DETROIT, Mich. — It was a road fairly similar to the one he took just a year ago. Only this time De La Salle Collegiate's Brett Stanley took a slightly better path when navigating at the individual wrestling finals at Ford Field this past weekend.
Stanley finished 4-2 over the two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday, bringing home the fifth-place medal at 160 pounds in Division 1. After suffering a tough loss to Dearborn Edsel Ford's Ty Wyka in the first round on Friday, Stanley bounced back to go 4-1 the rest of the way.
He defeated Anchor Bay's Nino Tranchida, 5-3, in sudden victory in the fifth/sixth place match.
"It felt good walking out on my last match as a victory," said Stanley, who placed seventh last year. "I wanted to end my junior season with a win and head into next season on a good note."
Stanley had beaten Tranchida in the district final, 14-2, but fell to the Tars senior, 9-2, in the regional final. Both were Macomb County Invitational champions, Tranchida at 160 pounds and Stanley at 171.
"Brett definitely bounced back from the first-round loss," De La Salle head coach Dennis Parks said. "Winning the fifth-place match was huge. Placing higher than he did last year and beating the Anchor Bay kid he lost to in the regional."
Stanley, a three-time state qualifier who finished the season with a 41-4 overall record, had high hopes heading into the tournament. Though pleased with his placing, he knows he has higher goals for next year.
"This gives me more to shoot for," he said. "Next year, my ultimate goal is to win it all. As of taking fifth, I'm happy with it but I feel like I could've done a little better to get another win."
His teammate, Kenneth Ryder, also competed this weekend. He suffered a pair of losses on Friday and did not make it to Saturday. Still, Ryder had a tremendous season, finishing 25-5 overall and winning titles at the Spartan Classic, Tom Costello Memorial, Macomb County Invitational and district tournaments.