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Catholic Central, WL Central head All-County wrestlers WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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State champs abound for Shamrocks, Vikings

There’s a familiar tone to this year’s All-Oakland County wrestling team, comprised of pound-for-pound the very best wrestlers regardless of weight class, and it starts with the Shamrocks, whose five state champions from last year found their places on the squad this year.

Domination was what they were all about as most ripped through the tournament with convincing performances. That was after the Shamrocks won the Division 1 team state tournament title a week before.

But another team, Walled Lake Central, continued to elevate its standing in the state with a quartet of representatives with solid credentials themselves, including four-time state champion Ben Freeman. This dynamic dozen of the area’s top wrestlers, who all finished no worse than third place in state competition, was tough to beat at any tournament.

Cameron Amine, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Soph. — Amine continues to uphold a strong family name in wrestling with an aggressive, smothering approach. He manhandled most of his opponents on his way to a 45-3 record while winning district and regional titles, but was also good enough to win close matches, including a 1-0 victory over Davison’s sturdy Brian Case in the D1 state semifinals before securing the D1 state title in the 145-pound division over previously unbeaten Danny Pfeiffer of Fraser with a 9-3 triumph. That’s two straight state titles for Amine, even though he was some 20 pounds heavier than last year when he won at 125.

Kevon Davenport, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Soph. — Davenport’s calm demeanor off the mat camouflaged a heady wrestler always in control. He thwarted nearly all attempts to take him down, and was rarely in trouble on his way to a 43-3 record, which included district and regional titles. He shut out his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents at the state meet before a 4-3 victory in the finals netted him his second straight state championship, this time at 130, 11 pounds heavier than when he won last year at 119. Davenport honed his skills with the Pontiac Junior Huskies wrestling club as a youngster.

Ben Kamali, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Jr. — That’s two straight state titles for Kamali, who followed the script of his other state-title teammates with a dynamic performance at the state meet after winning district and regional titles. A consistent contributor all season, Kamal, who finished at 41-3, scored a major decision in the semifinals before a second period pin of Battle Creek Lakeview’s Bryce Brust clinched the state title at 112. Last year he was champion at 103.

Tyler Morland, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Sr. — Morland entered the state tournament with a mindset to dominate, and that’s what he did. After winning district and regional titles, he pinned his first-round opponent at state in 50 seconds, shut out his quarterfinal opponent 7-0, and was a winner by technical fall in the semifinals before a state-title clinching technical fall in the finals over previously unbeaten Matthew Heaps of Portage. Morland, who’ll compete at Northwestern, yielded no takedowns at the state tournament on his way to a 37-0 record.

Nick Jenkins, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Sr. — Continued the tradition of high-caliber heavyweights for the Shamrocks with his second straight state title. Late in the season, he was involved in a number of close matches, but always found a way to win. After winning district and regional titles, he won his quarterfinal and semifinal matches by identical 2-0 scores before squeezing out a 3-2 victory over Temperance Bedford’s Austin Emerson, who just like Jenkins had only one loss entering the final, to claim state title No. 2. Jenkins ended with a 46-1 record.

Jackson Ross, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Sr. — One of the anchors of the Shamrocks’ upper weights, Ross battled back from a state meet quarterfinal loss to win four straight matches and claim third place at state in the D1 215-pound class. He beat Monroe’s Zach Kramer, who had won his quarterfinal match, 7-6 to cap his high school wrestling career. Ross placed third in regionals, was a district champ and finished with a 29-10 record. He’ll play football in college.

Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central, Sr. — They came and saw, but they couldn’t conquer Freeman as he wound up a brilliant high school career as the only four-time Division 1 state champion from Oakland County. An early-season injury and illness kept him out of a few major meets, including Oakland County and KLAA championships, but he won district and regional titles in the same dominating, offensive style. Freeman, who did not yield a takedown all season, scored points in bunches, usually winning by technical fall or by pin. He ended his senior season with a 34-0 and a career mark of 167-0.

Nick Freeman, Walled Lake Central, Jr. — Freeman added on to two previous all-state efforts at the D1 state tournament by winning the state championship at 135 pounds. Indeed, he came into his own this season, winning district, regional and KLAA championship matches before his state-title run, ending with a 5-2 victory over Westland John Glenn’s Anthony Gibson, the same opponent he beat for the KLAA title. Freeman seemed in control in most of his matches as he ended with a 35-1 record.

TJ Daugherty, Walled Lake Central, Fr. — Daugherty’s youth belied his matt saavy and determination as a quality wrestler. Daugherty won Oakland County and district titles, and was fourth in the KLAA and regional runnerup. But he saved his best wrestling for last. He was a 3-0 winner in the state quarterfinals, won on a 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker in the semifinals and scored a 4-3 decision over Macomb Dakota’s Nick Alayan, the same wrestler who beat him 6-0 in the regional match, in the state finals. Daugherty ended with a 42-5 record.

