Wrestling

Published February 28, 2017

CLAWSON — Three was the magic number, or record number, if you will.

That was the record in the 1970s when Clawson High sent three wrestlers to the individual state finals.

And since that time, the Trojans squad has never been as well-represented on the season’s biggest stage.

Until now, that is.

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Published February 27, 2017

FRASER — Fraser High wrestler Danny Pfeffer stayed perfect on the season, winning a Division 1 individual regional championship in the 145-pound class Feb. 18 at Hartland High.

The victory also gave the senior a spot at the individual finals March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“It’s my first one (regional championship). It felt really good to win the title,” Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer’s accomplishments now include a 54-0 record for the season, a Macomb County championship and 198 career wins.

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Published February 27, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — When asked about Danny Smyk, Utica Eisenhower wrestling coach David Drath chuckles, calling him one of the best leaders he’s ever had on a team, but also one of the quietest.

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Published February 25, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — Warren Woods Tower came close to earning the school's first team championship in any sport as the wrestling squad fell 32-21 to Lowell High in the Division 2 state title match on Feb. 25 at Central Michigan University.

The defeat marked the first and only blemish on the season, as the Titans finish 28-1 overall.

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Published February 25, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — In its first-ever appearance in the Division 1 wrestling state semifinals, Macomb Dakota fell to Davison High 37-21 Feb. 25 on the campus of Central Michigan University.

"They have nothing to be ashamed of, they went out there and wrestled extremely well," said Dakota coach Ed Skowneski of his team. "Davison is a very tough team. They don't have any holes in their lineup, but we hung in there with them."

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Published February 24, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — With only three matches remaining in the Division 2 state quarterfinals, Warren Woods Tower was headed to its first loss of the season.

After a quick pin at 215 pounds, the Titans were down 33-18. The No. 2 seed in the tournament, Tower needed a major comeback to stave off an upset by DeWitt High.

In the span of roughly 10 minutes in real-time, Tower saved its season, closing out the contest with a 17-0 run to improve to a perfect 27-0 on the year.

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Published February 24, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Macomb Dakota wrestling team made program history with a thrilling 26-25 victory against Westland John Glenn, the first win the Cougars ever recorded in the state tournament.

"This feels great," said Dakota coach Ed Skowneski. "I would've liked it to not have been as close, but I'll take it any way it comes."

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Published February 24, 2017

WARREN — The Division 2 individual wrestling state finals will have a distinct Titans flavor to them this year.

That’s because the Warren Woods Tower wrestling team will send 11 grapplers to the finals, set for March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. That number is a school record. The previous record was six wrestlers, set last year.

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Published February 24, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s been a long road for St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior heavyweight Austin Bauslaugh.

The 285-pound grappler has battled his way to regionals each of the last three seasons. In 2015 and 2016, Bauslaugh, also a standout on the Huskies football team, lost in the blood round when a win would have sent him to The Palace of Auburn Hills.

This year, the Lakeview senior put it all on the line and will finally compete at the wrestling state finals.

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Published February 20, 2017

C&G Newspapers

After advancing through the district and regional rounds, the top grapplers in their respective weight classes will head to The Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual wrestling state finals.

The event begins with the Grand March at 1:45 p.m. March 2, followed by the first round of action.

On March 3, the bouts resume at 8:30 a.m., with the semifinals slated to start at 7 p.m.

On March 4, consolation matches begin at 11 a.m. and the title bouts begin at 4:45 p.m.

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Published February 17, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview wrestling coach Steve Nicholl called his team’s season, which saw the squad win a second straight Division 1 district championship, a success “by far.”

“We had, I guess, a tumultuous season with injuries, illnesses, kids who weren’t committed who we parted ways with,” Nicholl said. “I’m excited that we were able to win our district and get (to regionals).”

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Published February 17, 2017

On March 2, the prep-wrestling community will descend on the Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual state finals.
The top wrestlers and coaches from across the state will be on hand, but one will be missing.

Rochester High coach Frank Lafferty died Feb. 15 after a bout with pancreatic cancer.

He was 67.

Lafferty coached the Falcons since 2003 and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame last year. He will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this May in Ann Arbor.

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Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROCHESTER HILLS — Oxford High earned its ninth regional championship in 10 seasons, handling Rochester Adams 54-12 in the title match.

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Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

FRASER — Macomb Dakota’s wrestling program won its second consecutive Division 1 regional title with a 31-23 victory against New Baltimore Anchor Bay Feb. 15 at Fraser High.

In the second from last match of the evening, Anchor Bay got a win from Luke Yenna (215 pounds) to trim Dakota’s lead to 25-23.

Dakota sealed the victory when Rahmi Khalil (285) won via void to give the Cougars their final points of the night.

With the victory, Dakota is heading to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

WARREN — Next weekend won’t be the first time the Warren Woods Tower wrestling team has competed in the state quarterfinals, but it will be the first time the team has entered the last weekend of the season unbeaten.

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Published February 14, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — Jon Herstein was going to put a positive spin on this, one way or another.

The Farmington Hills Harrison wrestling coach has watched his young, up-and-coming team improve all season long.

And he was more than happy to boast about it following last week’s team district action.

“The kids wrestled very tough in this one,” Herstein said of the Division 2 district Feb. 8. “We were a little banged up, so we had to battle. It was certainly something to build on.”

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Published February 14, 2017

Scott Welborn called it a “real good battle.”

And if the Royal Oak High wrestling coach had a full squad last week in the team district event, it may have been a real good win.

“We had to void three weight classes, and that was tough,” Welborn said of what was a 52-30 loss to Warren Cousino in the Division 1 team district Feb. 8 at home. “We wrestled well the whole time.”

In matches where the Ravens had guys compete, Cousino outscored them just 34-30.

Josh Weyer got things going with a pin in the 112-pound weight class.

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Published February 13, 2017

Short-handed and young, the Birmingham Groves wrestling team went match for match with Southfield A&T in a Division 1 district final.

In the end — and in overtime — it was the Warriors who eventually moved on at the Feb. 8 final.

Still, as Groves coach Joseph Jones reflected back on the postseason, and the team season for that matter, he had nothing but praise for his grapplers.

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Published February 9, 2017

UTICA — Utica Eisenhower won its third straight wrestling team district championship, defeating Troy Athens 50-17 in the title round Feb. 9 at Utica High.

"I think this shows that we're still around," said Ike coach David Drath. "We had 14 kids graduate from last year, which is quite a bit. Even with that and a lot of injuries, we showed that we can wrestle tough, which says a lot about our entire team."

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Published February 9, 2017

UTICA — Troy High and Troy Athens saw their wrestling seasons end on Feb. 9, with each side falling in the district round at Utica High.

Athens fell to Utica Eisenhower 50-17 for the title. It was the Eagles' third straight district crown. The Red Hawks topped the host Chieftains 43-31 in the opening round

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