Division 1: Powers Clash in Battle Creek
Division 1: Powers Clash in Battle Creek
Wrestling
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The eight teams wrestling in Division 1 this weekend at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena have combined for 34 MHSAA team championships. 

Some like Temperance Bedford going for a dozen or reigning champion Detroit Catholic Central trying to make it 10 titles, are plenty familiar with finishing as the last team standing. Others, like Hartland, could provide plenty of drama in pursuing a first championship. 

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 1, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 3:15 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 DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL

Record/rank: 22-3, No. 1
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League
Coach: Mitch Hancock, sixth season (128-28)
Championship history: Nine MHSAA championships (most recently in 2012), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Robert Coe (38-4) sr., 112 Parker O’Brien (31-13) jr., 119 Trevor Zdebski (34-5) soph., 125 Evan Toth (37-10) jr., 130 Myles Amine (33-6) soph., 135 Ken Bade (34-6) sr., 140 Malik Amine (33-6) jr., 152 Mike Babicz (32-16) sr., 160 Logan Marcicki (30-4) jr., 171 Drew Garcia (45-0) jr., 189 Nick Giese (34-12) soph., 189 Jimmy Russell (34-14) jr.
Outlook: The Shamrocks will wrestle for their fourth straight championship match appearance and third title over those four seasons. Bade and Garcia were two of the team’s three individual champions last season, and Malik Amine was a Finals runner-up. Coe and Marcicki join those three as top-ranked in this division in their respective weight classes.  

#2 DAVISON

Record/rank: 12-4, No. 2
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley Association
Coach: Roy Hall, 16th season (390-68-1)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recently 2006), one runner-up finish. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Jacob Madrigal (29-8) jr., 112 Lincoln Olson (40-1) soph., 125 Derek Humphrey (36-7) jr., 135 Matt Miller (25-5) jr., 135 Justin Oliver (10-1) jr., 140 Dominic Russ (32-7) jr., 140 Carter Stoddard (19-3) sr., 145 Thomas Garty (33-10) jr., 152 Patrick Rooker (24-14) sr., 160 Jordan Cooks (36-1) jr., 171 Tyler Wildmo (34-7) soph., 215 Trevor Thomas (32-10) sr.
Outlook: Davison looks good to make a run at extending its incredible wrestling tradition under Hall, who led the team to five straight titles from 2002-06. The Cardinals have moved up a seed from last season’s Quarterfinals, and all but one of its Individual Finals qualifiers finished first or second at Saturday’s Regionals. Olson, Oliver and Cooks all won individual championships last season – and the future is similarly bright, with only two seniors in this weekend’s expected lineup.

#3 HARTLAND

Record/rank: 32-1, No. 3
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association
Coach: Todd Cheney, 21st season (562-88-2)
Championship history: Four MHSAA runner-up finishes (most recently in 2007).
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Josh Charneski (27-21) jr., 112 Sage Castillo (42-10) fr., 119 Nate Hughes (45-6) jr., 130 Jacob Gorial (50-3) soph., 130 Austin Eicher (45-0) jr., 160 Nate Smith (34-18) jr., 171 Mitchell Thomas (52-1) sr., 189  Ryan Hill (39-13) sr.
Outlook: Hartland is back in the hunt for its first MHSAA team title, and two seeds higher than at last season’s Quarterfinals. The Eagles beat No. 9 Brighton in the Regional on the way to Battle Creek. Eicher was an Individual Finals runner-up and is ranked number one at 130 weight this winter, and Gorial is ranked number two (Eicher is slated to wrestle 135). Thomas and Hughes also are ranked among the top seven at their weights.

#4 TEMPERANCE BEDFORD

Record/rank: 26-2, No. 4
League finish: First in the Southeastern Conference
Coach: Kevin Vogel, second season (46-6)
Championship history: 11 MHSAA championships (most recently 2011), seven runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Adam Ortman (36-10) jr., 119 Mitch Rogaliner (44-2) sr., 125 Mitch Pawlak (44-1) sr., 171 David Lijewski (35-12) sr., 189 Codie Bettencourt (32-12) sr., 215 Brandon Sunday (46-1) sr.
Outlook: Vogel has led the Kicking Mules to the Quarterfinals both of his seasons as coach, and like last year’s team this one features 10 wrestlers with at least 30 wins this winter. Rogaliner is the reigning Individual Finals champion at 112 pounds, and Sunday was runner-up last season at 189. They are two of four Bedford wrestlers ranked among the top eight in their respective weight classes.

#5 ROCHESTER

Record/rank: 23-11, No. 7
League finish: Tied for second in the Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Frank Lafferty, 10th season (197-117)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Justin Kim (46-7) sr., 125 Josh Wood (13-0) sr., 140 Kaelan Richards (50-2) sr., 160 Dean Vettese (40-1) sr., 171 Shane Shadaia (32-6) jr., 189 Shawn Shadaia (48-1) jr.
Outlook: Rochester has won two straight District titles and is at Kellogg for the first time under Lafferty after beating No. 5 Oxford along the way. Wood was an Individual Finals runner-up as both a freshman and sophomore and is ranked number one in his weight class this winter. Shawn Shadaia also is ranked number one in his class, and total, five Rochester wrestlers are ranked among the top four at their weights.

#6 MACOMB DAKOTA

Record/rank: 37-4, No. 8
League finish: First in Macomb Area Conference Red
Co-coaches: Ed Skowneski and Mike Marlin, first seasons (37-4)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Sal Caruso (48-7) jr., 145 Alex Bozinovski (46-9) jr., 152 Jake Johnson (54-2) jr., 189 Antonio Balabani (50-6) soph.
Outlook: Skowneski – a 2003 MHSAA champion at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and former assistant at Warren DeLaSalle and Fraser – and Marlin, an assistant at Dakota for four seasons and a two-time MHSAA Finals qualifier on the mat, have brought Dakota to the Quarterfinals in their first season running the program. Six starters have at least 42 wins this winter, and four will compete next week to try to become the first individual champion in Dakota wrestling history.

#7 HOLT

Record/rank: 15-10, unranked
League finish: First in Capital Area Activities Conference Blue
Coach: Rocky Shaft, 33rd season (471-75)
Championship history: Four MHSAA championships (most recently 2008), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Benny Gomez (42-0) soph., 119 Shayne Wireman (42-0) sr., 125 Martin Rodriguez (11-0) jr., 130 Kyle Granger (25-16) jr., 140 Dominic Trevino (31-3) sr.
Outlook: The Rams beat No. 10 Battle Creek Lakeview in the Regional on the way to this weekend, but are no strangers to Kellogg Arena. Shaft has led Holt to four Quarterfinals over the last six seasons and 26 straight District championships. Wireman was an individual champion in 2011, and he and Gomez are the top-ranked contenders in their respective weight classes.

#8 GRANDVILLE

Record/rank: 22-7, unranked
League finish: First in O-K Red
Coach: Bubba Gritter, third season (49-25)
Championship history: Two MHSAA championships (most recently 1993), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Dakota Torralva (41-6) sr., 135 Collin Tomkins (15-1) jr., 215 Courtney Meyers (36-6) sr.
Outlook: Gritter – a three-time MHSAA individual champion for the Bulldogs from 2001-03 – has Grandville in the Quarterfinals after wins at the Regional by 16 over annual power Rockford and then by seven over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. All three of the team's individual qualifiers are ranked among the top five in their respective individual weight classes.

PHOTO: Detroit Catholic Central's Logan Marcicki (top) wrestles Oxford's Wesley Maskill during last season's Division 1 championship match at Kellogg Arena. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)


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