D1 Preview: Titans Prepare to Clash

February 23, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

To call the Division 1 Quarterfinal field loaded would be an understatement.

The top seven ranked teams at the end of the regular season all have advanced to this weekend's final rounds at Central Michigan University's McGuirk Arena – paced by a top-seeded Detroit Catholic Central team on one of the most dominant runs in MHSAA history.

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 1, listed by seed. Quarterfinal matches begin at 2:15 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday and the championship match at 3:30 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on a subscription basis on MHSAA.tv. For Friday’s schedule and results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page.

The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard.

#1 Detroit Catholic Central

Record/rank: 28-1, No. 1
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League
Coach: Mitch Hancock, 10th season (215-43)
Championship history: 
Eleven MHSAA championships (most recent 2014), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Devon Johnsen (31-9) jr., 112 Benyamin Kamali (34-3) jr., 112, Rhett Newton (30-8) soph., 119 Derek Gilcher (27-8) fr., 125 Stone Moscovic (26-10) jr., 130 Kevon Davenport (36-3) soph., 140 Joseph Urso (33-12) soph., 145 Cameron Amine (38-3) soph., 152 Aidan Wagh (28-12) jr., 171 Tyler Morland (30-0) sr., 171 Easton Turner (23-9) soph., 189 Dane Flynn (29-9) sr., 215 Jackson Ross (21-9) sr., 285 Nicholas Jenkins (39-1) sr.
 Hancock has coached four Division 1 championship teams over his decade running the program, but this has been his most dominant so far. The Shamrocks’ only loss was to Ohio power Lakewood St. Edward, and they shut out all three of their postseason opponents so far. Davenport, Amine, Morland and Jenkins all were individual champions last season, while Kamali, Ross and Moscovic were Finals placers.

#2 Davison

Record/rank: 24-3, No. 2
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley League.
Coach: Roy Hall, 19th season (495-89-1)
Championship history: 
Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2006), four runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Andrew Chambal (33-6) fr., 112 Steven Garty Jr. (30-5) soph., 119 Jaron Wilson (30-5) fr., 125 Marc Shaeffer (28-4) fr., 125 AJ Facundo (32-5) jr., 140 Ryan Schlak (32-7) sr., 140 Jay Nivison (24-6) fr., 145 Brian Case (27-6) soph., 160 Cal Stefanko (27-5) jr., 171 Trevor McGowan (28-7) soph., 189 Brenden McRill (34-2) sr., 285 Arron Gilmore (25-9) soph.
 Last season’s runner-up has eight starters back from the championship match loss to Hartland, despite eight underclassmen (and only three seniors) in this season’s top lineup. McRill won the 189 individual championship last winter, while Facundo was a runner-up (after winning at 112 in 2015) and Case also placed at the Individual Finals. Davison beat DCC in a Semifinal last season by four; in their meeting last month, DCC won 32-22.

#3 Macomb Dakota

Record/rank: 32-3, No. 3
League finish: Second in Macomb Area Conference Red
Coach: Ed Skowneski, fifth season (148-36)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Brock Prater (41-8) fr., 103 Nick Alayan (48-3) soph., 112 Andrew Barrett (29-9) soph., 112 Justin Tiburcio (45-8) soph., 125 Nick Barrett (45-7) sr., 130 Tyler Sanders (37-2) jr., 152 Christian Karges (41-13) jr., 152 Dustin Solomon (40-6) soph., 160 Layne Malczewski (50-3) jr., 171 Frank Alcini (37-15) sr., 285 Rhami Khalil (47-7) jr.
 Dakota has moved up to a third seed from sixth last season and with 11 Individual Finals qualifiers after coming to CMU with four a year ago. The Cougars got past No. 9 New Baltimore Anchor Bay to return to the Quarterfinals for the fourth time under Skowneski. Sanders was the individual runner-up last season, losing his championship match by just a point, and he’s one of 10 upperclassmen expected to start. Malczewski and Tiburcio also placed individually last winter.

#4 Oxford

Record/rank: 24-5, No. 4
League finish: First in Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Paul McDevitt, 23rd season (488-177-2)
Championship history: 
Division 1 champion 2011, two runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Daltan Myers (16-12) jr., 130 Garrett Tyrrell (38-10) sr., 135 Sergio Borg (22-5) jr., 140 Ryan Miller (32-12) jr., 145 Caleb Tabert (39-12) soph., 152 Trent Myre (38-12) soph., 160 Devin Trevino (43-6) soph., 215 Byron Schlickenmeyer (33-4) sr.
 Oxford has won 10 straight league titles and 12 District championships over the last 13 seasons under McDevitt, who also has led nine of his last 10 teams to the Quarterfinals and reportedly will retire from coaching after this season. The next coach will inherit a strong group; McDevitt’s team will march into this weekend with only four senior starters but eight individual qualifiers. Borg was a placer last season.

