July 15, 2024 Donate

Dexter, Dexter Sports, Sports

Dexter Middle Schooler Finishes All State on the Wrestling mat

Cal with his Michigan Youth Wrestling Association (MYWAY) State Championship medal. photo by Pat Schutte

With two All-State finishes under his belt over the course of this wrestling season, Dexter student-athlete Cal Schutte is reaching places he’s worked hard at getting to, and this is only the start.

Cal, an eighth-grader at Mill Creek Middle School, had his best finish ever in this year’s Michigan Youth Wrestling Association (MYWAY) State Championships and then his second All-State finish came last month when he placed fourth at the MMWA (Mid-Michigan Wrestling Association) State Championships.

“The feeling was incredible,” Schutte said to the Sun Times News about his finishes.

“Almost hard to explain,” he said. “I’ve wrestled since I was four years old, starting with the Dexter Wrestling Club, and it’s been a big part of my life ever since.

With all of this and playing multiple sports, Cal is a true student-athlete in Dexter. He’s been a “Straight-A” student all through Creekside School and through both his seventh and eighth grade years. He’s also a member of Mill Creek Middle School’s Junior Advisory student leadership program.

Cal (with the orange headgear) in action on the mat. photo by Pat Schutte

The past three years, he’s wrestled with the Brighton Wrestling Club, mainly he says is because of the competition at his weight class in their wrestling room.

“And that definitely helped me get to the level that I wrestled at this past weekend, making All-State,” Schutte said in March. “So all the tough practices, the workouts with the Dexter varsity wrestling team, the weekend tournaments – every weekend this winter – all paid off, like my dad said it would. And the feeling of being an All-State wrestler, which has been a goal of mine since I started, is unbelievable.”

At the end of March, STN connected with Schutte and his father, Pat, who was a wrestler himself back in the day at Rochester Adams High School, to talk about both all-states.

This was the seventh time Cal qualified for the MYWAY (Michigan Youth Wrestling Association) State Championships.

“And pretty much all the times before this year I’d made it to what they call the ‘Blood Round’ – which is the consolation round that decides who will wrestle for places third through eighth,” he said. “And those places are all considered All-State. So this year I upset a couple higher ranked wrestlers in the opening rounds – and I made the 90 pound semifinals, which was huge for me.”

He said he lost in the semifinals to the eventual State Champion, and ended up placing 6th at States – his best MYWAY finish ever.

In preparing for these big matches, Cal said he is a bit different than the top wrestlers, including the one that beat him for the MYWAY Northeast Regional title and the State Champion who beat him in the semifinals, “in that I only wrestle during wrestling season.”

“Those guys wrestle year round and often travel out-of-state to find the best competition,” Cal said. “After MYWAY States, I picked up my lacrosse stick and play lacrosse for both Dexter’s U14 Rec. & Ed and Travel teams, along with the Dominate U14 Travel team out of DCC (Detroit Catholic Central H.S. in Novi).”

“Then in the fall,” he said. “I’ve played football for Dexter since third grade, playing for Mill Creek Middle School’s seventh and eighth grade teams the past two seasons. So I don’t hit the wrestling mat, other than a few clinics throughout the summer, like Michigan Wrestling Camp, until late October/early November.”

He said to keep prepared throughout the wrestling season he has a morning training regiment before school, with push-ups, sit-ups, neck bridges, jump rope and running. The last few years he’s continued that training throughout the summer and even when he’s not in wrestling season.

“Wrestling’s pretty tough,” Cal says. “If you’re not in the best shape, both strength and cardio that you can be then you’re going to get waxed on the mat.”

“And sometimes you get waxed anyway,” he said with a laugh. “But yeah, preparation is definitely key to success on the mat. My dad and my coaches have stressed that since I was little and now doing that’s just part of my life.”

Ultimately, a big part of his preparation is his love for the sport.

“The biggest thing I like about wrestling is the fact that you’re out on the mat by yourself, with no one else to blame if you don’t win,” Cal said. “It’s just you. And while there’s a lot of added pressure with that, when you win – especially by 1 or 2 points in a tough match that goes the distance – the feeling is incredible.”

Cal with his fourth place trophy from the Mid-Michigan Wrestling Association) State Championships. photo by Pat Schutte