2015-04-15 / Sports

Dan Perry verbally commits to Michigan

810-452-2632 • mselecky@mihomepaper.com

Lapeer senior Dan Perry in Ann Arbor last Saturday with University of Michigan wrestling assistant coach Josh Churella (R) and head coach Joe McFarland (L). 
Photo submitted Lapeer senior Dan Perry in Ann Arbor last Saturday with University of Michigan wrestling assistant coach Josh Churella (R) and head coach Joe McFarland (L). Photo submitted ANN ARBOR — It’s already been a hectic month for Lapeer senior Dan Perry.

Specifically, after placing second at the Flonationals varsity wrestling tournament at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on April 2-4, the heavyweight and class of 2016 graduate verbally committed to the University of Michigan on April 11.

“(It’s only a verbal commitment) until November 3. The (Michigan) coaching staff is going to make me a better student and a better citizen,” Perry said. “Everything there just clicked for me. It felt like home, and I really liked that. I’m very excited to take my talent to the Big 10 and show everyone what I have. It’s really great to be thought of as someone who can compete at that level.”

All of this comes on the heels of Perry winning a state title at 285 on March 5-7 at the Palace of Auburn Hills by edging out Dearborn Heights-Crestwood’s Ali Wahab 3-2, Temperance Bedford’s Tim Stevens 3-0 and Detroit Catholic Central’s Nick Jenkins 7-1. Perry, who finished the year with a record of 61-0, began this Oakland County event by defeating Fraser’s Mike Kroepel by fall in 1:58, as well.

“My coaches are always telling me to go, go, go. Stay after it. Attack, and that’s something that’s made me successful both on and off the mat,” said Perry.

At this season’s individual districts, Perry started with a bye prior to downing Grand Blanc’s Donald Moses in :19 and Port Huron’s Larenz Brown and Dominic Trevino in 1:56 and 1:16, respectively. Perry also helped the Lightning win a team district title with victories over Port Huron Northern 66-13 and Port Huron 66-16 before Lapeer was eliminated at regionals by Genesee County powerhouse Davison 47-27.

Perry then went on to claim a 2014- 15 regional championship by outlasting Grandville’s Kasey Osterink in :48, Holland West Ottawa’s Ramon Correa in 2:21 and Grand Haven’s Chase VanHoef 6-4.

“I’ll be going to the Virginia Beach Duals with my club team and I’ll be doing some more stuff (this offseason). Training mostly, trying to get in tip-top shape for what’s waiting for me down the road” Perry said. “My club team doesn’t have a name. All the guys in the area practice together out of Oxford and Lapeer.”

As for the Wolverines this year, they placed fourth at the Big 10 tournament in Columbus, Ohio, on March 7-8 and 11 at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships in St. Louis, Mo., on March 19-21.

“I feel blessed. Not many people get a chance to compete at the next level,” Perry said. “I feel very blessed that I’ve been able to get as far as I have and to have some thing for the future, to get out on the mat in college and perform at the national level.”

Currently Michigan’s roster lists red-shirt sophomore Payne Hayden and All-American junior and team co-captain Adam Coon at heavyweight. This season Coon went 32-5 and placed second at the national tourney while Hayden was 5-7.

“I’ll be automatically getting a red shirt, so I won’t be able to compete with the varsity until my red-shirt freshman year,” said Perry.

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