#5 Hartland

Record/rank: 32-3, No. 5
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association West
Coach: Todd Cheney, 25th season (699-100-2)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2016, f
ive MHSAA runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Wyatt Nault (47-8) fr., 112 Corey Cavanaugh (49-9) soph, 119 Kyle Kantola (47-9) soph., 130 Hayden Culver (41-14) sr., 140 Tanner Culver (30-6) soph., 145 Reece Hughes (37-1) sr., 152 River Shettler (48-6) soph., 160 Joey Livingston (43-5) jr., 189 Andrew Spisz (49-4) sr.
 After a number of just-misses, Hartland finally got its championship last season and returns five starters from that title match. Along the way this time, the Eagles avenged an earlier loss to No. 8 Walled Lake Central, in the Regional Semifinal, after clinching their 16th league title over the last 17 seasons. Hughes won the individual title at 140 last season and Spisz, Kantola and Cavanaugh also were placers.

#6 Westland John Glenn

Record/rank: 29-6, No. 6
League finish: First in KLAA South, Kensington and overall
Coach: Bill Polk, 19th season (369-115)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Kyle Borthwell (23-5) soph.; 119 Mikey Mars (53-2) jr., 125 Isaac Lefler (48-7) jr., 135 Anthony Gibson (49-4) jr., 145 John Siemasz (47-6) jr., 189 Lional Cornish (28-19) fr., 215 JaWuan Peete (46-5) sr., 285 Brandon Carreathers (34-11) sr.
 John Glenn is back at the Quarterfinals for the first time since back-to-back trips in 2009 and 2010 and after upping its win total each of the last three seasons. The Rockets beat Novi and No. 8 Walled Lake Central to win the overall KLAA title, and earned an eight-point win over Temperance Bedford to get to CMU. Mars won the individual title at 112 last season, and Siemasz was runner-up at 135; Borthwell also placed.

#7 Grandville

Record/rank: 14-5, unranked
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Red
Coach: Bubba Gritter, seventh season (113-38)
Championship history: Two MHSAA championships (most recent 1993), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Anthonie Taylor (30-9) fr., 130 Mason Priest (34-8) sr., 145 Allan Matthews (19-10) jr., 152 Kameron Bush (35-1) sr., 160 Jake Paganelli (28-15) soph., 171 Sam Greco (38-4) sr., 189 Ryan Vasbinder (18-1) sr., 215 Ian Hall (29-8) sr., 215 Bryce Henning (15-19) sr.
 An experienced lineup with six seniors and nine upperclassmen among the starting 14 will bring Grandville back to the Quarterfinals. The Bulldogs advanced with a 20-point win over league rival and No. 10-ranked Rockford in the Regional Final after losing to the Rams by nine in January. Bush is the reigning individual champion at 152 pounds

#8 Brighton

Record/rank: 16-8, No. 7
League finish: Second in the KLAA West
Coach: Tony Greathouse, fourth season (89-24)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2015.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Logan Kehres (29-16) fr., 103 Ben Manly (37-8) soph., 119 Eddie Homrock (30-9) fr., 125 Seth Soto (27-18) sr., 135 Dane Donabedian (22-17) fr., 140 Lee Grabowski (40-6) sr., 145 Nick Bleise (215) jr.) 171 Jake Soop (31-12) sr.
 Brighton is another contender from the loaded KLAA and got to CMU in part by avenging last year’s Regional upset by Grand Ledge. The Bulldogs have five freshmen among eight underclassmen in the starting lineup, but three that have qualified for the Individual Finals – and this tournament experience no doubt will pay off for seasons to come. In the meantime, Brighton is the rare state-ranked eighth seed filling out a strong field. 

PHOTO: Hartland's Reece Hughes (left) and Davison's Cal Stefanko, facing off at last season's Division 1 Final, have led their teams back to McGuirk Arena. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Preview: 1,120 Reasons to Spend This Weekend Among State's Finest at Ford Field

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 29, 2024

Because that’s how many wrestlers will compete for one of 70 championships. Because two have an opportunity to join one of the most exclusive clubs in Michigan high school sports. Because the girls division, in its third year, has added another jolt of excitement to one of our grandest season-ending events.

