By: Daniel Stickradt
WRESTLING: Top-ranked Catholic Central thwarts No. 2 Davison in D-1 showdown of powerhouse programs
BY DAN STICKRADT
MT. PLEASANT — Novi Detroit Catholic Central and Davison have long since become state powerhouse programs. It is definitely in the numbers.
The two met in the MHSAA Team Wrestling Division 1 state finals for the third time in six seasons Feb. 25 with Catholic Central posting a 35-22 victory over Davison at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena.
Catholic Central also won titles in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1978, 1983, 1988, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 — the previous five titles in the current team tournament format.
The title leapfrogs Catholic Central past Temperance Bedford into the al-time lead for most Class A/Division 1 state titles.
Davison received the bridesmaid once again — the fourth time in five seasons the Cardinals finished as the state runner-up squad in D-1.
“Right after we lame lost to Davison (in the semifinals) last season the guys went right after it. They were motivated,” said Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock, whose team’s only loss this season came against Cleveland St. Edwards. “Last year we were given the No. 3 seed even though we had defeated the top seed Hartland and we got to the semifinals and lost. We didn't wrestle very well at all and got beat. This year we came back ready to compete for a title and the guys did it. We did not lose to a team from Michigan this season.”
Davison now has eight titles and five runners-up finishes. The Cardinals lost to Hartland in last year’s finals (36-23) and to CC this season.
Davison lost in the finals in four of the last five seasons, including 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2013. The school also finished second in 2001.
It has been 11 years since Davison last won a state championship. The Cardinals captured state crowns in 1980, 1981, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
“It’s all right. We needed to get a couple upsets to beat a team like Catholic Central. They are very good,” admitted Davison coach Roy Hall. “We picked up a couple of bonus points but we couldn’t get that one big upset that could have made a difference. CC is too strong. But we’ll be back. We return most of our team — started just two seniors today (in the finals).”
In a tight 15-12 match through six weight classes, Catholic Central picked up a pin from Kevon Davenport at 130 to help the Shamrocks pull away.
Catholic Central won eight of the 14 bouts, three via pin, four by decision and one by technical fall.
“It is our goal to get here every year. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t,” reminded Hall. “We lost to a very good team this time. We’ll be back.”