Division 4: Chasing Hudson

February 21, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

With a fifth-straight MHSAA Division 4 championship Saturday, Hudson would join Davison as the only two schools to accomplish that feat since the Team Finals began in 1988. 

But seven other teams at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena will do their best to make their own history instead this weekend. 

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 4, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 11:45 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


Record/rank: 27-6, No. 1
League finish: Second in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Scott Marry, 25th season (654-141)
Championship history: Four MHSAA championships (most recently 2012).
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Zach Rieger (48-1) sr., 103 Roddy Hamdan (42-5) soph., 112 Tyler Roberts (36-16) soph., Isaac Dusseau (44-6) jr., 125 Mason Lopinski (33-19) fr., 130 Cole Weaver (46-0) jr., 130 Carlos Randall (26-4) jr., 135 JD Waters (35-5) jr., 135 Wyatt Spangler (27-22) sr., 152 Kyle Johnson (41-15) fr., 215 Jake Morgan (37-12) jr.
Outlook: Only Hudson, Davison and Dundee have won at least four straight Team Finals championships. Last year’s run was led by a pair of seniors who went on to individual championships, but Hudson merely has reloaded led in part by Weaver, who claimed last season’s Division 4 title at 119. And only three of this weekend’s expected starters are seniors.


Record/rank: 33-2, No. 2
League finish: Tied for first in Central State Activities Association
Coach: Doug Baird, 12th season (399-41)
Championship history: MHSAA champion 2008, four runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Wyatt Conkle (39-13) soph., 103 Corey Agens (38-15) jr., 103 Davian Gowens (36-11) fr., 119 Zack Yates (46-1) jr., 130 David Jacobs (49-7) jr., 135 Chase Siersema (52-3) jr., 140 Mark Workman (37-13) fr., 145 Cash Bolles (37-7) sr., 160 Lee Siersema (49-7) sr., 189 Eldon Graham (42-8) jr., 215 Scott Rosencrans (25-13) fr.
Outlook: Last season was the only one over the last nine in which in the Panthers didn't make it to Battle Creek, and they've made the Semifinals six times during that span. Two of Hesperia’s runner-up finishes came against Hudson in 2011 and 2009 by a combined 14 points. Yates was an individual runner-up last season, to Hudson’s Weaver at 119, and Chase Siersema was an individual runner-up in 2011. Like Hudson again, only two of Hesperia’s expected starters this weekend are seniors.


Record/rank: 31-4, No. 3
League finish: First in Genesee Area Conference
Coach: Jeff Campbell, 12th season (307-62)
Championship history: 12 MHSAA championships (most recently 2004), four runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Cole Hersch (43-11) fr., 119 Johnny Robinson (33-14) fr., 125 Gabe Bennett (40-11) soph., 130 Dalton Birchmeier (28-22) soph., 140 Jacob Perrin (55-2) sr., 145 Josh Wendling (41-5) jr., 152 Aaron Bauman (45-6) jr., 160 Taylor Krupp (46-3) jr., 171 Dakota Clark (26-23) jr., 189 Cody Symons (53-2) jr., 215 Owen Wilson (35-10) jr.
Outlook: New Lothrop has reached the Quarterfinals all 12 seasons under Campbell and eclipsed 30 wins two of the last three. His line-up has only one senior, but that senior – Jacob Perrin – is coming off an MHSAA individual championship at 130. Four others are ranked among the top four in their individual weight classes this winter.


Record/rank: 21-0, No. 7
League finish: First in St. Joseph Valley Conference
Coach: Al Sosinski, 30th season (474-234)
Championship history: MHSAA runners-up in 2002 and 2003.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Jake Littlefield (36-10) sr., 125 Hunter Machus (42-5) sr., 130 Kahle Scheenks (33-15) soph., 145 Brandon Losinski (42-9) sr., 160 Dan Erwin (25-7) sr., 171 Leo Mora (33-6) sr., 189 Brett Burtrum (25-7) soph.
Outlook: Bronson has won its District the last 12 seasons and is making its first trip to the Quarterfinals since 2009. The line-up features eight seniors including five who will also compete at the Individual Finals. Machus and Mora are ranked among the top four in their respective weight classes. Sosinski’s record qualifies for listing among the top 20 winningest wrestling coaches in MHSAA history.  


Record/rank: 25-9, unranked
League finish: First in Tri-County Conference
Coach: Marc Spicer, fifth season (106-64)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Gabe Beaubien (40-17) sr., 103 Terry Burns (31-12) fr., 112 Michael Petee (37-19) soph., 145 Roger Fox (35-8) jr., 160 Nick Garza (45-7) sr., 189 Charlie Robertson (38-11) soph., 215 Garrett Miller (51-5) sr.
Outlook: Sand Creek has continued to build under Spicer with three straight District Titles and its first Regional championship under him this season. Garza finished individual Finals runner-up last season at 152 and leads a line-up with eight 30-match winners. All seven wrestlers between 145-285 have won at least 31 matches this season.


Record/rank: 26-6, No. 9
League finish: First in Central Michigan Athletic Conference
Coach: Kacy Datema, third season (57-28)
Championship history: MHSAA runners-up in 2000 and 2001.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Taylor Barkley (29-15) fr., 112 Kenneth Dittenber (49-4) sr., 119 Dallas O’Green (46-6) fr., 140 Garner Cusack (46-7) jr., 145 Dillan Decker (47-5) soph., 152 Darren Decker (50-2) soph., 160 Lincoln Burnham (14-9) soph.  
Outlook: Datema, a former Carson City-Crystal wrestler himself, has guided the Eagles back to Battle Creek after steady improvement during his first two seasons as coach. They could be back for a few more with nine underclassmen expected to start this weekend. Dittenber is a two-time Individual Finals champion, and Dillan Decker also is considered a top contender next weekend.   


Record/rank: 25-4, unranked
League finish: First in O-K Silver
Coach: Chad Kik, 13th season (255-138)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Tom Devos (35-12) jr., 135 Brendon Rodenburg (44-9) fr., 140 Jayson Ellicott (44-12) jr., 152 KJ Herremans (39-12) jr., 171 Shane Rodenburg (52-2) soph., 215 Konner Wolter (53-1) sr.
Outlook: Kent City has increased its win total four straight seasons, won its District the last three years and will make its first Quarterfinal appearance under Kik – who won an individual championship for Sparta in 1992. Wolter is one of only two seniors, but with Rodenburg is expected to contend for an individual championship next weekend. Kent City beat No. 10 Bangor in a tie-breaker at the Regional.


Record/rank: 21-2, unranked
League finish: First in Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference
Coach: Nick Burklund, fourth season (43-26)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Cayleb Winkler (29-13) sr., 152 Taylor Bonetti (37-16) soph., 171 Jacob Rehn (30-13) soph.
Outlook: Norway too has increased its win total each of the last four seasons and despite posting sub-.500 marks in Burklund’s first two. The Knights could continue to surge with only two seniors on the roster this winter. Norway won its District matches by a combined score of 129-15, and then got past tough competitors Rogers City and St. Ignace at the Regional. 

PHOTO: Hudson's Cole Weaver (top) battles to an 18-6 major decision in his match at 125 pounds during last seaon's Division 4 Final at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena. Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)