It’s getting to the point where it might be unnecessary to hold the Division 4 award ceremonies. It might be easier to mail the medals to Hudson.
The Tigers, who have won the team championship each year since 2009, were racking up individual crowns Saturday at the Palace.
Sophomore Roddy Hamdan (103 pounds), junior Cole Weaver (130) and junior J.D. Waters (135) all reached the top rung of the medal stand. Hamdan pinned Arthur Payne of Montrose, but Weaver and Waters eked out victories via decisions.
“I just stayed in good position, I didn’t want to get scored on or put myself in any tricky situation,” said Weaver, who finished his season 52-0 with his second consecutive crown. “There aren’t a lot of people who get to win a championship, so I’m honored to be one of the ones that gets to.”
At Hudson, that’s not such an exclusive group, even though coach Scott Marry didn’t have an exact count of individual titles.
“I just know it’s in the 20s,” he said. “As far as all-staters, it’s in the 100s.”
The program’s success is no secret in the small farming town in Lenawee County just north of the Ohio border.
“It’s a small community, so word travels fast,” Marry said. “They put a big giant picture in the gym every year if we win it, but it’s not just the school district, it’s every local establishment in town. They’ve got posters, they’ve got pictures in the windows. They’re constantly advertising (our team); they’re buying shirts for everybody and passing them out. A gentleman showed up at the state tournament last week with 200 shirts that he made and paid for himself. That’s how it happens: people working hard for other people.”
Weaver said Marry is the reason the program has been so successful.
“Our coach pushes us,” he said. “He’s the reason why we’ve won and we’re as good as we are today. We wouldn’t be as good without our coach — we wouldn’t be anywhere without him.”
Hudson didn’t win every match, though.
At heavyweight, Whittemore-Prescott’s Ryan Prescott defeated the Tigers’ Zach Rieger, 9-5. Prescott (48-1) missed out on the heavyweight title last year by one point. At 119, Hesperia’s Zack Yates pinned Hudson’s Isaac Dusseau.
New Lothrop nearly matched Hudson’s total, as two out of its three wrestlers reaching the final round came out victorious.
Jacob Perrin (140) notched his 63rd win of the season in a 7-6 decision over Grass Lake’s Chad Decker, while Josh Wendling (145) decisioned Saginaw Nouvel’s Austin Hughes, 4-2.
The Hornets nearly won a third individual championship, but Taylor Krupp fell in a 7-5 decision in overtime by Springport’s Jacob Cooper.
St. Ignace won two titles, with victories by Galloway Thurston (171) and Joe Ostman (215). Ostman, who beat Laingsburg’s Kevin Koenig on a technical fall, became the first three-time winner from an Upper Peninsula school. He finished the season 54-0.
Erie Mason’s Logan Griffin finished his season undefeated by winning the 112 match over Carson City-Crystal’s Kenneth Dittenber on a tiebreaker in overtime.
Just three of the 14 championship matches were decided by pins. In addition to Hudson’s Hamdan and Hesperia’s Yates, Mio’s Zach Mack (45-1) won the 125-pound class with a fall against Matthew Elliott of Fife Lake Forest Area.
Other individual champions in Division 4 included Addison’s Jared Bruner (152) and Morley-Stanwood’s Steven Malloy (189).
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.