By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The eight teams wrestling in Division 1 this weekend at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena have combined for 34 MHSAA team championships.
Some like Temperance Bedford going for a dozen or reigning champion Detroit Catholic Central trying to make it 10 titles, are plenty familiar with finishing as the last team standing. Others, like Hartland, could provide plenty of drama in pursuing a first championship.
Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 1, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 3:15 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 9:30 Saturday morning and the championship match at 4 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv. For results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page. Rankings below are from MichiganGrappler.com.
#1 DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL
Record/rank: 22-3, No. 1
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League
Coach: Mitch Hancock, sixth season (128-28)
Championship history: Nine MHSAA championships (most recently in 2012), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Robert Coe (38-4) sr., 112 Parker O’Brien (31-13) jr., 119 Trevor Zdebski (34-5) soph., 125 Evan Toth (37-10) jr., 130 Myles Amine (33-6) soph., 135 Ken Bade (34-6) sr., 140 Malik Amine (33-6) jr., 152 Mike Babicz (32-16) sr., 160 Logan Marcicki (30-4) jr., 171 Drew Garcia (45-0) jr., 189 Nick Giese (34-12) soph., 189 Jimmy Russell (34-14) jr.
Outlook: The Shamrocks will wrestle for their fourth straight championship match appearance and third title over those four seasons. Bade and Garcia were two of the team’s three individual champions last season, and Malik Amine was a Finals runner-up. Coe and Marcicki join those three as top-ranked in this division in their respective weight classes.
Record/rank: 12-4, No. 2
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley Association
Coach: Roy Hall, 16th season (390-68-1)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recently 2006), one runner-up finish.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Jacob Madrigal (29-8) jr., 112 Lincoln Olson (40-1) soph., 125 Derek Humphrey (36-7) jr., 135 Matt Miller (25-5) jr., 135 Justin Oliver (10-1) jr., 140 Dominic Russ (32-7) jr., 140 Carter Stoddard (19-3) sr., 145 Thomas Garty (33-10) jr., 152 Patrick Rooker (24-14) sr., 160 Jordan Cooks (36-1) jr., 171 Tyler Wildmo (34-7) soph., 215 Trevor Thomas (32-10) sr.
Outlook: Davison looks good to make a run at extending its incredible wrestling tradition under Hall, who led the team to five straight titles from 2002-06. The Cardinals have moved up a seed from last season’s Quarterfinals, and all but one of its Individual Finals qualifiers finished first or second at Saturday’s Regionals. Olson, Oliver and Cooks all won individual championships last season – and the future is similarly bright, with only two seniors in this weekend’s expected lineup.
Record/rank: 32-1, No. 3
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association
Coach: Todd Cheney, 21st season (562-88-2)
Championship history: Four MHSAA runner-up finishes (most recently in 2007).
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Josh Charneski (27-21) jr., 112 Sage Castillo (42-10) fr., 119 Nate Hughes (45-6) jr., 130 Jacob Gorial (50-3) soph., 130 Austin Eicher (45-0) jr., 160 Nate Smith (34-18) jr., 171 Mitchell Thomas (52-1) sr., 189 Ryan Hill (39-13) sr.
Outlook: Hartland is back in the hunt for its first MHSAA team title, and two seeds higher than at last season’s Quarterfinals. The Eagles beat No. 9 Brighton in the Regional on the way to Battle Creek. Eicher was an Individual Finals runner-up and is ranked number one at 130 weight this winter, and Gorial is ranked number two (Eicher is slated to wrestle 135). Thomas and Hughes also are ranked among the top seven at their weights.
#4 TEMPERANCE BEDFORD
Record/rank: 26-2, No. 4
League finish: First in the Southeastern Conference
Coach: Kevin Vogel, second season (46-6)
Championship history: 11 MHSAA championships (most recently 2011), seven runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Adam Ortman (36-10) jr., 119 Mitch Rogaliner (44-2) sr., 125 Mitch Pawlak (44-1) sr., 171 David Lijewski (35-12) sr., 189 Codie Bettencourt (32-12) sr., 215 Brandon Sunday (46-1) sr.
Outlook: Vogel has led the Kicking Mules to the Quarterfinals both of his seasons as coach, and like last year’s team this one features 10 wrestlers with at least 30 wins this winter. Rogaliner is the reigning Individual Finals champion at 112 pounds, and Sunday was runner-up last season at 189. They are two of four Bedford wrestlers ranked among the top eight in their respective weight classes.
Record/rank: 23-11, No. 7
League finish: Tied for second in the Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Frank Lafferty, 10th season (197-117)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Justin Kim (46-7) sr., 125 Josh Wood (13-0) sr., 140 Kaelan Richards (50-2) sr., 160 Dean Vettese (40-1) sr., 171 Shane Shadaia (32-6) jr., 189 Shawn Shadaia (48-1) jr.
Outlook: Rochester has won two straight District titles and is at Kellogg for the first time under Lafferty after beating No. 5 Oxford along the way. Wood was an Individual Finals runner-up as both a freshman and sophomore and is ranked number one in his weight class this winter. Shawn Shadaia also is ranked number one in his class, and total, five Rochester wrestlers are ranked among the top four at their weights.
#6 MACOMB DAKOTA
Record/rank: 37-4, No. 8
League finish: First in Macomb Area Conference Red
Co-coaches: Ed Skowneski and Mike Marlin, first seasons (37-4)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Sal Caruso (48-7) jr., 145 Alex Bozinovski (46-9) jr., 152 Jake Johnson (54-2) jr., 189 Antonio Balabani (50-6) soph.
Outlook: Skowneski – a 2003 MHSAA champion at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and former assistant at Warren DeLaSalle and Fraser – and Marlin, an assistant at Dakota for four seasons and a two-time MHSAA Finals qualifier on the mat, have brought Dakota to the Quarterfinals in their first season running the program. Six starters have at least 42 wins this winter, and four will compete next week to try to become the first individual champion in Dakota wrestling history.
Record/rank: 15-10, unranked
League finish: First in Capital Area Activities Conference Blue
Coach: Rocky Shaft, 33rd season (471-75)
Championship history: Four MHSAA championships (most recently 2008), two runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Benny Gomez (42-0) soph., 119 Shayne Wireman (42-0) sr., 125 Martin Rodriguez (11-0) jr., 130 Kyle Granger (25-16) jr., 140 Dominic Trevino (31-3) sr.
Outlook: The Rams beat No. 10 Battle Creek Lakeview in the Regional on the way to this weekend, but are no strangers to Kellogg Arena. Shaft has led Holt to four Quarterfinals over the last six seasons and 26 straight District championships. Wireman was an individual champion in 2011, and he and Gomez are the top-ranked contenders in their respective weight classes.
Record/rank: 22-7, unranked
League finish: First in O-K Red
Coach: Bubba Gritter, third season (49-25)
Championship history: Two MHSAA championships (most recently 1993), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Dakota Torralva (41-6) sr., 135 Collin Tomkins (15-1) jr., 215 Courtney Meyers (36-6) sr.
Outlook: Gritter – a three-time MHSAA individual champion for the Bulldogs from 2001-03 – has Grandville in the Quarterfinals after wins at the Regional by 16 over annual power Rockford and then by seven over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. All three of the team's individual qualifiers are ranked among the top five in their respective individual weight classes.
PHOTO: Detroit Catholic Central's Logan Marcicki (top) wrestles Oxford's Wesley Maskill during last season's Division 1 championship match at Kellogg Arena. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Shayna 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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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.)