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Catholic Central facing uphill battle as state seeds are announced WITH PHOTOS

  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Davison is the No. 5 seed in Division 1, entering the team wrestling state finals. It will face 3-time defending state champion Catholic Central in a quarterfinal Friday. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Brighton enters the Division 1 team state wrestling finals as the No. 1 seed. At 26-1, the Bulldogs will face Oxford in the quarterfinals Friday night. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Brighton enters the Division 1 team state wrestling finals as the No. 1 seed. At 26-1, the Bulldogs will face Oxford in the quarterfinals Friday night. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Brighton enters the Division 1 team state wrestling finals as the No. 1 seed. At 26-1, the Bulldogs will face Oxford in the quarterfinals Friday night. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Davison is the No. 5 seed in Division 1, entering the team wrestling state finals. It will face 3-time defending state champion Catholic Central in a quarterfinal Friday. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Brighton enters the Division 1 team state wrestling finals as the No. 1 seed. At 26-1, the Bulldogs will face Oxford in the quarterfinals Friday night. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Brighton enters the Division 1 team state wrestling finals as the No. 1 seed. At 26-1, the Bulldogs will face Oxford in the quarterfinals Friday night. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Davison is the No. 5 seed in Division 1, entering the team wrestling state finals. It will face 3-time defending state champion Catholic Central in a quarterfinal Friday. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Oxford will once again represent Oakland County at the wrestling team state finals in Battle Creek. The Wildcats - the No. 8 seed - were semifinalists last year and won it all in 2011. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • Davison is the No. 5 seed in Division 1, entering the team wrestling state finals. It will face 3-time defending state champion Catholic Central in a quarterfinal Friday. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Anchor Bay is the lone unbeaten wrestling team competing in Battle Creek this weekend. The Tars (36-0) last won a regional title in 2010. (MIPrepZone file photos)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the No. 4 seed entering the 2015 MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals, which are being held in Battle Creek this next weekend. It's the lowest the Shamrocks have been seeded since the state started seeding teams in 2010. The 3-time defending state champions were the No. 3 seed last year. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • At 29-3, Hartland earned the No. 3 seed at this weekend's team state finals in Battle Creek. A mainstay at the team finals, Hartland is looking for its first state championship. (MIPrepZone file photo)

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Novi Detroit Catholic Central, the defending state champion, will have the No. 4 seed as the Shamrocks will be looking up at three other teams at Friday’s Division 1 team state wrestling finals at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Nevertheless, Shamrocks coach Mitch Hancock is eyeing a fourth straight Division 1 title despite the seeding.

Anchor Bay is seeded No. 2, Hartland is seeded No. 3 and Oxford, making its fifth trip to the quarterfinals in the past six years, is seeded No. 8.

The seedings for all four divisions were announced Sunday afternoon by the MHSAA.

Catholic Central (22-3) will face No. 5 seed Davison (19-6) in the quarterfinals. Anchor Bay (36-0) takes on No. 7 seed Grand Haven (26-3), Hartland faces No. 6 seed Monroe (37-3) and No. 1 seed Brighton has Oxford (16-7) in the other quarterfinal matches, all scheduled for Friday. Semifinals and finals are scheduled for Saturday.

Davison, Catholic Central, Oxford and Hartland were in the quarterfinals last season.

Catholic Central has won the last three Division 1 state titles with a mixture of veterans and wrestlers who came through with clutch performances.

This year’s squad may not be as experienced, but the Shamrocks wrestle arguably the toughest schedule in the state, which puts them in the title picture regardless of seedings or losses.

In fact, Catholic Central lost convincingly to Davison in its opener last year, but met the Cardinals in last year’s state final and pulled out a dramatic victory.

This year, the Shamrocks lost to Brighton convincingly in the season opener. But Catholic Central has remained steady throughout the season while taking on all-comers.

“I think our guys have grown tremendously, physically, mentally and spiritually,” said Hancock, recalling the season’s journey. “The guys are getting tough.”

Hartland, making its 14th straight quarterfinals appearance, is in a familiar setting. While the Eagles have never won a state title, they’re always in the mix of the state’s top teams.

With a young squad, coach Todd Cheney had concerns coming into the season. But the Eagles have responded, especially with a victory over highly-regarded Walled Lake Central last week to get to the quarterfinals.

“This group has that mentality, we’re not losing, and if we’re losing, we’re going down fighting,” said Cheney, delighted with the team’s development through the season. “This team is the youngest team I’ve coached in 15 years.”

Oxford, also in the familiar setting of the state quarterfinals, has been weakened somewhat from transfers and injuries. But the Wildcats have proceeded, winning a fifth straight OAA Red title as well as district and regional titles.

Oxford, with a 16-7 dual meet record, will enter the quarterfinals with the most losses of any of the eight squads. But coach Paul McDevitt, who orchestrated the Wildcats’ resurgence nearly 20 years ago, knows it’s a clean slate at the state quarterfinals, where anything can happen. Oxford, though, has a tall order in taking on Brighton (26-1). The Bulldogs have beaten Catholic Central and Walled Lake Central.

Anchor Bay coach Jim Morisette predicted the Tars would have a solid season if they avoided many injuries and sure enough, his squad has come through. Anchor Bay, the Macomb County tournament champion, enters the quarterfinals as the only unbeaten Division 1 team.

In Division 2, Lowell is the top seed, Dundee is the No. 1 seed in Division 3 and New Lothrop is top seed in Division 4.

Flint Kearsley, the No. 5 seed in Division 2, beat Ortonville Brandon by a point in the regional finals.

Last Updated: 2/22/2015 4:28:50 PM EST


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