Performance: Tri-County's Dakota Greer

March 9, 2018

Dakota Greer
Howard City Tri-County wrestling - Senior

Greer capped his high school wrestling career Saturday at Ford Field with a third Division 3 championship, winning a 9-2 decision over Montrose’s Reese Wallis in the title match to finish this season 43-2 and earn the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

The champion at 119 as a junior and 103 as a freshman, Greer finished 174-6 for his career with 86 pins, and despite missing the end of his sophomore season. He injured his thumb late that winter, and despite making the attempt at his Individual District tournament, was unable to continue competing. That ended up taking him out of the running for four individual titles, but still left him among the elite who have wrestled in this state. 

Greer followed the influence of cousins Dillen and Darren Decker into the sport – the 2015 Carson City-Crystal graduates both were MHSAA finalists for the Eagles, and Dillen was a champion as a senior before both went on to wrestle at Heidelberg University in Ohio. Greer also plays baseball – pitcher and centerfield – and is considering a variety of college options and opportunities to continue wrestling at that level. If he doesn’t wrestle, he’s leaning toward Ferris State University; regardless of where he’s headed next, Greer would like to study forestry, criminal justice to become a conservation officer, or heating and cooling.

Coach Corey Renner said:Dakota told me about when he was a youth wrestler, getting beat by the same kids all the time, until one year he ‘decided not to lose anymore.’ So he started working harder, trying to learn more, etc., and his ability took off from there. Dakota has practiced so much that his moves just seem to happen without a lot of conscious thought, more like a reflex. He is also very good at reading his opponent and finding weaknesses in a short amount of time. … Dakota seems to be able to see things from a coach’s point of view, and he is good at helping get other kids to buy into what we are trying to do. Dakota doesn't ever expect anything; he knows that success is earned every day and that past success doesn't guarantee anything or allow you any "slack.”  I think that when Dakota had the injury his sophomore year, he approached it with the same attitude as when he was a little kid – just work hard and do all the things that helped lead to success before to try to get back to where he was.”

Performance Point: “It was more of a relief than anything to finally get it done,” Greer said of winning the third title. “All the things leading up to it, all the work. Getting the two before, you’re kinda expected to win it, so it’s nice to get out there and get it done. … Coming into my freshman year, I wasn’t sure how good I would be or what I could become. What I’ve done is what I’ve dreamed of doing, but I didn’t know if I could or not. After I got the first one, I knew I was capable of it. It was just a matter of making it happen.”

On the attack: “I started to see a lot of cases where kids were coming at me with a bunch of weird, different techniques defending my offense. This year I was focusing on how to still attack and find out ways to get around that. If they’re going to block one thing, find another way to attack.”

No regret: “(Missing the 2016 Finals) doesn’t bother me too much. I can’t worry about things like that. I’m not going to sit here and say I would’ve done something; you never know unless you do it. It was a very tough bracket that year – any of those kids could’ve beaten me. … (But) I think it was a huge part of me coming back as strong as I did. It drove me.”

Cousin connection: “The reason I started wrestling was because of my cousins. I always looked up to them and wanted to wrestle because of them. They used to live here right by us, and they wrestled when they were younger and I always looked up to them and wanted to do what they were doing. I started when I was 3, and from then on is history. They were down (at Ford Field) watching me wrestle; they’ve been huge support.”

Gotta get outside: “I just love everything about it. I love nature, being outside, all the great things and activities. (This fall) I got a couple deer. This whole winter, I run hunting dogs, beagles, so I raise and train them and hunt rabbits with those. I have my own fishing boat, and I do bow fishing and bass fishing and all that stuff during the summer. It’s basically my whole life besides wrestling and school.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2017-18 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2017-18 honorees:
March 1: Camree' Clegg, Wayne Memorial basketball - Read
February 23: Aliah Robertson, Sault Ste. Marie swimming - Read
February 16: Austin O'Hearon, Eaton Rapids wrestling - Read
February 9: Sophia Wiard, Muskegon Oakridge basketball - Read
February 2: Brenden Tulpa, Hartland hockey - Read
January 25: Brandon Whitman, Dundee wrestling - Read
January 18: Derek Maas, Holland West Ottawa swimming - Read
January 11: Lexi Niepoth, Bellaire basketball - Read
November 30: La'Darius Jefferson, Muskegon football - Read
November 23: Ashley Turak, Farmington Hills Harrison swimming - Read
November 16: Bryce Veasley, West Bloomfield football - Read 
November 9: Jose Penaloza, Holland soccer - Read
November 2: Karenna Duffey, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North cross country - Read
October 26: Anika Dy, Traverse City Central golf - Read
October 19: Andrew Zhang, Bloomfield Hills tennis - Read
October 12: Nolan Fugate, Grand Rapids Catholic Central football - Read
October 5: Marissa Ackerman, Munising tennis - Read
September 28: Minh Le, Portage Central soccer - Read
September 21: Olivia Theis, Lansing Catholic cross country - Read
September 14: Maddy Chinn, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Howard City Tri-County's Dakota Greer (left) works to gain control during his championship match Saturday. (Middle) Greer celebrates with the Ford Field crowd after clinching his third MHSAA individual wrestling title. (Click for more from

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

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

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.)