Dundee continues its domination in Division 3, eases past Mson County Central, 57-9, to reach the semifinals
Battle Creek – Tim Robinson honestly doesn’t remember how many regional championships or Final Fours Dundee has had in wrestling in the past quarter century. He does know what has transpired in this small community in that time span.
“I came over as an assistant in 1991. The year before I got here, they were 4-21 with no state qualifiers,” recalled Robinson, who is in his 16th season as coach. “A lot has changed over the years. Our second year we had five state qualifiers and we had a winning record. We made it to regionals that year. I think it was our third season that we first made it to Battle Creek and we were runner-up at state.”
Dundee is 438-60-1 under Robinson as the Vikings easily won their Division 3 quarterfinal match over Scottville Mason County Central, 57-9, on Friday at the Kellogg Arena in Battle.
This season Dundee is 24-5 overall, having lost to five state powerhouse programs in Michigan and Ohio. Four of those losses came at the prestigious Super Duals as Detroit Catholic Central in mid-January, an event that attracts some of the best wrestling programs from several Midwestern states.
“We were 0-4 that day and we lost to all power schools and a couple of those were really close,” said Robinson. “We lost to Brecksville by three points, St. Johns by five points and Catholic Central by three points. We would love to have those ones back. But we learn as we are learning. Each time out on the mat we learn something new. It’s all about this time of the season and what you do now, not a couple of months ago.”
Dundee will face Saginaw Swan Valley (40-1) in a semifinal Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with the winner advancing to the afternoon final.
Dundee has captured eight state championships and finished second five times in the past 25 years. The Vikings only missed reaching the state quarterfinals once since 2000 and have advanced to the Kellogg Arena 22 times with an estimated 18 Final Four appearances since the Michigan High School Athletic Association adopted the team state tournament format in ‘88.
Dundee is in Battle Creek for the 13th straight season, winning state titles in 2013 and 2014, and has reached the state title match seven times in the past eight seasons. This season the Vikings have done so with only 21 wrestlers and three seniors in the starting lineup.
The Vikings also qualified 10 wrestlers for the individual state championships, which will be held March 5-7 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Once in Dundee’s illustrious history, the Vikings have qualified 14 wrestlers for the finals, posted 13 qualifiers once and a dozen qualifiers a few times.
“We have qualified at least 10-12 wrestlers several times over the years. Only one time have we qualified 14. That’s really difficult to do,” Robinson said. “But we have great kids in our program every year. Kids that want to work hard and do what it takes to succeed.
“We have a lot of stability in our program. And when everybody does their part, things always come together and we have success as a program.”
Zach Blevins (135 pounds), Alex Motylinski (140) and Sean Sterling (145) were some of the winners for Dundee, which lost just two matches to Central.