By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
OXFORD — Clarkston Varsity Wrestling claimed their third consecutive OAA Red League title with a 36-32 win over Oxford last Wednesday, Jan. 24.
“It’s going to be a good dual when you wrestle Oxford,” said Brian Gibbs, head coach for the Wolves. “It was a great environment. The gym was loud. Our team was getting up for every match. It was fun. It was good to get that win and get our third league title in a row.”
Archer Anderson opened the dual with a fall over Wildcat Antonio Rojas in the 120-pound weight class, at 1:15.
Preston Lefevre (126) followed it up with another fall over Wildcat Cash Russell, 25 seconds.
From there, both teams battled to take the lead and win the dual. Wolves with wins included Nate Carter (138) with a fall over Connor Stokes, 1:40; Gerald Setter (157) over Finnegan McDevitt, 10-7; Brock Trevino (190) over Preston Wilder with a fall, 45 seconds; Tony Cach (215) over Ian Jones, 9-5; and Camden Neumann (285) over Ryder Pawley with a fall, 45 seconds.
“It was a great dual,” Gibbs said. “We knew bonus points were going to be a big factor in the dual meet. We split matches seven and seven so the dual did come down to bonus points . We had five pins in the dual meet which was huge for us.
“Then, at 165-pound Matteo Marino wrestled a close match with Oxford’s best wrestler, Luke Johnson, one of the top three kids in the state. Matteo wrestled him to a two point match, 8-6, which was huge for us. It gave us momentum down the back half of the dual meet. Ultimately the biggest swing match of the dual meet was 215-pound. Cach probably looked the best he has all year. He won the match and put us in position to win the dual.”
He added competing against Oxford will help the team going into the post season, which begins Feb. 7.
“They have a lot of good kids, good coaches,” Gibbs said. “The more we can expose our kids, our team to adversity the better off we are going to be. Going into districts, regionals and states if they haven’t seen that competition or endured that pressure it will be tough for them to be comfortable in that situation. It was big for us – individually and as a team as we head into the post season. It was good to get that one final big test for us.”
The Wolves opened the night with a 66-16 win over Bloomfield Hills.
Wins with falls were: Anderson over Aiden Lindblom; Lefevre over Chase Roumayah; Ayden Mutter (132) over Arber Dembogaj-Beyer; Carter (144) over Anthony Najjar; Marino (165) over Seven Hannah; Ethan Zak (175) over Kanata Richardson; Trevino over William Clark; Cach over Stevon White; Neumann over Fallou Cisse; and Gavin Culloty (106) over Finnegan Rudy. Tyler Le (113) opened the night with a won by void.
The Wolves host Yale on Wednesday for Youth Night and Senior Night.
“Yale is doing very well this year,” said Gibbs. “They have a really strong team from top to bottom. They have several ranked guys in the line up. They have a very strong team so it will be a good test for us heading into the post season. They are very well coached team. They have really built the program in the last 10-15 years to what it is now. They are a top eight team in their division. It will be a fun night for us.”
The night begins at 5 p.m. with youth matches. Then, JV will compete. Varsity will start after 6:30 p.m.
Clarkston heads to Lake Orion on Friday and Saturday for the OAA Red League Individual meet.
“It looks good,” Gibbs said about the meet. “I think finally we have a full team back together. We have seen a lot of the kids in dual meets already, but during dual meets we shifted throughout. At the individual league meet everyone is at their true weight so it will be good to see all those match ups because it will be kids we see in the post season. We can see the individual match ups instead of strategizing during a dual meet.”
Varsity competes on Friday, beginning at 4 p.m. and JV competes on Saturday at 9 a.m. The Wolves compete in the MHSAA Division 1 Team District 107 meet at Waterford Kettering on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
By Wendi Reardon Price