Eagles Wrestle their way into 2023


Thomas Kerschbaum

Kee DeKeyzer flips his opponent initiating a take-down

The Skyline Eagles wrestling team came out of November prepared for their first bout. They went through cardio conditioning and worked hard on techniques in the hope of succeeding in tournaments and dual meets. Many of Skyline’s current wrestlers had experience in the sport and were ready to perform well. In all meets in December, Kee Dekeyzer (‘23) placed 1st in two of the three meets and 4th in the third.

Varsity won six of their eight matches in their tri-meet with Monroe and Dexter on January 19th. Sometimes Skyline cannot compete equally against other schools because they don’t have a complete team: a wrestler in each of the 14 weight classes. They must match up evenly with other teams to score full points. 

Despite not having an entire team, Skyline finished with a .500 record, winning four of the eight dual meets. “We [have] about 12 [wrestlers] that come all the time, and compete pretty well,” says Coach Jim Mason. “We had about six guys that had pretty good records, Kee Dekeyzer (28-9), Achira Kerschbaum (‘23) (23-14), Josef Oginsky (‘23) (25-10), Jarel Reid (‘23) (12-4), Christian Escobar (‘23) (9-5) and Conner Gillilland (‘25) (17-10).”

Gilliland and Dekeyzer were able to place first in their weight classes, while Ahbi Srinivas (‘24) finished 5th and Moe Omer (‘23) 6th at the Ypsilanti Beaty Lambros Invite. At the Skyline Invite Dekeyzer placed first, while Kerschbaum and Oginsky placed second in their respective weight classes. Although Skyline’s wrestlers are doing exceedingly well, the team’s overall standings aren’t as impressive. Skyline finished eighth of 22 at the Ypsilanti Beaty Lambros Invite, fifth of 12 in the Skyline Invite, eighth of 18 at the Parma Western Invite, and tenth of 19 at the Wyandotte Invite. In all these events seven or fewer wrestlers entered. 

Skyline wrestles one of the toughest D1 schedules in the State; this pushes the wrestlers to maintain impressive individual positions. The Eagles placed three wrestlers at the SEC Championships on February 4th. Dekeyzer finished third, while Kerschbaum and Oginsky placed fourth. At Individual Districts, two Eagles qualified for Individuals Regionals; Oginsky and Reid placed fourth and second respectively. 

Since many of the star wrestlers on the team are seniors, a big gap will be left in the roster. Even though next year’s team is unknown, they’ll “get a lot of kids from Forsythe next year,” Gillilland confirms. 

Returning wrestlers can provide experience for the Eagles, while rookies learn the ins and outs of the sport. “We are always looking for new student-athletes… Just come– we’ll teach you how to wrestle,” encourages Coach Mason.