DIVISION 1 WRESTLING: Hartland hits CC roadblock, falls short again in state semis
BY DAN STICKRADT
BATTLE CREEK — Todd Cheney must feel like a broken record at this time of year.
Sure, his Hartland wrestling program is one of the state’s best, yet the Eagles hit another roadblock at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena.
Hartland, making its 10th trip to the Division 1 Final Four in an 11-year span, fell prey to two-time defending state champion Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 48-15, Saturday morning in the state semis. The Eagles, seeded second for the state tournament, are one of the state’s most dominant programs over the past two decades yet have never been able to capture the elusive state title,
“It’s the same speech I have to give you guys every year,” sighed Cheney, trying to find the secret ingredient for his program to finally solve Michigan’s prep wrestling Rubix Cube.
Hartland advanced to the Elite Eight for the 13th straight season this year, more than
any other school in Division 1, and have made it that far 15 times in Cheney’s 22 years as head coach. The Eagles still have not raised the largest banner of them all in their gym for wrestling.
“I don’t know what it is,” said Cheney. “We have lost in the semifinals six times and the finals four times,” he noted.
Whatever the season, there always seems to be a 1-2 schools in D-1 better than the Eagles. Catholic Central advanced to face Davison in a rematch of last year’s D-1 title match. Hartland made the disappoint 90-minute drive back east with a fine 39-3 record, wondering if the Vegas odd will ever be in the Eagles favor. Will the stars align just right in Hartland one February.
Catholic Central (25-4) opened the state semifinals with a swift 15-0 run, including pins from Tyler Morland (171) and Drew Garcia (189) and a decision from Nick Geise (215). By the time eight matches were complete, Catholic Central had the meet sewed up with a 31-3 advantage.
“It’s really hard on the seniors,” continued Cheney, “losing in the state semfina four years in a row. They wanted to get a chance at winning its first state title. We just came up short again.”
NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL 48, HARTLAND 15
171: Tyler Morland (DCC) p. Nate Smith 3:06; 189: Drew Garcia(DCC) p. Charlie Harper 1:06; 215: Nick Geise (DCC d. Jake Economou 7-2; 285: Josh Charneski (HA) d. Jimmy Russell 2-1; 103: Aaron Rehfeldt (DCC)d. Eric Lundwall 10-5; 112: Parker O’Brien (DCC)d. Reece Hughes 11-7; 119: Trevor Zdebski (DCC) p. Garnet Potter 2:42; 125: Evan Toth (DCC) maj. dec. Sage Castillo 11-3; 130: Nate Hughes (HA) d. Greg Johnson 9-4; 135: Austin Eicher (HA) d. Eli Joseph 10-5; 140: Jacob Gorial (HA)p. Ryan O’Connor 5:27; 145: Myles Amine (DCC) p. Justin Rollins 5:22; 152: Malik Amine (DCC) p. Anthony Colaianne 1:49; 160: Nick Bennett (DCC) p. Logan Vish 3:11.