DCC Locks Up D1 Repeat In Rematch, Delivering Hartland's Lone Loss

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

February 24, 2024

KALAMAZOO – Darius Marines and his Detroit Catholic Central teammates don’t take winning MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals titles for granted.

But make no mistake about it, they do not hope to be hoisting the championship trophy when it’s all said and done. They expect it.

“It’s the standard,” Marines said with a laugh. “No, really, it’s the standard. Our coaches expect nothing less of us, and we expect nothing less of each other. We push each other every day in the room, and this is just what we do. It’s Catholic Central.”

Marines and the Shamrocks claimed their second straight Division 1 title Saturday, defeating Hartland 41-12 in a rematch of the 2023 Final at Wings Event Center. It was the 10th title for Catholic Central since 2010, and 17th in program history.

“I don’t count them, right. I don’t look at it that way,” said CC coach Mitch Hancock, who has been at the helm for each of those 10 titles since 2010. “You’re so in the trenches of daily work. When you get older and wiser you sit back and try to process it all, try to take it in those moments – my kids are all here. It’s nice. It doesn’t get old. But our athletes are the ones that make it happen. Our coaching staff is the ones that make it happen. Our coaching staff is the best in the state. They’re led by (assistant) Anthony Biondo, and he’s the best, bar none.”

Catholic Central finished the season 27-2, with both of its losses coming against nationally-ranked, out-of-state teams – St. Edward (Ohio) and Lake Highland Prep (Fla.). 

Hartland’s Dallas Korponic, top, wrestles DCC’s Michael Cannon at 138 pounds.Hancock prides himself on scheduling the toughest competition possible, which is why Catholic Central’s dominant lineup doesn’t come into the postseason with records that would typically match that dominance.

Marines, a three-time Individual Finals champion, is the only unbeaten regular for the Shamrocks.

“Look at a Lee Krueger, he’s got five losses,” Hancock said. “Look at a Conner Bercume, he’s got three losses. We test and try our kids. You can’t hide in the state of Michigan, wrestle no one and then expect to come in here and be ready to wrestle. There’s one standard here, and it’s Detroit Catholic Central.”

Saturday’s loss was the first of the season for Hartland (33-1), which did pick up dual wins against Division 2 champion Lowell and Division 4 champion Hudson during the season. But Eagles coach Kyle Summerfield knows the bar is currently higher in Division 1.

“We run a good program,” Summerfield said. “Just, there’s a juggernaut in front of us, and we have to keep chasing and doing the right things. They’re a great program. Mitch is a good coach, the rest of his staff is good. But, we’re a good program, and we’re going to continue to chase. We’re going to continue to try and close that gap because, yeah, there is one goal, and ultimately it is the big trophy.”

Summerfield said his team fully believed heading into the Final that it could come out victorious. Wrestlers wore shirts that said “The New Standard” on the back – and yes, CC’s wrestlers and fans noticed – and through eight matches, Hartland was nearly even with the reigning champ.  

Catholic Central led 14-12 after Hartland’s James Butzier picked up an 8-4 decision at 175 pounds, but the Eagles would get no closer, as the Shamrocks claimed the final six matches, including a pair of pins and a technical fall.

“They have the strength of their lineup in the middle,” Hancock said. “We won 10 of 14 matches against a nationally-ranked Hartland team.”

Bercume (215) and Wyatt Lees (113) each had a pin for the Shamrocks, while Mack Mosovic (120) finished the dual with a tech fall. Mason Stewart (144), Marines (165) and Krueger (190) all won by major decision, while Simon Dominguez (126), Caden Krueger (157), Benny Eziuka (285) and Ryan Totten (106) won decisions. 

Bohdan Abbey (133), Dallas Korponic (138) and Colin Jewell (150) joined Butzier in winning by decision for Hartland.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) DCC’s Benny Eziuka, top, locks up with Hartland’s Jacob Pretzel at 285 pounds in Saturday’s Division 1 Final. (Middle) Hartland’s Dallas Korponic, top, wrestles DCC’s Michael Cannon at 138 pounds. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)

Performance of the Week: Detroit Catholic Central's Darius Marines

March 8, 2024

Darius Marines headshotDarius Marines ♦ Detroit Catholic Central
Senior ♦ Wrestling

Marines became the 36th wrestler in Michigan high school history to win a fourth Individual Finals championship as he clinched the 157-pound title with a 10-2 major decision over Roseville's previously-undefeated Jay'Den Williams on Saturday at Ford Field. Marines became the third Detroit Catholic Central wrestler to earn four Finals titles. 

The clinching victory put Marines at 50-0 to close this season, and 138-9 for his career. His previous championships came at 145 pounds as a freshman, 152 as a sophomore and 157 last year as a junior. He won by technical fall, pin and then major decision on the way to meeting Williams in the championship match. He also helped the Shamrocks to Division 1 team titles the last two seasons. Marines will continue wrestling at the college level and is considering multiple Division I opportunities.

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♂️POW: Darius Marines #wrestling #individual #detroitcatholiccentral #letsgo #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♂️POW: Darius Marines #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #muhammadali #joker #pasta #japan #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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PHOTO DCC's Darius Marines, left, wrestles Roseville's Jay'Den Williams in the Division 1 157-pound championship match Saturday at Ford Field. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)