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Grapplers lose to Oxford, win tourney



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Senior Mac Boyer triumphant. Photo G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
January 25, 2012 - The Dragon wrestlers traveled just north to Oxford Jan. 18 to face the defending state champions amongst other teams.

While the Dragons managed to beat Rochester six times out of 14 matches, the Oxford Wildcats bared their teeth and reminded everyone why they were champions in 2011, beating Lake Orion out 14-0.

"That's the first time I can remember that we got shut out," said Head Coach Corey Kuzinski. "But you don't win state championships and just fall of the face of the planet."

Other than Oxford, Lake Orion wrestled Rochester with above expected results. Orion had an advantage at 103 lb. class since they had two wrestlers at that class. This allowed Kuzinski to move a more experienced wrestler up to the 112 lb. class leaving a less experienced wrestler to take the free win at the unoccupied 103 lb. class.

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Winners against Rochester were junior Ethan Gros at 160 lb., senior Mac Boyer at 215 lb., sophomore Paul Scott at 285 lb., freshman A.J. Shepherd at 103 lb., sophomore David Moore at 112 lb. and freshman Justin Owens at 119 lb. who managed a pin. Owen's win marks his first in his varsity career.

Kuzinski was adamant in the idea that wrestling, more than strategy on the mat, is a game of planning and organization, even from a ordering standpoint.

"It helped that Rochester didn't have anyone out there at 103 lb., which we took advantage of," he said. "We took that void and bumped Moore, our county placer, up a little bit. We had two weighed in at 102 lb. so when the opposing team doesn't have one we can send one of our two.

"We were able to send out freshman out for six points and he didn't even have to wrestle."

Bouncing back from the loss, the Dragons traveled to Marysville on Jan. 21, winning the tournament with four out of five wins.

Orion started against Romulus, whom they beat 51-24. They followed with another win against Lutheran North, 67-9, but lost just after to Croswell-Lexington, 40-28.

But the wins were enough to catapult Lake Orion to the finals where they beat Marysville, 39-24, and Flint-Kersley, 36-35. Croswell Lexington lost to both Marysville and Flint-Kersley which tied them with Lake Orion, but because Orion beat the teams that beat Croswell-Lexington, Orion came out on top.

Individual accomplishments included sophomore Charlie Highlen at 125 lb. and senior John Atwater at 140 lb. who both went 5-0 and sophomore David Moore at 103, senior Cam Masters at 130 lb., junior Ethan Gros at 160 lb. and junior Durham Basso, all who went 4-1.

Next up for the Dragons is their last chance at a league win when Lake Orion hosts Avondale and Farmington among others for a quad meet at Lake Orion High School. Avondale, like the Dragons, are 0-4 in the league, so Kuzinski believes the battles will be determined on both sides. The Dragons are 16-7 overall.

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