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D2 WRESTLING: Lowell extends historic streak to seven straight titles with win over previously unbeaten Gaylord

By: DAN STICKRADT, February 29, 2020, 11:00 pm

KALAMAZOO — Four years ago, Grant Pratt was suffering through a bout of leukemia.

As an eighth grader, Pratt was diagnosed with the terrible disease on Nov. 30, 2015.

While he has triumphed over the malady and had his last bout with chemotherapy last April, Pratt has been part of something nearly as great these past few years.

The senior, who wrestles in either the 215 or 285 weight divisions, aided Lowell to its seventh straight Division 2 state title.

The Red Arrows extended their MHSAA state record on Saturday with a resounding 53-4 victory over second-ranked Gaylord at Wings Arena.

“Just having him out there was amazing,” noted sixth-year Lowell head coach RJ Boudro. “Everything he’s been through, it’s a miracle he’s able to be a part of this. It’s also amazing that he’s an individual state qualifier, too.”

Lowell (15-4) won 13 of 14 weight classes and never trailed in winning its 10th state crown in a 19-year span dating back to 2002. The Red Arrows have also captured six state runner-up trophies dating back to 1999 and have wrestled in the D2 state finals nine straight years and 16 times over the past 22 seasons.

“It’s just an amazing community,” smiled Boudro, surrounded by a pack of elementary school boys and future Lowell athletes. “It’s all about this community. The trophy is for all of them.”

John Henry Sosa’s major decision at 130 cut Lowell’s lead to 8-4 after three weight classes. It was the only points the Blue Devils (32-1) could muster.

It was the second state runner-up finish in three years for Gaylord. The Blue Devils lost in the 2018 finals to Lowell and in the semifinals last season, also to Lowell (34-24).

“That’s a great program over there,” pointed Gaylord coach Jerry LaVoie, who has a 729-136-2 record over 26 seasons, without any titles. “We had a great season. I’m proud of our (run) and getting here.”

Boudro said the Lowell program has accomplished the unthinkable with seven straight state championships.

“Who has done this? It’s never been done before,” smiled Boudro, who started seven seniors in the lineup on regular basis. “This is an amazing accomplishment. These seniors have never tasted (state championship) defeat and they have carried on our tradition. We have wrestled as tough of a schedule as anybody. We wrestled all of the teams that won state championships today and a lot of teams that wrestled here (this weekend). We didn’t win them all, but we wrestled a very tough schedule to prepare us for this.”

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LOWELL 53, GAYLORD 4

119: Nick Korhorn (L) tech. fall Gus James 15-0; 125: James Link (L) d. Will Sides 5-2; 130: John Henry Sosa (G) maj. dec. Zeth Strejc 22-11; 135: Dawson Jankowski (L) maj. dec. Jacob Clemens 13-2; 140: William Link (L) d. Rico Brown injury default 4:38; 145: Austin Boone (L) maj. dec. Chayse LaJoie 11-3; 152: James Fotis (L) d. Brayden Gautreau 4-; 160: Doak Dean (L) d. Kaeden Yocum 5-0; 171: Jacob Lee (L) p.  Aaron Kassuba 0:58; 189: Jacob Hough (L) maj. dec. Quinn Schultz 10-0; 215: Tyler Delooff (L) d. Aurilius Krumholz 6-5; 285: Grant Pratt (L) by forfeit; 103:  Landon Miller (L) d. Brendan Smith 5-0; 112: Ramsy Mutschler (L) d. Gabe Thompson 9-3.

RECORDS — Lowell 15-4; Gaylord 32-1