MIDLAND — While members of the Big Nine, the Carman-Ainsworth varsity wrestling team had some incredibly successful seasons. Davison was generally a little bit more successful, though. This fact rang especially true at the Saginaw Valley Conference wrestling championships last weekend, where the Cavaliers finished second with a score of 211.5. Davison was first at this 15-team event with 269.5, Bay City Western was third at 194.5 and Saginaw Heritage was fourth with 149.
Rising up to help lead Carman- Ainsworth to higher ground was heavyweight Jerron Thomas. After getting issued a bye for round one, Thomas ripped through the field by pinning Heritage’s Marcellus Mahine at 1:24, Mount Pleasant’s Erik Belko at 5:05 and Bay City Central’s Russell Brown at 3:18 to win the title. Tay Pendleton was the Cavs’ other champion at 189 after posting decisions of 8-2 against Flint Southwestern’s Akimio Walker, 7-4 over Bay City Western’s Cody Okes and 1-0 in the finals against Heritage’s Dwayne Nichols.
Another strong showing in the upper weight classes for Carman-Ainsworth came by way of Herbie Keskes’ secondplace showing at 171. While Keskes did fall to Davison’s Ty Wildmo, 9-8 in their championship bout, he also pinned Saginaw Arthur Hill’s Eric Cuellar at 1:16 and Heritage’s Kenny Bellmore at 2:48.
At 140, Malik Dawkins had an incredibly varied day for the Cavs that started with a pin of Saginaw’s Jamie Phillips at :55 and a first-round bye. Dawkins then just barely got past Bay City Western’s Mickey Gosselin, 4-3, in preparation for getting edged out by Davison’s Carter Stoddard 2-1 to finish second. Darion Vaughn was a little more assertive in his second-place performance at 130 for Carman-Ainsworth with a pin of Midland’s Dima Markey at 1:45 and a 23- 5 technical fall against Mount Pleasant’s Brylee Comstock. That led to a finals matchup against Bay City Western’s Thomas Schoennher that saw Vaughn fall at 1:15.
Aaron Dupree was also a runner-up at 119 for the Cavaliers by downing Saginaw Arthur Hill’s Matthew Dickerson at 3:21 and Bay City Western’s Michael Rojas by major decision 16-5, only to end up getting taken out 20-4 by Davison’s Lincoln Olson. Demetric Hall at 103 was the only other Carman-Ainsworth wrestler to finish second by pinning Arthur Hill’s Robert Meredith at :23 and Bay City Western’s Nick Stack at 3:37, only to end up getting bested 13-6 in the finals by Midland Dow’s John Hollingshead.
As for the Cavs that came in third, Jack Baker started his day at 160 with a bye for the first round and a technical fall defeat to Flushing’s Lucas Juhl. That put Baker in the consolation brackets, where he went on a tear and pinned Flint Southwestern’s Kyree Wiggins at 2:52, Mount Pleasant’s Gil Franco at 3:28 and Midland’s Brad Belson at 2:36. Shaquel Polacek grabbed the third spot for Carman-Ainsworth at 135, as well, by taking it to Bay City Central’s Marcus Davilla at 3:49 and getting beaten 16-7 by Bay City Western’s Christian Schoenherr. That sent Polacek to the consolation brackets, where he punished Heritage’s Daniel Kenny III at 4:16 and Mt. Pleasant’s Rich Los at 4:35.
At the Cavs’ final dual meet of the season at Birch Run on Jan. 30 the results were incredibly varied, including a 78-0 victory against Bendle and a 32-31 loss to Birch Run. Carman-Ainsworth had a handful of wrestlers go 2-0 for this event, such as heavyweight Jerron Thomas, Devon Schofield at 215 lbs., Tae Pendleton at 189, Curt Keskes at 171, Jack Baker at 160, Darion Vaughn at 130 and Demetric Hall at 103.