Troy High and Troy Athens wrestling fall in team district

By: Christian Davis | Troy Times | Published February 17, 2016

 Troy Athens wrestling coach Matt Rawlik, standing, encourages a grappler during a match in a Division 1 district. The team portion came to a close for the Red Hawks and Troy High after losses in district semifinals.

Troy Athens wrestling coach Matt Rawlik, standing, encourages a grappler during a match in a Division 1 district. The team portion came to a close for the Red Hawks and Troy High after losses in district semifinals.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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The team portion of the wrestling season came to a close for Troy High and Troy Athens, as both squads fell in the Division 1 district semifinals Feb. 11 at Utica High.

Troy lost to the host 59-23.

Coach Jon Thomas said he was missing more than one-third of his starting lineup due to injuries and illnesses.

“Tonight was tough. We had a lot of guys out of the lineup. We had four or five starters out, so I think that would’ve really affected the overall score,” he said. “We were in the dual for the first half, then it got away from us.”

Thomas added that it was a good overall season, and experience for the future was gained.

“We have young guys who are motivated and want to work hard. There are a lot of freshmen with potential who stepped in. We did pretty good with what we had,” Thomas said.

On the other side of the bracket, Athens fell to eventual district champion Utica Eisenhower 66-12.

“I thought we wrestled tough. It was a tough draw. Eisenhower is a really good team, and we didn’t match up well with them,” Athens coach Matt Rawlik said. “I thought even the kids who weren’t as talented as the Eisenhower kids, they at least wrestled tough. I have no complaints about the effort, and that’s what really mattered to me tonight.”

Rawlik noted that the Red Hawks are also young and building for the future.

“I think by the end of the year, we were missing six starters. The kids who were in the varsity lineup were young, and I think we saw a development in them, which is what I was looking for at that point.”

The individual district tournament took place Feb. 13. The top four finishers in each weight class head to the regional level Feb. 20. See next week’s paper for the grapplers who earned  spots in the state final March 3-5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Sports Writer Thomas Franz contributed to this story.

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