Battle Creek – Defending champion Detroit Catholic Central and top-ranked Davison are on a collision course for a rematch in the Division 1 state team wrestling title match.
Davison blanked No. 8 seed Livonia Franklin 68-0 in one state quarterfinal on Friday at Kellogg Arena while No. 3 seed Catholic Central dominated No. 6 seed Plymouth, 57-9.
Catholic Central (16-4) has a semifinal showdown with No. 2 seed Hartland (39-2) Saturday morning while Davison (23-4) faces No. 5 seed Oxford (25-4). The title match is set for 4 p.m.
Catholic Central defeated Davison 29-26 for the championship last year when Evan Toth came back from a 9-2 deficit with less than a minute left to earn a pin in the final match at 125 pounds.
Nick Jenkins (285) and Toth (125) had pins early in the match against Plymouth (36-5) to help Catholic Central take a 19-3 lead. But it was sophomore Aaron Rehfeldt who Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock praised for his 9-1 major decision over Collin Reed at 103.
“I thought we wrestled pretty well overall,” Hancock said. “Our guys were aggressive today and I liked that. We had a couple of wins in that lineup that probably Plymouth would have considered swing matches and I thought we dominated, especially at 103, where we lost that match earlier in the year, 7-2, so to reverse that situation and win by a major (decision) I think shows a lot, especially for Aaron Rehfeldt.”
Catholic Central and Hartland will wrestle for the first time this season. Hartland lost in state title matches four straight years (2004-07) and is still looking for its first championship.
Hartland jumped out to a 36-6 lead over Dakota (25-6), getting pins from Josh Charneski (285), Justin Rollins (130) and Jacob Gorial (145).
“We came out hard early, jumping out to a 36-6 lead, so it was a good start for us,” said Todd Cheney, who is now in his 22nd year as Hartland’s head coach. “We have to wrestle better (Saturday) in our upper weights for sure. We didn’t wrestle that well on top today.”
Davison wrestled well up and down the lineup, getting pins from Dakota Powers (285), Jacob Alvarez (103), Devon Perez (119), Lincoln Olson (125), Matthew Miller (135), Justin Oliver (140), Dominic Russ (145).
“I’m very proud of our guys,” said Davison coach Roy Hall, who guided his team to five straight state titles (2002-06) “I think they are very focused. I think it (state title) would be pretty big for this group. I can tell you they’ve been waiting for the year to get over. I don’t know if it’s been enjoyable for them because business was left undone (last season).
“Honestly, this senior class is arguably as good as any we’ve ever had, but they haven’t won a state title.”
Davison two-time individual state champion Jordan Cooks, a senior, handed Jordan Atienza (57-1) his first loss of the season, 7-6, at 189.
“It would be huge for us to win it," said Cooks of the state title. "I've been here four years and unfortunately we've come up short all three years before now. I think my team can put it together and we can win."
Division 1 team wrestling
No. 1 Davison 68, No. 8 Livonia Franklin 0
No. 2 Hartland 40, No. 7 Macomb Dakota 27
No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central 57, No. 6 Plymouth 9
No. 4 Oxford 32, No. 5 Grandville 23
Saturday's semifinals, 9:30 a.m.
Davison vs. Oxford
Hartland vs. Detroit Catholic Central