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Catholic Central the school to beat in team wrestling

David Goricki
The Detroit News

It’s safe to pencil in Detroit Catholic Central when it comes to the State Team Wrestling Finals.

After all, this is Catholic Central’s 10th consecutive trip to the State Finals, bringing back home the ultimate trophy in 2010, ’12, ’13 and ’14 and entering Friday’s Division 1 quarterfinal against No. 8 seed Brighton at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant as the top seed and the team to beat.

Catholic Central (27-1) has a 80-0 regional semifinal win over Salem and a 73-0 regional title win over Dearborn Fordson. Its lone loss came against St. Edwards in Ohio, the second ranked team in the nation.

How good is Catholic Central? Well, all 14 of its wrestlers qualified for the individual state tournament for the second time in school history. Devon Johnsen (103), Ben Kamali (112), Cam Amine (145), Ty Morland (171) and Nick Jenkins (285) all won individual regional titles Saturday.

“It’s a fun group to coach,” said Catholic Coach Mitch Hancock. “I’m very proud of this team. We have three more matches and we’re going to go out and do our very best.”

Catholic Central is led by defending 285-pound state champion Nick Jenkins, who signed with Central Michigan. Jenkins, Morland, Amine, Kamali and Kevin Davenport (130) all won individual state championships last year.

“Nick (Jenkins) signed a scholarship to wrestle there so I’m extremely proud and like I said when he signed he’ll be walking some of the same halls I walked and will be wrestling for the same fantastic person that I wrestled for so I’m really excited for him,” said Hancock who wrestled at CMU under current coach Tom Borrelli in the early ‘00s.

Jenkins is looking forward to his trip to Mount Pleasant.

“When I took my visit up there I knew that’s where I wanted to go, just a good fit,” said Jenkins of his decision to wrestle at CMU. “We’re looking forward to the state meet. We don’t really care if we’re the top seed or not. You have to beat the best teams to be the best.”

Catholic Central lost to Davison in the semifinals last year with Hartland then defeating Davison for the state championship.

Lowell is the three-time defending state champion in Division 2, Dundee is the defending Division 3 state champ and New Lothrop will be in search of its fourth straight Division 4 crown.

Richmond had been in six straight Division 3 state title matches - winning championships in 2010, ‘11, ‘12 and ‘15 - before a 37-29 quarterfinal loss to Whitehall last year.

Richmond won’t have to worry about losing in a quarterfinal this time around, receiving a bye due to Mt. Morris being disqualified after breaking a weigh-in rule in the regional.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com: @DavidGoricki

Team Wrestling Finals

At McGuirk Arena, Mount Pleasant

Friday’s quarterfinals

Division 1 at 2

No. 1 Detroit Catholic Central (28-1) vs. No. 8 Brighton (16-8), No. 4 Oxford (24-5) vs. No. 5 Hartland (32-3), No. 3 Macomb Dakota (32-3) vs. No. 6 Westland John Glenn (29-6), No. 2 Davison (24-3) vs. No. 7 Grandville (14-5)

Division 2 at 6:45

No. 1 Lowell (18-2) vs. No. 8 Tecumseh (24-6), No. 4 Marysville (26-0) vs. No. 5 Allendale (34-3), No. 3 St. Johns (25-1) vs. No. 6 Niles (15-1), No. 2 Warren Woods Tower (26-0) vs. No. 7 DeWitt (30-4)

Division 3 at 4:30

No. 1 Richmond (27-2) gets bye

No. 4 Lake Fenton (33-5) vs. No. 5 Whitehall (20-3), No. 3 Remus Chippewa Hills (27-1) vs. No. 6 Lake Odessa Lakewood (29-6), No. 2 Dundee (18-4) vs. No. 7 Caro (28-7)

Division 4 at noon

No. 1 Hudson (16-9) vs. No. 8 Munising (22-3), No. 4 Bronson (30-8) vs. No. 5 Springport (17-3), No. 3 Carson City-Crystal (29-8) vs. No. 6 New Lothrop (14-8), No. 2 Leroy Pine River (30-4) vs. No. 7 Clinton (28-7)

Saturday’s schedule

Semifinals for Division 1 and 4 will be at 9 a.m. with Division 2 and 3 at 11:30.

Title matches for Division 1 and 4 will take place at 3:30 with Division 2 and 3 at 6.