UTICA — Grapplers on Rochester High's wrestling team took advantage of good matchups against Utica High in a Division 1 district final, as the Falcons took down the Chieftains 54-15 en route to a district title Feb. 9 at Utica.
The win gives Rochester its first district title in 19 years, according to coach Frank Lafferty.
The loss was another heartbreak for the Chieftains, who were competing in their third straight district final.
The Falcons built a 45-9 lead going into the final three matches before Utica 171-pound grappler Erik Culberson scored a pin to cut Rochester's lead to 45-15. That was as close as the Chieftains would get.
Falcons grapplers recorded seven pins — worth six points each — in the 14-bout affair.
"Now it's on to gettting the guys ready to work in the offseason," Utica coach Clint Davis said. "We've got to get their dedication up for wanting to put work in during the summer if they want to improve."
Lafferty said he knew not to take the Chieftains for granted, citing Utica's coaching, squad and its attention to detail and preparation as reasons for having his guys locked in going into the match.
Utica bested crosstown rival Utica Eisenhower 43-27 in its district semifinal; Rochester had a bye in the three-team heat.
The Falcons advance to take on the winner of the Utica Stevenson Division 1 district in a regional semifinal slated for Feb. 15 at Utica Ford II High. The winner of the Stevenson district had not been crowned at press time. Check www.candgnews.com and www.mhsaa.com closer to the match for more information.