February 01, 2012 - Oxford closed out its Oakland Activities Association Red division play with two dominating efforts over Rochester Adams and Clarkston on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
The Wildcats defeated Adams 57-6 before downing the Wolves 44-27.
Coach Brandon Rank said the Adams match was closer than the score would indicate.
"We had some guys go out and win some close matches for us, and that is huge for us," Rank said. "We had been losing a lot of close matches earlier in the year, and I feel that we are kind of getting over that hump right now."
"We're bettering ourselves, and when push comes to shove, we are getting the victories instead of coming close," he added.
Colin Campbell, Mike Willits, Noah Cantara, Wesley Maskill and Prescott Line each picked up pins for Oxford.
After splitting the first two matches of the evening against Clarkston, Oxford went on to win the next seven matches to cruise to a comfortable victory.
"That's huge; anytime you can win half the matches back-to-back, it really gets the momentum in your favor," Rank said.
Clarkston would win four of the final five matches.
Rank said the team was going out to score points and not just focus on winning the match.
"They are going out to make an exciting match," Rank explained. "We're chasing the major decisions...the technical falls and the pins. They are just going out and scoring points...for the pure joy of scoring points."
"It's way better to push a lead than to hold on to a one-point lead," he added.
According to Rank, part of that focus has been picking up the intensity in practice.
"We're shortening up our practices and demanding hard work the whole time," Rank said. "We're making the kids really compete with each other every single day as hard as they can go, so that when we ask them to wrestle for six minutes, there is no excuses."
Over the weekend, the Wildcats competed in the Macomb-Oakland Duals. At the gold site, which was held at Waterford Kettering High School, Oxford finished 4-1 on the day and helped Oakland County top Macomb County 18-7.
The Wildcats defeated Macomb Dakota (51-18), Anchor Bay (54-15), Warren Woods Tower (60-3) and Roseville (74-3).
Oxford lost to Richmond 42-27.
Dan Curtis, Eddie Schlickenmeyer, Kyle Hill and Jacob Peasley each went 5-0 on the day, while Ben Line went 4-1 in his varsity debut.
Rank said the Richmond score "looked worse than it really was."
"We were in a lot of those matches...there were four matches decided by two points or less, and unfortunately, we lost those," Rank said. "To accomplish the things we would like to accomplish this year, we really would like to be winning those."
He added that winning the close matches was going to be a priority in practices this week.
Despite the close match losses, Rank was pleased with how well his team started the day against Macomb Dakota, and Anchor Bay.
"We went out and won all the close matches, and we really took it to them," he said. "Sometimes if we are going to have a tough dual meet, it's that first one, just getting into the swing of it, but they came out and we looked real good in the first round."
Rank said Oxford got six pins in the first two matches.
Oxford tunes up for the OAA League meet on Saturday, Feb. 4 with a double dual meet against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Orchard Lake St. Mary's on Feb. 1.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.