OXFORD — Oxford wrestling coach Paul McDevitt cringed at the thought, but there were the Wildcats again, in second place behind the winner of Saturday’s 54th annual Oakland County wrestling championships at Oxford Middle School.
The winner, again, was Novi Detroit Catholic Central, who delivered four individual champions en route to its fifth straight county title as the Shamrocks scored 307 points and collected another piece of hardware for its bulging trophy case.
Oxford was second with 247 points and Clarkston (177.5), Rochester (172.5) and Ortonville Brandon (170) rounded out the top five teams.
Oxford has followed the Shamrocks in second place most of those years, but McDevitt could see some posititives.
“We’re happy to close the gap on Catholic Central and we’ve distanced ourselves from the rest of the field,” he said.
But for now, the defending state champion Shamrocks remain at the top of the heap.
Malik Amine (145) and Drew Garcia (171) each notched his third county title, while Myles Amine (140) and Nick Bennett (152), a transfer from Texas, won his first county title for Catholic Central.
Bennett beat Holly’s Kyle Pepper 16-1 in the finals, and earned most valuable wrestler honors for the upper weights.
“It’s good to be a part of this year’s team,” said Bennett, who grew up in the Oakland County area. “It’s very gratifying.”
Several starters were out for Catholic Central, but it mattered little. The Shamrocks just filled in the blanks and continued to march on.
“I’m proud of the guys that stepped into the lineup and did a quality job,” Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock said. “It speaks volumes about our guys’ hard work (and) their work in the offseason.”
Malik Amine welcomed the newcomers who’ve helped out. “We’ve got a beat up team, but it feels good to have some new kids in the lineup,” said the senior, whose younger brother, Myles, is stepping up his game. “He’s starting to turn the corner as well.”
Garcia, a two-time defending state champ who didn’t lose a match last season, has picked up where he left off with a 5-1 victory over Shane Shadaia of Rochester in the finals.
“Trying to take him down (was hardest),” smiled Shadaia.
Garcia, though, is not taking anything for granted. “It feels good,” he said, “(but) the wrestling seasons’s a grind. It’s one more step to making the state again, hopefully.”
Catholic Central’s Evan Toth was searching for his fourth straight county title and reached the 130-pound finals. But West Bloomfield’s Ross Bahro scored the first points and never allowed Toth back in the match en route to a 10-2 triumph.
He got a plaque and a banner for most valuable wrestling honors for the lower weights.
“It’s pretty sweet,” he said of the colorful banner. “I don’t have anything like it, (I’ll) put it up in my room.”
Oxford’s Zach Wood (285) and Alex Hrisopoulos (112) each won titles for the Wildcats. Hrisopoulos beat Brandon’s Bryan LaVearn 5-0.
“It feels amazing,” said Hrisopoulos, who lost to LaVearn last year. “He has a nasty cradle. That’s how he beat me last year.”
This time, Hrisopoulos countered with more attacks on his feet.
Wood attributed his mat awareness to his 2-1 triumph over Cameron Daniels of Rochester.
“He was a tough kid, tough competition,” said Wood. “I’ve wrestled him a lot.”
Stoney Creek featured two individual champs as Kyle Noonan, who pinned Rochester’s Tyler Dukart in 1:04, and Andrew Price, a 5-4 winner of Oxford’s Wesley Maskill, earned titles. It was the second county title for both.
“I got two takedowns ... up early,” said Price, delighted with the two titles. “But it’s all about February and March.”
Waterford Kettering’s Matt Okaiye outdueled Catholic Central’s Jimmy Russell in the 215-pound finals. “I’ve been practicing on my conditioning and mental techniques,” said Okaiye, now 8-0.
Ben Freeman (103) and Daniel Shear (119) won titles for Walled Lake Central, who placed sixth with 166 points. Walled Lake Northern was seventh with 143 and West Bloomfield (138.5), Holly (138) and Waterford Kettering (133) followed with Stoney Creek (126), South Lyon (123.5) and Rochester Adams (112.5) taking the next three places.
