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Woodhaven's Derek Hillman (white headgear) won a regional championship Saturday against Bedford’s Ben Beallas and is headed to the state finals for the third consecutive season. Photo by Frank Wladyslawski


REGIONAL WRESTLING: Several Downriver grapplers qualify for states (PHOTO/TOUT VIDEO)

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When Division 1 individual regionals wrapped up on Saturday, several Downriver wrestlers had punched their ticket to the state finals.

A total of 10 area grapplers qualified for the state meet, which is one more than last year, and two of the competitors picked up regional titles along the way.

As a team, Anderson had the most state qualifiers with five, which was the same number it had in 2013, while Woodhaven qualified three wrestlers and Roosevelt had two.

Woodhaven’s Derek Hillman (189) and Anderson’s Logan Parks (140) earned their way back to the state meet by winning regional titles on Saturday, while Roosevelt’s Quentin Santiago will return courtesy of a second-place finish.

For Hillman and Santiago, it will be the third consecutive trip to Auburn Hills, while Parks will be back for his second consecutive year.

To win the championship, Hillman beat Bedford’s Ben Beallas 12-3 in the finals and Parks clinched his title with a 7-4 decision against Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Robert Freter. Santiago mounted a comeback in the finals after falling behind to Bedford’s Blake Montrie, but was ultimately beaten 7-5.

Anderson had two runners up for the day in Jacob Balogh (145) and freshman Donte Rivera-Garcia (112), while Woodhaven had one, as freshman Xavier Graham (103) took second in his weight class.

To finish in third place, Woodhaven’s Jarod Ammons (160) beat Connor Harmon of Monroe by a 5-3 decision. Anderson’s Cody Tis also came away with the third spot after winning by injury default against Canton’s K.J. Wooley.

Rounding out the Division 1 qualifiers was Anderson’s Chris Pauly, who earned his way to the state meet with a fourth-place finish for the day.

The MHSAA individual state finals are scheduled Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Division 2

While Saturday’s Region 7, Division 2 finals were held about 100 miles away, the results definitely had a local flavor.

Overall, 12 Downriver wrestlers qualified for the state meet Saturday in Mason and three of them came away with regional championships.

As a team, Huron had the most qualifiers with five, while Riverview, Carlson and Trenton each had two and Summit had one.

Winning regional titles were Huron’s Judah Caballero (119), Riverview’s Brandon Garcia (152) and Summit’s TJ Barnes (160).

Finishing as runners up were Huron teammates Deion Copely (189) and Jeff Henderson (285), as well as Carlson’s Zachary Underwood (215).

In third was another pair of Huron Chiefs in John Wellman (125) and Logan Ritchie (130), while Riverview’s Theodore Lossing (135) was third in his weight class.

Taking fourth for the day was Carlson’s Jerry Lakos (103), along with the Trenton duo of Connor Charping (130) and Josh Berry (215).

Several of Saturday’s state qualifiers in Mason also competed last year in Auburn Hills.

For Huron, Caballero, Wellman, Ritchie and Copley were all in the state finals in 2013, as were Carlson’s Underwood, Riverview’s Garcia and Summit’s Barnes.

Saturday’s other Division 2 wrestling regional with Downriver squads involved took place in North Branch.

In what was Region 8, three Melvindale wrestlers qualified for a trip to the state finals.

Ameer Munassar (130), who also qualified last year, took second for the locals and both Ryan Large-Agee (140) and Manuel Roldan finished fourth for the day in their respective weight classes.

Division 3

Downriver also had one wrestler qualify for states in Division 3, as Flat Rock’s Branden Fisher (135) came away with a second-place finish in Region 12 at Richmond.

Last Updated: 2/16/2014 12:00:31 PM EST