Clinton wrestling

Wrestling

Preview: Clinton, Hudson, New Lothrop Lead Way Again in D4

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

March 29, 2021

From 2014-18, Hudson and New Lothrop faced each other in five consecutive Division 4 Team Finals. Then Clinton broke into the mix in 2019, and broke through for its first championship in 2020.

Those three teams are the top three seeds again Tuesday at Wings Event Center – but five others hope to become the next to join the elite of the elite among the smallest wrestling schools.

Division 4 Quarterfinals – matchups below – begin at 10 a.m. at Wings’ Arena, with Semifinals at 3 p.m. and the championship match at 6.

Division 4 - 10 am - The Arena
#1 Clinton vs. #8 Ravenna - Mat 4
#4 Whittemore-Prescott vs. #5 Leslie - Mat 2
#3 New Lothrop vs. #6 Bark River-Harris - Mat 3
#2 Hudson vs. #7 Schoolcraft - Mat 1

Spectator limits remain in effect, but all matches will be broadcast live and viewable with subscription on MHSAA.tv. Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 4, listed by seed.

#1 CLINTON
Record/rank: 19-1, No. 1
League finish: Second in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Co-Coaches: Jeff Rolland, eighth season (214-49); Casey Randolph, second season (83-11)
Championship history: Division 4 champion 2020, runner-up 2019.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Connor Younts (21-2) fr., 112 Connor Busz (20-4) soph., 112 Coy Perry (24-1) fr., 119 Zak Shadley (22-4) soph., 125 Nik Shadley (24-1), fr. 130 Ethan Younts (20-4) soph., 135 Landis Gillman (22-4) sr., 140 George Ames (24-0) jr., 145 Kent McCombs (23-2) jr., 152 AJ Baxter (22-2) sr., 160 Spencer Konz (21-3) sr., 171 Brayden Randolph (24-1) sr., 189 Logan Badge (25-1) jr., 285  Ryan Phillips (17-4) sr. 
Outlook: Clinton’s projected starting lineup for Tuesday includes nine wrestlers who were in the lineup that defeated Hudson in last season’s championship match – and still Tuesday’s lineup includes only four seniors. Badge is a two-time Individual Finals champion, including at 189 a year ago, while McCombs (145) and Brayden Randolph (171) both were runners-up individually last season. Also among returning Finals placers are Busz (third at 103), junior Chase Packard (eighth at 112), Ames (third at 135) and Konz (third at 160). The lone team loss this season came to Division 3 top-seeded Dundee, and Clinton defeated Hudson 41-19 at the start of this month.

#2 HUDSON
Record/rank: 20-1, No. 2
League finish: Third in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Scott Marry, 33rd season (842-193)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2019), four runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Cole Marry (20-1) fr., 119 Payton Rogers (21-2) jr., 125 Austin Marry (19-7) fr., 125 Tristan Bolenbaugh (18-2) jr., 130 Bronson Marry (21-0) jr., 130 Jackson Miller (18-2) jr., 140 Aden Barrett (19-3) soph., 140 Tyler Bolenbaugh (22-3) sr., 145 Caden Natale (22-1) sr., 160 Dylan Smith (23-1) sr., 171 Logan Sallows (17-7) soph., 215 Cameron Underwood (25-2) jr.
Outlook: Hudson is expected to continue on its current run of 12 straight championship match appearances after finishing runner-up a year ago – which came after three straight Division 4 titles won from 2017-19. As noted above, the lone loss this winter came to Clinton, last season’s championship match opponent. Bronson Marry (112) and Natale (130) were champions last season after both also finished Individual Finals runners-up in 2019. Smith finished third at 152 last season. The Tigers defeated No. 10 Hanover-Horton and No. 4 Bronson at their Regional.

#3 NEW LOTHROP
Record/rank: 19-1, No. 3
League finish: No league title awarded this season.
Coach: Jeff Campbell, 20th season (501-94)
Championship history: 15 MHSAA championships (most recent 2016), six runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Daven Lockwood (22-3) soph., 125 Caleb Sharp (23-2) soph., 130 Parker Noonan (16-8) soph., 140 Andrew Krupp (19-2) sr., 145 Jackson Knieper (19-5) sr., 152 Bryce Cheney (20-0) sr., 160 Harry Helmick (19-7) sr., 171 Brady Gross (15-1) soph., 189 Kody Krupp (22-3) sr., 215 Camden Orr (21-1) sr., 215 Grayson Orr (9-4) soph., 285 Isiah Pasik (21-0) jr.
Outlook: New Lothrop just missed getting back to the championship match last season, falling by six points to Clinton in a Semifinal. The Hornets will look to take that next step again and get back to the Final for the first time since 2018 with eight starters back from the 2020 run. Camden Orr is the returning champion at 215 pounds, while Andrew Krupp (125) and Cheney (152) were individual runners-up at their weights last winter. Pasik (third at 285) and Lockwood (fifth at 103) also are returning Finals placers.  

