Rochester wins first wrestling district since 1993 | North Oakland Sports

Rochester wins first wrestling district since 1993

| February 10, 2012 | Comments (0)




UTICA — The drought is over.


Rochester captured its first team wrestling district title since 1993 Thursday night, taking down district host Utica in the finals in convincing fashion, 54-15.


The Division 1 sixth-ranked Falcons, who have already recorded a school record for wins, are now 25-4 overall and ended years of frustration by capturing the district trophy.

BACK ON TOP: Rochester's Dean Vettese and the Falcons captured their first district trophy Thursday in 19 years. File Photo | Dan Stickradt


“The past two years injuries have killed us,” noted Rochester coach Frank Lafferty, who is in his seventh season with the Falcons.  “We’ve lost in the district finals I don’t know how many times. The last two years we lost where we were missing several key guys due to injury. We lost by only two points last year.”


Rochester advances to the regional round for the first time in 19 years-before any of the current wrestlers were even born — and will face unranked Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Utica Ford.


Seventh-ranked Oxford and ninth-ranked New Baltimore Anchor Bay will tussle in the other semifinal match, giving the regional three ranked teams to battle it out for one spot in the Elite Eight on Feb. 24-25.


Being the heavy favorite in this three team district — Utica defeated Utica Eisenhower 43-27 in the sole semifinal match — Rochester wasted no time in grabbing the upper edge despite having to juggle its lineup because three wrestlers failed to make weight. The Falcons won seven of the first nine weight classes and the match was never in doubt.


Justin Kim (112), Josh Wood (125), Tyler Dukart (130), Dean Vettese (145), Aaron Morgan (152), Shane Shadaia (160) and Cody Devoe (189) all recorded wins by pin for Rochester. Kaelen Richards (135) picked up a win by technical fall, Matt Lippart (285) won by major decision and Schwan Shadaia recorded the only win by decision for the Falcons.


Utica’s sole wins came from Kyle Keller (119), decision), Steve Sovaia (140, pin) and Eric Culbertson (171, pin). There was a double void at 103 pounds.


“It’s not bad, winning the first district in about 20 years,” laughed Lafferty. “The guys really wanted this one bad. We lost by a couple of points last year to Romeo and we should have won that one.”


Competing in new territory, the road to Battle Creek is only two wins away but a tough road awaits the Falcons, who has never been to the state tournament since the team format was introduced in 1988. Oxford is the defending state champions and has been on quite a roll since dropping a 37-29 decision to Rochester on Jan. 12.


Oxford edged Rochester at the OAA Red-White Super Meet on Feb. 4, 265-216.


“We’ll be ready,” said Lafferty, who was missing Josh Wood, Joey Gunther, Matt Lippart and Cam Daniels at the league meet last weekend. “We didn’t have everyone for the league meet and that hurt us. We lost out on a lot of points. I am not sure if we would have caught Oxford or not if we had everyone, but it would have been close.


“Oxford is good and I know they will have their hands full with Anchor Bay, who will not just lie down,” offered Lafferty. “I don’t know much about L’Anse Creuse this season. But we can’t look past anybody. But I think the guys would love to wrestle Oxford (in a rubber match).”


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(District Finals at Utica)

103: Double void; 112: Justin Kim (R) Andrew Powerski 1:54; 119: Kyle Keller (U) d. Seth Birchmeier 11-7; 125: Josh Wood (R) p. Jeremy Stewart 0:54; 130: Tyler Dukart (R)  p. John Rhegume 1:44; 135: Kaelen Richards (R)  tech. fall Brandon Rasho 17-0; 140: Steve Sovara (U) p. Dylan Meier 5:35; 145: Dean Vettese (R)  p. Ian McGregor 2:36; 152: Aaron Morgan (R)  o. Sam Mason 5:35; 160: Shane Shadaia (R)  p. Austin Fleut 1:58; 171: Eric Culbertson (U) p. Darren Witherspoon 5:37; 189: Cody Devoe (R) p. Seth Latour 0:39;  215: Schwan Shadaia (R) d. Kyle Walker 11-5; 285: Matt Lippart (R) maj. dec. Andrew Ackerman 15-1.

RECORDS: Rochester 25-4.

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