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Wrestling Preseason Team Rankings: Detroit CC tops list, Lowell and Hartland follow

By: Jeff Chaney, December 13, 2016, 1:32 pm

1. Detroit Catholic Central — The Shamrocks have five returning state champions (Ben Kamali, Kevon Davenport, Cam Amine, Tyler Moreland and Nick Jenkins) and two others who placed at the finals. This team already has some impressive wins this year including a thumping of Grandville in its annual assembly dual last week.

2. Lowell — The three-time defending Division 2 state champs lost some key pieces off last year’s squad, including Max Dean (Cornell) and Lucas Hall (Michigan State). But the Red Arrows are still talented, as evident of their win at the Allegan Invitational last Saturday.

3. Hartland — Coach Todd Cheney finally won his team state title last year in Division 1 but lost six starters off that team. The Eagles’ lineup is still loaded, a group that includes returning state champion Reece Hughes and Corey Cavanaugh, Kyle Kantola, Garnett Potter and Andrew Spisz, all of whom placed at the finals.

4. Davison — The Cardinals lost to Hartland in the final last year and coach Roy Hall has a lot of talent to work with in state champion Brenden McRill plus 2015 state champion A.J. Facundo who was runner-up last season. The Cardinals, once again, will have a lot to say on who wins the title this year.

5. Dundee — The defending Division 3 champions, who have won three of the last four state titles, are led by nationally-ranked Brandon Whitman, who won the state title at 189 pounds last year. 

6. St. Johns — For the last eight years in Division 2, it’s been a two-horse race between Lowell and St. Johns. The Redwings may not be as good as they were when they won four consecutive titles (2010-13), but this team can still challenge, as evident of their runner-up finish last season.

7. Remus Chippewa Hills — Last year’s Division 3 runner-up is primed for another great run and to challenge powerhouse Dundee in the division. The team picked up Central Michigan recruit Nolan Saxton, who wrestled for Lakeview last year.

8. DeWitt — Here’s a Division 2 team that could push Lowell and St. Johns for supremacy in this year.

9. Grandville — The Bulldogs were soundly beaten by Detroit Catholic Central last week but is still the class of the west side of the state in Division 1. Coach Bubba Gritter has some solid senior leadership in state champion Kam Bush and Sam Greco.

10. Warren Woods Tower — A sleeper team this year, which already has big win against Division 1 powerhouse Oxford this season.

11. Oxford — The Wildcats have a solid win over Westland John Glenn, and are led by Sergio Ford, Devin Trevino and Ryan Miller in a strong lineup.

12. Macomb Dakota — Just another highly competitive Division 1 team that could be at the team finals in Mount Pleasant this year.

13. Richmond — Coach Brandon Ray has one of the best programs in the state in all divisions. The 2015 Division 3 champions did not make the finals last year, but don’t count out the Blue Devils this year for making a title run. 

14, New Lothrop — Coach Jeff Campbell’s team has won three straight Division 4 titles and are a strong contender to make it four straight.

15. Hudson — But don’t count out coach Scott Marry and the Hudson Tigers in Division 4. The team had a solid showing at the Allegan Invitational last week.

16. Brighton — Coach Tony Greathouse will have a much different team after the Christmas break when some the transfers the Bulldogs got this year will become eligible.

17. Westland John Glenn – Led by junior Mike Mars, a two-time state champion, John Glenn has solid lineup, but finds itself in a solid Division 1 area in the Detroit area.

18. Grand Ledge — The Comets have a solid senior class led by Jack Snauko, Cole Janes and heavyweight Nick Lloyd.

19. Goodrich — The Martians have always been a team to reckon with, and this year should be no different.

20. New Baltimore Anchor Bay — Had a strong win against a good Lake Fenton team last week, a Lake Fenton team that still has holes to fill but could easily be in this top 20.  Anchor Bay is led by Michigan recruit Jack Medley.