BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Fans and teammates were on their feet as Clarkston’s Cole Wiegers and Oxford’s Matt Curtis wrestled in the 125-pound weight class – the final match in the MHSAA Wrestling Team Regional Semifinal, Feb. 13.
The Wildcats were in the lead going into the final match, 29-25, and the winner would go on to compete for the regional title.
Wieger was victorious as he pinned Curtis in the second period with 16 seconds remaining and was greeted with happy hugs from the bench as the Wolves won, 31-29.
“It was really exciting,” said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Head Coach Joe Wood. “We had some things not go our way early in the match. The kids found a way to fight back and get themselves in a position to win. We put out Cole and he did his job. He had a good Wednesday.”
Clarkston went on to beat Utica Ford in the championship match, 41-26, to move on to the quarterfinal match in the state finals – the first time since 2007.
“Utica Ford was tough in the middle,” Wood said. “We knew we would run into some tough kids. They did well. Going in with such an emotional high to come down and wrestle again makes it a bit difficult. They wrestled well.”
Against Oxford, Conor Donahue (140) started the scoring for the Wolves with a 15-4 victory. Ethan Polick (145) pinned his opponent with 42 seconds remaining in the match.
Wins also came from Devin Trevino (160), Frank Davis (189), Jacob Jones (289) with a pin, and Ashton Anderson (119) with his match going into three overtime periods before he won, 4-3.
“Frank went out at districts he lost the first round. The kid he wrestled took second in the district. Frank beat him which was really big for our team,” Wood added. “We got pins from Ethan, Jacob and of course Cole. It was pretty incredible.”
Against Utica Ford, Davis, Jones and Dru Martin (103) won with falls; Gabriel Gipe (112) and Drew Stark (215) won with voids; Polick won with a 22-7 technical fall; Jacob Billette (152) won 12-9, and Trevino won 8-5.
Wood added they forfeited three weight classes to avoid injuries going into the individual regional tournament.
The Wolves, seeded No. 8, will wrestle Detroit Catholic Central, seeded No. 1, in the quarterfinals on Friday at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, 2:15 p.m.
“It’s going to be a team effort,” Wood said. “We are just going to have to get out there and leave it all out there. The kids are going to have to wrestle hard. The funny thing is about high school sports is anything can happen. We are going to go out there and give them a go. Go hard and see what happens.”
The Wolves will send eight wrestlers to the MHSAA Division 1 Wrestling Individual State Finals at Ford Field, March 1-2.
“Everybody wrestled hard and to their potential in their matches,” said Wood. “We were happy with how the kids performed.”
Donahue (135) and Polick (140) finished the MHSAA Wrestling Individual Regional meet at Clarkston in first place.
Donahue defeated Grand Blanc’s Brody Kemper during the championship match with a fall, 5:51. He also won his matches over Midland’s Daniel Revord, with a fall, 2:40; and Utica Ford’s Gary Nilson, 8-2.
“He beat a really good kid in the finals match,” Wood added.
Polick defeated Davison’s James Johnston in the championship round with a fall, 5:21. He also posted wins over Grand Blanc’s Griffin Redmond, 18-2; and Swartz Creek’s Joe Carpenter, 9-8.
“Ethan had a really great performance,” said Wood. “He took second at the district. Then, won the regional over two kids who were ranked ahead of him.”
Billette (145) and Trevino (160) took second place.
Billette defeated Midland Dow’s Kaleb Studebaker, with a fall, :34; and Lake Orion’s Anthony Vellucci, 7-0. He lost to Bay City Western’s Vic Schoenherr, with a fall, 3:03.
“He took second to a kid who was undefeated for the year so the kid was tough,” Wood said.
Trevino posted wins over Swartz Creek’s Brennon Larion, with a fall, 1:37; and Midland Dow’s Brennan Doyle, 3-2. He lost to Davison’s Alex Facundo, 13-3.
Hanselman (130) finished in third place with wins over Grand Blanc’s Caleb Roumayeh, with a fall, 3:59, and another fall, :36; and Oxford’s Liam Hillary, 3-1. He lost Waterford Kettering’s T.J. Daugherty, 14-0.
“Mac beat a kid from Oxford who beat him Wednesday night,” Wood added. “It was huge for Mac. We were really excited for him.”
Anderson (119), Wiegers (125) and Grady Castle (135) finished in fourth place to qualify for the state finals.
Anderson had wins over Lapeer’s Gage Houghtaling, with a fall, 5:52; and Oxford’s Matthew Curtis, 3-0. He lost to Davison’s Andrew Chambal, 6-2, and Steven Garty, with a fall, 4:23.
Wiegers had wins over Utica Ford’s Noah Tgiros, 10-8; Flushing’s Brennan Herr, with a fall, 1:31; and Port Huron Northern’s Elliot Cleaver, 16-5. He lost to Davison’s Jaron Wilson, 6-3.
Castle had wins over Grand Blanc’s Devin Miller, injury; and Flushing’s Luke Maurer, 5-0. He lost the Grand Blanc’s Kemper, 7-5; and Utica Ford’s Nilson, 8-7.
Jacob Jones (215) defeated Rochester Adams’ Timothy Anderson with a fall, 4:26. He lost to Bay City Central’s Mason Schumacher, 6-3; and Davison’s Jimmy Colley, 3-0, to finish the season.