Hard Work Propels Saline Wrestler Noah Barnett to New Heights


When the Saline High School wrestling season began, everyone knew about state runner-up Brice LaFleur. You might have known senior Tyler Fedotoszkin.

But after the opening night scrimmage, coach Rocky Palazzolo pointed to someone he thought was ready to emerge.

"Noah Barnett has had a great offseason. He's ready," Palazzolo said. 

Is he ever!

The 6'0, 175-pound junior had a solid sophomore campaign, going 27-18.  But he's wrestling at a different level this year. He's got one loss, all year. He's taken first place at two different tournaments. And with LaFleur out most of the season with an injury thus far, Barnett has become the team's most consistent winner. 

Here's what Barnett has to say.

Key to success this season? 

The key to my success this season was knowing the fact that I worked harder than my opponent every day before it. Knowing this gives me the confidence and mental edge to truly believe I will win.

What did you do in the offseason? 

In the offseason every single day I worked towards becoming a state-bound wrestler. While the season was over I took the amazing opportunity that Coach Palazzolo provided for wrestlers who really wanted success which would be the Dark Horse Wrestling Club. I went there 3-4 times a week and trained in addition to strength training in my spare time 6 days a week.

What did seeing yourself at #10 mean to you? 

Seeing myself ranked at #10 in the state felt surprising and extremely rewarding. It made me realize that “practicing what you preach” is turning me into the people I looked up to.

Is the podium at Ford Field one of your goals? 

Placing at states is my all-time goal. I've always had a problem with being accountable and I wanted to change that. I started by promising myself and others that I will be state-bound.

Describe your style of wrestling? 

I would describe my style of wrestling as Agile and Offensive.

Most satisfying match of the season. 

My most satisfying match this season was my first finals match at the Howell Tournament (The first tournament of the season). I never had really thought that I'd ever be 1st on the podium at anything, but that match unleashed a confidence that made me understand that I can be great and it’s an arm's reach away.

The match you want back.

The match that I want back is my loss in the finals at the Lincoln Park Tournament. I felt very good and confident still knowing it would be a good match but I still had work to do.

The heavier weights are doing well for Saline. How much does practicing with them help each other? 

Our upper varsity weights are super hard-working individuals. We push each other farther and farther every day competitively, which forces us to get better.

Favorite foods you give up to maintain weight. 

My favorite food I give up to maintain weight during the season is Mexican food or anything that is high in sodium and carbs.

Favorite food out of season. 

My favorite food out of season is swedish meatballs

Who’s the funniest person on the team? I've noticed I share the most laughs with Tyler Fedotoszkin and Isaac Furlong.

Favorite teacher. 

My favorite teacher is Mr Todd Sweet. He was the best teacher I've had throughout all classes through the years. He taught very clearly and everything made sense and would go out of his way to help you individually if you were struggling. And most importantly he was there to teach math material, not unrelated and invalid info.

Pre-match routine. My pre-bout routine consists of a gradual increase of intensity through stretching my legs and getting my fast twitch muscles hot and ready. I also like to open my lungs a bit to by doing a short sprint or two.

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