DAVISON — After seeing the host Cardinals during every regular season for quite some time now, former Big Nine members Carman-Ainsworth and Flushing must have some reservations about facing the second-ranked varsity wrestling team in Div. 1 according to michigangrappler.com yet again. Add to this the challenges presented by the rest of the field, which includes Alpena, Bay City-Central, Grand Blanc, Midland, Midland Dow, Port Huron, Port Huron Northern, Saginaw, Saginaw-Heritage and Swartz Creek, and the Cavs are looking at quite an uphill challenge.
At Davison individual district No. 3-1 this weekend, Carman-Ainsworth could do quite well in the upper weight classes. That’s because the Cavs will be relying on talent such as heavyweight Jerron Thomas, 37-3, Tay Pendleton, 34-4, at 189, Herbie Keskes, 7-3, at 171, and Jack Baker, 12-9, at 160.
In the lower weight classes, Carman- Ainsworth will look to athletes including Malik Dawkins, 34-7 at 140, Shaquel Polacek, 27-14 at 135, Darion Vaughn, 35-5 at 130, Aaron Dupree, 33-7 at 119 and Demetric Hall, 26-9 at 103.
“Davison is a perennial powerhouse. They will have several guys advance to regionals and the state meet. They are a solid team and have a winning attitude and tradition,” said Grand Blanc coach Craig Trombley. “Carman-Ainsworth will also have several tough wrestlers. What it comes down to is who wants it more. This time of year, you never know what is going to happen. Crazy things happen. It is all about keeping your emotions in check and continuing to do what you’ve been doing all year; wrestling.”
One wrestler that may surprise people for the Cavs after placing fifth at the Saginaw Valley Championships is Devon Schofield, 16-14 at 215. That’s because, at the league meet, Schofield came back from getting pinned by Davison’s Trevor Thomas at :57 to down Mount Pleasant’s Keith Odykirk at 2:03. While Schofield did then lose to Heritage’s Anthony Whyte at :47, he also ended his day by grabbing a default victory over Dow’s Chase Quencher.
Having gone 17-14 so far this season, D’Mario Blue also finished fifth at the conference championships for Carman-Ainsworth at 152 with highlights that included pinning Heritage’s RJ Murray III at 1:06, routing Southwestern’s Jessie Brown 19-3 and Bay City Western’s Andrew Beaver at 3:32. True, Blue also got beat by Davison’s Pat Rooker at 4:47 and Mount Pleasant’s Matt Yeagley at 1:56, but that speaks to his all-out style of competition that may be exactly what this team needs once the adversity of the postseason becomes palpable.
As for the grapplers who will round out the Cavs’ efforts, possibilities include Lucas Schutt, 10-13 at 145, Cameron Brown, 9-6 at 125 and Larry Dunn, 8-9 at 112.
The team districts took place yesterday and today. Carman-Ainsworth was assigned to Swartz Creek district No. 111-1 and kicked off the postseason by taking on the host Dragons. The winner then took on Grand Blanc for the team district title.