Imlay City heavyweight Joe Harper (R) locks up with a mat adversary during the state finals which took place at Ford Field.


IMLAY CITY — Imlay City’s Joe Harper, a two-sport standout, was announced as the recipient of his school’s Top Male Athlete Award recently.

He started his successful senior campaign as a member of the Imlay City football team.

It was there Harper put up solid numbers, finishing with 34 total stops. including a pair of quarterback sacks. He lined up at a nose tackle position.

In addition to that, Harper contributed three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and a blocked PAT to Imlay City’s cause.

“He was an absolute beast at nose tackle,” Imlay City Coach Brian Tresnak said. “Joe put up good tackle numbers despite the fact he was usually double teamed and took up blocks to keep his linebackers clean,” he noted.

Harper ended the season as a Tri-City Times All-Area second team selection and an All-Blue Water Area Conference honorable mention choice.

With his help, Imlay City finished the year as owners of a 5-4 overall mark.

Harper would enjoy an even better winter campaign wrestling at Imlay City. It was there he went 49-2, registering 34 pins along the way.

He earned the distinction of weight class champion at the Caro Tournament; Mayville-based Ryan Mercer Tournament, Imlay City Tournament, Imlay City-based Blue Water Area Conference Tournament, Division 2 districts hosted by Fenton High School and a Gaylord-based Division 2 regional plus provided a second (garnering All-State accolades) during the Division 2 state finals contested at Detroit’s Ford Field.

He wraps up his high school career with a 153-25 mark, including 103 triumphs via the pinfall route.

Harper has signed to wrestle with Tiffin University’s wrestling program.

Tiffin is a Division 2 school that competes in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.