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New Lothrop wins third consecutive title

By: Jeff Chaney, February 27, 2016, 7:30 pm



Mount Pleasant – When the wrestling teams from New Lothrop and Hudson face off against each other, there is nothing but mutual respect.

And why not? Considering that New Lothrop was the two-time defending Division 4 champions heading into this weekend’s Team Wrestling Finals at Central Michigan’s McGuirk Arena, and Hudson won the previous five titles, and was runner-up to New Lothrop the past two years.

Make that runner-up to the Hornets three straight years, as New Lothrop beat the Tigers 35-27 on Saturday to win its 16th state title.

“I don’t have much to say about this, but that I’m really proud of our community," New Lothrop coach Jeff Campbell said. "I know all the hours these kids put in away from their family for us to have this kind of program. It starts with the middle school coaches with all the time they put in, up until the kids get to this level."

One of those kids is senior captain Caleb Symons, who won his match, an 11-4 decision over Tylor Grames at 215 pounds.

"Not only do we have great coaches, but we have great families," Symons said. "This program is a community effort. We are a division 4 program, but we have one of the biggest crowds here, it’s electrifying."

The Hornets had their crown in a frenzy early, as they built an early 25-6 lead thanks to their upper weights.

Starting at 135 ponds, Hudson’s Gavin Wagner picked up a victory but New Lothrop got a major decision by Zack Riley at 140, decision by Cole Hersch at 145, pins by Steven Garza at 152, Brandon Henige at 171 and Erik Birchmeier at 189 and Symons win at 215.

Hudson did make a run at the Hornets in the lower weight, but Austin Wolford, on his birthday, secured the win for the Hornets with a decision over Carson Price at 130 pounds.

"We messed up a couple spots, gave up a couple pins that we didn’t have to give up," Campbell said. "But overall, I thought the kids overcame it, and one kid after another rose up. It was a team effort, and I’m really proud of the guys."