Novi Detroit Catholic Central validated its team state title from last weekend by winning four Division 1 individual state championships Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
At 135 pounds, the Shamrocks’ Ken Bade won his third consecutive state title with a 4-3 decision in overtime against Davison’s Matt Miller. Bade was leading 3-2 when the referee tagged him with a one-point stalling call with just 1 second remaining, causing a huge ruckus from the crowd.
“It was a funky match,” Bade said after winning when Miller had a penalty in OT. “All you can do is turn and smile, keep your composure.”
Bade said his first state championship as a sophomore might have been the best, “but being a senior, going out on top in an overtime match; it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Senior heavyweight Bob Coe and junior Malik Amine (140) also won for the Shamrocks, plus junior Drew Garcia (52-0) is now a two-time 171 champion.
In two particular matches Saturday, the opponents knew each other’s wrestling moves as well as any challenger could.
At 119 pounds, defending champ Mitch Rogaliner of Temperance Bedford faced Holt’s Shayne Wireman, who earned state champ status by beating Rogaliner in 2011 at 103. Rogaliner also faced Wireman in last year’s 112 semis to reach the top.
The 2013 matchup resulted in Wireman adding a second state title on a 6-3 decision.
“We faced each other many times, so it’s a fun match to go against him,” Wireman said. “We’ve dominated this weight class.”
Wireman (49-0) was working with borrowed equipment but didn’t let it throw him off.
“My head gear broke in the first 5 seconds I was out here, so I borrowed a teammate’s,” he said of the gear that was thrown from the stands. “I don’t really like (that style) head gear, but I sure liked that one.”
Then there were Hartland teammates sophomore Jacob Gorial and junior Austin Eicher going head-to-head at 130 pounds. It was the first time the duo met in an official match since late elementary school, when Eicher won in overtime.
Fast-forward to 2013: Eicher wins again, 5-0.
“He’s one of my best friends, and we’ve both been working real hard this whole year,” Eicher (52-1) said. “It was both our goals to be state champion, so I took something away from him, but I didn’t want him to take it away from me. Once we’re out there, we’re just wrestlers.”
Twin brothers from Rochester did not have to face off, but today one is a state champ and the other earned all-state. Junior Shwan Shadaia won the 189-pound title with a 4-3 decision over Clarkston’s Chris Calvano, while brother Shane Shadaia finished seventh at 171.
“The whole team was watching, expecting a lot from me,” Shwan said of being the only one of four Rochester wrestlers to win during the semifinals. “The seniors were all saying ‘Go win it for us, you’ve got this,’ so I felt I had to do it.”
Clarkston’s Nick Vandermeer won at 152 to join his brother, Matt, a 2010 champ, in the state history books. Vandermeer pinned previously undefeated Jordan Atienza of Livonia Franklin at 4:17.
“My brother has always told me about the going into state meet undefeated curse,” Nick said. “He’s watched so many kids like that mess up. He’s always said it was a curse.
“I was very surprised I got the pin, it didn’t feel like it at all. It was just a re-roll. Coach told me not to throw with him. I went to my back first but got the re-roll. It was unexpected.”
With machine-like precision, Adam Coon blew through the Division 2 heavyweight bracket with four pins, the last coming Saturday night at the Palace to give the Fowlerville senior his fourth individual wrestling state title in a near-perfect high school career.
The nation’s No. 1 heavyweight became the 17th wrestler in Michigan to win the maximum four championships. He did not lose a match since the midpoint of his freshman season, finishing with a career record of 212-3.
“That was huge, to show that I can be dominant on the mat,” Coon said of four pins. “It just feels great.”
Coon’s four pins this weekend all came in the first period, at 1:00, 1:59, 0:37 and 1:13 in the final, for a total of 4:49 punch-in time on the clock. Almost every one of the approximately 8,000 fans stood in appreciation.
“Praise the Lord. He’s been with me and kept me from injury,” Coon said about anyone having the shot at four titles. “He kept me healthy, and everything just felt right these four years.”
Coon was given the honor of carrying in the U.S. flag for the finals’ opening ceremonies, something he said he hoped he could do from the first time attending with his father in the seventh grade.
As if two weren’t enough, junior Zac Hall of St. Johns won a third consecutive state championship by tech fall in 5:08 over JacQuan Moore of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 125. Hall finishes 48-0 with his senior year ahead. He hopes to become the second wrestler ever to win four individual and four team championships. Brent Metcalf of Davison was the first in the middle of last decade.
“Only one other kid has done it, so that’s a pretty incredible class to be put with,” Hall said. “When you get to the heat of the Palace, anything can happen. I’ve seen the craziest things. You just have to be smart and keep focused on the goal ahead.”
Hall’s win began a string of St. Johns titlists. At 130, Jacob Schmitt won his second straight championship — third total — by pin in 47 seconds over Christian Schoenherr of Bay City Western.
Red Wing teammate Logan Massa was next at 135. He pinned senior Steve Bleise of Chelsea, who had entered the match 45-0.
Shortly after, St. Johns senior Ben Whitford won his fourth state title — two in Michigan and two in Illinois — with a win at 145 pounds via tech fall at 4:15 over Casey Burandt of Niles.
“Just knowing that it was my fourth one, I wasn’t going to let down,” he said. “I’ve been dreaming this since I was 7 years old, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take that away.”
Also taking individual state titles for St. Johns on the heels of a third straight team championship were senior Josh Pennell at 152, sophomore Angus Arthur at 171 and senior Payne Hayden at 189 — for a total of seven champions in 14 weight classes.
Kyle Simaz of Allegan broke up the St. Johns’ streak with a state title at 140 pounds. His 22-13 win over Adam Nichols of Lapeer West made Simaz the fourth brother in his family to earn a state championship — following Taylor, Cameron and Eric Simaz.
Fowlerville’s Brian Moran scored a bookend win in the last match of the night with an 11-5 decision over Lowell’s Taylor Kornoely for the 215 championship. Moran was one of Coon’s victims two years ago in the 215 final.
“Monkey off the back, whatever we call it, it’s been a long four years, grinding the sport out as hard as I could,” Moran said. “To finish on top it just feels amazing.”
Prep basketball guru Mick McCabe will answer your questions about the boys and girls tournaments in a live chat at 11 a.m. Monday at freep.com/sports. Submit early questions here.