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February 11, 2013

Lincoln wrestling program enjoying a renaissance

Wrestling team wins third straight league title, second consecutive district title

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Warren Lincoln wrestling team won its third straight league title this season. Over that span, the Abes have a 20-1 record in league matches. Pictured is Lincoln’s Khannor Kaercher, right, and St. Clair Shores Lake Shore’s Stephan Orlando during a MHSAA Division 2 district-final match Feb. 7 at Lake Shore.

WARREN — The Warren Lincoln wrestling team didn’t win a match in Macomb Area Conference White Division in 2007-08.

On Feb. 5, Abes wrestling coach Vito Delia said that feels like ages ago.

“We couldn’t get kids to come out, and that, obviously, makes it tough to win matches,” Delia said.

Since then, Lincoln has amassed a 29-5 record, including a 5-0 mark in the MAC Blue this year (26-1 overall at press time) and a third straight league title.

To make the season even more memorable, Lincoln knocked off St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 63-14 to clinch a second straight Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 district title Feb. 7.

The Abes advance to face Madison Heights Lamphere in a D-2 regional semi, set for 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at Lamphere.

Lincoln’s only loss of the entire season came against Macomb Dakota.

“We’ve got great kids coming to work hard every day,” Delia said. “Nobody complains and we’re able to keep the kids.

“A lot of them joined the team because they found out they couldn’t all be Michael Jordan, and they found out wrestling is something they like and something they’re pretty good at.”

A willingness by the grapplers to do anything to help the team win has played a big part in the Abes’ success, according to Delia. That includes wrestlers moving up in weight classes.

Senior Riwan Hormiz is naturally a 125 pounder, Delia said, who this season has wrestled at 130 and 135. Senior Jacob Walker, who wrestles at 171, has also wrestled up a weight class.

“We’re just all about the team,” Walker said. “No matter what, we give 110 percent for each other.”

Delia said he talked to his wrestlers about that approach — wrestling for everyone on the team, even more so than for the school.

“You have to know that what you do has an effect on your teammates,” Delia said. “We’ve got great kids who understand that.”

“Even though there are individual aspects of it, wrestling is a team sport,” Hormiz said. “We go out and try to win for each other, and when we’re not on the mat, we’re uplifting our teammates.”

The Abes’ future looks just as bright as their success this sesaon, as 10 of the 14 regulars in the lineup are freshmen or sophomores, according to Delia.

Senior 189-pounder Anthony Homesly set some lofty expectations for the future squads.

“They’ll definitely be challenging for state titles in the next year or two.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.