Dundee Continues Winning Ways with 7th-Consecutive D3 Final Victory

By Jeff Chaney
Special for MHSAA.com

February 24, 2024

KALAMAZOO -- One thing Dundee’s wrestling community knows about is winning. 

The Vikings continued to make history in Division 3 on Saturday at the Wings Event Center, as they won their seventh-straight team title with a 49-20 clincher over Whitehall in the championship match.

In total, Dundee has won nine of the past 11 Division 3 team titles, and 16 Finals championships overall.

"This is a special group of kids, and a special community," Dundee co-coach Garrett Stevens said. "Every time we do something like this, it's just a special chapter, and I am thankful to be a part of it."

One of those special – and talented – athletes, Kade Kluce, got things started for Dundee in the Final with a hard-fought 8-2 opening win over Whitehall's Nolan Taranko in their 126-pound match.

Kluce, a senior, has played a major part of four team titles, and will look to join an exclusive group next week at Ford Field when he tries to win his fourth individual championship. If he accomplishes that feat, he will join former Vikings Braeden Davis, Casey Swiderski and Stoney Buell as well as Lowell's Austin Boone and Davison's Brent Metcalf as the only wrestlers in the state of Michigan to win four individual and four team titles.

"That's my biggest goal I have right now, aside from being in college," Kluce said. "That's what I have worked so hard for ever since I got to high school."

Whitehall’s Gavin Craner, left, controls his match at 175.Kluce said it's easy to have goals and work hard at Dundee.

"This is a family," Kluce added. "We do everything together, and we have great leadership that helps us be a part of everyone's matches."

That strong camaraderie was on display all weekend for the Vikings, as they defeated Lake Odessa Lakewood in the Quarterfinal on Friday 58-18, followed by a 49-22 win over Constantine in the Saturday morning Semifinal.

Then in the championship match, Dundee won 10 of 14 bouts – none bigger than what senior Aiden Massingill achieved at 215 pounds, defeating an Individual Finals qualifier to give the Vikings a 32-18 lead.

That seemed to ease a little tension, as Whitehall had put up a nice fight by winning three of the previous four matches. 

"I just told my kids to go out there and wrestle hard, and they did that," said Whitehall coach Justin Zeerip, whose team finished with a 29-4 record. "To be in the Finals three of the last four years has been awesome."

To make it three in the past four, Whitehall met an old foe in its Semifinal match.

"I was proud of our team for beating Clinton in the Semifinals," Zeerip said. "We beat them by one point earlier in the year and then beat them by 20 in the Semifinals. I was proud of how our kids wrestled this weekend."

But the weekend belonged to Dundee -- again. 

"Winning like this starts at home," said Stevens, whose team ended with an 18-5 record. "You need to get your sleep, discipline in your diet, and do well in the classroom. Then you have to stay healthy and put in the work. And if you do all the things right and at the end of the day you get your hand raised -- that's winning."

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Dundee’s Aiden Massingill has his arm raised in victory after a key win at 215 pounds Saturday. (Middle) Whitehall’s Gavin Craner, left, controls his match at 175. (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.

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

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

March 1: Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

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.)