DCC Wins D1 Clash of Annual Contenders

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

February 29, 2020

KALAMAZOO – Brendin Yatooma was blocking ouall of the noise Saturday at Wings Events Center. 

The Detroit Catholic Central senior 215-pounder proudly hoisted the Division 1 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals championship trophy over his head, a smile plastered on his face as the Shamrocks crowd roared in approval. 

Yatooma and his teammates had just claimed the school’s fourth straight title, defeating Davison 34-23 in a match that pitted rival powerhouses and drew heightened emotions across an entire corner of the arena.

“It means a ton to us. It means a ton to the community,” Yatooma said. “Being able to come out here and make history, especially with how rich in wrestling we are as a school. Just being able to be remembered for that makes a huge impact on us. It’s something that we’ll never forget for the rest of our lives. It’s great.” 

The title was the 14th in Catholic Central history, but this was the first time the school had won four in a row.

Emotions ran highest during a pivotal match at 189 pounds, which featured two of the state’s best wrestlers in Davison’s Alex Facundo and Catholic Central’s Manny Rojas. Facundo, a two-time Finals champion who has committed to Penn State, was leading 5-2 in the second period when he was called for an illegal move.  

Rojas was evaluated on the mat for a concussion, and it was determined he could not continue. Because the injury occurred on the illegal move, Catholic Central was awarded six points for the match, which gave the Shamrocks a 23-18 lead.

“Not the way we wanted it, but without that, we still win that dual by two points,” said DCC coach Mitch Hancock, who added that Rojas had been taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. “The big guys up top stepped up. It’s unfortunate; our thoughts and prayers are with Manny. We just hope he gets better quick. 

Davison’s acting coach Zac Hall – who was filling in for longtime coach Roy Hall, who had been in a car accident and couldn’t attend but is said to be doing well – echoed his team’s disappointment with how the match concluded.  

“You even saw it in the atmosphere – it was very back and forth, electric. Then once that happened, it was kind of eerie silent,” Zac Hall said.

“I hope Manny is OK. I know Manny, I’ve trained Manny. He’s a really good kid. Like I said, I just wish things would have worked out differently and I wish that it could have been handled on the mat.” 

Catholic Central (20-3) clinched the dual in the next two weight classes, as Yatooma and Steven Kolcheff picked up pins at 215 and 285, respectively. Davison (20-3) got decisions from Aden Williams (103) and Caden Horwath (112) to close out the dual. 

“I didn’t tell (Yatooma) anything. He’s a veteran,” Hancock said. “He pinned his way through the individual state tournament last year. You don’t tell him anything, just wrestle.” 

The two nationally-heralded teams battled it out throughout the dual, which featured a total of 16 wrestlers who were ranked either No. 1 or 2 in their weight class.  

Catholic Central’s Dylan Gilcher bumped up a weight and opened the dual with a 6-5 win at 119 pounds. Davison countered with a pin by Andrew Chambal at 125 and an overtime win from Kyle White at 130 to take a 9-3 lead.  

The Shamrocks went ahead 13-9 after Josh Edmond won by technical fall at 135, and Camden Trupp won by pin at 140. 

Davison won three of the next four, however, and led 18-17 heading into the Facundo/Rojas match. James Johnston (145) and Josh Barr (152) each won close decisions, while Max Callahan won 11-5 at 171. Catholic Central’s one win in between was a 5-1 decision by Derek Gilcher at 160. 

“Being a part of this is just spectacular,” Yatooma said. “I’m just speechless. I don’t have any words to describe the entire situation. It’s just something that can only be experienced.” 

Davison, meanwhile, will have to focus its energy on coming back next season and stopping the Shamrocks from getting a fifth straight.  

“This is already an incredibly motivated group,” Zac Hall said. “Nobody really aside from our community really gave us a shot to do this at the beginning of the year. (Catholic Central) came in ranked third in the country, and our guys came in and competed. As the year progressed, we got better. I think we came out here and put one hell of a show on. You can see in these guys’ faces how much passion, time and effort we’ve really put into this year. We’ll come back with a vengeance.” 

Catholic Central defeated Temperance Bedford 68-6 in the Semifinal, while Davison defeated Brighton 35-29. 

Trupp, Derek Gilcher, Rojas, Yatooma and Kolcheff all won three matches on the weekend for the Shamrocks. Chambal, White, Johnston, Barr and Horwath won three for Davison. 

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Catholic Central’s Brendin Yatooma points to his team’s fans after his win at 215 pounds Saturday afternoon. (Middle) Yatooma battles Davison’s Jimmy Colley. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Performance of the Week: Iron Mountain's Shayna Hruska

January 27, 2023

Shayna HruskaShayna Hruska ♦ Iron Mountain
Junior ♦ Wrestling

With an 8-2 decision win in the 106-pound final Saturday, Hruska became the first female champion at the annual Upper Peninsula Championships, and she then was selected the event’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for going 3-0 also with pins in her first two matches of the tournament. Those victories improved her record to 18-6 this season.

Hruska began wrestling in third grade and finished fourth at 97 pounds as a freshman at the 2021 Michigan Wrestling Association Girls Championships. She then finished second at her District to reach Regionals competing in the bracket with the boys last season. She entered last week’s U.P. Championships title coming off a runner-up finish at the Escanaba Elks Invitational on Jan. 7 and the championship at 106 at Kingsford’s Ray Mariucci Wrestling Invitational on Jan. 14.

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♀️POW: Shayna Hruska #performanceoftheweek #wrestling #upchampionship #outstandingwrestler #congrats #meetchamp #uppower #mountaineers #ironmountain #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp @shaynahruska ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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2022-23 Honorees

Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

(Photos courtesy of the Iron Mountain High School athletic department.)