Running Finals Streak to 9, Lowell Keeps D2 Dominance in 'Family'

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

February 26, 2022

KALAMAZOO -- When asked about his team's unprecedented success, Lowell wrestling coach RJ Boudro admits that the recipe for success is not that hard.

It's all about family.

Boudro's Red Arrows won their ninth straight Division 2 championship, and 12th overall, by defeating Goodrich in the 46-16 in Saturday’s Final at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

"I have coached these guys since they have been knee-high," Boudro said. "I have been coaching at Lowell for 15 years; some of the guys on this team weren't even born when I started. It just starts getting more personable, and that is what coaching is really about. Making relationships, and relationships grow stronger. I love these kids, and I love their families – they support you a lot."

You could tell the closeness of this year's Lowell team all weekend in Kalamazoo, as the Red Arrows marched through Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice in the Quarterfinal and then Gaylord in the Semifinal to set up a rematch with the Martians in the championship match.

Starting at the 189-pound weight class, Goodrich got on the scoreboard first with Cameron Macklem’s pin in 1 minute, 36 seconds.

Lowell got on the board thanks to one of its senior leaders, as Carter Blough – the top-ranked 215-pounder in Division 2 – won by technical fall, 22-7.

Lowell went on to win six of the next seven matches after Blough's impressive victory, setting the tone for another team title heading back home to Lowell.

Lowell/Goodrich wrestling"Last year we didn't have the energy, the people here, like we did this year," Blough said. "We didn't have that stage, but this year we had our crowd here, we secured the dual and we are super excited."

Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, Lowell beat Goodrich 59-7 for the championship. This year would be a bit tougher, but the Red Arrows continued to show the dominance in the division they have displayed over the past decade.

"Lowell is a good team. I don't know what else to say," said Goodrich coach Kenneth Sirignano, whose team ended its year with a 31-3 record. "They were better than us today, by quite a bit."

Sirignano said momentum swung on some tight matches throughout the Final.

"We lost three close matches, and we gave up bonus points," Sirignano said. "In those tight duals, you have to win the close ones and you can't give up bonus points."

Those three sway matches came at 112 pounds – an 8-7 win by Lowell's Landon Musgrave – at 125 with a 3-0 win by the Red Arrows’ Owen Segorski, and at 145 with a 3-0 win by Lowell's Jared Boone.

"Even during COVID we found a way to work around it and get better," Blough said. "That's how this team is – we always find a way to get better no matter what's in front of us."

Lowell, which finished this winter with a 23-3 record, will wrestle for a 10th-straight championship next season. No other team in the state, no matter the division, has won more than five consecutive titles.

"This is ridiculous," Boudro said. "It's hard to put into words."

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Lowell celebrates Saturday’s Division 2 championship win over Goodrich, which ran its title streak to nine seasons. (Middle) Lowell and Goodrich wrestlers work to gain control during their match. (Click for more from

Hall, Stevens Teaming Up to Continue Dundee Championship Tradition

By Doug Donnelly
Special for

November 22, 2022

DUNDEE – How do you replace a legendary coach? 

Southeast & BorderFor the Dundee Vikings wrestling program, it takes two. 

Nate Hall and Garrett Stevens opened practice last week as the new co-coaches of the ultra-successful Dundee wrestling program, taking the reins from Tim Roberts, one of the winningest coaches in state wrestling history. 

“From day one, we’ve done a really good job of pushing each other and staying focused,” Stevens said. “The kids have been getting after it. Things are going well.” 

Dundee’s wrestling program is a rich one. Roberts stepped down with a state-record 10 MHSAA Finals titles over his 23 seasons as head coach. In all 23 of those years, Dundee won District championships, and in 22 of those 23 years the Vikings won Regional titles. Roberts not only accumulated 10 Finals championship trophies, but he also won more than 500 dual matches.  

Hall and Stevens have coached together for several years on the Dundee staff. Now they are dividing up duties and looking to start the next era of Vikings wrestling.  

“We know what we are up against,” Hall said. “We have a strong tradition to keep on. We understand two people going at it is probably the better route.” 

The move is not without precedent. In the conference that Dundee competes in – the Lenawee County Athletic Association – Clinton had co-coaches lead the Redwolves to the Division 4 championship two seasons ago. Division 3 powerhouse Richmond has utilized co-coaches in the sport as well. 

