Clinton sends 13 wrestlers to state championship

Clinton’s Brayden Randolph will head to Ford Field after defeating his opponent February 16 to compete in the individual championships on March 1. Photo by Kerry Hamilton Smith.

Third-ranked team brings home regional wrestling crown
The Clinton Wrestling Team brought home the team regional crown after it dominated other teams on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Lutheran Westland, losing only two matches all night. In the individual regional held on Saturday, Feb. 16 the Redskins produced 13 wrestlers that will move on to the championships at Ford Field in Detroit. In addition to the team and individual wins, Clinton’s Jeff Rolland was named Regional Head Coach of the Year and Casey Randolph won Regional Assistant Coach of the Year. Both received accolades during Saturday’s individual regional meet.
During the team regional tournament, the Redskins opened with 11 straight wins by either pin or forfeit to go up 66-0 before finishing it off 78-6. That win put the Redskins in the final against Memphis. In the final, it was very much the same as Clinton ran off the first 10 wins before dropping one and then finished with three straight pins for a 66-6 final.
The team heads to the final eight tournament in Kalamazoo as the number one seed. They will face Schoolcraft at noon on Friday, Feb. 22 at Wings Event Center. If they win, they will compete on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The varsity wrestling team continued its strong season in dominating fashion starting the day 27-1 in the individual championship. In the end, 13 Redskins qualified in fourth place or better and will compete at Ford Field for a shot at an individual state title.

The tournament started at the 130 pound weight class. George Ames was Clinton’s first qualifier getting two pins to get to the finals where he went on to finish second. Spencer Konz (135) secured his spot with a 15-0 win and pin before winning the title with an 8-0 decision. Kent McCombs (140) won two matches 10-6 and 8-3 to advance to the final and finishing second. Riley Jeffrey (145) got to the final with two pins before finishing second. Jeff Konz (152) won his matches 6-0 and 2-1 to advance to the final before finishing second.

Brayden Randolph (160) won 11-1 and by pin to get to the final and then won the championship with a 13-5 decision. Cecil Rafferty (171) pinned both of his opponents to get to the final where he lost to finish in second place. Logan Badge secured a pin in his first match before winning 7-2 in the semifinal to reach the championship. There he won 13-0 for his first regional title. Heavyweight Will Felts cruised into the final with two pins before falling in the final to receive second place honors.

Senior Brandon Beach also made the final with a pin and a 6-0 decision. He lost a tough one in the final to finish second. AJ Baxter claimed his second regional title in two years with two pins. He beat his opponent in the final, 9-4. The 125-pound weight class championship featured an all-Clinton match. Noah Comar reached the finals by pinning both of his opponents, while Christian Minard won his matches by pin and 12-1. Comar eventually won the title, giving the Redskins five champions for the day. Garrett Phillips just missed qualifying, losing in overtime at 160 pounds in the qualifying match.

The 13 wrestlers will compete at Ford Field March 1 and 2. This is the third year in a row with a new school record for wrestlers competing there.

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