Redskins defeat Hudson for D-4 STATE title
The Clinton varsity wrestling team spent most of the season as the No. 1 ranked team in Division 4.
Imagine their surprise when the Redskins were seeded No. 3 for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 4 team championships.
In Clinton’s Coach Jeff Rolland’s mind, the Redskins felt “slighted.”
But on Saturday, Feb. 29, the Redskins did something about it, defeating the No. 1 and 2 teams to win the school’s first wrestling team championship in school history.
Clinton defeated longtime rival Hudson in the state team finals, 36-27. They finished the season at 31-5 and as undisputed state champions in Division 4.
“It added more fuel to the fire when we saw that we were No. 3 seeded,” Redskins wrestler Kent McCombs said. “But he had a great week of training and we went after it.”
Rolland said he and the other coaches talked about the seeding.
“We told them it did not matter because you have to beat those two teams (New Lothrop and Hudson) anyways,” Rolland said. “We took out one of the most storied programs in Michigan wrestling history and turned around and defeated one of the most consistent teams (Hudson) in the last 20 years.”
But the seedings looked correct in the early going of the finals.
Hudson caught a break with the starting weight class of 119 – right in the Tigers’ wheel house. They jumped out to an 18-0 lead with a pair of pins and two wins.
Rolland said he was a bit nervous at that point.
“It was a good spot for them to start,” Rolland said. “We competed, but could not get it done.”
But the Redskins began to turn it around with a pair of technical falls by A.J. Baxter and Mc Combs at 140 and 145 pounds respectively. Hudson pulled out a tough 3-2 win at 152 pounds before the avalanche for Clinton erupted.
Noah DeShano earned a 5-3 decision at 160 pounds to pull Clinton within striking distance at 21-13. A major decision by Brayden Randolph at 171 and a pin by Logan Badge at 189 gave the Redskins the lead for the first time in the match.
Jack Voll pinned Kyle Moll of Hudson in 31 seconds for a huge win.
Rolland said that was a key win for Clinton.
“We needed to get one back at that point,” he said.
Will Felts earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at 285 and Connor Busz closed out the match at 103 for Clinton with a 4-2 win.
Rolland said this was the first time the Redskins had the luxury of a full lineup this season.
“This has been a tough year for our program with sickness and injuries,” Rolland said. “This means a lot to our community and our wrestling program.”
MHSAA Division 4 team wrestling finals
Clinton (C) — 36, Hudson (H) — 27
119: Tyler Bolenbaugh (H) over Zak Shadley (C) (Dec 5-1); 125: Jackson Miller (H) over Brian Baker (C) (Fall 1:34); 130: Caden Natale (H) over Landis Gillman (C) (Dec 5-4); 135: C.J. Berro (H) over George Ames (C) (Fall 1:05); 140: A.J. Baxter (C) over Aden Barrett (H) (TF 20-4 4:22); 145: Kent McCombs (C) over Calix Campbell (H) (TF 15-0 1:48); 152: Dylan Smith (H) over Spencer Konz (C) (Dec 3-2); 160: Noah DeShano (C) over Logan Sallows (H) (Dec 5-3); 171: Brayden Randolph (C) over Cameron Underwood (H) (TF 24-9 3:49); 189: Logan Badge (C) over Ethan Harris (H) (Fall 1:54); 215: Jack Voll (C) over Kyle Moll (H) (Fall 0:31); 285: Will Felts (C) over Seth Musgrave (H) (Dec 1-0); 103: Connor Busz (C) over Dallas Pibbles (H) (Dec 4-2); 112: Bronson Marry (H) over Chase Packard (C) (Fall 1:19).