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DCC Super Duals Preview

By MI Grappler, 01/13/17, 10:15AM EST

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Top MI teams get shot at St. Eds

The DCC Super Duals are traditionally a showcase of Michigan's top teams and a couple national powerhouses from out-of-state.  This year will be highlighted by DCC and Davison, arguably Michigan's top two squads this year, getting a shot at #3 nationally ranked powerhouse Lakewood St. Edward High School out of the Cleveland, Ohio area.  

Oak Park River Forest (IL) dropped late, however, the St. Eds matchups along with some interesting cross-divisional matchups from the in-state schools still make this one of the best dual events to watch this year.

Read the bottom of this article for a full schedule and list of teams, and continue reading for a preview of what to watch for Saturday.

DCC vs St. Edwards

The marquee match of the day will definitely be Detroit Catholic Central and St Edwards.  DCC is ranked top 20 nationally and St Eds is #3 in the country.  Both teams are loaded with top shelf talent and should provide for an entertaining dual from start to finish.

DCC is headlined by 5 returning state champs in Ben Kamali (113/120), Kevon Davenport (132), Cameron Amine (145), Tyler Morland (170/182), and Nick Jenkins (285).  They also have state placers Jack Ross (220) and Stone Moscovic (126) plus Rhett Newton (113) and Devon Johnson (106) who have been off to great starts this year and are ranked top 2 in the state.  

St. Eds is headlined by nationally ranked State Champs Bryce Andonian (120) and Allan Hart (132) along with nationally ranked state placers Matt Kazimir (126) and Jared Campbell (220).  State placers Sam Dover (138) and Tyler Stepic (182) are also hammers to watch, and their whole lineup is rock solid throughout.

Matches to watch:
120 - Ben Kamali (DCC) vs Bryce Andonian (EDS)
Both returning state champs, both ranked nationally, if Kamali doesnt drop to 113 this is possibly the match of the day!

132 - Kevon Davenport (DCC) vs Allan Hart (EDS)
Hart is a senior comitted to Missouri ranked #10 in the country and Davenport is one of the top underclassmen in the country coming off a great off-season who will definitely come after Hart and should make for an entertaining match.

182 - Tyler Morland (DCC) vs Tyler Stepcic (EDS)
If DCC bumps Morland here it will be a good matchup with returning state placer Stepcic.  Morland is a Fargo all-american committed to Northwestern.

Davison vs St Edwards

DCC seems more seasoned to give Eds a run, however, Davison has hammers throughout who can create some good matchups and make this dual entertaining.

Davison is highlighted by returning State Champ Brenden McRill (195) and 2015 champ AJ Facundo (126), as well as state placer Brian Case (145).  Andrew Chambal (106) is a stud freshman who placed in Fargo in both styles last summer.  Numerous other promising young guys like Steven Garty (113), Jaron Wilson (120), Marc Schaeffer (126), Cal Stefanko (152), Trevor McGowan (170), and Aaron Gilmore (220) will compete against Eds, but the Cards may be a year away from having a legit shot at knocking off the the Ohio powerhouse.

Matches to Watch
126 - AJ Facundo (Davison) vs Matt Kazimir (Eds)
Kazimir is ranked #14 in the country, Facundo was a state champ as a freshman two years ago. Facundo has been up and down this year, but has the tools to compete and make this match interesting.  

195 - Brenden Mcrill (Davison) vs Cody Howard (EDS)
McRill is headed to West Virginia next year and is one of the most athletic big men in the country, but Howards is coming off a breakout Ironman performance and this should be a great match.

Team Outlooks

Here is an outlook of what to watch for from the other teams competing at the Super Duals.

DUNDEE
The perennial powerhouse Vikings are the returning D3 state champs in Michigan and currently ranked #1 in their division.  They are headlined by nationally ranked 2x State Champ Brandon Whitman (195) who is on pace to being a rare 4x state champ with all titles at 171 and up.  They also boast State Champ Sean Sterling (160) and state placers Tyler Orrison and Alex Motylinsk (152).  Lookout for a lights out 1st round matchup with Whitman vs either Howard (St Eds) or, if Dundee bumps Whitman a matchup of top 10 nationally ranked guys with him and Jared Campbell at 220.

HUDSON
After 3 years of falling short, the former 5x D4 State Champs are #1 in D4 right now and appear to be back in the drivers seat to win another state title this year.  The Tigers are headlined by returning state champ and Cadet Greco National Champ Jordan Hamdan at 120lbs.  They also feature #2 in the state ranked Tucker Scholl (113), Carson Price (126) and Tyler Grames (182/195).  Look out for some big matchups with Hamdan potentially seeing Kamali (DCC) and Ohio State Champ Andonian (Eds) throughout the day.

ST JOHNS
The Redwings are not as known on the national scene as a couple years ago, however, they still have some absolute hammers in their lineup and are ranked #3 in Division 2 right now.  Returning state runner-up Trent Lashuay (138) is currently ranked #2 and state placer Brett Fedewa (160) is the #1 guy in the state.  Kaleob Whitford (126) and James Whitaker (132) are talented sophomores ranked #2 in their weight class and Brenden Zelenka (113) and Emilio Sanchez (120) are also state ranked guys who provide punch to this lineup.   Some big individual matchups to watch include Fedewa vs Sterling (Dundee) in what would be top ranked D3 and D4 guys going at it, Whitaker vs Davenport (DCC) in a battle of top ranked sophomores, and Whitford vs Price (Hudson) in a battle of current #2 ranked guys in their divisions.

