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Seaholm wrestling ends team season in regional round loss

By: Mike Moore | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 19, 2018

 Birmingham Seaholm’s Mark Manzo was an integral part of the team’s run to the regional round. He was one of five seniors who helped the Maples capture an upset in the districts.

Birmingham Seaholm’s Mark Manzo was an integral part of the team’s run to the regional round. He was one of five seniors who helped the Maples capture an upset in the districts.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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BIRMINGHAM — Neil Tuomi had a feeling that his grapplers would be able to contend at one level or another in the district round.

So, as he and his Birmingham Seaholm wrestling team headed toward the regional battles on Feb. 14, there was a bit of pride to be had in what was a wonderful season for the Maples.

“A great year we hope we can build on,” the Seaholm wrestling coach said two days after the team portion of the year came to a close in a regional semifinal loss.

The Maples had the year come to a close in a 74-6 loss to Hartland High in a Feb. 14 Division 1 regional at Hartland.

“The better team won,” Tuomi said. “But it kind of showed us what we can strive to be someday. There were some tough battles.”

The loss ended Seaholm’s team season with a record of 14-11.

Of course, the highlight came just a week earlier when the team picked up a somewhat surprising district title.

“I don’t know that many people expected us to win that,” Tuomi said with a laugh.

Seaholm lost to Birmingham Groves 41-28 during the regular season, but then rolled to a 52-21 victory in the district opener. In the final, it was a complete team effort in a 36-30 win over Southfield A&T.

“Overall, it was probably our best day of the year,” Tuomi said. “It was just wonderful to see the guys do what they did.”

The Maples coach had a younger team this winter, but he offered a ton of credit to his five seniors with the way they led and the turnarounds they had from last year until now.

Dominick Campbell finished with 30 wins, while Jack Burdick won 27 matches this year after going 9-23 as a junior. Marcus Manzo won 27 times after going 13-25 last winter, while Nick Law was 43-9 and the all-time leader in wins (149) at Seaholm. Daniel Hardwood also finished with 22 wins in his final year.

“Those five set the pace for us,” Tuomi said. “They worked so hard. A lot of what we did depended on them.”

Tuomi said he expects another step forward for the program next season.

“The future should be pretty good,” he said. “We have 12 freshmen on the team, six who wrestled at regionals. So now it’s on us to keep working and keep improving.”

For a look at all the wrestlers who earned spots in the individual state finals, see next week’s edition of the paper or visit candgnews.com/sports.

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