St. Johns and Fowlerville will have to settle for a tie in the CAAC Red after Saturday’s conference meet, but the two squads will get a lot of mileage out of facing one another this season as they head into state tournament competition.
The Redwings won eight weight class divisions to take the league meet and force a tie with the Gladiators for the overall CAAC Red title.
Fowlerville had won a previous dual earlier in the season.
All eight St. Johns winners were 5-0 in the round robin format.
“I just think that they came here ready to wrestle and showed that we can win this tournament and get ready for the postseason,” St. Johns coach Derek Phillips said. “It’s nice to be co-conference champions, but going into this season our goal wasn’t to be conference champs, it’s to be state champions.”
“We wrestled like we want to win the state tournament like we did last year,” Ben Whitford said after winning the 145 pound class for St. Johns. “We’re just trying to keep it moving until the season’s over.”
Owosso took third in the conference meet while DeWitt, Haslett and Ionia rounded out the rest of the field.
Jacob Schmitt also won an individual conference title at 135 pounds, his fourth individual conference championship.
Teammate Brant Schafer would have been going for his fourth, but was not able to wrestle on Saturday.
“To be a four-time conference champ is definitely something that you should be proud of,” Phillips said.
“It’s a great accomplishment for them and to be able to win in a tough conference four times is a testament to their hard work and their dedication.”
Fowlerville proved to be supreme once again in the heaviest weights as Brian Moran and Adam Coon protected their undefeated season records and won individual titles at 215 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Each moved to 31-0 overall with 5-0 marks on Saturday.
“They’re just seniors. They just know what has to be done at this point,” Fowlerville coach Dan Coon said.
After the split, St. Johns and Fowlerville will move on to district play in Division 2 on Wednesday. The Gladiators will wrestle against Linden in a district opener at Fenton while St. Johns will take on Corunna at Owosso.
“We’ve seen the best and now we’ve got to see where we place with the rest of them,” Dan Coon said.
“It’s a whole new season at this point. Everything counts from here on out,” Adam Coon said. “There’s always a different mindset, but it’s not so drastic. You’re training all year for this moment, so all year you’re training, you have that mindset focused on the districts, the regionals and the state meet.”
Chandler Reed and Kameron Melton won individual conference titles for DeWitt at 112 and 125 pounds, respectively. Keegan Gute won the 119 pound class for Owosso and Connor Brewer was victorious at 160 pounds for Haslett.