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Grapplers take second at county championship

Oxford’s Mike Willits is a hard man to shake. Photos by Andrew Moser. (click for larger version)
December 21, 2011 - For the second year in a row, the Wildcats, along with the rest of Oakland County, found themselves watching Novi Detroit Catholic Central celebrate another Oakland County Wrestling championship.

Oxford managed a second place finish at the county championships, which were held at Oxford Middle School and Southfield High School Dec. 16 and at OMS for the finals Dec. 17.

Catholic Central won with 367.5 points and Oxford finished with 243 points. Rounding out the top five were Rochester (178 points), Holly (173 points) and Clarkston (162.5 points).

"It's a tough field of competition and we looked pretty darn good," varsity wrestling head coach Brandon Rank said. "We are working to close the gap between us and Catholic Central and spread the gap between ourselves and the rest of the field.

"I think that meet showed that across the county, the teams are bunched together there and everybody got some real good kids," Rank added. "We are going to be battling out in league play all year."

Nine Wildcats placed during the two day event. Oxford was led by senior Prescott Line, who won the 215 lb. division.

Placing second was Edwin Schlickenmeyer (119 lbs.), senior Kyle Hill (130 lbs.) and junior Rocco Borg (145 lbs.) Finishing fifth was junior Dan Curtis (112 lbs.), sophomore Mike Willits (135 lbs.), senior Noah Cantara (140 lbs.) and junior Marty Giannola (171 lbs.)

Sophomore Zack Wood came in sixth in the heavyweight division.

"I thought compared to day one against Davison, I think we have improved leaps and bounds," Rank said. "Our conditioning is getting better, and our mental toughness in the third period is getting closer to what folks are used to seeing out of Oxford wrestling."

Up next for the Wildcats is the annual Oxford Invite at OMS Dec. 28. Competing this year at the Invite will be Hudson High School, Holly High School, Shelby High School, Ferndale High School and Oxford.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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