BIRMINGHAM >> The battle was on for the title trophy at Saturday’s Catholic League wrestling tournament at Birmingham Brother Rice.
But barring any upsets of epic proportions, the battle was for second place, and the opposing coaches knew it.
State-ranked and perennial power Novi Detroit Catholic Central, even while sitting most of its starters out, continued its stranglehold on the Catholic League title, scoring 199 points to win its 20th straight league crown. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s was second with 137 points and Birmingham Brother Rice, paced by Shon Powell’s fourth straight league crown, was fifth with 102 points.
With so many league titles in the bank, the Shamrocks know what’s expected.
“We’re all tradition based,” said Shamrocks assistant Kevin Griffin, harking back to the legacy of former coach Mike Rodriguez and current head coach Mitch Hancock who have kept the string going. “This was another day to come to work. We continue to improve some of our freshmen and sophomores, but a lot of our seniors had fantastic performances.”
The Shamrocks were particularly strong in the lower weights as Davis Rastigue (103), Joe Lyon (119), Greg
Johnson (130), Eli Joseph (135) and Ryan O’Connor (140) each won individual titles.
Catholic Central had finalists in eight weight classes and, along with Adam McGrath’s victory at 152, featured champions in six.
“Most of our guys are on our second-tier (varsity) team,” said Griffin, “but they know their roles. They’re humble guys.”
St. Mary’s had its best performance in years according to coach Chris Brecht, who watched the Eaglets wrestle to expectations.
“We had 10 placers, five in the finals and five in the consolation finals,” Brecht said. “I thought we wrestled awesome. It’s one of our best outings of the year, without a doubt.”
Heavyweight Josh Dabney capped the Eaglets’ performance with a 13-5 victory over Warren De Lasalle’s Jacob Vanitersum in the meet’s final match.
Kyle McCormick, who beat Catholic Central’s Nathan Cascarelli 8-2 at 145, also won for the Eaglets, who finished in the middle of the pack last year.
“None of our kids backed down,” Brecht said. “The growth from last year to this year is awesome.”
Powell racked up three victories, all by fall, ending with a second-period pin of St. Mary’s De’Von Bazile in the 171-pound class. But the rugged senior, who has missed most of the season, is still trying to catch up after a football injury.
“It was definitely more difficult that I expected,” said Powell, who has played on all three state championship football teams at Brother Rice. “I only had four matches coming into the tournament. I separated my shoulder in the (state football) semifinal and I ended up playing in the championship game.
“I’m definitely behind in conditioning and that’s something I’ve been working on.”
Mike Murley, Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s 215-pounder, placed second and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Joey Agro (119) and Tim Gale (103) each placed third.
Now it’s on to team districts, where Catholic Central hosts a Division 1 tourney Wednesday and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep hosts a Division 2 tourney Thursday
103 — Davis Rastigue (Catholic Central) pinned Majed Abdulrazzak (Brother Rice) 2:48; 112 — Jon Neis (Detroit Jesuit) def. Aaron Rehfeldt (Catholic Central) 6-1; 119 — Joe Lyon (Catholic Central) pinned David Boos (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 1:15; 125 — Jason Hertel (Warren De La Salle) pinned William Dunn (Dearborn Divine Child) 5:17; 130 — Greg Johnson (Catholic Central) def. Cameron Smith (Brother Rice) 12-8; 135 — Eli Joseph (Catholic Central) tech. fall Noah Brown (Warren De La Salle) 20-5; 140 — Ryan O’Connor (Catholic Central) pinned Josh Tesarz (Brother Rice) 2:50; 145 — Kyle McCormick (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) def. Nathan Cascarelli (Catholic Central) 8-2; 152 — Adam McGrath (Catholic Central) tech. fall Sherman Dabney (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 17-0; 160 — Tru Wilson (Warren De La Salle) def. Andrew Mikes (Detroit Jesuit) 17-8; 171 — Shon Powell (Brother Rice) pinned De’Von Bazile (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 2:36; 189 — Austin Potter (Warren De La Salle) def. Elijah Small (Detroit Jesuit) 11-2; 215 — Patrick Harbin Jr. (Detroit Loyola) pinned Mike Murley (Madison Heights Bishop Foley) 1:04; 285 — Josh Dabney (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) def. Jacob Vanitersum (Warren De La Salle) 13-5.
103 — Tim Gale (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) bye; 112 — Caleb Edmond (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) def. John Stanczak (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) 7-1; 119 — Joey Agro (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) def. John Ginotti (Detroit Jesuit) 2-0; 125 — Riley Benson (Detroit Jesuit) maj. dec. Matt Anderson (Catholic Central) 10-2; 130 — James Bird (Dearborn Divine Child) def. Bryan Debono (Detroit Jesuit) 10-4; 135 — Mike McLaughlin (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) pinned Nicholas Jelonek (Detroit Jesuit) 1:25; 140 — Jon McRoberts (Detroit Jesuit) def. Anthony Trocchia (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 6-5; 145 — Darren Rydzewski (Warren De La Salle) def. Tyler King (Brother Rice) 12-6; 152 — Devin Grim (Dearborn Divine Child) pinned Jacob Orban (Warren De La Salle) 1:47; 160 — Dominick Adams (Brother Rice) def. Mike Trame (Catholic Central) 6-2; 171 — Nicholas Lamping (Detroit Jesuit) pinned Joey Rydzewski (Warren De La Salle) 2:36; 189 — Tim Teklinski (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) pinned Alex Williamson (Madison Heights Bishop Foley) 5:01; 215 — Mike O’Brien (Dearborn Divine Child) def. Ben Jozwiak (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 4-2; 285 — Nick Jenkins (Catholic Central) def. Sage Baltrusaitis (Brother Rice) 2-1.