Oxford High wrestling downs Utica Eisenhower in regional final

Oxford advances to state quarterfinals

By: Thomas Franz | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 17, 2016


ROCHESTER — Oxford High’s wrestling team is returning to the state quarterfinals after defeating Utica Eisenhower 33-28 in a regional final Wednesday night at Rochester High.

Oxford will be making their seventh trip to the state quarterfinals over the past eight years.

“This one is really exciting,” Oxford coach Paul McDevitt said. “It’s been a long time since I had the feeling I had today, I was nervous all day.”

The Wildcats opened the regional final with four consecutive victories to take a 16-0 lead. A pinfall victory by Daltan Myers keyed the opening run.

“I knew down low was where we would take them. In the middle, they have some really tough kids, that was the hard part for us since they took out some of our better kids,” McDevitt said.

Vince and Carlo Marceau picked up consecutive victories at 130 and 135 pounds, respectively, to bring Eisenhower back to a 16-10 deficit.

A win by Alex Hrisopolous made it a 21-10 Oxford lead, Eisenhower’s Owen Donovan won by pinfall at 145 pounds to make it 21-16.

McDevitt pointed to a pair of victories by Devin Trevino and Ethan Moll in the ensuing weight classes as the turning point of the match.

“When we got pinned at 145, even though it looked like we were winning, I knew what they had coming up, and I started doing the math, and I didn’t think we could win anymore,” McDevvit said. “Devin, at 152, got beaten pretty soundly by his opponent Saturday, and then I had us maybe getting pinned at 160, but not only did Ethan not get pinned, he got the win. That was 15 points that I didn’t have us getting that we got from two kids.”

Trailing 27-16, Eisenhower’s Andrew Czarnecki and Joe Mets earned a pair of wins to make it 27-22.

With two matches left, Wyatt Harden clinched the victory for Oxford with a first round pinfall victory.

“Before that match started, we were in our huddle, and we talked about doing our jobs. Everyone knew what their job was to do. Wyatt said to them, ‘You guys all do your jobs to put us in a position, and I promise you I’ll do mine,'” McDevitt said. “When he went in there, I asked him if he was ready to deliver on that promise, and he (Harden) said, ‘Oh yea.’”

Eisenhower defeated Rochester Adams 49-16 in a regional semifinal earlier in the night to advance to its first regional final since 2013. The Eagles advanced seven wrestlers to an individual regional tournament, which will be held this Saturday at Oxford.

“This story hasn’t ended yet,” Eisenhower coach Dave Drath said. “It’s been a great ride.”

Oxford advances to the team state quarterfinals, which will be held Feb. 26 at Central Michigan University.