St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s Pierce Ratliff, left, battles Warren Cousino’s Christopher Newell in a 152-pound match earlier this season. The Huskies have won two straight division championships and four consecutive district titles. Lakeview will host a Division 1 district tournament at 5 p.m. Feb. 12.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s Pierce Ratliff, left, battles Warren Cousino’s Christopher Newell in a 152-pound match earlier this season. The Huskies have won two straight division championships and four consecutive district titles. Lakeview will host a Division 1 district tournament at 5 p.m. Feb. 12.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Lakeview wrestling wins MAC Gold title, eyes postseason run

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 7, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Lakeview wrestling team recently wrapped up a second straight undefeated run through the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division. Now the team will try to keep a run of postseason success going.

The Huskies will battle to run their string of Division 1 district titles to five when the team hosts a district, beginning at 5 p.m. Feb. 12. Lakeview will grapple with Grosse Pointe North in a semifinal at 5 p.m. The winner meets Grosse Pointe South in the final directly after the semifinal.

The survivor of the district advances to a regional set for Feb. 19 at a time and site to be determined, where it will face the winner of a Roseville High district that includes Sterling Heights High, Warren Cousino, Warren De La Salle and Roseville.

Lakeview coach Steve Nicholl said his wrestlers are focused heading into the postseason.

“It’s tough wrestling (potentially) two different teams, as matchups are key in this sport, and it makes it a chess match in terms of how you anticipate your opponent and what wrestlers to put on the mat,” Nicholl said. “We’re in a phase of abbreviated but high-intensity practices at this point to keep the team fresh.”

Nicholl believes his squad comprises a number of solid all-around wrestlers in the 14 weight classes. The Huskies coach said the team has worked to incorporate constant motion into practices.

“I’m most impressed with our offensive attacks on our feet and our defensive reactions as well,” Nicholl said. “We made this a focal point prior to the start of the season and changed some things as coaches to accomplish this.”

Nicholl said his wrestlers have made a lot of progress so far this season, most notably 130-pound sophomore Drake Krohta, 112-pound sophomore Matt Horak, 119-pound senior Marcus Jurban, 160-pound senior Kyle Cichowski, 135-pound senior Lewis Hoenike, 285-pound senior Brian Hannan, junior 130-pounder Shamar Askin and junior 189-pounder Ken Soderberg.

Although there’s one grappler in the circle at a time, Nicholl said his Huskies wrestle as a team.

“We preach, day in and day out, that we’re stronger as a collective,” Nicholl said. “Any wrestler on this team who steps onto the mat and dons the blue and silver knows the tradition (of the program) and the expectations that go along with that.”

Those expectations include postseason success.

Nicholl said that if Lakeview does win a fifth straight district crown, the team could possibly see the return of a number of grapplers out now with injuries.

“Even if we don’t, we’re hyper-focused on leaving it all on the mat,” Nicholl said. “We’re not going to let the opportunity go without leaving it all on the mat.”

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