January 30, 2013 - When it is the last home meet as a senior, you want to go out with a bang and the Wolves did just that last Wednesday, taking down not one but two OAA Red opponents - Rochester and Oxford
Mike Cardinale keeps Rochester on the mat in his last home meet in his high school career. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
"Our seniors wrestled great," said Clarkston Varsity Wrestling Coach Derek Moscovic. "It's always a lot of pride when you walk out here and it's your last home dual meet. For the seniors, it's a great accomplishment. They should be proud."
Seniors Nick Vandermeer (160) and Chris Calvano (189) went undefeated for the night with success over the Wildcats and the Falcons.
Vandermeer pinned Aaron Morgan from Rochester in his first match with one minute to go in the second period. Against Oxford's Wesley Maskill, he scored 16-2 for the win.
Calvano also pinned his Rochester foe Chris Russell and he did it with 54 seconds left in the first period. Calvano also pinned Liam Logan from Oxford as the buzzer ended the second period.
Senior Mike Cardinale went 1-1 for the night after he came from behind to defeat Oxford's Edwin Schlickenmeyer. He began the second period behind 0-2 and with a few moves and a reversal near the end, took the lead, 5-4. With 15 seconds left in the third period, Cardinale had a reversal and put the score 7-6 to win.
"He wrestled really well," said Vandermeer. "He came out and beat Oxford. Some of us just need to come out of our shells like that."
"It was a huge match for him," Moscovic added.
Seniors Adam Myers (215) and Luis Reyes (285) also went 1-1 for the dual meets. Myers defeated Oxford's Ben Line, 7-2, and Reyes defeated Rochester's Cameron Daniels, 4-1.
"We had a great night," said Moscovic. "All of them found ways of winning and getting bonus points and it all added up for a team victory."
The Wolves opened the night against Rochester with their 38-27 win. They came to the mat and won their first two matches off Mitchell Nelson (103) with a pin and Nick Vandermeer (112) with a technical fall to give them a 11-0 boost.
After a loss of four points to Rochester Cameron Wilkie (125) pinned Tyler Dukart for six points.
Rochester came back with two wins to put the score 17-13. It was up to Tyler Slating (140) to keep the Falcons' Dillon Maier from getting the lead. Maier went for the take down to start the match and Slating reversed and took control. He closed the first period ahead 7-4. He gained points in the next period going neutral and a take down but Rochester tied the score with a near fall. Slating reversed and gained three points on a near fall to close the period. He kept up the pressure and won the match with one more point in the third period, 16-10.
Kas Waitkus (152) won his close match 4-3 and Nick Vandermeer, Calvano, and Reyes added three more wins to the score.
"I am really proud of them up and down the lineup," said Moscovic. "We had some guys that stepped up and challenged and beat some kids ranked higher than them. We had other very few guys gave up pins. They did a nice job. They showed a lot of integrity and a lot of perservence in those matches.
The Wolves continued with a 35-25 win over Oxford, which began with Nate Vandermeer defeating Bailey Kammerer, 12-0. Cameron Wilkie (125) won by a void; Cardinale won with a defeat, 7-6; Slating won with a pin 1:20 into the match; Nolan Eriksen (145) won with a 11-4 defeat; Vandermeer won with a 16-2 victory; Calvano with a 4:00 fall; and Myers with a 7-2 defeat.
"We wrestled really well," said Vandermeer. "We came out and wrestled better than we have been and beat two really good teams. What helped was not getting pinned and getting pins."
Both Rochester and Oxford are ranked in the Top 15 in the state and Moscovic added it was a great win against those two teams.
"It's a great confidence builder," he said. "They are two great, well-coached teams that come out to wrestle every time and our guys competed with them. If you can compete against these two teams, you can compete against any team in the state."
He added it shows the team is continuing to grow and is different than they were from the beginning of the year.
"We were making a ton of mistakes in matches and dual meets," Moscovic said. "We are coming together as a team. When you come together as a team you are wrestling constantly, every period, every take down, not only for yourself but for your team. You can accomplish great things and they did."
The wins will help as the boys finish their regular season this week and prepare for the road to the state finals.
The Wolves head to Lake Orion on Wednesday for a dual meet against Stoney Creek and Sterling Heights, 5:30 p.m. They close the regular season at the OAA tournament at Oxford on Saturday, 9 a.m.
They begin the post-season next week with the MHSAA Team District at Waterford Kettering on Wednesday, 6 p.m. and the MHSAA Individual District at Walled Lake Central on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.