By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This weekend’s Division 1 team wrestling field at Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center is power-packed again, and that might be an understatement.
Detroit Catholic Central is wrestling for its third straight Division 1 title, but four other teams that have won at least one championship over the last 13 seasons also will compete. The eight teams at Friday’s Quarterfinals have a combined 80 Individual Finals qualifiers who will go on to Ford Field next weekend as well.
Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 1, listed by seed. Quarterfinal matches begin at 2:15 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and the championship match that afternoon at 3:45 p.m. All matches this weekend will be viewable live on a subscription basis on MHSAA.tv. For Friday’s schedule and results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page.
#1 Detroit Catholic Central
Record/rank: 23-1, No. 1
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League
Coach: Mitch Hancock, 12th season (270-45)
Championship history: Thirteen MHSAA championships (most recent 2018), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Anthony Walker (26-9) fr., 112 Caleb White (19-7) jr., 130 Camden Trupp (35-6) soph., 135 Joshua Edmond (33-2) jr., 140 Marc Shaeffer (18-4) jr., 140 Derek Gilcher (28-2) jr., 145 Logan Sanom (33-3) jr., 145 Kevon Davenport (31-1) sr., 152 Cameron Amine (33-0) sr., 152 Joseph Urso (36-7) sr., 160 Manuel Rojas (24-7) fr., 189 Easton Turner (34-3) sr., 215 Brendin Yatooma (35-3) jr., 285 Steven Kolcheff (32-3) jr.
Outlook: The Shamrocks are seeking their third straight Division 1 title and sixth in eight seasons, and haven’t lost to an in-state opponent in three seasons. DCC hasn’t given up a team point during this MHSAA Tournament, shutting out all four opponents through the District and Regional. Edmond, Gilcher, Davenport and Turner were Individual Finals champions last year with Amine and Kolcheff runners-up and Yatooma, Sanom and Shaeffer placers. Davenport will be seeking his fourth title and Amine his third next weekend at Ford Field.
Record/rank: 31-0, No. 2
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association West and overall
Coach: Tony Greathouse, sixth season (151-27)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2015, runner-up 2017.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Aiden Smith (33-15) fr., 119 Sam Freeman (43-4) jr., 119 Mason Shrader (29-5) soph., 125 Eddie Homrock (49-2) jr., 135 Zach Johnson (39-6) soph., 140 Rhett Newton (14-2) sr., 152 Victor Grabowski (40-10) sr., 152 Harley Berne (28-8) jr., 160 Dane Donabedian (44-9) jr., 171 River Shettler (46-2) sr., 189 Greyson Stevens (46-4) jr., 215 Luke Stanton (25-1) jr., 285 Colby Ford (40-14) sr.
Outlook: The Bulldogs enter seeded second for the second straight season. Brighton shut out two postseason opponents and defeated No. 10 Holt in the Regional Final to get back to Kalamazoo, after finishing first in a league that included two more top-five teams in Division 1. Stanton, Shrader, Homrock, Johnson, Donabedian, Grabowski and Shettler all were Finals placers a year ago, Shettler a runner-up. Brighton defeated possible Semifinal opponent Davison by 11 in its season opener.
Record/rank: 15-2, No. 3
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley League
Coach: Roy Hall, 21st season (538-97-1)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2006), five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: Aden Williams (21-4) fr., 112 Owen Payne (25-10) fr., 119 Steven Garty (31-6) sr., 119 Andrew Chambal (34-3) jr., 125 Jaron Wilson (8-1) jr., 140 James Johnston (30-5) soph., 145 Landon Kish (20-16) soph., 152 Brian Case (18-7) sr., 160 Alex Facundo (33-2) soph., 171 Jay Nivison (23-9) jr., 189 Cal Stefanko (28-2) sr., 189 Trevor McGowan (20-8) sr., 215 Jimmy Colley (11-3) fr.
Outlook: Davison has reached the Semifinals six straight seasons and will wrestle Friday in its eighth straight Quarterfinal. Chambal and Facundo are reigning Finals champions and Stefanko was a runner-up last season, and Garty, Case and Nivison also were placers. Nine upperclassmen bolster a lineup that fell to Detroit Catholic Central by only six points Dec. 21.