“We sort of applied together,” Stevens said. “We thought we could do this.” 

Dundee Athletic Director Ross Crow said he was hesitant at first to consider the co-coach idea, but after meeting with both realized it could work. 

Stevens, top, and Hall stand with their retired coach and mentor at various events. span>“After sitting down with them and having a lengthy discussion, I realized they have an extremely organized and articulated plan as to how they are carrying the torch moving forward,” Crow said. “Whenever I have a question, I either text or e-mail both of them on a group thread. They both chime in and more often than not, the answer is exactly the same for both of them. It's a really good fit, as they are close friends and have no egos.” 

Stevens is a 2007 Dundee graduate. He wrestled for Roberts. His dad was a Dundee wrestler as well, graduating in the 1970s. Stevens brings his connection to the Dundee wrestling community to the table as well as years of coaching experience. 

Hall is from nearby Blissfield, where he was an all-state wrestler. He wrestled for Grand Valley State’s club program and was a coach there as well. He returned to southeast Michigan to coach with his father – Adrian Madison head coach Scott Hall – and joined the Dundee staff when he became a physical education teacher at the middle school about five years ago. 

As co-head coach, Nate Hall handles a lot of the organizational duties, especially anything involving the school district, since he works there. Stevens brings a technical side of the sport with him. 

The duo believe they can make it work because of the chemistry between them. 

“I was always more of a technical wrestler,” Stevens said. “I think Tim (Roberts) felt I could help connect with the kids and teach them how to do a few things differently. 

“After I graduated from high school, I got away from wrestling for a while, but in 2011, Tim reached out to me and asked if I wanted to get back involved and it seemed like a no-brainer. I missed it. I liked being around him and there were some things I could bring to the table. I was chomping at the bit once the opportunity opened for me.” 

Stevens said Roberts was wonderful to learn from because he was such a great person and sought out input from his staff. 

“Tim’s approach to coaching was unique,” Stevens said. “He’s very open-minded and understands there is so much more to learn. You constantly want your kids and program to grow. Every year I coached with him, he changed something every year. He was constantly modifying, tweaking, and seeking out help and advice from others.” 

Hall likes how things have started. 

“It’s going very well so far,” Hall said. “Tim didn’t leave the well dry. He’s got an established program and an established wrestling community that has been supportive of both Garrett and I so far.  

Stevens and son Brady, and Hall and daughter Kimberly, celebrate the 2020 championship.“We’ve got a tremendous senior class – three state champions and another kid that was third in the state last year. Their leadership is really going to be a huge aspect of our success this year.” 

The Vikings also have 14 freshmen.          

“We’ve hit the ground running,” Hall said. “We provide a lot of opportunities in the offseason for kids to get into the wrestling room and stay active. Most of our guys are active throughout. The freshmen are a real promising group that we can keep the ball rolling,” Hall said.  

The veterans in the wrestling room include Kaden Chinavare, a Central Michigan University signee who won an Individual Finals title as a sophomore; Aiden Davis, a two-time Finals champ headed to Bucknell; and Braeden Davis, a Penn State University recruit looking for a fourth consecutive Finals title in 2023.  

“The biggest thing with this group, I would say, is their willingness to push each other in the right manner,” Hall said. “We’ve got a lot of successful individuals, and they are already going out of their way to make sure each person around them is getting the most out of their reps they can get. 

“The team chemistry is already a big part of it.” 

Both coaches admit there is pressure to maintain a program that is not just known at the state level, but nationally.  

“If you’re not feeling that pressure, maybe you’re not taking it as seriously as it needs to be taken,” Hall said. “We are here to help kids accomplish their goals, and pressure is a part of that – especially at the elite level a lot of our wrestlers want to compete at.” 

Despite the turnover in coaching, Dundee’s goals remain high. 

Dundee opens with the Grappler Gold, will go to Davison, then compete at a big invitational in Ohio. They Vikings will compete at Detroit Catholic Central and the Hudson Super 16 in late January. 

“We always want to aim high,” Stevens said.

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Nate Hall, left, and Garrett Stevens walk together during the opening march at an MHSAA Team Finals; retired coach Tim Roberts is behind them, waving. (Middle) Stevens, top, and Hall stand with their retired coach and mentor at various events. (Below) Stevens and son Brady, and Hall and daughter Kimberly, celebrate the 2020 championship. (Top and below photos by Kathy Killion.)