Tiger tamer: Clinton defeats Hudson for D-4 wrestling title
Only rhyme, not reason could explain how a second-year wrestler could defeat a regional champion in the biggest wrestling match of his life.
With the MHSAA Division 4 state team title on the line, Clinton wrestler Jack Voll faced Kyle Moll of Hudson in the 215-pound weight class.
The Redskins were clinging to a 24-21 lead at the time.
Voll, only in his second year of wrestling, pinned Moll in 31 seconds to start an eruption from the crowd probably heard all the way back to the Village of Clinton.
The victory, coupled with two more wins at 285 and 103 pounds, sent Clinton to its first team wrestling state championship on Saturday at Wings Events Center in Kalamazoo.
Clinton defeated the eight-time state champions from Hudson 36-27.
So how did a Voll – with limited wrestling experience – defeat Moll – a regional champion at 189 pounds?
It all goes back to a basketball game more than two years ago. Voll bet wrestling Coach Casey Randolph he could defeat him in a 1-on-1 basketball game. At stake was a soon-to-be-blooming wrestling career as Voll said he would go out for wrestling if he lost.
Voll lost but Clinton won.
After sitting the bench most of his sophomore year, Voll blossomed as a wrestler for Clinton this season. He became a starter and eventually a state qualifier in Division 4.
But Voll did not wrestle in the team state D-4 quarterfinals on Friday and was pinned in the semifinals against New Lothrop.
“Jack was mad at us yesterday (because he didn’t wrestle) and mad this morning about the way he wrestled,” Coach Jeff Rolland said. “He told me at lunch, ‘Coach I promise you.’”
Rolland said coaches considered making a move, but decided to use the cliché “dance with the one who brought you” in the finals against Hudson.
Clinton fell behind 18-0, but battled back to take a three-point lead when Voll and Moll lined up for a match at 215 pounds.
On paper it appeared it would be a win for Hudson. But they don’t wrestle on paper and Voll pinned his Hudson opponent in 31 seconds.
“When Logan (Badge) went out there and pinned his opponent, that inspired me,” Voll said following the finals. “My teammates got me there … it was awesome.”