Those are just a few reasons to check out the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals this weekend at Ford Field.

The Grand March on Friday begins at a10 a.m., with wrestling through semifinals that evening. Wrestling begins again at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship matches at 3:30 p.m.

Among the 1,120 competitors taking the mats Friday and Saturday, Detroit Catholic Central’s Darius Marines and Dundee’s Kade Kluce will attempt to join 35 others who have won four Finals championships. Nine more contenders are wrestling for a possible third title.

Tickets may be purchased from Ford Field. All matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv, and we’ll talk to all 14 champions in each division for our coverage published later that evening and overnight. See the MHSAA.com Wrestling page for more information and to follow results this weekend.

Following are glances at just some of the many contenders who will compete this weekend.

Division 1

113 Wyatt Lees, Detroit Catholic Central sophomore (43-5) – After opening his career last season with a championship at 106, Lees moved up a weight and is the top seed at 113 this weekend.  

126 Bohdan Abbey, Hartland sophomore (51-0) – Last season’s champion at 113 is a combined 95-3 over his first two and another top seed this weekend.

132 Josh Vasquez, Grandville junior (33-2) – He missed out on last season’s 120 title with an overtime loss in the final, but returns as the top seed at his new weight.

138 Wyatt Hepner, Grosse Pointe South junior (44-0) – Last season’s runner-up at 126 hasn’t lost since that deciding match and is another top seed this weekend.

144 Justin Gates, Davison senior (35-2) – The top seed at this weight is seeking to finish his career with a third Finals title after winning 138 last year and 103 as a freshman, and finishing runner-up at 119 as a sophomore.

157 Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central senior (43-0) – As noted above, he’s one of two candidates for the four-championship club, having won previously at 145, 152 and 157 pounds.

215 Connor Bercume, Detroit Catholic Central junior (37-3) – Last season’s champion at this weight also is the top seed for the second-straight season.  

285 Ryan Ahern, Rockford senior (44-0, 190 last year) – The top seed at this weight is looking to finish with his first title after finishing seventh at 160 as a freshman, third at 189 as a sophomore and runner-up at 190 last winter.

Other 2023 runners-up: 113 Brice LeFleur, Saline sophomore (16-2, 106 last year); 120 Archer Anderson, Clarkston junior (28-5, 113 last year); 150 Mason Stewart, Detroit Catholic Central senior (44-3, 138 last year); 157 Jay’Den Williams, Roseville sophomore (46-0, 144 last year); 150 Vinnie Abbey, Hartland senior (45-3, 157 last year).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Steve Vaughn, Davison freshman (29-8); 120 Archer Anderson, Clarkston junior (28-5); 150 Mason Stewart, Detroit Catholic Central senior (44-3); 165 Zachary Taylor, Gibraltar Carlson junior (49-0); 175 Dylan Scott, Waterford Kettering senior (34-2); 190 Brock Trevino, Clarkston senior (21-1);

Also undefeated: 126 Jace Morgan, Rochester Adams junior (39-0); 144 Zephan Catalina, Northville senior (34-0); 157 Hector Jimenez, Portage Central senior (37-0); 285 Richardo Wourman, Livonia Stevenson senior (42-0).

Division 2

113 Cristian Haslem, St. Clair sophomore (46-0) – The top seed at his weight is a combined 92-2 over his first two seasons after finishing runner-up at 106 last winter.

120 Brady Baker, Stevensville Lakeshore junior (28-4) – Last year’s champion at 106 jumped up two weights this winter and is a combined 76-6 over the last two seasons.

120 Malachi Kapenga, Hamilton junior (39-1) – Another 2023 champion at this weight, Kapenga won at 113 a year ago and also finished fifth at 103 as a freshman.

132 Jackson Blum, Lowell junior (28-1) – He’s a top seed again this weekend as he seeks a third title to go with his championship at 120 last year and 112 as a freshman.

138 Brody Orcutt, Goodrich senior (34-0) – He’s the top seed at this weight after finishing third at 132 a year ago, and the bracket includes two more undefeated contenders and a Finals runner-up from 2022.

144 Owen Segorski, Lowell junior (27-6) – The 125 champion in 2022 finished runner-up at 138 last winter and is the top seed at his weight this weekend.

190 Easton Phipps, Goodrich senior (21-0) – The reigning champion at this weight is the top seed this weekend, looking to repeat after winning last year’s title in an ultimate tiebreaker.

285 James Mahon, Goodrich junior (37-2) – He’s another top seed for the Martians and another reigning champion returning to the same bracket after winning 285 last year with a last-minute takedown.

