Battle Creek — Drew Garcia takes great pride in being a senior captain for Detroit Catholic Central, a reason he will treasure the memory of taking the mat Saturday afternoon at Kellogg Arena and earning an overtime decision to clinch the third straight Division 1 state wrestling title for the Shamrocks.
Garcia stepped on the mat with Catholic Central leading 28-19 with two matches remaining against top-seeded Davison.
Garcia (171) faced Jordan Cooks (160) in a showdown between individual state champions from a year ago. Cooks carried a 1-0 lead into the third period of the 189-pound match before Garcia earned a point for an escape, then a takedown in overtime to open up a 31-19 lead, clinching the match.
“Being a senior captain I’ve always wondered what it would feel like coming down to me and I had a lot of nerves before that match, especially facing such a great wrestler like Jordan,” said Garcia (40-1), who was then hugged by Cooks in a great show of sportsmanship.
“When it got into overtime I just told myself, ‘One good shot,’ I just had to keep my composure and keep attacking. I felt if I did that right nothing could go wrong. And, Ty (Morland), a freshman, had a big win too. That kid beat him earlier in the year so that was a good win for him and that set me up for success.”
Davison led 19-13 with Justin Oliver’s pin at 140. Then Myles Amine (145) and older brother Malik Amine (152) earned consecutive decisions to pull the Shamrocks even before Nick Bennett’s pin at 160 opened up a 25-19 lead for Catholic Central.
Catholic Central freshman Tyler Morland faced senior Thomas Garty at 171, coming back from a 5-4 deficit to win 9-5 to set the scene for Garcia’s heroics.
“Every single one of our guys stepped on that mat and did the job they were supposed to do,” Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock said. “For Ty to turn the tables I’m proud of him. He’s a freshman and he’s going to be darn good. We won a great dual and I’m so proud of our guys and what they were able to do for Catholic Central.”
It was Catholic Central's third straight state championship. The Shamrocks defeated Davison 29-26 in last year's title match with Evan Toth's pin in the final match.
Davison defeated Catholic Central by two points earlier this season.
Lowell ended St. Johns’ run of four straight state titles … and did it in a wild finish.
Trailing 34-28, Lowell senior Garrett Stehley needed a pin to give his team a chance.
Stehley held a big lead in his 215-pound match, but wasn’t able to get the pin against Nic Sturgis. However, Sturgis was warned numerous times for stalling and then disqualified to give Lowell the six points to pull even.
Lowell, the No. 1 seed, won the match on criteria.
“We knew what we had to do before the match and we got it done,” Stehley (33-1) said. “I knew I had to get a pin for my team, but it wasn’t there and I wasn’t able to get it. Luckily, the ref understood what was going on and we got the points. He wasn’t wrestling enough to what the ref expected and he decided to give him a stall out. This is amazing. I’ve never been a part of something like this. I’m so glad we got it this year.”
Lowell held a 22-9 lead before Zac Hall (140) and Mark Bozzo (145) had tech fall victories to cut the deficit to 22-19. Then, St. Johns had consecutive pins by Drew Wixson (152) and Logan Massa (160) to take a 31-22 advantage.
Kanon Dean’s pin at 171 gave Lowell hope, pulling the Red Arrows within 31-28.
“A dual match is long and there’s some ups and downs and a point here and a point there adds up and I think in the end these guys just learned a huge lesson about how everybody has to contribute," Lowell coach David Dean said.
Top-seeded Dundee defeated Richmond 34-24 to repeat as Division 3 state champions.
Ryan Heiserman had a pin at 160 to give Dundee a 25-18 lead, then Tye Thompson followed with a decision at 171 and Teddy Warren, a pin at 189 to clinch the title.
Cody Symons had a pin at 189 pounds to clinch the Division 4 state championship for New Lothrop to prevent Hudson from winning a record sixth straight state title.
“We were up by two points and we had two matches to go so I knew a pin ends it and gives us a state title, something we've wanted to get the four years I've been here," Symons said. "It feels great. We were hoping to be that team that's on top and we got it done."
Top-seeded Hudson led 22-10 with five matches left. Josh Wendling started New Lothrop's comeback with a major decision at 152. Then, Taylor Krupp followed with a pin at 160 to cut the deficit to 22-20 before Caleb Symons earned a major decision for a 24-22 lead to set up Cody's chance for glory.
New Lothrop finished 31-1.