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Warren Woods Tower wrestling wins fifth straight regional title

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published February 19, 2020

 Warren Woods Tower wrestler Joe Haynes has a hold of an oppent from Madison Heights Lamphere during a Division 2 regional final Feb. 19. Tower won the program's fifth consecutive regional title.

Warren Woods Tower wrestler Joe Haynes has a hold of an oppent from Madison Heights Lamphere during a Division 2 regional final Feb. 19. Tower won the program's fifth consecutive regional title.

Photo by Sean Work

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MADISON HEIGHTS — For the fifth consecutive season, Warren Woods Tower’s wrestling program has earned a spot at the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.

The Titans won a Division 2 regional championship via a 53-18 victory against Madison Heights Lamphere Feb. 19 at Lamphere.

Tower wrestles at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo against an opponent yet to be determined, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.

The Titans advanced to the final with a 69-12 semifinal win against Ferndale High.

Lamphere earned its way to the final via an 84-0 semifinal victory against Detroit Mumford.

“They exceeded my expectations, tonight,” said Tower coach Greg Mayer. “These guys came out ready to wrestle. They did the things that we talk about in practice; about being stingy with points, even in matches that on paper maybe you’re not supposed to win or not even supposed to be in. … Super proud of the way that they performed tonight.”

Tower got seven pins in the final.

As gratifying as it was to win another regional, Mayer is interested in more than that for his program. Mayer said being amongst the final contenders for the D-2 state title is an honor.

“There’s so many kids, so many teams, and there’s so much effort put into programs around the state," he said. "We understand the fortune we have to be in the position that we’re in. There’s a lot of teams that are drying their eyes tonight because they failed in their season goal, or for some, they failed in their career goal. And so, it’s humbling.”

After having its seven-year streak of district titles snapped last season, Lamphere was able to claim another one this year, along with winning a Macomb Area Conference White Division championship.

“We had a great year,” said Lamphere coach Russ McKenzie. “I got a great group of seniors. They worked extremely hard all year. Obviously you’re always disappointed right after you lose, but we ended up 21-5. We were league champs; district champs. We had a very good year.”

Last season, Ferndale won the program’s first district championship since 2001, according to coach John Bassier. As nice as that was, Bassier was disappointed that the Eagles didn’t also come away with an Oakland Activities Association Blue Division title.

This year, he got both, as Ferndale followed an OAA Blue championship with a district title.

“The kids had a very good year,” Bassier said. “They were 18-5 in dual meets, undefeated in the OAA Blue in dual meets, and they’re still a pretty young team. … Getting back-to-back districts is very good, and getting the league championship back is very good. We have eight kids qualified for the regional, which as far as I can tell in my memory is pretty good. That’s a new school record.”

Bassier acknowledged his assistants, Michael Crossley and Kody Crocker, and he would like for him and his staff to help lead the Eagles to even greater success.

“Right now, they have a belief and a winning tradition,” Bassier said of his team. “And that’s always a very good, positive thing.”

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