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Revenge is sweet!

Grapplers eliminate Davison, win districts

February 16, 2011 - The wrestling team got a sweet measure of revenge against Davison as they ousted them from making a team state title run during their district final clash on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Four-hundred and fifty-five fans filled Ian Smith Gymnasium for the highly anticipated match between two of the top three teams in Divison One, Oxford was ranked third and Davison second, the Wildcats came out on top 31-19 to knock out the team deemed as the Wildcats biggest obstacle to making another run to the state finals.

The win also avenged the Wildcats 33-30 loss in their season opener.

Oxford got the home crowd, which was decked out completely in gold for the "gold out", going early when senior Nick McMaster (215) defeated Kyle Thick 6-4, taking a 3-0 lead.

Then the surprise of the district final occured when Brad Keeney sent out junior Prescott Line to wrestle at heavyweight. Line ususally wrestles in the 215 lb. division and was giving up nearly 80 lbs. to his opponent.

The move almost backfired on Keeney as Ryan Hankins nearly pinned Line early in the second period.

However, Line was able to escape and turned the tide on Hankins, pinning him with 1:08 left in the second period, causing a thunderous roar to erupt from the Wildcat supporters and the Oxford bench.

The Wildcats led 9-0 after the pin.

Davison captured the next two matches when senior Dylan Smith lost 13-11 to Derek Humphrey in overtime and senior Keegan Cantara lost 6-4 Justin Oliver.

Oxford kept Davison at arms length when sophomore Rocco Borg, junior Kyle Hill and junior Jacob Peasley won the next three matches. Hill won his match by pinfall, Borg won 7-2 and Peasley won 10-5.

Davison responded by winning the next two matches over senior Mike Thomas and sophomore Marty Gianolla.

Senior Matt Frisch ended Davison's run, winning a thrilling 1-0 match over Jordan Cooks. Senior Dakota Peasley followed with a 5-0 victory over Ryan Thick and senior Ben Ralston sealed the victory for Oxford with a convincing 13-5 win over Dominic Diaz.

On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Wildcats posted great success during Individual districts at Davison High School. They will have 12 wrestlers move on to regionals, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 19 at East Kentwood High School.

Capturing first place was Smith, Borg, Peasley, Ralston and Line, while Cantera, Thomas and Frisch finished second overall.

Hill, Anger and McMaster finished third, and Giannola was fourth.

Up next for the Wildcats is a date with Saginaw Heritage in the state regionals on Feb. 16. If they get by Heritage, they will wrestle the winner of Bay-City Western and Flint-Carmen Ainsworth.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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