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Wrestlers have new guy in charge

Mal Meston, Sports Editor

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New coach Patrick Lemay loves that his wrestlers are hungry.

“Some of the strengths of this year’s team is our hunger,” he said. “We have been training hard, and you can see that the wrestlers have a will to perform. We have a young team but a ton of talent, and the wrestlers are working hard. I think we will be able to accomplish some great things that some may be surprised by.”

Lemay has a lot of wrestling experience. Throughout his high school career, Lemay was All-State at Troy High School on the east side of the state, he represented Team Michigan, he was a OHAA Conference Champion, All-Oakland County, and he won two district championships as a team.

After that, he wrestled at Eastern Michigan University before transferring to Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

Lemay replaces Blake Groenhout, who moved to the Upper Peninsula with his wife and is now teaching at Menominee Public Schools.

Lemay doesn’t just have experience in competing in matches but in coaching as well.

He started his coaching career with youth wrestling in Carlisle, Penn. When he moved back to Michigan, he volunteered as an assistant coach at Spring Lake before being an an assistant varsity coach at Grand Haven, where he worked with both varsity and JV wrestlers.

Athletic director Ryan Portenga said Lemay was the right choice.

“Lemay has experience with program growth and also with a true program from his time with Grand Haven wrestling,” Portenga said. “He wrestled in college, loves kids, and is up for the challenge of re-establishing our wrestling program as one of the best in the state.”

Junior Michael Daniels, who is a captain, said he likes the new coach.

“I really like coach Lemay,” Daniels said. “He brings energy to practices. As the captain, I have to basically be a good leader and help teammates on and off the mat. Coach Lemay helps me do that.”

Lemay said the team is strong and is willing to do anything to be the best they can be.

“I would like to thank Sailor Nation for this opportunity,” Lemay said. “My welcome has been awesome. I am excited to be a part of Sailor Nation and put us back on the map of wrestling in West Michigan.”

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