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Southfield A&T edges Groves, claims district title in first season WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Wrestling - 2/8/2017 

Southfield A&T 42
Birmingham Groves 36
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SOUTHFIELD – Southfield A&T had a chance to really make a mark in its first season as a wrestling program Wednesday night.

The Warriors found themselves hosting a district final against Birmingham Groves, with the championship set to be decided by the final match at 215 pounds.

A&T sent out junior Landon Clark to battle Groves junior James Henry, someone that owned a pinfall win over Clark already.

The two battled for six minutes and then went two more overtime minutes before Clark found a way to secure a 6-3 win and give the Warriors the title with a 42-36 victory over the Falcons.

“Coach told me before I took that mat that we needed a point and I just had to take it to the mat twice as hard for my teammates,” Clark said. “My team has always been cheering me on in practice and school so in a situation like this I just wouldn’t allow myself to get tired. This match was bigger than me and I just wanted to give my all for my teammates.”

The win was a big accomplishment for the unified program of the former Southfield High School and Southfield-Lathrup. Coach Eric Moon spoke to his team after the victory and preached about the big picture.

“The big deal is not the trophy, the big deal is a group of young men came together and did something that was bigger than themselves,” Moon said. “In the small picture, we wanted this championship very much on our home floor against two well-coached and well-prepared teams. Winning that was huge. But, the big picture is that we came together this season as a team and as a family.”

Southfield advanced to the district final thanks to a 39-31 win over Birmingham Seaholm while Groves defeated Birmingham Brother Rice, 63-6.

The district final was close throughout. Each team had a void in the first three weight classes while Groves got the win at 103-pounds from Joey Llope, who had won by pinfall in a big comeback.

Terry Johnson answered for the Warriors with a pin at 119 while Timon Reed got a pin at 125 to put the Warriors up 18-12.

After a void at 130 pounds to give six points to Southfield A&T, Groves rattled off four-straight wins to take a 36-24 lead. Khalil Ford (135), Micha Mydloski (140), Justin Kennedy (145) and Nathan Campbell (152) each picked up wins for the Falcons.

Elijah Borden stopped the bleeding for the Warriors at 160 pounds, picking up a 7-3 decision. That was followed by a void at 171 pounds to make it 36-33. Max Doggett secured a key pin at 189 to give the Warriors the lead heading into the final bout, 39-36.

Clark and Henry were tied up at 1-1 after three periods and neither could score in the first one-minute overtime period. Each picked up an escape in the second overtime sessions, but Clark eventually scored the big takedown to get the win.

“I just told Landon that (Henry) was a little bit bigger than him, so I wanted him to use his speed and his movement to try and take the match into deep waters where anything can happen,” Moon said. “Landon just kept fighting and kept chipping away and found a way to win.”

Southfield A&T now advances to the regional at Walled Lake Central next Wednesday. It will face Warren Mott in the regional semifinal.

“It’s not about momentum, it is about preparation,” Moon said of the regional. “We are going to face some tougher teams next week, but we are up for the task. We will be defined by how we prepare in this next week. The results of the regional will be decided well before we wrestle.”

Last Updated: 2/8/2017 10:50:41 PM EST

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