Wolves ready for third consecutive trip to quarterfinals

Clarkston News Sports Writer
Grapplers smiled as they claimed their third consecutive regional crown – sending them to the next round on the way to the state championship.
“It’s huge,” said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Head Coach Brian Gibbs as the Wolves got ready for tournament held on Tuesday, March 30 in Kalamazoo.
“It’s the first time Clarkston has been able to do it three years in a row in program history with such a historic program – all the individual state champions, and state championship team, to say hey we are the first ones to do it. It is going to be a snowball effect moving forward for our kids.”
He added being in the same situation in the final rounds the last few years gives the athletes a mental edge.
“A mindset is everything in wrestling,” Gibbs said. “If you don’t have a mindset, a belief and knowing your preparation is going to take you to good places then you might as well not step out on the mat. I think our guys were ready and do what needed to be done.”
Going in the boys are bringing fight and belief.

Clarkston Varsity Wrestling claims the regional championship with wins over Romeo and Stoney Creek at home, March 24. Photo by Wendi Reardon Price

“Bringing a team that at every single weight we are going to put an effort and we are going to put a fight out there,” Gibbs said. “Wrestling is a one-on-one sport and anything can happen. If seven matches go our way, then we have a shot in any dual.”
The Wolves claimed the MHSAA Division 1 Wrestling Regional 106 crown with a 39-33 win over Stoney Creek at Clarkston High School, March 24.
Brady Vogt opened the match with a 15-0 technical fall against Zack Mehl in the 103-pound weight class.
The Cougars caught up in the score taking the next two weight classes, 10-5.
Ashton Anderson (125) pinned Collin Oliver 24 seconds into his match to put the Wolves, 11-10.
Stoney Creek answered scoring eight points in the next two matches.
Clarkston closed in with a pin from Ethan Lefevre (140) over Luke Braun.
After Stoney Creek captured three points in the 145-pound weight class, the Wolves posted two pins in the next weight classes as Grady Castle (152) won his match against Stanley Czabanski and John Lord (160) won his match over Jake Shuman.
Hayden Payne won the 171-pound weight class in a 13-2 major decision against Steven Lambert and Collin Trevino (189) pinned Sam Allen at the beginning of the third period.
Clarkston defeated Romeo in the regional semifinal, 36-28.
“We knew Romeo was going to be tough going in,” Gibbs said. “They are a well-coached team and they are all athletic. We knew they were going to put everything at us and take it to us. We just had to fight fire with fire. I knew it was going to be crucial at 160, 171, 189 weight classes. We took care of business.”
Drew Stark sealed the win against Romeo for the Wolves. After a handshake with Austin Finley in the 215-pound weight class, Stark was quick to put Finley in a fall position. He pinned his opponent 16 seconds into the match for six points.
“Drew is the spunk and the character to the team,” Gibbs said. “He always brings positive light and energy to the room to dual meets. It’s nice to see him go out and seal the deal for us.”
Wins also came from Ashton Anderson (125) with a fall over Drake Garrisi, 35 seconds into the match; Auggie Anderson (130) fall over Noah Watson, 45 seconds into the match; Castle against Marcus Donovan, 7-2; Lord against Tyler Pressel, 4-2; Payne over Carson Kohl, 2-1; Trevino over Joseph Hauler, 8-1; and Mitchell Murray (103) with a void.
The Wolves competed against Hartland in the quarterfinals on Tuesday and lost 64-10.
Clarkston had four advance from the individual regional meet on Saturday. Castle (152) and Auggie Anderson (130) finished in second place; Ashton Anderson (125) finished in third place; and John Lord (160) finished in fourth place.
The MHSAA Division 1 Wrestling Individual Finals is this Saturday at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Starting weight is 160 pounds.

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