#4 WHITTEMORE-PRESCOTT
Record/rank: 25-0, unranked
League finish: First in North Star League
Coach: Russ Wilson, seventh season (119-65)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2002).
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Adrien Fragoso (16-13) jr., 125 Devan Nader (19-1) sr., 130 Caiden Balliet (20-6) jr., 152 Kyle Fenner (27-2) sr., 160 Dakota Gagnon (26-1) sr., 171 James Morrison (12-11) jr., 189 Russell Wilson (26-0) sr., 215 Jesse Morrison (13-7) jr., 215 William Stothers (8-16) jr.
Outlook: Whittemore-Prescott will be returning to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2006, thanks in part to a 36-31 Regional win over No. 5 LeRoy Pine River. Gagnon finished fourth last season at 160 pounds and is one of six seniors bolstering the expected starting lineup.

#5 LESLIE
Record/rank: 21-8, unranked
League finish: First in Greater Lansing Athletic Conference
Coach: Tucker Surbrook, fifth season (87-55)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 130 Lucas Mooney (25-6) sr., 140 Cannon Risner (24-6) sr., 145 Gabe Weber (32-3) sr., 152 Grant Weber (31-4) sr., 215 Ben Smieska (29-4) sr.
Outlook: Leslie won its third District title in Surbrook’s five seasons leading the program and will be returning to the Finals for the first time since 1995. The Blackhawks defeated No. 8 Manchester during their Regional on the way to Kalamazoo. Weber was third in Division 4 last season at 145, Smieska was third at 215, while Nick Carey was fourth at 189 and is 25-2 and slated to wrestle that weight Tuesday.

#6 BARK RIVER-HARRIS
Record/rank: 25-2, unranked
League finish: Does not compete in a conference.
Coach: Joe Racicot, fourth season (69-37)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Avry Corrigan (25-5) jr., 119 Daniel Dani (16-11) sr., 125 Josh Riley (16-9) soph., 135 Dillon Raab (30-0) soph., 160 Drew Allgeyer (29-2) soph., 160 Tyler Racicot (26-5) sr., 171 Wyatt Raab (30-0) jr.
Outlook: The Broncos have enjoyed major achievements the last two seasons, first winning the first District title in the program’s 10-year history last winter and now reaching the Quarterfinals for the first time. Allegeyer finished seventh at 145 pounds last season and could be part of more big things to come – Bark River-Harris has only four seniors in its expected lineup for Tuesday.

#7 SCHOOLCRAFT
Record/rank: 22-6, No. 7
League finish: First in Southwestern Athletic Conference
Coach: Rob Ling, 16th season (360-168)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Carsten Svoboda (21-9) fr., 119 Lane DeLoof (20-8) jr., 135 Gary Cramer (23-2) sr., 189 Tagg Gott (19-3) soph., 215 Jimmy Downs (13-2) sr.
Outlook: Schoolcraft edged Lawton 36-31 in their Regional to get to the Quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons and after being eliminated by Lawton a year ago. Senior Hunter Martens (119, 13-3) finished fifth at 125 pounds last season.

#8 RAVENNA
Record/rank: 12-12, unranked
League finish: Third in West Michigan Conference
Coach: Cody Carpenter, second season (19-28)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Nick Schofield (18-9) sr., 125 Kevin Spoelman (18-6) sr., 135 Austin Brown (13-3) sr., 145 Joshua Kooiman (17-13) sr.
Outlook: Ravenna will be making its first appearance in the Quarterfinals, but Spoelman brings Individual Finals experience after finishing sixth at 119 a year ago. A starting lineup made up of half seniors helped push the Bulldogs to their historic accomplishment.  

PHOTO: Two-time individual champion Logan Badge will try to help Clinton deliver a second-straight Division 2 team championship Tuesday. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)