• All

Olson of Davison, Skatzka of Richmond seek fourth individual wrestling titles on Saturday after semifinal wins

By: Jeff Chaney, March 6, 2015, 11:00 pm



      Auburn Hills – With upsets happening around them, Lincoln Olson and Devin Skatzka continued on their path to history.

     Olson, a senior 135-pounder for Davison, and Skatzka, a senior 160-pounder for Richmond, each won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches Friday at the Individual Wrestling Finals at The Palace.

    On Saturday both will be wrestling for their fourth state championship.

     If each can win one more match in their storied careers, Olson will be the 19th wrestler in state history to win four individual titles, and Skatzka will be No. 20 in this distinguished list.

     "It’s business as usual," said Olson, who will be wrestling at Oklahoma State next year. "I have been training for this my whole life. And I have been training for college, and this is a stepping stone."

     Skatzka, who will be wrestling at Indiana next year, echoes those sentiments.

     "I know everyone is after me because I am going for my fourth, but I feel that is an intimidating factor," Skatzka said. "I feel real confident now. I have been working hard, and I almost have my fourth title now."

     Confidence also helped block out what was happening around Olson and Skatzka during the day, as four returning state champions were beat, ending their dreams of another state title.

Almont’s Grant Turnmire, Clio’s Mason Smith, Davison’s Max Johnson and Hudson’s Kevin Johnson, all returning state champs, were upset on Friday. And there were several other surprising results during the day that could have shaken Olson and Skatzka.    

"I make my own luck in this sport," Olson said. "I feel no pressure because I know I have trained for this so hard."

     Added Skatzka: "This is the most nervous I have been in my four years here. The kid (Dundee’s Donny Mandell) I just wrestled (in the semifinals) is one who can catch you. So I got by the big kid in my bracket, but I can’t overlook my opponent in the finals."

      Olson will wrestle Dan Shear of Walled Lake Central in his championship match. Skatzka has Alex Phillips of Ida in his finals match.

     Next year another four-time state champion may be added to the list, as Grand Rapids Catholic Central junior Devin Schroder won his semifinal match Friday and will be looking for his third straight title when he wrestles Richmond junior Aaron Kilburn, a state champion at 112 last year, in their 119-pound final in Division 3.

     "There are tough guys here every year, and it’s always tough. It’s never easy," Schroder said. "There are 56 brackets in this tournament, and my only focus now is 119 in Division 3."

      Schroder’s win capped off a great night for the Cougars. They had five semifinalist win and move on to the finals. Joining Schroder is Kole Krauss at 130, two-time state champ Nate Limmex at 140, returning state champ Foster Karmon at 145 and Grant Tennihill at 215.