Ford Field.

Writer’s note: I have written for the wrestling community two years in a row now, and it truly hurts that I won’t get to continue this journey with all of you. A special thank you to all the parents who have helped me over the years whether with information or even just letting me talk and hang out with them at meets, the athletes who also answer me at random hours of the day for quotes and facts (I know it can get annoying, I am sorry and appreciate you), and last off coach Anderson for always helping me out and being the person who sparked my love for writing and working with a team as special as his. Without him, I would not be where I am today sharing my love for writing with all of you. You have been a wonderful team and community to cover over the years, and I truly thank you and appreciate you for all you have done for me. This is Serena signing off.