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Clarkston High wrestling downs Rochester Adams to win regional title

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published February 19, 2020

 The Clarkston High wrestling team beat Rochester Adams 68-6 Feb. 19 to win its second straight Division 1 regional championship.

The Clarkston High wrestling team beat Rochester Adams 68-6 Feb. 19 to win its second straight Division 1 regional championship.

ROCHESTER — In three years as head coach of the Clarkston High wrestling team, Joe Wood and his staff have resurrected the program.

The project continued with the team’s 68-6 win over Rochester Adams Feb. 19 in a Division 1 regional final. The Wolves will match up with Davison High in a state quarterfinal at 2:15 p.m. Feb. 29 in Kalamazoo.

“We’ve done well in the three years we’ve been here,” Wood said of he and his staff. “We want to continue that. The goal is to win (a state title). We’ll go to Kalamazoo and reassess that depending on what happens.”

The regional title is the second straight for Clarkston. The team has won three straight district titles. Prior to last season, the Wolves hadn’t won a regional championship since 2007.

Clarkston in the regional final recorded eight pins and scored a technical fall win. The only point the Wolves allowed came via void at heavyweight.

Adams, with six district championships in the last 10 seasons, was seeking its first regional title since 1999.

“Last week was awesome,” Highlanders coach Mike Holtz said. “I think we were a little spent tonight. We battled hard in the semifinal to get to the final. Clarkston’s a good team. But my guys fought hard. I’m proud of what we did.”

Wood said he didn’t know what to expect coming into the regional. His team’s performance proved to be eye opening.

“You don’t think you’re going to go through an entire round of the playoffs without losing a match,” Wood said. “Our guys were ready, and it showed.”

Semifinal results

Clarkston got to the regional final with a 66-6 win over Warren Mott.

The Marauders advanced to the regional round for the fifth straight year. Mott coach Paul Salyers said he’s proud of the effort his team displayed.

“A lot of the wrestlers we have this year, this is their first time on the mat,” Salyers said. “They’ve got to put in the work in the offseason so that when we get back here next year, we’re the ones making it hard for (the opposition) to get anything done.”

Salyers said he expects his grapplers to show great improvement next season. The Mott coach said the team will have some solid new grapplers in its lineup as well.

Adams on its way to the regional final just got past Utica Ford II 34-31 in the semifinal. The Highlanders jumped out to early 15-0 and 19-6 leads before the Falcons battled back to give themselves a shot to advance.

Both Adams and Ford scored two pins in the match. A win by void at heavyweight in the third bout of the match gave the Highlanders a free six points.

Falcons coach Scott Scalici said he expects his team to make another run next season. Ford loses just one grappler to graduation — Nathan Carney, who wrestled at 140 pounds in the regional semifinal.

“How good we are next season depends on the work we put in during the offseason,” Scalici said. “We’ll have close to our whole team back, so we’ll have experience and some good talent, but if we want to be in position to not lose at this point next season, we’ve got to work hard.”