By: Daniel Stickradt
DIVISION 2: Lowell pulls away from Woods-Tower for fourth straight title, seventh overall
BY DAN STICKRADT
MT. PLEASANT — Lowell is the unprecedented most successful Division 2 wrestling program in the state of Michigan over the past two decades.
Dating back to 1999, the Red Arrows have reached the Division 2 state finals 13 times in a 19-year span.
Lowell claimed its seventh MHSAA Team Wrestling state championship in 15 years and fourth straight Feb. 25 at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena. This time it was a 32-21 victory over No. 2-ranked and first-time state finalist Warren Woods-Tower.
“It’s amazing to think about it. The seniors in our program never lost in the state finals. What an accomplishment,” said Lowell coach R.J. Boudro. “We knew this would be close and Woods-Tower is a very good program. “I’m from Macomb County and I’ve known Greg Mayer for a long time. It’s nice to see them here, someone different contending for a title.”
The title marked Lowell’s fourth straight crown, matching St. Johns’ four straight titles from 2010-2013. Davison (D-1) and Hudson (D-4) share the record with five straight state titles.
Additionally, Lowell has advanced to the D-2 Final Four in 16 of the past 20 years, losing in the semifinals in 1998, 2005 and 2011. The Red Arrows also lost in the regional finals twice in the span (2008, 2006).
In lamans terms, Lowell has reached at least the D-2 Sweet 16 in 18 of 20 seasons.
The only hiccups came in 2010 and 2003, the two years that Lowell failed to get out of its district.
“What we’ve been able to accomplish says a lot about the kids we have in our program, the type of commitment, the support from the parents and community. A lot goes into it,” noted Boudro. “To be up there with programs like Davison, St. Johns, Hudson — winning four or five in a row speaks volumes of everyone involved.”
Lowell led 25-21 with two matches to go before pulling away. Jeff Leach (125, decision) and Channing Perry (130, major decision) recorded the final seven points for the Red Arrows (21-2).
Lowell won nine of 14 matches.
“I knew this would be a great match,” added Buodro. “(Woods-Tower) is having their best season and they were coming after us. We won some close matches that could've went the other way. (The swing matches) were the difference.”
Warren Woods-Tower was not only making its very first appearance in the wrestling state finals, but first state finals in a team head-to-head sport.
That is no consolation for said Warren Woods-Tower’s Mayer.
“The goal was to come in here and win,” he said. “We didn't get some points where I was hoping to. But when you’re up against a program like Lowell, it’s not that easy.”