WRESTLING: Oxford exacts demons in winning eighth regional crown |
Rochester, Clarkston no match for ninth-ranked Wildcats
BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Something was amiss with Oxford’s wrestling team last season.
True, the Wildcats were a very competitive bunch, just as they have been for the past 15-plus years. But Oxford never got a chance to visit its favorite destination: Battle Creek, its home away from home.
Saddled into a very competitive district last season that also featured fellow state-ranked Rochester, the Wildcats were knocked out in the Division 1 district finals. A string of five straight trips to the Final Four was halted. There was no two-hour trek to Battle Creek last winter to participate in the final weekend of the team wrestling season.
Oxford got a chance to redeem itself over the course of the past week, and following a district trophy on Feb. 6, the Wildcats defeated both Rochester and Clarkston Wednesday night at Rochester to claim their sixth regional title in seven years and eighth since 1999.
“I think they remembered,” smiled Oxford coach Paul McDevitt of last year’s defeat. “Even when we walked into (Rochester High School) tonight, I asked them, ‘who knocked them out last season?’”
Rochester defeated Oxford in a match that went down to the final weight class one year ago. The Wildcats edged Rochester in the regional finals in 2012 in the same fashion.
This time around, Oxford pounded Rochester, 57-16, in the regional semifinals, then rolled Clarkston, 45-16, in the regional finals to advance to the state quarterfinals Feb. 21 at 3:15 p.m. at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena. The seedings for the state tournament will be released Feb. 16.
Clarkston defeated Utica Ford 41-25, in the other regional semifinal, building a 35-6 advantage at one point. The Wolves could never gain any momentum against Oxford.
After falling behind Rochester, 4-0, Oxford won 11 straight matches and the showdown was never in doubt. Against Clarkston, the Wildcats (27-5) led 18-0 early and never allowed the Wolves (24-9) to make a serious run.
“Hats off to Oxford. They just wrestled better than we did,” said Clarkston coach Derek Moskovich, whose team lost in the Sweet 16 of the state tournament for the sixth straight season. “There were a couple of matches were we felt we could have won and they beat us.”
Collin Campbell (125) and Peter Economou (145) sprung upsets against Clarkston that enabled Oxford to pull away.
“We got some huge wins at some weight classes that we weren’t expecting. That helped,” said McDevitt. “The Economou match was the turning point for us without a doubt. (Clarkston’s Tyler) Slating won the district individual title at 145 last week and (for Economou) to pull of that win (was big).”
Getting back to Battle Creek after a one-year hiatus was one of Oxford’s biggest goals this season.
“It has been a team mindset all season long for us,” continued McDevitt. “We have been talking about this all season long and we were able to beat a top ranked contender in Clarkston to keep our season going.”
OXFORD 45, CLARKSTON 16
285: Zach Wood (O) p. Chris Zimmeer 0:46: 103: Jacob Call (O) by void; 112: Alex Hrisopolous (O) p. Greg Miller 1:50; 119: Cameron Wilkie (C) p. Bailey Kammerer 1:42; 125: Collin Campbell (O) d. Connor Ryan 6-5; 130: Bret Foltz (C) d. Vinny Vockoro 10-1; 135: Edwin Schlickenemyer (O) d. Jake Dionne 6-1; 140: Nate Vandermeer (C) d. John Hassenzach 4-0; 145: Peter Economou (O) d. Tyler Slating 12-10; 152: Noah Kinnie (O) d. Nolan Erickson 6-0; 160: Kus Waiters (C) d. Zeb Throne 7-6; 171: Wesley Maskill (O) p. Nathan Hayes 4:20; 189: Grant Krause (O) p. Nevin Strayex 1:17; 215: Ben Line (O) d. Nathan Troutline 3-1.
RECORDS: Oxford 27-5; Clarkston 24-9.
OXFORD 57, ROCHESTER 16
215: Shwan Shadaia (R) d. Ben Line 13-4; 285: Zach Wood (O) d. Cameron Daniels by inj. Default; 103: Jacob Call (O) p. Andrew Sare 1:34; 112: Alex Hrisopolous (O) d. Noah Ternes 1:40; 119: Bailey Kammerer (O) maj. dec. Drew Dukart 16-6; 125: Collin Campbell (O) tech. fall Connor Gibbons 16-0; 130: Garrett Turell (O) p. Tyler Dukart
4:10; 135: Vinny Vackard (O) d. Matt Johnson 4-2; 140: Edwin Schlickenmeyer (O) p. Adam Smolinski; 145: Peter Economou (O) Jamil Haddad 1:20; 152: Noah Kinnie (O) p. Maurice Runyon 5:31; 160: Ethan Kerin (O) by void; 171: Shane Shadaia (R) p. Zeb Throne 2:50; 189: Grant Krause (O) d. Chris Russell 6-2.
RECORDS: Rochester 15-10.
CLARKSTON 41, UTICA FORD II 25
215: Nate Troutline (C) p. Gjon Dresaj 3:30; 285: Chris Tr