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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

St. Johns, Catholic Central lived up to the hype

People drove from all over the state to get a chance to catch the most-anticipated wrestling match of the season between St. Johns and Catholic Central. And it certainly did not disappoint.
As I told our wrestling beat writer here at The Oakland Press Marvin Goodwin, Saturday's battle between the Redwings and Shamrocks felt like it should have been in Battle Creek. The stands were packed on both sides of the gymnasium at CC.
Catholic Central led for the first 11 matches, only to see that lead dissipate and crumble as Jordan Wohlfert and Taylor Massa, St. Johns Michigan State-Michigan bound seniors pinned, back-to-back, to give them the victory.
CC jumped out to a 12-0 early lead thanks to wins by Kevin Beazley (pin), Jay Peterson and Trevor Zdebski. But as is most oftentimes the case, it was the "good losses" that kept the Shamrocks afloat and in charge of the match.
Myles Amine, giving up just four points to Zac Hall at 112; T.J. Fagan giving up just three to Logan Massa at 119; and Riley Hanson giving up just four to nationally-ranked Ben Whitford at 145. All three were Shamrock losses. But it could have been a lot worse for CC. Instead, they helped give the Shamrocks a chance at the end.
Ken Bade's 4-3 win over Jacob Schmitt at 125 was the highlight of the day for CC. Schmitt came in as the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state (all divisions). Bade was No. 2. Like their teams, both will be favorites to win individual titles come March.
As much as CC did its best early to build and maintain a solid lead, I thought the turning point actually came during a win for the Shamrocks. At 152 pounds, I'm sure CC was hoping for more than a 1-0 win from senior stud Alec Mooradian. But St. Johns' Travis Curley, ranked just behind the No. 2 Mooradian, didn't give up much, falling 1-0.
Bonus points would have given CC as much as a nine-point lead heading into the last three matches. Wohlfert's ensuing pin at 160 was also key for the Redwings, who were expecting six from Massa, the nation's top senior wrestler. Payne Hayden's 7-2 win over Drew Garcia wrapped up the match, which again, lived up to the hype.
I learned today that the St. Ed's (Ohio) tournament in two weeks is a team tournament and these two teams are expected to see each other again. I'm not sure the outcome will be any different, but just to get a chance to see a rematch would be worth the trip south.

For a complete match story, CLICK HERE.

103 — Trevor Zdebski (CC) d. Drew Wixson 9-2; 112 — Zac Hall (SJ) d. Myles Amine 16-8; 119 — Logan Massa (SJ) d. T.J. Fagan 6-0; 125 — Ken Bade (CC) d. Jacob Schmitt 4-3; 130 — Malik Amine (CC) d. Rory Bender 4-2; 135 — Brant Schafer (SJ) d. Andrew Thompson 8-3; 140 — Josh Pennell (SJ) d. Logan Marcicki 6-2; 145 — Ben Whitford (SJ) d. Riley Hanson 22-14; 152 — Alec Mooradian (CC) d. Travis Curley 1-0; 160 — Jordan Wohlfert (SJ) p. Nick Mason 1:10; 171 — Taylor Massa (SJ) pinned Nick Giese :40; 189 — Payne Hayden (SJ) d. Drew Garcia 7-2; 215 — Kevin Beazley (CC) p. Blake Cooper :34; 285 — Jay Peterson (CC) d. Ben Proctor 2-0.
RECORDS — St. Johns 13-0; Catholic Central 13-1

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