Birmingham Seaholm’s Chaz Stecker, right, locks up with Hartland High’s Joey McCarthy Feb. 13 in a Division 1 team regional at home.

Birmingham Seaholm’s Chaz Stecker, right, locks up with Hartland High’s Joey McCarthy Feb. 13 in a Division 1 team regional at home.

Photo by Randy Wilcox


Birmingham Seaholm wrestling eliminated in D-1 team regional

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 18, 2019

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BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Seaholm wrestling team portion of the season came to an end Feb. 13 in a Division 1 team district tournament hosted by the Maples. Coach Neil Tuomi’s team fell in the first round to Hartland High 63-16.

“We wrestled OK,” Tuomi said. “They’ve gone to the state finals many years for a reason. I thought we needed to give a little more effort — some of our kids were scared and some weren’t. We had a great year. We were 12-8, and four of our losses were to ranked teams.”

Jackson Vance, at 140 pounds, and Chaz Strecker, at 152, both scored pins in the match. Senior Tre Hairsten at 285 pounds, who Tuomi said took a lot of pressure off the team with his performance, won by major decision.

Tuomi said a majority of his seniors have one to two years of wrestling experience, but he was nonetheless impressed with their leadership.

Prior to the regional, Seaholm won a team district championship Feb. 7 hosted by Birmingham Groves. The Maples beat the Falcons 61-11 before going on to beat Birmingham Brother Rice 56-22.

Tuomi called the season a success. The Maples were in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division and earned their first league win in three years.

“It was a big success,” the coach said. “We’re the smallest school in the OAA Red, and if we were in the White we would be undefeated. In the Red, we went 1-4. These kids know they belong with the big boys, and I think our program is moving up for the better.”

Moving up for the better means winning a regional according to Tuomi. The Maples have plenty of young talent and the future is bright, but the road to a regional win starts with offseason work.

“We want to win a regional. Our guys have to wrestle in the offseason and work a little bit harder. We have 14 sophomores, which is a lot. I can’t wait to watch them the next couple of years. It’s going to be fun.”

Although the team portion of the wrestling postseason is over, Vance (140 pounds) and Chase Mentag (171) earned spots in the individual state finals March 1-2 at Ford Field in Detroit.

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