Warren Stanfield, Walled Lake Central, Sr. — Stanfield, who began his career at North Farmington, got progressively better each season, earning a fourth-place at the D1 state meet last year and a third place this season in the 130-pound class. Stanfield was Oakland County, district and KLAA meet champ, and was regional runnerup, where he lost his first match of the season. He reached the D1 state quarterfinals before losing, then reeled off four straight victories, including a thrilling 8-6 come-from-behind win over Grandville’s Jake Snauko to claim third place. His record was 51-2.

Josh Edmond, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Fr. — Came into high school with authority, slicing through the schedule unbeaten until his final match of the season. Edmond won Oakland County, Catholic League, district and regional titles before advancing all the way to the Division 2 state 135-pound finals before absorbing a 6-3 loss to Austin Boone of Lowell. Edmond finished with a 53-1 record.

Colin Takata, Birmingham Groves, Sr. — A non-state qualifier last season, Takata was markedly improved this year, placing third at district and regionals after winning the Oakland County meet title. He advanced all the way to the 140-pound finals before falling to four-time state champ Ben Freeman of Walled Lake Central. Still, Takata ended with a 48-3 and a runnerup medal from the state meet.

SECOND TEAM

Devin Trevino, Oxford, Soph., 160 — seventh D1 state (47-8)

Max Doggett, Southfield A&T, Sr., 171 — sixth at D1 state (31-4)

Sergio Borg, Oxford, Jr. 135 — fourth D1 state (26-7)

Nick Onwenu, Walled Lake Central, Jr. 189 — sixth D1 state (43-10)

Ben Petersmark, Rochester Adams, Sr., 285 — seventh D1 state (26-5)

Devon Johnsen, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Jr. 103 — seventh D1 state (35-12)

Mark Brado, Waterford Kettering, Soph. 103 - sixth D1 state (43-7)

Rhett Newton, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Soph. 112 — 3rd D1 state (36-9)

Derek Gilcher, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Fresh. 119 — 4th D1 state (32-10)

Anthony Gonzalez, Waterford Kettering, Jr. 140 — 6th D1 state (35-10)

Isaiah Berry, Southfield A&T, Jr. 125 — seventh D1 state (23-3)

Donovan King, Farmington, Soph. 285 — 5th D1 state (46-6)

Garrett Tyrell, Oxford, Sr. 130 — 7th D1 state (42-12)

HONORABLE MENTION

OXFORD — Sr. Byron Schlickenmeyer (35-6), Jr. Daltan Myers (16-15), Jr. Ryan Miller (32-13), Soph. Caleb Tabert (40-14), Soph. Trent Myre (39-16); TROY ATHENS — Jr. Andrew Yan (46-8); WATERFORD KETTERING — Sr. Brandon Egres (37-14); WATERFORD MOTT — Sr. Max Katsiroubas (28-8), Sr. Erik Arnegard (37-15); STONEY CREEK — Fr. Blake Noonan (40-9); NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL — Soph. Easton Turner (25-11), Sr. Dane Flynn (30-11), Jr. Stone Moscovic (29-13), Soph. Joe Urso (35-13), Jr. Aidan Wagh (30-14); WALLED LAKE CENTRAL — Sr. Josh Jernagin (27-12), Jr. Connor Merchant (29-11), Soph. Tanner Bryan (13-11); LAKELAND — Sr. Mike Jacobs (22-12), Sr. Nolan Klapec (19-8); MILFORD — Soph. Kameron Carter (28-8); NORTH FARMINGTON — Sr. Zach Doran (22-5); WEST BLOOMFIELD — Sr. John Hawkins (43-10), Jr. Brandon Munson (42-14); WALLED LAKE NORTHERN — Sr. Nick Welch (39-11); CLARKSTON — Sr. Jake Calvano (27-13), Soph. Conor Donahue (36-6), Sr. Jacob Rygielski (34-14), Soph. Mac Hanselman (33-13); BIRMINGHAM GROVES — Jr. Micha Mydloski (31-13); HOLLY — Soph. Cade Dallwitz (42-8), Soph. Blake Querio (24-12), Fr. Nathan Young (40-10); PONTIAC — Sr. Efrain Ortiz (40-8); FERNDALE — Soph. Donovan Pitts-Reed (28-8); ORTONVILLE BRANDON — Sr. Jack Olson (46-12); AUBURN HILLS AVONDALE — Fr. Torey Coleman (37-14); SOUTH LYON EAST — Sr. Tony Cavotta (36-11); HAZEL PARK — Jr. Joe Eisho (40-7); FARMINGTON — Jr. Jake Justice (42-7); MADISON HEIGHTS LAMPHERE — Soph. Matt Tomsett (42-6); CLAWSON — Sr. Katlyn Pizzo (44-12), Jr. Max Sandzik (39-13);

Coach of the Year

Nothing changed in the philosophy of Novi Detroit Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock, who annually lays out the toughest schedule in the state for his wrestlers and puts them in pressure-packed situations. They’ve often successfully stood the test, especially this season with district, regional and Catholic League titles added to the Shamrocks’ collection, along with the 2017 Division 1 state title, its fourth in the last six years, and all under Hancock, a CMU alumnus who likes his seniors. “We’ve got (had) great senior leadership,” said Hancock.

Last Updated: 4/8/2017 4:02:41 PM EST


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