Chippewa Hills freshman wrestler Bray Haynes off to 11-2 start

FOCUS: Chippewa Hills freshman Bray Haynes (left) wrestles a Clare opponent this season. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

FOCUS: Chippewa Hills freshman Bray Haynes (left) wrestles a Clare opponent this season. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REMUS — Bray Haynes is off to an excellent start as Chippewa Hills’ 103-pound wrestler, and he is determined to keep it going.

Haynes was a No. 5 seed in his home Joe Loren Memorial Invitational on Dec. 19 and took first place.

“That’s pretty impressive,” Warrior coach Nate Ethridge said. “He had a great day.”

Haynes has jumped out to an 11-2 record.

“My goal coming into (the Joe Loren meet) was to place at least in the top three,” Haynes said. “I ended up in the finals and ended up winning it. I guess I exceeded expectations.”

The key to his start, Haynes said, has been “mostly just going after it and not worrying about losing or who someone is on paper.”

Haynes has been in wrestling programs since first grade.

“The biggest adjustment for me was working on foot movement,” Haynes said. “In high school, everyone is older and more mature. They are quicker and stronger. Keeping up with that and working out is the hardest part.”

One of his main strengths on the mat “has been keeping people in a front headlock and working out of the bottom and in right positions,” Haynes said.

Chippewa Hills resumes its season at home Wednesday against Big Rapids. Plenty of wrestling is left on the schedule and Haynes has some key goals to achieve at 103 pounds.

“I want to be top eight in the state this year,” he said. “I’d like to be higher if I could. You can’t go out expecting to lose just because a kid is good on paper. You have to go after it.”

Haynes is in a program that reached the Division 3 team state semifinal last season.

“The team is looking pretty good,” he said. “We have a good chance this year. We lost a lot of seniors last year who we replaced with pretty good freshmen who are learning but have the brains and strength for it.”

Haynes expects to see the Warriors go deep through the state tournament again.

“We dominate our region pretty good,” he said. “We have to get (state powers) Richmond and Dundee.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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