Constantine wrestling coach Steve Wilson admits his strategy for Saturday’s Division 4 individual wrestling district was unconventional, but the success rate speaks for itself.
The host Falcons advanced eight of 10 wrestlers to next weekend’s regional at Climax-Scotts after doubling up in five weight classes, which included a 140-pound title by senior Andres Montoya and a championship at 152 by junior Andy Waterman. Constantine won a team district championship last week and will take on Homer Wednesday in a Division 4 regional in Springport.
“I told the kids at the beginning of the year that the kids with the best chance of going on [to regionals] are going to wrestle,” Wilson said. I tried to do whatever I could do to give them the best chance of moving forward. I’m happy with eight. I thought we wrestled well.”
Click here for tournament results.
Montoya, ranked No. 7 in Division 4 in his weight class by MichiganGrappler.com, improved to 39-0 after a first-round bye, a pin (3:12) against Reading’s Austin Bolenbaugh, a major decision over Quincy’s Dalton Hard and a 6-4 decision versus Schoolcraft’s Zac Sharp in the finals.
“I was a little worried about dropping a weight class today and it turned out to be a good idea,” Montoya said. “I’m just glad I came out first in the district and give my self a chance to come out on top at regionals, if I wrestle well.”
After a double bye, Andy Waterman (35-6) knocked off teammate Cole Vance (senior) by a 9-2 decision and went on to defeat Springport’s Andrew Grady 4-0 in the championship. Vance rebounded with a fourth-place finish (top-four wrestlers in each class advance).
Sophomore Andy Daniel Waterman (37-7), an honorable mention in the D4 state rankings, navigated the 160-pound bracket with a 6-4 win against Mendon’s Danny Cleveland and a second-round major decision over fellow Falcon Nick West before losing 12-7 in the finals to Schoolcraft’s Steven Rantz, who is ranked No. 5 in the state.
At heavyweight, senior Alex Miller, who weighed in less than 200 pounds, battled Mendon junior Cole Harrison, who also moved up from 215 to 285, into the third period. Harrison prevailed by fall in 5:08 (watch video of the match). Miller beat teammate Andrew Cocanower (senior) by pin in 1:43 in the quarterfinals and Schoolcraft’s Caleb Piper 5-0 in the semis. Cocanower (26-14) eventually finished third.
Like Vance, 145-pound junior Kyle Hartwick (17-13) spent the year as a reserve but took advantage of his opportunity Saturday. Hartwick defeated Schoolcraft’s Patrick Buffin in the first round with a pin in 3:36 before losing 5-4 to Climax-Scotts’ Zack Mobley in the quarters. A 2-1 decision against Homer’s Austin Yeakey in the blood round set up a rematch with Mobley in the third-place bout. Mobley finished on top with a 2-0 win, but Hartwick punched his regional ticket.
Rounding out the Waterman clan’s day was junior Randy Waterman (22-19), who beat Quincy’s Jacob Modert (1:12) and dropped a 7-0 decision to Bronson’s Brett Burtrum in the quarterfinals. Waterman claimed a fall in 43 seconds over Climax-Scotts’ Eric Fee in the blood round and was defeated by fall (2:05) by Homer’s Dakota Waring in the consolation finals.