Division 3: Familiar Foes Face Off
Division 3: Familiar Foes Face Off
Wrestling
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

This Division 3 Finals weekend already looks familiar with five of last season's eight Quarterfinalists making the trip back to Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena.

And top seeds Dundee and Richmond are slated to meet again for the championship – like they did last season, two of the last three years and three of the last six.

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 3, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 1 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 9:30 Saturday morning and the championship match at 4 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv. For results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page. Rankings below are from MichiganGrappler.com

#1 DUNDEE

Record/rank: 20-2, No. 1
League finish: First in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Tim Roberts, 14th season (386-54-1)
Championship history: Six MHSAA championships (most recently 2007), five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 John Marogen (37-7) sr., 103 Kenny Reinhart (31-14) soph., 112 Zach Blevins (33-12) fr., 125 Brendan O’Connor (39-7) jr., 135 Brad Scholl (22-5) jr., 140 Doug Rojem (47-1) jr., 140 Sean Marogen (28-16) jr., 152 Liam Grantham (31-3) sr., 160 Todd Olson (43-3) sr., 171 Tye Thompson (23-7) soph., 189 Teddy Warren (43-2) jr., 215 Jay Sroufe (28-7) sr.
Outlook: Dundee is making its 11th straight trip to Battle Creek and coming off its fourth-runner-up finish in five seasons. Nine wrestlers are back from last season’s championship match lineup, and Olson and John Marogen were individual runners-up last season. The Vikings beat No. 10 Manchester in the Regional on the way back to the Quarterfinals.

#2 RICHMOND

Record/rank: 24-4, No. 2
League finish: First in Blue Water Area Conference
Coach: Brandon Day, ninth season (304-63)
Championship history: Six MHSAA championships (most recently 2012), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Aaron Kilburn (36-7) fr., 119 Graham Barton (21-20) fr., 125 Austin Vannatter (33-14) soph., 130 Nick Burg (36-10) jr., 130 Alex Muzlajakovich (27-7) jr., 135 Austin Cattera (23-7) sr., 140 Nate Henke (37-6) sr., 145 Devin Skatzka (45-2) soph., 152 Dalton Yore (28-14) sr., 160 Jordan Adams (28-15) soph., 171 Austin Peltier (31-16) jr., 189 Jake McKiernan (45-5) jr., 215 Adam Boyd (31-14) soph.
Outlook: Aside from the retirement of coach George Hamblin – who led the team to all six of its MHSAA titles, the last four as co-coach with Day – this Richmond team looks a lot like the one that won its third-straight championship last winter. Again, the Blue Devils have 13 individual qualifiers, and all 14 starters have winnings records – with six more reserves who have won at least 20 matches apiece. Skatzka is the reigning individual champion at 135 pounds.  

#3 WHITEHALL

Record/rank: 25-0, No. 3
League finish: First in West Michigan Conference
Coach: Cliff Sandee, sixth season (148-25)
Championship history: MHSAA runner-up in 1984.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Logan Morningstar (42-4) sr., 103 Reiley Brown (44-4) fr., 112 Logan Irey (42-9) sr., 125 Zach Cooper (50-0) sr., 145 Dakota Hoffman (32-16) jr., 160 Steven Sika (47-3) sr., 171 Joe Sika (45-2) sr., 215 Hunter Shaw (22-7) jr.
Outlook: After entering as the number six seed last season, Whitehall has moved into the top half for this weekend. The Vikings beat both No. 4 Grand Rapids Catholic Central and No. 8 Allendale at the Regional after defeating No. 5 Shelby in the District Final. Zack Cooper and Joe Sika are ranked number one in their respective weight classes and are two of eight senior starters.

#4 BIRCH RUN

Record/rank: 27-3, No. 7
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference East
Coach: Bart Bennett, fifth season (137-20)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Kyle Kelsey (32-12) sr., 119 Jerry Fenner (51-3) soph., 125 Adam Bishop (37-7) sr., 130 Damian Johnson (50-4) sr., 140 Ean Taylor (24-10) fr., 140 Lake Bennett (50-6) sr., 145 Mitch Franklin (43-11) jr., 152 Jared Elliott (44-7) jr.
Outlook: Make that three league, four District and two Regional championships over the last four seasons for Birch Run, which beat No. 9 Saginaw Swan Valley at the Regional last week. Fenner, Johnson, Bennett and Elliott all are ranked among the top four in their respective weight classes. Bennett and Johnson are two of nine senior starters total.

#5 REMUS CHIPPEWA HILLS

Record/rank: 26-4, No. 6
League finish: Tied for first in Central State Activities Association
Coach: Nate Ethridge, 13th season (381-79)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Richie Ostrander (50-6) jr., 112 Zach King (48-5) jr., 119 Johnny Lynch (43-5) sr., 130 Joe Coleman (38-14) sr., 135 Kevin Briscoe (41-13) soph., 152 Jason Peacock (51-1) sr., 215 Cole Thielen (45-11) sr.
Outlook: The Warriors are back in the Quarterfinals for the sixth time in eight seasons, and this time the lineup features six wrestlers with at least 40 wins. Chippewa Hills tied for first in its league with Hesperia, the second-seeded team in Division 4. Peacock is ranked fifth at his weight and should contend for a championship next weekend as well.

#6 PARCHMENT

Record/rank: 34-1, unranked
League finish: Second in Kalamazoo Valley Association
Coach: Tom DeRyder, fifth season (91-62)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Andy Caffrey (49-0) sr., 145 Steven Rantz (48-7) jr.
Outlook: After finishing 5-24 in DeRyder’s first season, Parchment has increased its win total every winter over the last four and become a contender in the same league as Division 4 power Constantine. Caffrey is the top-ranked wrestler at his weight in this division, and six others have won at least 40 matches this season.

#7 GLADSTONE

Record/rank: 12-0, unranked
League finish: Second in Great Northern UP Conference
Coach: Jesse DeBacker, third season (32-9)
Championship history: MHSAA Upper Peninsula champion 1987, two UP runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Tom Bailey (32-7) jr., 112 James Bruce (31-10) fr., 125 Jared Syverson (20-11) jr., 130 Bobby Beauchamp (21-12) fr., 145 Josh Kadish (24-5) sr., 171 Jake Cronick (28-10) soph., 189 Jack Cronick (31-8) jr.
Outlook: Gladstone owns District championships from all three seasons under DeBacker, and also claimed the final championship of the Upper Peninsula-only tournament that ended after the 1986-87 season. Kadish and Jake Cronick both are ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes.

#8 BELDING

Record/rank: 17-8, unranked
League finish: Third in O-K Blue
Coach: Travis Meyer, fifth season (89-52)
Championship history: MHSAA runner-up 1988.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Nate Cooley (29-15) soph., 125 Jesse Scheidel (36-7) soph., 152 Michael Walker (34-12) soph., 189 Neil McCully (38-10) jr., 215 Todd Haller (35-6) sr.
Outlook: After beating both of its District opponents by at least 28 points apiece, Belding edged its Regional opponents by two and one point, respectively, for its first trip to Battle Creek under Meyer. Haller and McCully both are ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes.

PHOTO: Dundee's Teddy Warren (right) wrestles with Richmond's Eric Boyd during last season's Division 3 Final at Kellogg Arena. Warren is back this winter. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)


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