BRIGHTON
The 2015 State Champs are the lowest ranked team in the field, coming in at #7 in Division 1, but should get tested with the top 2 D1 teams and tough cross-divisional matches with St Johns and Dundee.  The Bulldogs are highlighted by state ranked Lee Grabowski (138), Logan Kehres (106) and Ben Manly (106).  Look for some state ranked matchups with Grabowski vs Lashuay (St Johns) & Urso (DCC), as well as Kehres/Manly vs Johnsen (DCC) & Chambal (Davison).

TEAMS COMPETING
St. Edwards (OH) - #3 Nationally 
Detroit Catholic Central - #18 Nationally, #1 D1
Davison - #2 D1
Dundee - #1 D3
Hudson - #1 D4
St. Johns - #3 D2
Brighton - #7 D1

SCHEDULE
9:30am
Brighton vs St. Johns
DCC vs Hudson
Dundee vs St. Eds

11:00am
Brighton vs Davison
DCC vs St. Johns
Hudson vs St. Eds

12:30pm
Brighton vs Dundee
Davison vs St. Eds
St. Johns vs Hudson

2:00pm
DCC vs St. Eds
Hudson vs Davison
St. Johns vs Dundee

3:30pm
Brighton vs DCC
Davison vs Dundee
 

 

Recent News

A Tough Lesson from the Olympiad

By Robbie Waller 11/17/2014, 6:45am EST

Robbie Waller reminisces one of many stories about his dad and growing up

The year was 1991.  I was a sixth grader at Norvelt Elementary.  Our school was named after Eleanor Roosevelt, who is widely regarded as one of the most esteemed women in our Nation’s history who pioneered the advancement of many controversial issues of her day including race, sexism and World War II refugees.  While I would not experience these social injustices while attending the school named in her honor, I would find my own injustice just the same.  

Once a year, during the spring our school district would compete in the “Olympiad” held to see which elementary school ruled overall athletic prowess within the district.  It was held at the high school stadium and one of the featured events was the 6th grade 100 yard dash.  

To win this event meant everything to a twelve year-old boy.  Each day, as I stepped off the bus, I would run as fast as I could up the steep hill to our house with backpack in tow hoping to gain the extra strength and speed needed to win the upcoming race.

Robbie with his father after winning his NCAA title
Robbie with his dad after winning NCAA title

The night before the race, my mother took me to the mall and purchased me a pair of new running shoes, the infamous Nike “Air Pegasus”.  With these shoes I could not lose.

During the day, our class would enter each event: the obstacle course, sack races, and tug-o-war but the finale would be the 6th grade 100 yard dash.  Every student from every district elementary school watched from the stands.  My mother and sisters were among them.  I removed my Air Pegasus from their box and tied them on nice and tight.  Now I was ready.

All of the fastest 6th graders stepped on to the track and took their place in the starting lanes.  One of the physical education teachers would sound the starting gun while the other PE teachers waited at the finish line to declare the winner.  I should now mention that one of the teachers at the finish line was my father.

BOOM!  The starting gun fired and off we went.  As we raced down the track, the pack began to separate and it soon became a two man race.  I was in it.  As my speedy sixth grade nemesis and I approached the finish line, we were neck and neck.

The finish line ribbon was in sight.  As we closed in I leaned forward and touched the ribbon.  Not only did I hit the ribbon first, I leaned forward so hard that I did a complete forward roll and came up with the ribbon around my chest.  The evidence was clear.  I had won the race.

I jumped up and looked back at the crowd of teachers to receive my glory.  My father and the other teachers huddled together.  My father turned toward the track, pointed and proclaimed in his loud scratchy voice, “WINNER!”  

But he wasn’t pointing at me.  Tears began to well up and I began to sob as I walked onto the infield where I sat dejected and alone.  How could I have lost?  I leaned first!  I had the ribbon!  I was his son!  I was devastated.  I removed my now not-so-surefire shoes and walked back to the school bus, still crying and in disbelief.  

When I returned home, my father was not far behind.  He didn’t say a word to me and I was in no mood to talk with him either.   As the days passed, I soon forgot the my defeat and the injustice of the race as most twelve year-old boys would.  Consumed by wrestling, soccer and swimming, it was on to the next race or game played.

But what I wouldn’t soon forget was the pain and feelings associated with losing something that I had worked so hard for.  As I pursued my future goals, it would be a frequent reminder as to the deep and gut-wrenching feeling of failure.  Over time, I found that by out-working and out-smarting my opponents, I could more definitively arrange a favorable outcome.

Years later, I would ask my father about the race.  My father simply answered, “It’s no big deal.  I knew it would make you work harder.”

Granted this was a gamble of a coaching technique.  But it worked.  I lost the race but would learn a valuable lesson of how to respond to defeat and setbacks.  In the end, I would go on to win, and sometimes lose much greater competitions on much bigger stages.  

No other experience resembles real life more than athletic competition.  Especially in individual sports like wrestling.  Sometimes as an athlete, you can get caught up in the wins and losses.  And when things don’t go your way it can cause tension or resentment between you and those closest to you.  

As an athlete, you must stay focused on what you can control.  You have to trust the people who care about you and have your best interest in mind.  That does not always mean you will agree with their decisions or actions.  

As coaches and parents, we need to teach our athletes and children how to respond to winning as well as losing and adversity.  I believe the key is to be truthful and upfront about their performance, work ethic and attitude.  Just as in life, competition and the sporting arena are not always fair.  That is reality.  The earlier they learn this lesson, the better off they will be.  Nothing mirrors the physical and emotional roller coaster of real life more than athletics.

I’ll never forget the sixth grade 100 yard dash.  But I won’t ever forget my first Junior Olympic, PIAA, Junior National Freestyle or NCAA National Championship either.

I guess the lesson learned is sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war.  I think Eleanor Roosevelt would have agreed.