Other 2023 runners-up: 120 Carter Cichocki, Lowell junior (23-9, 113 last year); 215 Joey Scaramuzzino, Croswell-Lexington senior (42-4, 215 last year).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Jarrett Smith, Lowell sophomore (32-1); 120 Carter Cichocki, Lowell junior (23-9); 126 Ricardo Saenz, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice junior (45-2); 150 Fabian Facundo, Freeland junior (40-0); 157 Jared Boone, Lowell senior (27-8); 165 Harrison Meekhof, Allendale senior (42-3); 175 Derek Badgley, Mason senior (35-2); 215 Logan Demarest, Bay City John Glenn senior (40-1).

Also undefeated: 132 Trenden Bashore, DeWitt junior (35-0); 138 Adam Polk, Pontiac senior (27-0); 138 Landon Thomas, St. Joseph junior (45-0); 150 Lane Button, Wayland junior (44-0); 175 Jack Mills, Carleton Airport senior (36-0).

Dundee’s Kade Kluce, standing, works toward a victory to open the Division 3 Final that afternoon.

Division 3

113 Haydn Nutt, Dundee sophomore (32-7) – He’s a top seed for the second-straight season after opening his career by winning the championship at 106 a year ago.

120 Dale Gant, Grand Rapids Catholic Central sophomore (40-2) – He also started his career last season with a championship, finishing first at 113.

126 Drew Hanson, Gladstone senior (42-1) – A third-place finisher all of his first three seasons, he’s the top seed at this weight, making him the main obstacle in Kluce’s quest for a fourth title.

126 Kade Kluce, Dundee senior (24-9) – He’s looking to cap a career that’s included championships at 103, 112 and 120 pounds.

132 Cameron Chinavare, Dundee senior (32-2) – He’s the top seed at this weight and seeking a third championship after winning at 125 as a sophomore and 126 as a junior.

157 Kole Katschor, Dundee junior (38-6) – Another Dundee top seed, he’s the reigning champion at 150 after winning last season’s title match in overtime.

215 Elizin Rouse, Kingsford senior (32-1) – He’s seeking a second-straight championship at this weight after winning last year’s in overtime as well.

285 Bennett VandenBerg, Constantine senior (48-0) – He’s the top seed at this weight after finishing on the other side of Rouse’s overtime win at 215 a year ago and also placing sixth at 189 as a sophomore.

Other 2023 runners-up: 113 Mason Haines, Dundee sophomore (25-12, 106 last year); 113 Talan Parsons, Ovid-Else senior (42-1, 113 last year); 132 Gavyn Merchant, Kingsley senior (17-0, 126 last year); 138 Michael Wilson, Grand Rapids Catholic Central junior (14-0, 132 last year); 144 Blake Cosby, Dundee sophomore (37-1, 144 last year); 165 Tyler Schofield, Olivet senior (53-0, 157 last year); 175 Gavin Craner, Whitehall junior (47-0, 175 last year for Belding).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Mason Katschor, Dundee freshman (40-6); 138 Michael Wilson, Grand Rapids Catholic Central junior (14-0); 144 Blake Cosby, Dundee sophomore (37-1); 150 Donny Beaufait, Dundee sophomore (34-8); 165 Tyler Schofield, Olivet senior (53-0); 175 Gavin Craner, Whitehall junior (47-0); 190 Cole O’Boyle, Alma senior (44-0); 215 Jack Ward, Belding senior (50-2).

Also undefeated: 150 Darnell Mack, Whitehall senior (47-0); 215 John Petersen, Hillsdale junior (35-0).

Division 4

106 Logan Gilbert, Martin junior (45-3) – He’s the top seed at this weight after finishing runner-up at the same in 2023 and winning 103 in 2022.

113 Alex Rodriguez, St. Louis sophomore (41-2) – He also is returning as the top seed at the weight at which he finished runner-up last season.  

120 Nicholas Sorrow, Hudson sophomore (45-1) – He won 106 to begin his career last year and is the top seed at his weight for the second straight.

126 Sammy Stewart, Manchester sophomore (51-1) – He also opened his career with a championship last season, at 113, and is the top seed in his bracket this weekend.

132 Haylen Buell, Climax-Scotts/Martin sophomore (38-4) – Last year’s runner-up at this weight is the top seed this time.

138 Landyn Crance, Union City senior (45-4) – The reigning champion at 132 is seeking his third title after also winning 125 as a sophomore.

144 Coy Perry, Hudson senior (42-6) – He’s also seeking a third individual title as the reigning champion, and top seed, at this weight after winning 112 as a freshman at Clinton.

