Macomb Dakota wrestling wins second consecutive regional title

By: Mark Vest, | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle Macomb Township Chronicle St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 15, 2017

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.

The quarterfinals-finals take place Feb. 24-25 at McGuirk Arena on the campus of Central Michigan University.

Seedings are set to be announced Feb. 19.

With reaching the quarterfinals having become familiar territory for the Cougars, this time around, coach Ed Skowneski is looking to go big when they get there.

“It feels good, but we’ve never gotten past the quarters,” he said. “That’s really what our goal is, to make it to the semis, make it to the finals, and win the whole thing.”

Junior Layne Malczewski shares the same sentiment as his coach.

“We’ve been working to get to the finals,” he said. "I think we have (a) good chance to make it there. … We don’t think anybody’s (going to) stop us to get there. … We’re not satisfied until we’re in the state finals.”

Also coming away with wins for Dakota in the regional final were Nicholas Alayan (103), Andrew Barrett (112), Tyler Sanders (135), Thomas Gawlowski (140), Dustin Solomon (160), Malczewski (171) and Frank Alcini (189).

Alayan won via pin.

Anchor Bay’s other winners were Jack Medley (119), Anderson Strunk (125), Matt Dufty (130), Nino Tranchida (145) and Luke Brazil (152).

Medley got a pin for Anchor Bay.

Dakota beat Fraser in the semifinals to advance, with Anchor Bay defeating St. Clair Shores Lakeview.