Lakeview wrestling coach reflects on district title win

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 19, 2016

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FRASER — The St. Clair Shores Lakeview wrestling team has a lot to be proud of after the season it had.

The Huskies bounced back to finish second in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division after placing fifth in the division in 2014-15. Lakeview won the league in the 2013-14 season.

The Huskies’ strong campaign carried over into the postseason, winning the program’s first district title since 2005 in a 42-33 win over Grosse Pointe North Feb. 11 at Grosse Pointe South.

The district title win was extra sweet for Lakeview, as the Huskies  trailed 24-3 in the match before battling back to overtake Grosse Pointe North.

“I’ve been blessed with great kids,” Lakeview coach Steve Nicholl said after the district championship win. “It’s awesome to see (where we’ve come from). It’s exciting for them because they hear about tradition and they hear about legacy, and now they’re part of it.”

To get to the district final, Lakeview bested host Grosse Pointe South 45-35. Grosse Pointe North beat Eastpointe East Detroit 68-9 to get to the district final.

Lakeview’s season would end, though, in a 71-4 loss to Fraser High in a D-1 regional semifinal Feb. 17 at Fraser. Macomb Dakota would go on to beat Fraser 34-28 in the regional final.

The Huskies ended the season at 22-12.

“This year was really special because (winning a district title) was our goal from day one,” Nicholl said. “I think for them to experience success at a level that maybe they’ve never been around — it’s huge. We’re wrestling tougher competition, but we’ve seen tough competition all year.”

Huskies freshman 112-pounder Andrew Valente, who scored a pin in the Feb. 11 district title match, said he enjoyed the experience of winning a district championship. He said he’s hopeful that the team can have more success in the future.

That’s possible, since Lakeview has 16 grapplers eligible to return next season, including junior captains Austin Bauslaugh (heavyweight), Jacob Burley (160 pounds) and Dez Pope (130 pounds). The Huskies lose seniors Jarret Bolt, Teddy Rudrik, Anthony Seder and Lea Streeter to graduation.

The Huskies had six freshmen, including Valente, on their roster this season.

“They’ll forever be remembered with a banner,” Nicholl said. “That’s huge. It was a true team effort.”

For continuous coverage of the state wrestling postseason, check www.candgnews.com.

Sports Writer Mark Vest contributed to this report.

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