Warren Woods Tower wrestling still unbeaten after romping to regional title

Titans take 27-0 mark into state quarters

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published February 15, 2017

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.

The Titans in capturing a second straight Division 2 regional championship moved to 27-0 this season in dual meets and displayed the kind of dominance the team has shown for much of the season. Tower bested Melvindale High 75-4 in the regional final, which took place Feb. 15 at Tower. The Titans knocked off Madison Heights Lamphere 66-8 in a regional semifinal, while Melvindale defeated Redford Union 42-29 to get to the finals.

The Titans advance to compete in a D-2 state quarterfinal at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 24 at Central Michigan University. The D-2 semifinals are set for 11:30 a.m. Feb. 25 and the championship match takes place at 6 p.m. later the same day, all at CMU. Matchups and seeding were not available at press time. Check www.mhsaa.com for updated state finals information.

Tower suffered a tough 31-26 loss to Gaylord High last year in the D-2 state quarters.

“We’ve been waiting to go back (to the state quarters),” Titans coach Greg Mayer said. “We’re excited, and we’re ready. I’ve probably been a little uptight the last 12 months, but I’m looking forward to competing against some very good teams.”

Tower, now with Macomb Area Conference Red Division, D-2 district and regional titles in its coffers this season, won 13 of 14 matches in the regional final. The Titans scored pins in 10 matches. Eight of those pins came in round one. Tower scored five pins within the first minute of the first round.

Titans' 160-pound grappler JuJuan Lovejoy made quick work of his opponent, scoring a pin nine seconds into the bout.

“I think I got (a pin) faster than that earlier in the season, but I don’t know,” Lovejoy said. “We got to the state quarterfinals last year, and I think we were just happy to be there. This year, we’re going with a purpose.”

The Titans this season are 10-0 against ranked teams, with victories over the likes of D-1 standouts Macomb Dakota and Walled Lake Western. Mayer said he sees mental toughness as a major factor in his team’s success.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced guys, but we’re still pretty young,” Mayer said. “The new guys do a good job of pushing the older guys every day.

“It’s not always the guy you see out on the mat. That’s not where it starts. It starts with the workouts and having good workout partners helps make everything happen.”

Melvindale coach Tony Durocher could only pay compliments to Tower.

“We didn’t really have any illusions of beating them,” Durocher said. “We’re young. We’ve got 10-12 freshmen and sophomores in our lineup. They’ve got eight guys who are ranked in the state.

“I think they’ve got the horses to compete with (three-time reigning state champion) Lowell. I think it’s time somebody from this side of the state won a state title. (Tower’s) got all of the pieces to do it.”