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March 19, 2012
By: Scott Keyes

Division 3 Team Wrestling Debate

Can Birch Run win the D3 state title?



Who will win Division 3?

Jeff Chaney: This may be the most wide open division of the weekend. Richmond is the two-time defending champion, and co-coaches George Hamblin and Brandon Day always have the Blue Devils wrestling so soundly at this time of the year. Richmond may only have one wrestler (Stephen Ireland at 119) ranked at the top of his weight class, but all the Blue Devils, most with dyed black hair, will be prepared. But being prepared at this time of the year can also be said about programs like Dundee, Chippewa Hills, Birch Run, Whitehall, and Otsego. Dundee is used to wrestling well on the Kellogg Arena mats and is ranked right behind top-ranked Richmond in the Michigan Grappler rankings. But don't count out the other teams. I would not be surprised to see some upsets, if you can call them that this year, but I'm going to stick with tradition.

PREDICTION: Dundee over Richmond in the finals

Randy Miniard: Division 3 has a little different look to me. My ties to these programs are that I coached against them. I coached at Ithaca for years as an assistant and a head coach but recently made a change and now coach for the Alma Panthers. While at both schools, I have watched Chippewa Hills, Birch Run, and Caro build their programs to be forces in the D3 ranks, and all three of these programs will be a tough out. I don't know much about Whitehall, Roscommon, or Otsego, but I look forward to watching them compete in Battle Creek. Dundee coach Tim Roberts and I go way back to my high school years, and returning champion Richmond always seem to be in the mix. My hat's off to these two programs that seem to always be in the hunt for that championship trophy. Being from the mid-Michigan area, I can't help but root for my coaching buddy Nate Etheridge, because he has done an awesome job for the Warrior wrestling community. I do have to make my pick, and I hope I'm not going out on too big a limb. PREDICTION: I'm picking coach  Bart Bennett and the Birch Run Panthers to pull it off. Sorry Nate.