By: Scott Keyes
Division 2 Team Wrestling Debate
Who will win Division 2?
Jeff Chaney: The two-time defending champion St. Johns Redwings looked poised to make it a three-peat this year.
The third-ranked team in the nation has cruised through its competition in the state. The only loss St. Johns suffered was a whipping at the hands of perennial national power St. Edward from Ohio last month.That loss may have refocused coach Zane Ballard's team and made them even hungrier to win another state championship. One of the big wins that the Redwings scored this year was over what may be their biggest threat to win this year's title. St. Johns handily beat Lowell last month on its home mat, but it was a dual in which the Red Arrows were missing their top wrestler, senior Andrew Morse. I'm sure Lowell coach Dave Dean will have a plan to try and match up with St. Johns if that dual happens. Before that, both teams will have to navigate a solid division which includes teams like Tecumseh, Allegan, Greenville (last year's runner-up), Holly, and Lakeshore. Until someone can beat them, how can anybody bet against Taylor Massa, Zac Hall, Jordan Wohlfert, Ben Whitford, and the rest of the Redwings?
PREDICTION: St. Johns over Lowell in the finals.
Randy Miniard: This division takes me back and keeps me current in wrestling today. Montrose, although not D2, was a key city for wrestling, with the likes of the Severns and the Deans. Dan Severn was my assistant coach at MSU, while Dave Dean and I won state championships together back in the 1980s. Dave Dean is now head coach of Division 2 Lowell and has a team that would normally win a title, but there is one problem: St. Johns( more on them soon). Joining Lowell and St. Johns is coach Johnson of Greenville, who has built a tradition in Greenville to be admired, but who may not have the depth needed to rival my two top choices in this division. Tony Greathouse, former Spartan and owner of Michigan Grappler, has Tecumseh heading for great things, while Mason, Tony's alma mater, always seems to hang out at Battle Creek. I don't know much about Holly and Lakeshore, but I do know that with the right match ups, they can compete. Allegan can't be overlooked either, as Coach Rose and Coach Simaz definitely have been there and done that. Now, back to St. Johns - coach Zane Ballard has a team for the ages. Zane has done a phenomenal job orchestrating one of Michigan's best teams of all time. To supporters Dr. Rodger Massa, Pat Whitford, Mr. Wohlfert, Smidtty, and all the other fathers and coaching instructors that have put the time and effort into the St. Johns wrestling community, hats off!
PREDICTION: Not much thought has to go in this one, my pick - St. Johns!