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The Road to Kellogg: D1/D2 Team Regional Preview

By Steve Widzinski, 02/11/14, 7:15PM EST

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Plymouth could make history...

2/11/14

Division 1

101 @ Caledonia
#7 Grandville vs. Rockford
Grand Rapids FHC vs. Grand Haven

A month ago I though this was a toss up between Grandville and Forest Hills Central, but the former has really distanced themselves from the latter over the past few weeks. Following a 25-point defeat of Forest Hills Central just a few weeks back, Grandville is a clear-cut favorite to return to BC, and once there they will have a valid argument for the #4 seed.

Prediction – Grandville +15 over FHC

 

102 @ Portage Northern
#5 Holt vs. Portage Northern
#3 Hartland vs. Grand Ledge

It’s been quite a season for Holt, and this team is stronger than the one they sent to BC last year. However, I think this is the end of the road for the Rams. Hartland isn’t as far behind #1 Davison or #2 DCC as many would believe, and I think the Eagles are a step ahead of anyone else in D1. Crazier things have happened, and Holt has the flexibility to create several interesting matchup possibilities, but I don’t see Hartland’s 14-year streak of appearing in BC being interrupted.

Prediction – Hartland +11 over Holt

 

103 @ Davison
Grand Blanc vs. Alpena
#1 Davison vs. Bay City Central

Prediction – Davison +45 over Grand Blanc

 

104 @ Rochester
#8 Oxford vs. Rochester
#10 Clarkston vs. Utica Ford

Rochester is no cakewalk, but I feel pretty safe going with a Oxford/Clarkston final. This will be a rematch from just a few weeks back where Oxford won 42-27. That makes the Wildcats clear favorites, but I still think this is a winnable dual for Clarkston. The Wolves a lot of flexibility in the middle of their lineup, and I imagine they will make a few shifts to narrow the gap. That being said, even after last year’s district loss to Rochester, I’ve learned to avoid betting against Oxford in February at all costs.

Prediction – Oxford +9 over Clarkston

 

105 @ Southgate Anderson
Livonia Franklin vs. Birmingham Seaholm
Southgate Anderson vs. Dearborn Fordson

Prediction – Franklin +5 over Southgate

 

106 @ Westland John Glenn
Plymouth vs. Westland John Glenn
#6 Temperance Bedford vs. Saline

Plymouth has very quietly had their best season in program history, and #6 Bedford appears to be banged up at the wrong time of the year. The Mules are still the favorite, but at this point I would only consider it a very mild upset if Plymouth knocks them off. Don’t count out Westland John Glenn either, they have been up and down all season including some pretty bad losses, but a win over D2 #6 BC Western last month is a good indicator of just how dangerous they can be. All things considered, this really feels like Plymouth’s year, and I think the Wildcats will be making their first ever trip to BC. Quite a feat for a school that just opened in 2002.

Prediction – Plymouth +1 over Bedford

 

107 @ North Farmington
Livonia Stevenson vs. Milford
#2 Detroit CC vs. Waterford Kettering

Prediction – DCC +50 over Milford

 

108 @ Macomb Dakota
#9 Macomb Dakota vs. Warren DeLaSalle
Grosse Pointe South vs. Fraser

Prediction – Dakota +30 over Fraser



Division 2

109 @ Mt Pleasant
#6 Bay City Western vs. Escanaba
#7 Gaylord vs. #8 Greenville

You won’t find a regional semifinal better than #7 Gaylord/#8 Greenville. Gaylord has more in the way of firepower, but Greenville is the more complete team from top to bottom and is no stranger to postseason success, so the Yellow Jackets are my pick in a dual that I expect will be decided by single digits. Much like Gaylord, #6 BC Western has more big guns than Greenville, but also has some territory in their lineup that is a bit suspect. On paper it looks like a true toss up to me, so I’ll go with the team that has made 4 consecutive trips to BC.

Prediction – Greenville over BCW +3

 

110 @ St. Johns
#2 St. Johns vs. #10 Goodrich
Clio vs. DeWitt

Prediction – St. Johns +35 over Clio

 

111 @ Lowell
Grand Rapids Northview vs. Fruitport
#1 Lowell vs. Sparta

Prediction – Lowell +40 over Fruitport

 

112 @ Hastings
Hastings vs. Zeeland West
Eaton Rapids vs. Byron Center

It may not be D2’s strongest region, but I am actually quite intrigued by the Eaton Rapids/Byron Center semifinal, which I am confident will produce the eventual regional champion. Both teams are built very similarly: loaded down low, but with a few relative holes in the upper weights. This should result in a number of swing matches and some interesting tactical options for both sides. I’ll go with the more veteran Byron Center squad, but on paper it’s as close to 50/50 as it gets. Hastings should get by Zeeland West in the other semi, but they are no match for either of their potential finals opponents.

Prediction – Byron Center +25 over Hastings

 

113 @ Battle Creek Harper Creek
#4 Niles vs. Three Rivers
Battle Creek Central vs. Edwardsburg

Prediction – Niles +20 over Edwardsburg

 

114 @ Tecumseh
Mason vs. South Lyon East
#3 Tecumseh vs. New Boston Huron

It’s been a very quiet year for Mason, but if they have their lineup fully intact on Wednesday night I think they have a chance to make a sonic boom. Chase Roberts and Jarret VanHavel were both ranked for Bulldogs, but Roberts did not compete at districts, and Van Havel injury defaulted out after one match. If either of those two are out of the lineup I think you can go ahead and chalk this up as a win for #3 Tecumseh, but with their ideal lineup I think that Mason has a good shot of sweeping 135-189. They would have little margin for error though, because Tecumseh has even stronger chance to pin the remaining 6 weight classes.

Prediction – Tecumseh +15 over Mason

 

115 @ Madison Heights Lamphere
Warren Lincoln vs. Melvindale
Madison Heights Lamphere vs. Farmington

Any dreams of wrestling on Saturday Afternoon at Kellogg Arena ended for Warren Lincoln along with the state’s #1 freshman Jelani Embree’s season back in October at Super 32. From there, a myriad of injuries and issues off the mat dragged the Abes out of the top 10. They still managed to put 6 in the district finals with 5 champs, beyond that they have a few more serviceable starters, but also a number of pretty gaping holes. However, there is a silver lining to the Abe’s misfortune, as favorable regional draw will give them a chance return to BC. It is within their grasp, but will require the slimmest of margins for error against a sneaky good Lamphere team. Looking at the matchups, I the total pin count will be in the double digits, and the final score will total up pretty darn close to the 84 point maximum.

Prediction – Warren Lincoln +2 over Lamphere

 

116 @ Yale
#5 Ortonville Brandon vs. Warren Woods Tower
Croswell Lexington vs. Pontiac

Crosswell Lexington has managed to fly off the radar for most of the season, but the fact of the matter is that they are a very real contender to knock off #5 Ortonville Brandon. Both these lineup’s are sort of hit and miss, so I think this is another dual where fans can expect a lot of pins and a very high final point total. Croswell Lexington is loaded in the upperweights, but their big guys will be tasked with perfection, as I think it will take a clean sweep from 160 on up if they are going to take the dual.

Prediction –Brandon +8 over Cros-Lex

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