8th grade standout Schroder has sights set on stellar prep career


12/24 - With a father who was a high school and college wrestler, and
now a long-time coach in the sport, it's no wonder that Devin Schroder
is following in the family business.

But Schroder, an eighth grader at Northview's Crossroads Middle
School, says it was him, and not his father, Grand Rapids Catholic
Central coach B.J. Schroder, that got him in to, and now addicted to

“I remember when I was four, I was the water the boy and loved it,”
Devin Schroder said. “I always had wrestling on my mind. My dad never
pushed me, I just wanted to go to all his meets.”

And Devin Schroder went all in with the sport at the age of four.  That's
when he started his career, and since then worked hard to make him
one of the best youth wrestlers in the nation.

He has wrestled over 500 times since his beginning, and along the way
have won some big matches and tournaments, including two MYWAY
state championships and two runner-up finishes

And now he is starting to peak as he nears high school.

Last year he finished with a 56-2 record and won the Mid-California
Tournament in Gilroy, Calif.

This year he is 20-0 and has won the Grappler Fall Classic in the Middle School Division and Super 32 title at 105 pounds.

This offseason he wrestled some of top high school wrestlers in the state and beat them, wrestlers like St. Johns Drew Wixom, Lowell's All-Stater Bailey Jack and Carson City Crystal Division 4 state champion Ken Dittenber.

And on Dec. 11 at the Border Wars All Star Christmas Duals, Schroder beat Super 32 112-pound runner-up Adam Lewis of Florida.

“It's not even comparable, he's way better,” said B.J. Schroder, who was a two-time state qualifier at Hartland and wrestled at Grand Valley State. “He's been exposed to a lot more national competition and has had a lot more opportunities. Michigan Xtreme has played a big part in his development, and this summer he traveled with the Flat River Club. The opportunities that these kids have right now are incredible.”

Aside from his work on the mat, Schroder is also a student of the sport, studying matches of other great wrestlers on his computer.

And his dad, who was the coach at Northview for the past 14 years before taking the Catholic Central job this year, says he is amazed at the number of wrestlers that his son can name and describe their style from all over the country.

I like how wrestling is unique form other sports,” said Devin Schroder, who also plays football. “You can't blame your teammates, it's all about how hard you work and how much time you put into it.”

Next year Devin Schroder, who also has two younger brothers that wrestle, will be with his father on the Catholic Central team, looking to make history for the Cougars.

“I plan on competing for a state championship as a freshman, I don't expect anything but the best for me,” Schroder said. “I want to keep pushing hard. If I win that first one, being a four-time state champion will be in the back of my mind, but I will take it one season at a time.”

His father likes his son's determination and work ethic to achieve his goals.

“If he keeps going the way he is, I think he has a shot to do some neat things,” B.J. Schroder said. “You hate to set up a kid to fail, but I know one thing, every kid he has lost to he has come back to beat. That's because of hard work, and if he keeps that up, the sky is the limit.”

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