#4 Westland John Glenn
Record/rank: 29-5, No. 4
League finish: First in KLAA East
Coach: Bill Polk, 21st season (423-124)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Josh Mars (40-13) fr., 112 Ty Cowen (45-12) soph., 125 Caleb Meekins (49-4) sr., 135 Kyle Borthwell (44-4) sr., 145 Brenten Polk (49-5) sr., 160 Graden Bowen (37-16) sr.
Outlook: John Glenn will wrestle in its third straight Quarterfinal and has missed making its first Semifinal the last two seasons by a combined six points. The Rockets edged No. 8 Temperance Bedford by two points in last week’s Regional Final. Meekins and Brenten Polk were Individual Finals placers last season and help lead a lineup with 13 upperclassmen – including eight seniors – expected to start.
Record/rank: 29-3, No. 5
League finish: Second in KLAA West
Coach: Todd Cheney, 27th season (761-109-2)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2016, five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Patrick Wlodyga (43-9) fr., 119 Wyatt Nault (27-4) jr., 119 Ethan Kinch (31-10) fr., 130 Kyle Kantola (45-0) sr., 135 Corey Cavanaugh (38-4) sr., 135 Bryce Cheney (39-10) soph., 145 Devon Pietila (32-20) sr., 152 Avery Dickerson (41-7) fr., 160 Tanner Culver (37-5) sr., 160 Reece Potter (21-2) sr., 215 Jon Hartman (31-20) sr.
Outlook: Hartland has moved up two seeds from last season as it prepares for its 18th straight Quarterfinal appearance. After navigating the KLAA, the Eagles didn’t give up more than 16 points in any of four District or Regional matches. Kantola was an Individual Finals runner-up last season, and Nault, Cavanaugh, Culver and Potter all were placers as well.
Record/rank: 30-2, unranked
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Red
Coach: Brian Richardson, 10th season (210-109)
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2009), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 130 Trenton Wachter (47-1) soph., 135 Evan Kaser (38-11) jr., 140 Connor White (41-5) sr., 145 Jack Richardson (40-4) sr., 160 Noah Anderson (12-1) sr., 171 Cole Gleason (33-9) soph., 189 Tyler Waterstrat (35-5) sr.
Outlook: Rockford is coming off its third straight District title and returning to the Quarterfinals for the first time since finishing Division 1 runner-up in 2010. White and Richardson were both Individual Finals placers a year ago and two of eight senior starters expected to take the mat.
#7 Macomb Dakota
Record/rank: 27-5, No. 6
League finish: First in Macomb Area Conference Red
Coach: Ed Skowneski, seventh season (207-45)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Brendan Ferretti (49-0) soph., 119 Nick Alayan (45-3) sr., 125 Justin Tiburcio (37-3) sr., 125 Bradley Weiand (34-15) jr., 130 Andrew Barrett (37-12) sr., 140 Brandon Alkazir (38-14) sr., 145 David McFadden (25-21) soph., 160 Eli Andary (42-12) sr., 171 Dustin Solomon (49-3) sr.
Outlook: This will be Dakota’s fourth straight Quarterfinal and sixth in seven seasons under Skowneski. Ten upperclassmen including seven seniors bolster the lineup after the team made the Semifinals a year ago for the second straight season. Alayan will be seeking his first individual championship next weekend after finishing runner-up the last two seasons, and Ferretti, Tiburcio and Solomon also were placers in 2018.
Record/rank: 26-5, No. 7
League finish: First in Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Joe Wood, second season (44-15)
Championship history: Class A champion 1991, runner-up 1995.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Cole Wiegers (40-8) sr., 130 Mackenzie Hanselman (36-11) sr., 135 Conor Donahue (38-6) sr., 135 Grady Castle (35-9) soph., 140 Ethan Polick (35-10) sr., 145 Jacob Billette (37-7) sr., 160 Devin Trevino (42-4) sr.
Outlook: Clarkston is competing at the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2007, with a two-point Regional Semifinal win over No. 9 Oxford the key victory of this run. Billette was a Finals placer last season and this winter is one of six seniors holding down the middle weights.
PHOTO: Josh Edmond, here at last season’s Individual Finals, is one of four returning champions leading DCC on its quest for another team title. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)