Wrestling quarterfinals: Dakota reaches first semifinal, Hartland has opportunity to repeatWrestling  |
Mount Pleasant - After losing in the state semifinals to Davison a year ago, Detroit Catholic Central has not lost to a Michigan school at full strength ever since.
The Shamrocks, the top-ranked school all season and the top seed for the Division 1 tournament, made quite a statement on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Catholic Central won 13 weight classes and rolled past eighth-seeded Brighton, the 2015 state champion, by a convincing 55-3 margin at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena.
“To be honest, this team is on a mission this year,” coach Mitch Hancock said. “We are not satisfied with just being here. We felt we were the best team coming in last season, but didn't get the job done. This year we have a lot to prove.”
Catholic Central has won 11 state titles in Class A or Division 1, five in the team format and six in the old individual format. The Shamrocks most recently won titles in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and finished as the site runner-up in 2011 to Oxford under Hancock.
The top seven teams in the final D-1 rankings reached the quarterfinal round.
Dakota rolls into first semifinals
Macomb Dakota is Michigan’s largest school enrollment-wise. The Cougars are also one of state’s top wrestling teams.
Dakota, ranked No. 3, advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history on Friday, topping sixth-seeded Westland John Glenn, 29-22, in Division 1
Dakota won eight of 14 weight classes.
“We’ve been to the quarterfinals a couple of other times before but couldn't get past that round. That left a bitter taste in our mouths to be honest,” said Dakota coach Ed Skowneski. “It is not just our goal to get here anymore, we want to compete on Saturday.
“We’ve have strung together a few good seasons and now it has finally happened for us,” added Skowneski, whose team will face No. 2 ranked Davison in Saturday’s semifinals. “We’re in the Final Four with Davison, Catholic Central and Hartland. That’s where we want to be — to be competing in the final day with the best teams. We’ve come a long ways.”
Dakota lost in the quarterfinals in 2013, 2014 and 2016, including 36-16 to Catholic Central last season.
Hartland slams Oxford, Cheney snares 700th career win
Hartland, like quarterfinals opponent Oxford, was hit hard by injuries this season. The fifth-ranked Eagles return to the semifinals after a 43-27 triumph over No. 4 Oxford.
This is the 16th consecutive season that Hartland has reached at least the state quarterfinals and 13th time in that span the Eagles have advanced to at