Thomas Keyes of Troy Athens won the 135-pound title by defeating Oxford’s Ed Schlickenmeyer.
In other matches, Anthony Chudler of Walled Lake Western, who failed to medal last year, earned a third-place medal in the 140-pound class with a 6-2 victory over Southfield’s Davion Williams, and Pontiac’s Davion Logan took third place with a 7-5 victory over Corbin Moorer of Waterford Mott.
“Last year I had a tough time but I came out hard this year, wanting to place,” said Chudler, who has a 17-2 record.
Logan’s dad, Tyrone, was the first wrestler to win four Oakland County titles.
Price recently notched his 100th career victory as did Logan Mendelson of Birmingham Groves, who placed fourth in the 189-pound class, falling to Dalton Bedgood of Waterford Kettering in overtime.
Former Avondale High wrestling coach Ray Went received an award from the Oakland County Wrestling Coaches Association for his contributions as a coach, mentor and citizen.
Oakland County Wrestling Tournament
(Saturday at Oxford Middle School)
TEAMS — 1. Novi Detroit Catholic Central 307; 2. Oxford 247; 3. Clarkston 177.5; 4. Rochester 172.5; 5. Ortonville Brandon 170; 6. Walled Lake Central 166; 7. Walled Lake Northern 143; 8. West Bloomfeld 138.5; 9. Holly 138; 10. Waterford Kettering 133; 11. Stoney Creek 126; 12. South Lyon 123.5; 13. Rochester Adams 112.5; 14. Lakeland 110.5; 15. Southfield 110; 16. Troy 105; 17. Lake Orion 95.5; 19. Hazel Park 80.5; 20. Birmingham Seaholm 79; 21. Pontiac 77; 22. Farmington Harrison 74.5; 23. Walled Lake Weten 73.5; 24. Novi 71; 25. Avondale 69; 26. Waterford Mott 65; 27. Farmington 63; 28. Birmingham Groves 62; 29. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 60; 30. Ferndale 58.5.
140 — 1. Myles Amine (Detroit Catholic Central) decision over Sam Johnson (Holly) 9-2; 3. Anthony Chudler (Walled Lake Western) decision over Davion Williams (Southfield) 6-2; 5. Mario Giglio (West Bloomfield) won by major decision over Brock Mather (Avondale) 12-2; 7. Andrew Ellicott (Troy) won by decision over Jason Medawar (Waterford Mott) 10-3.
145 — 1. Malik Amine (Detroit Catholic Central) won by fall over Christian Lauderback (Walled Lake Northern) 3:39; 3. Davion Logan (Pontiac) decision over Corbin Moorer (Waterford Mott) 7-5; 5. Ryan Morgan (Rochester) decision over Kyle Benkasrki (Novi) 9-5; 7. John Staron (Troy Athens) major decision over Kyle Masters (Clarkston) 10-0.
152 — 1. Nick Bennett (Detroit Catholic Central) tech fall over Kyle Pepper (Holly) 16-1; 3. Jack Addy (Rochester Adams) decision over Noah Kinne (Oxford) 8-1; 5. Thor Wardell (Brandon) decision over Ben Wright (Novi) 5-2; 7. Nolan Ericksen (Clarkston) won by tech fall over Reed Cortright (Birmingham Seaholm) 16-1.
160 — 1. Andrew Price (Stoney Creek) decision over Wes Maskill (Oxford) 5-4; 3. P.J. Kern (Walled Lake Northern) decision over Will Jacobs (Lakeland) 4-1; 5. Tyler Morland (Detroit Catholic Central) won by injury default over Andrew Scott (Holly); 7. Keonta Fuqua (Pontiac) decision over John Hood (Novi) 7-2.
171 — 1. Drew Garcia (Detroit Catholic Central) decision over Shane Shadaia (Rochester) 5-1; 3. Andy Bovay (Lakeland) decision over Matthew Sears (Brandon) 3-1; 5. Sam DeQuattro (Walled Lake Northern) decision over Zeb Throne (Oxford) 1-0; 7. Zak Carter (Waterford Kettering) decision over Kas Waitkus (Clarkston) 2-0.
