Wrestling roundup: Detroit C.C. outgrapples Davison in Division 1
Mount Pleasant — Detroit Catholic Central has enjoyed tremendous success against Davison with the Division 1 state team championship on the line. Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Arena was no different.
Catholic Central lived up to its No. 1 seed and earned a 35-22 victory over No. 2 seed Davison to earn its 12th state championship and first since winning three straight from 2012-14, with two of those titles also coming against Davison.
“It feels unreal, feels unbelievable and I’m just so happy for our community, happy for our young men for all the hard work they put in,” said Mitch Hancock, who guided Catholic Central to its fifth state title in his 10 years as head coach. “It’s awesome to represent everyone here and Catholic Central High School in the right way.
“To cap this off like this is absolutely remarkable. I mean, we were undefeated in the state of Michigan and we wrestled some pretty darn good competition. Our 11 seniors are fantastic and our guys work extremely hard and they got the job done. I couldn’t say more about our group of guys and our coaching staff. We have one of the best coaching staffs in the country and I firmly believe that.”
Hancock felt extra good since the win came against one of Catholic Central’s top rivals.
“I take my hat off to Roy Hall, who is one of the best coaches in the country, a Hall of Famer who does a remarkable job with his guys day-to-day. My heart hurts for him a bit, but I’m very happy for my guys.”
Catholic Central got the best of Davison after falling to its rival in the state quarterfinals two years ago, then in the state semifinal match last year.
Catholic Central got bonus points in a number of matches, including pins from Jackson Ross (215), Kevon Davenport (130) and Tyler Morland (171) and a technical fall win by Cameron Amine (140).
“To beat Davison to avenge that (semifinal) loss makes this even sweeter,” said Ross, one of the seniors. “That loss last year motivated us for the offseason and then all this season as well. There’s no better feeling than to go out like this, in front of our fans like this, it’s the best feeling in the world.
“Hats off to Davison. They have a great team and wrestled great, but it was our day. I’m very proud of our team and our seniors, and to send us out like this is a great feeling.”
Ross was proud of freshman Derek Gilcher, who came back from a 7-5 third-period deficit to earn a 9-8 decision over Jaron Wilson at 119 pounds to give Catholic Central a 15-9 cushion.
“Derek wrestled great and we expect that of him,” Ross said. “Really, that match was huge for us and really turned the momentum. He just did a great job for us.”
Gilcher said, “All the training and hard work that I put in the room paid off and it showed on the mat. I tried something that I usually don’t hit and it worked, then I tried it again and it worked again, just a great feeling.”
Catholic Central defeated Davison by 10 during the season, building the suspense for a rematch with more on the line.
“It was a 10-point win, but it was in their territory and it was pretty hostile and in a one-sided environment and our guys wrestled hard, but we didn’t wrestle to the best of our ability,” Hancock said. “We used that as motivation to spread the gap a little bit.”
Catholic Central finished 31-1 with its loss coming against St. Edwards of Ohio, the No. 2 team in the nation.
Top-seeded Lowell (21-2) earned its fourth straight Division 2 state championship with a 32-21 win over No. 2 seed Warren Woods Tower.
The title was still up for grabs with two matches remaining and Lowell’s Jeff Leach (7-0 decision at 125 pounds) and Channing Perry (13-2 major decision at 130) closed out the match in style to start the celebration.
Elijah Boulton (215) had a pin for Lowell.
David Stepanian (103) had a pin for Tower (28-1) which was making its first state championship match appearance.
Top-seeded Hudson (18-9) dominated New Lothrop, 51-13, to earn its first state championship since it won five straight from 2009-13.
Zach Bailey (215), Tucker Scholl (112), Tyler Curtis (119), Jordan Hamdan (125), Johnathan Betz (160) and Spencer Blanco (171) all had pins for Hudson, which advanced to the state title match for the ninth straight year.
Hamdan’s pin was his 100th career victory.