Clinton picks up first district title in last nine years
Clinton’s varsity wrestling team won its first district title in the last nine years with a 57-19 victory over Lutheran Westland as host of the Districts on Thursday, Feb. 6.
The title match featured back and forth action before the Redskins won the last five weight classes to secure the championship.
All four of Clinton’s seniors recorded pins to lead the team. The match started with at forfeit win for Clinton freshman Hunter Mellinger (103) and the 112-pound match went to Lutheran by pin to tie the dual 6-6.
Clinton’s Zech Johnston secured a pin in just 47 seconds to put Clinton back on top 12-6 and the Redskins didn’t trail again.
Lutheran earned a hard fought overtime win at 125-pounds to close the gap to 12-9, however, Clinton’s 130-pounder, Christian Ford, added a pin in 54 seconds.
Lutheran answered with another pin at 135-pounds, however, Clinton’s Huntter Trubiano (140) and Jeffrey Rolland (145) recorded back-to-back pins to put the ‘Skins up 30-15.
Lutheran sent state ranked and returning fourth ranked state wrestler Zach Francis to the mat at 152-pounds needing a pin against sophomore Nicholas Rolland to get back in the meet. Rolland wrestled tough the entire match and kept that from happening, frustrating the senior and keeping the score close until dropping a 14-5 decision. Clinton’s 160-pound senior Kamdan Ward followed with a pin in 1:27 to give the Redskins a 36-19 lead.
Clinton sophomore Kenny Deshano took to the mat against another senior from Westland at 171-pounds and pulled off a huge upset with a pin in 3:32 to seal the meet with a score of 42-19.
Not to be outdone, Clinton senior Keagan Ward pinned his opponent at 189-pounds in just 1:32.
At 215-pounds, Clinton’s Brett Tschirhart won 3-2 while senior Tanner Bowles capped off an outstanding performance by the Redskins with a pin to deliver the district trophy to Clinton.
“We wrestled outstanding all the way through the line-up,” said Clinton coach Jeff Rolland. “Our kids have been building towards this since the first day of practice and every one of them showed up and competed. We have talked about doing your job and each one knew what was expected of them tonight and delivered. It was a total team effort.”
Clinton qualified its second most individual district wrestlers in school history on Saturday, Feb. 8, for the regional tournament with 10 advancing to the meet on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Hudson.
The only champion for the day was freshman Hunter Mellinger (103) who recorded a pin in the championship match. Placing second for Clinton were Trubiano (140), Nicholas Rolland (152), Kamdan Ward (160), and Keagan Ward (171).
Third place finishers were Evan Shovels (112), Johnston (119), and Tschirhart (215). Rounding out the top finishers were Nick LaCoss (125) and Kenny Deshano (215).
The Redskins travel to Memphis Michigan this week for the regional championship.