By David Fleet
Goodrich — It’s been just over eight months since a stellar 32-1 wrestling season ended for the Goodrich Martians in the Division 2 State Finals championship with a loss.
On Dec. 6, the 2023-24 the Martians open the season when the Swartz Creek Dragons visit Goodrich. The first meet will also be the debut of a new head coach for the Martians.
Isaac Jewell, a 2012 Goodrich High School graduate and state wrestling champion has stepped in to replace veteran coach Ken Sirignano who retired at the end of last season. Sirignano who led the Martians to back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009 had coached for 26 years including 13 as head coach.
“We have a strong history and program,” said Jewell, who has worked with Goodrich wrestling program for more than 10 years. “It’s about working hard, from the high school level all the way down to the youth programs. I emphasize don’t focus winning, don’t focus on losing, just get better every day. All the other successes will happen. Focus on what you can control, that’s your attitude and effort.”
Jewell began his Martian wrestling career at a rather dismal 0-22 as a 2007 seventh grade wrestler at 75 pounds.
“It’s comical now,” he said. “I stayed with it because I just loved the sport. Everyone just lifted me up and when I finally won everyone was there cheering me on. A lot of people think wrestling is an individual sport but camaraderie and the team is a big part too.”
In 2009, Jewell, won an individual state wrestling championship at 109 pounds defeating Collin Welcher of Hamilton 8-1. Jewell finished fourth in the state as a sophomore and took second as a junior. The win concluded Jewell’s four seasons as a Martian grappler with a 147-29 record.
“The intensity will remain,” he said. “I want our wrestlers to win in the warm-up, win in the preparation and in every aspect. That’s on the mat and off, if they can accomplish that and focus on the team they will succeed.”
Jewell will bring an arsenal of technique to the mat.
“I’m a very technical coach,” he said. “For me it’s about instilling the intensity and technical aspects in our team.”
By David Fleet