189 — 1. Shwan Shadaia (Rochester) won by major decision over Alex Sovel (Walled Lake Central) 11-3; 3. Dalton Bedgood (Waterford Kettering) won in sudden victory - 1 over Logan Mendelson (Birmingham Groves) (SV-1 4-2); 5. Travis Tank (South Lyon) by fall over Conan Stoehr (Troy) 2:01; 7. Jamal Pettiford (Oxford) major decision over Mo Mokbel (North Farmington) 15-4.
215 — Matt Okaiye (Waterford Kettering) decision over Jimmy Russell (Detroit Catholic Central) 5-3; 3. Ben Line (Oxford) major decision over Nate Troutvine (Clarkston) 8-0; 5. Michael Robinson (Farmington Harrison) decision over Kimani Davidson (Avondale) 9-8; 7. Jameson Donahue (South Lyon) decision over Trent Bekker (Farmington) 5-1.
285 — 1. Zach Wood (Oxford) decision over Cameron Daniels (Rochester) 2-1; 3. Justin Hollins (West Bloomfield) by fall over Ezekiel Baker (Southfield) 2:21; 5. Johnathan Dixon (South Lyon) won by fall over David Murray (Troy) 0:52; 7. Josh Dabney (Orchard Lake St. Mary's) won by fall over Jayvon Stringer (Bloomfield Hills) 3:50.
103 —1. Ben Freeman (Walled Lake Central) by fall over Nolan Klapec (Lakeland) 2:59; 3. Brendan Ladd (Brandon) by fall over Kevin Thomas (Troy) 2:28; 5. Justin Miller (Walled Lake Northern) by decision over Michael Gibbs (Waterford Mott) 7-1; 7. Jacob Caldwell (Holly) won by forfeit over Chase Walkowiak (Farmington).
112 — 1. Alex Hrisopoulos (Oxford) decision over Bryan LaVearn (Brandon) 5-0; 3. Aaron Parr-Besemer (Berkley) decision over Michael Volyanyuk (Farmington Harrison) 9-3; 5. Greg Miller (Clarkston) won by fall over Kaleb Marion (Walled Lake Central) 1:56; 7. Tom Herrman (Detroit Catholic Central) major decision over Lee Hewson (Royal Oak) 11-0.
119 — 1. Daniel Shear (Walled Lake Central) by tech fall over David Moore (Lake Orion) 16-1; 3. Hunter Truba (Hazel Park) decision over Damione Davis (Pontiac) 6-2; 5. Parker O`Brien (Detroit Catholic Central) won by decision over Connor Ryan (Clarkston) 8-1; Kyle Gray (Avondale) decision over Devin Brewster (Troy Athens) 6-0.
125 — 1. Kyle Noonan (Stoney Creek) by fall over Tyler Dukart (Rochester) 1:04; 3. Cameron Wilkie (Clarkston) decision over Collin Campbell (Oxford) 6-0; 6. Joe Lyon (Detroit Catholic Central) won by fall over Tim Fedosseev (Troy) 3:00; 7. Jake Anderson (Rochester Adams) won by fall over Dominic Paterra (Walled Lake Central) 3:28.
130 — 1. Ross Bahro (West Bloomfield) major decision over Evan Toth (Detroit Catholic Central) 10-2; 3. Brandon Conrad (Waterford Kettering) decision over Bret Foltz (Clarkston) 5-1; 5. Aidan Pierobon (Stoney Creek) decision over Trevor Bageris (Milford) 13-11; 7. Gordon Dwyer (Brandon) by fall over Ben Weddle (Walled Lake Northern) 4:08.
135 — 1. Thomas Keyes (Troy Athens) won by decision over Edwin Schlickenmeyer (Oxford) 7-5; 3. Matt Gudeneau (West Bloomfield) by decision over Jake Dionne (Clarkston) 7-4; 5. Greg Johnson (Detroit Catholic Central) won in sudden victory - 1 over Ethan Douglas (Brandon) (SV-1 9-7); 7. Keith Lee (Southfield) by fall over Will Tang (Rochester Adams) 4:33.