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Rochester Adams wrestling claims team district crown

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published February 19, 2020

 Rochester Adams’ Noah Vibert has his arm raised after winning a match against Utica Eisenhower’s Jacob Pacheco in a Division 1 team district tournament at home.

Rochester Adams’ Noah Vibert has his arm raised after winning a match against Utica Eisenhower’s Jacob Pacheco in a Division 1 team district tournament at home.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Since 2011, the Rochester Adams wrestling team has won six Division 1 district tournaments. The Highlanders’ most recent tournament win, however, was a result of overcoming a 36-point deficit to rival Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

In their home gym, in front of their home fans, the Highlanders completed the comeback, beating the Cougars 39-36 Feb. 12.

“High school athletics is about memories,” Adams coach Mike Holtz said. “We just came back from 36-0 — the guys will never forget that.”

Adams was scheduled to wrestle Utica Ford II in a regional semifinal after press time.

The district final was essentially split into two halves. The lightweights belonged to Stoney Creek and the heavyweights belonged to Adams.

Starting at 103 pounds, the Cougars won the first seven matches with a void, two decisions, an injury default, and three pins from Andy Hampton, Blake Noonan and Luke Braun.

Holtz said he knew good things could happen if his team stayed off its back early on. The Highlanders did just enough to not let the match get completely out of reach.

Momentum started to change for Adams when Kevin Gibbons won by pin at 145 pounds, followed by Sean Phalen pinning his opponent at 152.

Kenny Jackson won by a 10-1 major decision at 160, and Joseph Dreon (171), Chase Montour (189), Mohammad Murry (215) and Bobby Anderson (285) closed out the evening with four straight pins.

The Highlanders were deducted one point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“If a team starts to build momentum, that next guy comes out on the mat all fired up. Our guys are going out there nervous and scared, and you’re not going to wrestle like you need to when you go out that way,” Stoney Creek coach Jed Kramer said. “That started to happen, they started to build momentum, and none of our guys were tough enough mentally to be able to go out there and hold their ground.”

Even in defeat, the Cougars have a lot to hang their hats on. Stoney Creek won the Oakland Activities Association White Division with a 6-0 record, and Kramer expects a few grapplers to clinch spots at the individual state finals.

In order to reach the team district final, the Cougars snuck past Rochester High 34-33. The Cougars jumped out to a 16-0 lead before the Falcons secured their first points of the evening.

Rochester recorded five pins in the match from Kavan Troy (125), Ian Carroll (135), Anthony Piccirilli (171), Nick Terenzi (189) and Joshua Smith (215). Other Rochester points came from Sam Pizzo, who won by decision at 145.

“I thought we competed pretty well. I was a little disappointed with the result; losing by one is always tough to swallow,” Falcons coach Erik Vernon said, as the Falcons had just three seniors in the starting lineup this season. “There are so many little things in wrestling that can go your way or not go your way. Little points throughout the match gave it away, but I’m proud of those guys. They battled hard.”

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