Thomas shooting for third straight state title

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 11:59 pm on Friday, March 02, 2012

Greenville’s Jordan Thomas wrestles with Lowell’s Gabe Dean during the regular season this year. Thomas will face Dean today in the state finals at 189 pounds.

AUBURN HILLS — Greenville Yellow Jackets wrestler Jordan Thomas will put the finishing touches on his outstanding high school wrestling career today at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Thomas, a senior, is shooting for his third consecutive individual state championship today at 4:45 p.m. His opponent is rival Gabe Dean of Lowell.

As a sophomore, Thomas won his first state title at 160 pounds. He won again as a junior at 171 pounds and is wrestling this season at 189 pounds.

Win or lose, when it’s all said and done, Thomas will go down as one of the best wrestlers ever at Greenville High School and in the state.

A fourth trip to the state finals almost didn’t happen for Thomas. He tore an LCL (lateral collateral ligament) late in the regular season and at the time, he wasn’t expected to be able to wrestle the remainder of the year.

“I was supposed to be out for the rest of the year,” Thomas said. “So to be able to have a shot this weekend, I’m pretty excited.”

Thomas said the knee is feeling great. So far, he is 3-0 in the tournament with wins over Jake Martin (Riverview), Andrew Hissom (Spring Lake) and Nate Kanuf (DeWitt).

“My knee feels great,” Thomas said. “I’m wearing a light brace, nothing to big. It feels really good.”

Thomas is 46-0 overall this season. He has not lost a match since his sophomore season (Jake Dorulla, Rockford). He lost twice as a freshman to St. Johns’ Taylor Massa.

His second loss to Massa was in the 145 pound state finals. Massa defeated Thomas 5-2.

Massa is undefeated in his career and should win his fourth consecutive state title today at 171 pounds.

The two wrestlers have known each other since grade school and are great friends.

“We’ve met in first or second grade. We started wrestling together and faced each other three times in middle school,” Thomas said. “I actually beat him all three times. We’ve always been friends and we’ve always work out together.”

Thomas and Massa will carry the United States and State of Michigan flags today during the grand march prior to the finals matches. The two will also be roommates at the University of Michigan as members of the Wolverines wrestling team.

Thomas (215-3 career record) wraps up his wrestling career today with three O-K White Conference, district and regional titles. Hopefully, today with a third state title.

The knee injury denied Thomas a chance to win a fourth conference title. Regardless, Thomas is very happy with his season.

“It would have been nice to get a fourth conference title and stay healthy,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t get as many matches as I would have like, but I wrestled some tough kids. I got the competition I wanted, so to be able to beat them makes it a good year.

“As for the team I couldn’t ask for anything better. A win against Tecumseh would have been nice, but our goal was to make it to state and we did that. It was pretty cool,” he added.

While one journey is ending today, Thomas will begin preparation for his college career. More than likely, that preparation will begin with workouts on Sunday with his good friend and future teammate Taylor Massa.

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