D1 WRESTLING: Controversy aside, Detroit Catholic Central rallies past Davison for 15th title
KALAMAZOO — A state finals match involving a duo of top 15 nationally-ranked squads. What could intensify an already much-anticipated title bout than a little controversy?
That best describes top-ranked Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s 34-23 victory over second-seeded Davison in the Division 1 state title match Saturday at Wings Arena.
With Davison leading 17-16 entering the 189-pound bout, Davison’s Alex Facundo, a two-time defending state champion, was disqualified for an illegal move, thus giving CC’s Manny Rojas the victory by disqualification.
That also gave the top-seeded Shamrocks (20-3) six points and took away a point from Davison via the disqualification.
Facundo held a 5-2 lead at the time of the injury.
Facundo placed Rojas to the mat and meet physicians halted the match for an examination for concussion. According to the MHSAA, if any injury comes from an opponent who issued an illegal move and the injury recovery time runs out, then the injured wrestler wins via forfeit.
That result gave the Shamrocks a 23-16 advantage and they followed that swing match with pins from Brendin Yatooma (215) and Steven Kolcheff (285), part of a 19-0 match-clinching run.
“I have nothing to do with that call. The doctors here make that call,” offered Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock.
Davison (20-3) won the last two matches, although CC had already clinched the title.
“We would still win the dual by two points, irrelevant of that call,” added Hancock. “Our big guys up top did their job with pins. So it had little relevancy on the outcome. I just wish the adults handled it better.
“No one wants to win that way. I wish it could have been decided on the mats between two great wrestlers,” noted Hancock.
Davison assistant coach Zac Hall, filling in for legendary head coach Roy Hall — missing from the tournament after sustaining injuries in an auto accident on Thursday night — felt the Cardinals had a chance if it were not for the incident.
“I think it did shift the momentum. It was a big point-swing,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.
“What upset us is that Manny popped right up to his feet and he’s going back to wrestle and their head coach (Hancock) kind of comes up and says, ‘No, we need an injury time,’ and you guys see the score right, it changes the whole complexion of the dual,” offered Hall. “It just disappointing for our guys who wrestled their hearts out. You even felt it in the atmosphere, it was very back and forth, electric and then it went silent. I hope Manny is okay. I know Manny, I trained Manny. He’s a good kid. I just wish things worked out differently and been decided on the mat.”
Catholic Central was ranked fifth in the nation and Davison 12th in one publication — and the rivals are two of the all-time great programs in Michigan lore.
The rivals still put on a showcase event of heavyweights. Both teams won seven weight classes, although the momentum more than shifted after the controversial call at 189.
It marked Catholic Central’s fourth straight state crown — the first time the storied program has accomplished that feat — eighth title in 11 years and 15th overall. The 15 titles is an MHSAA record in Class A/Division 1.
“I’m proud of our effort,” added Hancock. “We beat a great program and this was our fourth in a row. That’s never been done before at CC.”
Davison now has six state runner-up finishes to go with eight state titles in its history.
NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL 34, DAVISON 23
119: Dylan Gilcher (DCC) d. Owen Payne 6-5; 125: Andrew Chambal (D) p. Caleb White 5:02; 130: Kyle White (D) d. TJ Bunn 7-5 (OT); 135: Josh Edmond (DCC) tech. fall Evan Herriman 25-10; 140: Camden Trupp (DCC) p. Dominik Watson 2:51; 145: James Johnston (D) d. Marc Shaeffer 4-3; 152: Josh Barr (D) d. Logan Sanom 6-5; 160: Derek Gilcher (DCC) d. Jay Nivison 5-1; 171: Max Callahan (D) d. John Browning 11-5; 189: Manuel Rojas (DCC) d. Alex Facundo by default and disqualification; 215: Brendin Yatooma (DCC) p. Jimmy Colley 4:56; 285: Steven Kolcheff (DCC) p. Tyler Jelinek 1:30; 103: Aden Williams (D) over Drew Heethuis 5-2; 112: Caden Horwath (D) d. Anthony Walker 5-1.
RECORDS — Novi Detroit Catholic Central 20-3; Davison 20-3