by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

As is usually the case when it comes time for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state playoffs, Shiawassee County schools are well represented as the teams and individuals advance through their respective brackets. New Lothrop captured team district and regional titles in Division 4, both Corunna and Chesaning won district titles in Division 3, eight individuals won district titles, and a total of 51 wrestlers qualified for regional competition.

New Lothrop took care of business in its quest for a fourth consecutive Division 4 team state championship, first defeating Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central 62-6 on Feb. 8 for the district title, before dispatching Vassar and Mayville on Feb. 15 to claim the regional championship. The team will wrestle in the state quarterfinals on Feb. 24.

The team’s individual district winners include Tommy Malloy (119 pounds), Austin Wolford (135), and Erik Birchmeier (189). Also advancing to the individual regional competition were Logan Wolford (103), Logan Zell (112), Austin Barnette (125), Connor Krupp (130), Justin Carnahan (140), Cole Wendling (145), Zackery Riley (152), and Austin Wendling (160).

In Division 3, the Chesaning wrestling team fell just short of its first team regional championship, barely losing out to Lake Fenton, by a 42-36 margin, in the final. The Indians earned the chance to face the Blue Devils of Lake Fenton by knocking off Corunna in the regional semifinal. Chesaning began its playoff run by dominating Ithaca 84-0, before capturing its second consecutive district championship by defeating Alma in the district final.

Five Chesaning wrestlers qualified for individual regionals. Trevor Patterson won the district title in the 160 pound weight class, with Jordan Rodriguez (103), Dawson Giesken (112), Collin Rodriguez (119), and Hunter Gasper (171) also qualifying.

Corunna defeated Durand 54-24 and Flint Powers Catholic 54-16 to win the district championship on Feb. 8. Though the team could not get past Chesaning in the regional semifinals, losing 52-27, seven Corunna wrestlers qualified for the individual regional competition. Luke Cortez won the district title at 215 pounds, and Trevor Briggs (130), Dylan Briggs (160), David Dumond (160), Taylor Jackson (189), Jack Thayer (215), and Brandon Blair (285) also qualified for regionals.

Also in Division 3, five Perry wrestlers advanced from the team’s district competition. Jacob Foster (103), Anthony Gallagher (112), Jacob Spiess (125), Tanner Orweller (135), and Kolten Lauer (171) all advanced to the regional tournament, with Gallagher and Lauer both claiming district titles. Ovid-Elsie wrestler Zachary Morris won a district title at 189 pounds, with Brandon Knickerbocker qualifying for regionals at 285 pounds. Jerry Hall (152) and Keiffer Kennedy (189) qualified for Byron.

Owosso wrestlers Nathan Mariutza (103), Colton Blaha (140), Jay Michels (152), Joe Vandasek (160), and Dan Clevenger (189) all emerged from the team’s Division 2 district tournament on Feb. 11 to qualify for the Division 2 regionals.

In Division 4, Laingsburg’s Zoltan Olajos qualified for the regional tournament in the 215 pound weight class.

Greater Shiawassee County Wrestlers Prove Formidable was last modified: February 20th, 2017 by Karen Elford