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Posted on Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Future Wolverine wrestler Taylor Massa caps perfect prep career

By Pete Cunningham


Taylor Massa, pictured above following a win the quarterfinals of the MHSAA individual state tournament, finished his high school career 223-0. He will wrestle for the University of Michigan next year.

Angela J. Cesere |

AUBURN HILLS -- St. Johns senior Taylor Massa had his hand raised for the 223rd and final time of his high school career on Saturday, wrapping up a fourth consecutive state championship and a perfect high school career.

Next stop, the University of Michigan.

Massa, considered the nation’s top wrestler across all weight classes, didn’t pick Michigan with only collegiate goals in mind. His true passion is freestyle wrestling and Ann Arbor has recently become a destination point for aspiring Olympians.

Newly hired Michigan assistant coaches Sean Bormet and Donny Britzlaf are two of the top freestyle coaches in the nation. When they became part of Joe McFarland’s staff last spring, Michigan’s Bahna Wrestling Center became one of 18 regional training centers for USA Wrestling.

“They have a good opportunity there for me to go to the Olympics,” Massa said. “The coaches, the facilities, the people there for me to train freestyle with, it just all was there.”


As multiple-time state champions, Taylor Massa, right, and Jordan Thomas, led the opening ceremonies of the state finals on Saturday. Both have committed to the University of Michigan.

Joe Tobianski |

“The kicking point was that they have a lot of freestyle guys there now with the hiring of the new coaches,” said Rodger Massa, Taylor’s father.

With former Michigan wrestlers Tyrel Todd and Josh Churella and World silver medalist Jake Herbert now training in Ann Arbor, the choice was easy for Massa.

"With guys like that in the room, you get your butt kicked and you get better," Rodger Massa said.

Massa wasn’t the only future Wolverine in action at the state finals. Greenville’s Jordan Thomas won a state title on Saturday and Portage Central’s Dominic Latora finished runner-up. It was Thomas’ third straight state title and his fourth consecutive finals appearance. He was runner-up to Massa their freshman year.

Massa’s St. Johns teammate, Ben Whitford, has also committed to Michigan. He is considered by many the top wrestler in the junior class and won his third straight (two were in Illinois) state championship on Saturday.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningam.