MT. PLEASANT – Novi Detroit Catholic Central was on a pretty ominous streak, one nearly impossible to sustain.
The Shamrocks entered the Division 1 quarterfinals by shutting out every postseason opponent, scoring a combined 236-0 through districts and regionals.
That streak barely ended on Friday, when Catholic Central rolled past Brighton 55-3 in the team wrestling state tournament at Central Michigan. The Shamrocks will take on defending champion Hartland, a 43-27 winner over Oxford, in Saturday’s 9 a.m. semifinals. The winner then will wrestle for a state title at 3:30 p.m.
CC captain Nick Jenkins, the heavyweight who won by pinfall at 1:03, said the postseason run could not be classified as easy.
“We’ve earned the wins, we’ve put the work in all year so we kind of expected to come out in the postseason and do what we’ve done, to achieve our goals,” he said. “It would have been nice (to get another shutout), but we’re really not focused on that. We’re just focused on wrestling our best and getting wins.
“Our offense was really good today. Nobody was backing away. Nobody was timid or shy about getting takedowns. We just went out went after legs and kept going. That was big for us.”
CC coach Mitch Hancock said another shutout was possible but was not the focus. He said Aidan Wagh normally competes at 152 pounds but cut weight to 145. Wagh then said he wanted to rest after coming off the scales.
“So we sent a senior (Brody Burke) out there, he wrestled his butt off and did the best he could,” Hancock said. Brighton’s Harley Berne scored the win over Burke for Brighton’s only points.
Hartland’s quarterfinal win gave coach Todd Cheney his 700th career victory.
“We all knew it was coming up soon but not necessarily this match. It sure is a big one,” said Hartland captain and defending state champion Reece Hughes. “It does make this win a little sweeter when a guy that’s put so much into the program and given his all to the program.
“He puts countless hours in and he really has changed the program the past 25 years he’s been here. He’s made it a tradition making it to the state tournament (16th consecutive season). He’s made making it to the state semifinals a tradition. He’s just stepped up the game and for that 700th win, it’s just huge. I’m sure his family is happy and the team is just ecstatic for him.”
Davison and Macomb Dakota also advanced in Division 1 and will face off in the other semifinal, also set for 9 a.m.
Division 2: Three-time defending champ Lowell kept rolling along by defeating Tecumseh, 41-20, and will next face Marysville, a 37-16 winner over Allendale. No. 2 seed and undefeated Warren Woods-Tower came back to beat No. 7 seed DeWitt, 35-33, by winning the last three matches on two pins (Nathan Pipes and David Stepanian) and a tech fall earned by Chaise Mayer. Perennial power St. Johns was downed by Niles, 36-26.
Division 3: Defending champion Dundee advanced with a 58-12 win over Caro in the quarterfinals. Lake Fenton and Remus Chippewa Hills, last year’s runner-up, advanced with wins. Richmond, the 2015 state champion, was granted a bye.
Division 4: Carson City Crystal’s Wyatt Oistad was taken down on an illegal body slam by New Lothrop’s Austin Wolford. Oistad laid on the mat for a few moments gathering his senses. If he decided to not get up, Carson City Crystal would have won the match with his six-points and be wrestling in Saturday’s semifinal against No. 2 seed Leroy Pine River. Instead, Oistad continued wrestling after consulting with coach and trainer. Wolford won the match on a technical fall to give three-time defending state champion New Lothrop the 32-31 victory.