165 Sebastian Martinez, Riverview Gabriel Richard junior (50-0) – He’s won championships at 145 and 157 pounds over the last two seasons and is a combined 122-7 for his career entering as the top seed in this bracket.

Other 2023 runners-up: 144 Blake Sloan, Manchester sophomore (47-5, 138 last year); 165 Fulton Stroud, Iron Mountain senior (32-2, 165 last year).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 138 Cole Marry, Hudson senior (41-8); 150 Austin Marry, Hudson senior (35-7); 157 Gavin Schoff, Niles Brandywine senior (45-0); 175 Brady Jess, Charlevoix junior (48-1); 190 Lucas Sischo, Bark River-Harris senior (35-5); 215 Landon Swanson, Charlevoix senior (43-2), 285 Zachary Hayes, Bangor senior (47-1).

Brighton’s Sabrina Nauss, left, begins her Team Quarterfinal match Friday.

Girls Division

100 Madison Nieuwenhuis, Plainwell sophomore (14-0) – The reigning champion at this weight is the top seed heading into her second Finals.

110 Sky Langewicz, Algonac junior (8-1) – She’s won championships at 105 and 110 pounds her first two seasons.

110 Nakayla Dawson, Westland John Glenn sophomore (5-0) – Last season’s champion at 105 pounds is the top seed in her new weight class this weekend.

120 Faith Burgess, Grand Blanc junior (22-0) – She’s the top seed at her weight after winning 115 a year ago.

125 Serenity Hayes, Whittemore-Prescott junior (24-3) – She’s wrestling for a second championship in her second season after winning 135 in 2023.

130 Angelina Pena, Milan senior (12-2) – The top seed at this weight is seeking to add a third MHSAA championship after winning at 120 pounds as a sophomore and 130 last season.

135 Margaret Buurma, Fowlerville junior (20-1) – She’s also a top seed and looking to repeat as a champion after winning at 125 pounds last season and 115 as a freshman.

155 Maddie Hayden, Caledonia sophomore (7-0) – The top seed at this weight is also the reigning champion at 155 after winning her final by two points a year ago.

190 Sabrina Nauss, Brighton senior (5-0) – The first female to win an Individual Finals match at Ford Field two years ago is heading to her last MHSAA tournament as a top seed again and seeking to add to her titles at 190 last season and 170 in 2022.

235 Madasyn Frisbie, Belding junior (2-1) – She took the next step from runner-up in 2022 to champion at 235 last season as she defeated this weekend’s top seed at their weight.

Other 2023 runners-up: 105 Natalie Gibson, Remus Chippewa Hills junior (14-2, 105 last year); 115 Sunni LaFond, Gaylord junior (26-6, 110 last year); 130 Isabella Cepak, South Lyon East junior (7-1, 120 last year); 125 Jamie Cook, DeWitt junior (27-2, 125 last year); 125 Tyler Swanigan, South Lyon East senior (8-1, 130 last year); 145 Rihanna Venegas, Riverview Gabriel Richard junior (10-0, 145 last year); 170 Heaven Cole, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix junior (14-1, 170 last year); 190 Gabriella Allen, Marcellus senior (22-2, 190 last year); 235 Lillianna Garcia, Grand Blanc senior (16-2, 235 last year).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 105 Tricia Pyrzewski, Gladwin senior (38-4); 115 Sunni LaFond, Gaylord junior (26-6); 125 Tyler Swanigan, South Lyon East senior (8-1); 140 Belicia Manuel, Romeo sophomore (19-0); 145 Rihanna Venegas, Riverview Gabriel Richard junior (10-0); 170 Amarisa Manuel, Romeo senior (16-0); 235 Lillianna Garcia, Grand Blanc senior (16-2).

Also undefeated: 110 Cheyenne Frank, Oxford sophomore (12-0); 130 Cambrie Lawrence, Benzie Central senior (18-0); 145 Hailee Budrick, Rockford senior (8-0); 155 Krysta Luce, Chesaning senior (17-0); 235 Karina Witmer, Madison Heights Lamphere sophomore (5-0).

PHOTOS (Top) Darius Marines, left, has his hand raised in victory as he helps Detroit Catholic Central to a Division 1 Semifinal win Saturday at Wings Event Center. (Middle) Dundee’s Kade Kluce, standing, works toward a victory to open the Division 3 Final that afternoon. (Below) Brighton’s Sabrina Nauss, left, begins her Team Quarterfinal match Friday. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)