AUBURN HILLS – Nic Lloyd is seeing some daylight.
He said his senior season has been his time to shine after being a backup heavyweight for two seasons at Grand Ledge to big brother, Matt, now a wrestler at Michigan State.
Lloyd (38-3) won his opening match Thursday at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the first round of the state high school wrestling finals – a 4-3 decision in Division 1 over Austin Bauslaugh of St. Clair Shores Lakeview. Lloyd’s next opponent is defending heavyweight champ Nick Jenkins of Detroit Catholic Central.
“It didn’t go as I expected, was hoping for better, but I’ll take the win,” Lloyd said of advancing. “I’m excited (about facing the defending champ). Get the big match next, and if I get the win my next two matches should be better. Beat the best early and then the rest of the tournament can be fun.”
Matt Lloyd was a two-time state placer, according to Nic.
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“It’s an opportunity to get out of the shadows,” he said. “He cast a big one because he achieved a lot. I’m excited to try and finally get the state title for the family.”
Bret Fedewa of St. Johns is one of 30 wrestlers across all four divisions who came into the tournament undefeated. He stayed that way (40-0) with a first-round win at 152 pounds over Kaleb Slominski of Sparta with a tech fall in the third period. Fedewa placed fifth last year.
“I feel if I can wrestle to the best of my ability I can win it all,” Fedewa said. “I feel like I’m wrestling really good right now, getting a lot of pins and hoping that continues. I was trying to get a pin quick and get off the mat but that doesn’t always happen. You just have to keep putting up points until the match is over.
“I’m just trying to win a state title; going undefeated just kind of came along in trying to win each match and so far it’s happened that way.”
Holt senior Kolin Leyrer (38-2) placed fourth last year in Division 1 and said the key to improving that finish is to stay on the offensive. He won with a fast pin in 57 seconds at 160 pounds over Michael Jacobs of White Lake-Lakeland.
“That’s the plan with every match, you want to get done as fast as you can just so nothing goofy happens, or anything that isn’t supposed to happen, happens,” Leyrer said. “I’m getting into my offense. That’s my only goal in my matches.”
DeWitt senior Gabe Larner won his Division 2 171-pound match 10-0 to improve to 48-1. He placed 10th last season.
“I’m very prepared,” he said. “I’ve worked very hard this season, gave it my everything. I’ve been working toward this moment the past eight years so hopefully it goes my way.”