Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Sam Shaw, right, locks up with Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Nick Backus during a Feb. 7 Division 1 district final. The Lancers sent five wrestlers to the individual state finals, which took place March 1-2, after press time.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Sam Shaw, right, locks up with Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Nick Backus during a Feb. 7 Division 1 district final. The Lancers sent five wrestlers to the individual state finals, which took place March 1-2, after press time.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


L’Anse Creuse wrestling has another strong campaign

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 1, 2019

 Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Jake Lagocki, above, looks to lock in a hold on St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore Caleb Goodwin during a Feb. 7 Division 1 district tournament. The Lancers won Macomb Area Conference White Division dual meet and tournament titles this season.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Jake Lagocki, above, looks to lock in a hold on St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore Caleb Goodwin during a Feb. 7 Division 1 district tournament. The Lancers won Macomb Area Conference White Division dual meet and tournament titles this season.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — This winter has seen the Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse wrestling team add to its collection of banners and trophies.

Among the list of accomplishments, the Lancers finished with a 16-3 dual meet record and won Macomb Area Conference White Division dual meet and tournament championships. L’Anse Creuse just missed out on a trip to team regionals, losing to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley Feb. 7 on tiebreaker criteria in the Division 1 postseason.

Individually, the Lancers saw nine grapplers battle their way to the regional round, with five advancing to the state finals, which took place March 1-2, after press time.

L’Anse Creuse coach David Prince said experience played the biggest role in this particular team’s success. The Lancers had seven athletes on the roster who were four-year grapplers.

“They were put to the test early on in their careers, encountering many ups and downs,” Prince said of his group of seniors. “However, they stuck it out and put in the work: traveling to camps, training together in the offseason, etc. I am happy that they got to see the rewards of doing so. They have laid a solid foundation for the future teams to build upon.

“These meets and moments are huge for the kids. It’s confirmation that the hard work they put in day to day — in-season, out-of-season training, camps, etc. — were all worth it. That’s the great part about wrestling: You get to celebrate individual accomplishments, as well as the team.”

Two of those seniors were 125-pounder Michael Hazelton and 152-pounder Sam Shaw.

Shaw this season eclipsed the 100-win mark. Hazelton this winter won his 150th bout.

“It’s great to have reached 150 wins,” Hazelton said. “We had a great year as a team. My job as a captain is to make sure everyone works hard and keeps positive thoughts. I’m proud of my boys and the way we wrestled this season.”

Joining Hazelton and Shaw at the state finals were sophomore 112-pounder Cole Dunn, senior 130-pounder Jacob Lagocki and senior 135-pounder Michael Rademaker.

Prince is thankful to his seniors for what they’ve done for the program, including leaving it in good shape.

“I’m very fortunate to have (Dunn) another two seasons after this year, and will look to him to fill the shoes left by the senior group,” Prince said. “Fortunately, over the past two seasons as our roster has grown, this group of underclassmen have put in the work to prepare them to transition into the varsity lineup. In addition to (Dunn), the team will be led by multiple returning regional qualifiers and a group of hungry and talented sophomores.”

Hazelton believes the program will not slow down.

“I feel like our program is only going to get better,” Hazelton said. “We just started a youth program, and we’ll have a lot of strong wrestlers coming up these next few years. It also helps that we have a great coaching staff. None of this would be possible without the coaches.”

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