State Champs! Wrestling Rankings: Detroit CC, Lowell, Dundee and New Lothrop the teams to beat in the four divisions
It’s February and that means Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day and the dog days of winter.
And lucky for high school wrestling fans it means the postseason begins in both the team and individual tournaments.
I’m going to couple some early team predictions with these team rankings, the third version for State Champs.
I’m going to start with the easiest prediction in my humble opinion, in Division 2. I can’t see any team taking away the Red Arrows state title this year.
I think Dundee will recapture the crown in Division 3, but don’t be surprised that it will be Lake Fenton or Remus Chippewa Hills, and not the reigning state champion, Richmond, whom the Vikings will be wrestling in the final.
Like it’s been in the past few years, I think Division 4 will be a two-horse race between New Lothrop and Hudson, with New Lothrop winning the title again this year.
Then we have Division 1, probably the most wide-open and difficult to predict division based on results so far.
I think the top three teams in the division will be Detroit Catholic Central, Hartland and Davison, and all three teams have wrestled each other with Detroit Catholic Central beating Hartland, Hartland beating Davison and Davison beating Detroit Catholic Central.
That’s going to put all the pressure on the seeding committee before the team finals, because they all have gone head-to-head and have beaten each other. Hartland has the best overall record, but DCC really handed the Eagles a tough loss at CMU last month. Davison lost a close one to Hartland, but seeding criteria doesn’t say the wins have to be pretty and lop-sided.
I know all three coaches, and I know they want that top seed, which will be an easier path to the championship.
The seeding committee is free to use my rankings as a guideline but I don’t think they are going to play a part.
Here they are just the same.
1. Detroit Catholic Central — In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society, Catholic Central’s handling of Hartland at Central Michigan last month still keeps the Shamrocks as my top team.
2. Lowell — OK, the Red Arrows won the Division 2 title last year without senior state champion Max Dean, and now he is back and better than ever, as evident by his win over nationally-ranked sophomore Brandon Whitman of Dundee this past weekend.
3. Hartland – The Eagles had a signature win last week over reigning Division 1 champ Brighton. That has to be a big confidence builder, doesn’t it?
4. Davison — So Davison fans are going to say we lost to Hartland last month at Central Michigan without former state champion Max Johnson in the lineup, but Hartland wasn’t at full strength either.
5. Dundee — The Vikings got to see how tough Lowell is this past weekend, but the Vikings will have nothing in their way that tough in their quest to win Division 3.
6. DeWitt — Maybe the Panthers will be the team wrestling Lowell for the state title later this month.
7. St. Johns — But I’m sure the Redwings will have something to say in the Division 2 tournament, because of all the experience they bring to the mat.
8. Brighton — The Bulldogs are good but not good enough to compete with the Big 3 in the division.
9. Gaylord — Gaylord is a very solid program and it always puts a solid team on the mat. This year is no different.
10. Grandville — Like I said before in these rankings the Bulldogs are probably the best Division 1 team on the west side of the state, but not good enough to be a threat to win the title this year.
11. Lake Fenton — With 119-pounder Jarrett Trombley and 125-pounder Hunter Corcoran joining heavyweight Trent Hillger in the lineup, this team has some serious firepower to pick up those ever important bonus points in the state tournament.
12. Remus Chippewa Hills — I really like this team as well in Division 3.
13. New Lothrop — Looks primed to win the Division 4 title again, but Hudson could muscle the championship trophy away if New Lothrop isn’t at its best.
14. Westland John Glenn — Just another very good Division 1 team with some very good wrestlers. But are they deep enough to make a move?
15. New Baltimore Anchor Bay — Wow, is Division 1 going to be fun this year. There are solid teams all over the place.
16. Hudson — I know coach Scott Marry is a master motivator, so I would not be surprised if the Tigers win a trophy they won five times in a row recently.
17. Richmond — I have three Division 3 teams ranked ahead of the reigning state champions this week, but I would not be surprised if the Blue Devils come out on top in the end.
18. Oxford – The Wildcats are the eighth Division 1 team I have ranked in these rankings.
19. Goodrich — The Martian the movie is up for some Academy Awards this month. Can these Martians win some hardware this month and make it back to the team finals?
20. Decatur — A very solid and deep team, but is Decatur good enough to join New Lothrop and Hudson as the cream of the crop in Division 4.