Farmington High’s Donovan King wins D-2 heavyweight wrestling title

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published March 2, 2019

 Farmington High senior Donovan King , left, tries to take down his opponent during the Division 2 heavyweight wrestling state title match. King won the match by pin in the third period.

Farmington High senior Donovan King , left, tries to take down his opponent during the Division 2 heavyweight wrestling state title match. King won the match by pin in the third period.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

DETROIT ––  It’s hard to win an individual wrestling state title, and it's even harder to win one with a torn ACL.

But that’s exactly what Farmington High senior Donovan King did, as he pinned Warren Lincoln’s Jaren Johnson in the third period of the Division 2 heavyweight championship March 2 at Ford Field.

“At the beginning of the season, it wasn’t all great cause I have a torn ACL, but making it this far is great. First day, I felt good, second day, I feel even better, and now I feel amazing,” King said.

Things got off to a bit of a slow start, but King was able to score first by taking Johnson down 1:10 into the match. Johnson would score on an escape to cut that lead to 2-1 after the first period.

That’s when King took control of the match, racking up three more points, thanks to an escape and takedown, to end the second period up 5-1.

In the third period, King was able to get on top of Johnson again. This time, however, his opponent wasn’t getting up, as King was able to flip Johnson and pin him with 1:21 left in the match.

“He did score first, and once you score first, we knew he was in control there,” Falcons assistant coach Howard Welsh said. “He just wrestled really, really well. He wrestled smart, and then when he got a chance to pin the kid, when he locks somebody up, he locks it up tight, and that was it, so it was great.”

With the win, King is the third state champion in Farmington history. John Cassell won in 1967, while Mark Churella took home the top spot in 1975.

In terms of legacy, Welsh ranks King as one of the best Farmington has had. He said he has broken just about every record the program has. King finished his senior season with a 52-2 record.

“He’s right there with the best we’ve had, that’s for sure. There’s no doubt about it. The season that he’s had, overcoming the injury, doing all those things, he’ll leave a legacy at Farmington that I don’t think will ever be matched,” Welsh said.