WP can't capitalize on Mio injuries


            WHITTEMORE — Mio-AuSable entered Thursday's Division 4 team district tournament banged up and left even more wounded. Despite that, the Thunderbolts were able to take home their third straight district championship, taking down Whittemore-Prescott 55-21 in the title match after defeating Clare 48-30 in the semifinal.

                  The victory gives the Bolts the unenviable task of meeting defending state champion Hesperia in a Wednesday, Feb. 25, regional semifinal.

                  Whittemore-Prescott, which was also short-handed, had hoped to challenge the Thunderbolts, but despite a vast improvement over their 2007-8 campaign the young Cards didn't have enough to compete as a team with the more seasoned 'Bolts.

                  "We knew we had some guys hurt coming in," said Mio coach Tim Jensen. "We needed some other guys to make up for it, and we had some step up. Like Josh Chartier -- he got pinned by (W-P's Chancey) Rattie up at Gaylord last week, and tonight lost 4-1."

                  Rattie's victory at 135 pounds was the only one on the mat for the Cards, who also picked up wins by void from Nick Sholler (160), Koeddie Prince (215) and Scott Garnett (152).

                  Sholler's void opened the match, but Mio came back with a 12-0 win by Michael Kososky (171) and a 4-2 victory by Dylan Stefani for a 7-6 lead. Prince's void put W-P up 12-7, but Mio took over from there as Justin Makowski (285, pin), Adam Taggart (103, void), Tomohiro Koike (112, pin), D.J. Burden (119, pin), Brian Locke (125, void), and Neil Hanson (130, pin) reeled off wins for an insurmountable 43-12 lead.

                  Aaron Smith 9140, pin) and Dan Baldwin (145, void) finished things off for the Bolts.

                  "We came into the year after winning just twice last year, so we only had one way to go," said W-P coach Dan Seefeld, whose team finished the season at 14-18. "It was a big improvement, better than we thought it might be. We have a lot of young kids, so hopefully we'll be able to run into next year and keep getting better."

                  Mio topped Clare 48-30 in the semifinal match, with W-P getting a first-round bye. Joe Baldwin (285) and Dylan Jensen (135), each nursing injuries coming in, were both further injured in their matches and likely are finished for the season. Both were state qualifiers last season.

                  "I'm pretty sure my kid is done," Jensen said of his son. "It's really a shame, because last year he made the state finals and couldn't wrestle (because of an injury). Baldwin I'm not sure, but right now it doesn't look good."

                  Mio's winners against Clare were Kososky, Joe Baldwin, Taggart, Koike, Burden, Locke, Chartier, Smith and D.J. Burden.

                  Smith's match with J Jessup featured two defending state medalists that put on a show worthy of their lofty status. After battling to a 2-2 tie in regulation, Smith scored a takedown in the third overtime season for a 4-2 victory.

                  "Aaron lost to him the last time they saw each other," Jensen said. "They'll probably see each other a couple more times.

                  "It'll be tough, though, because there are about six guys in their weight (in their region) that are good enough to go to state."

                  Only four per region advance to the state finals.

                  Mio's (22-9) chances against Hesperia would be slim at best, even with a healthy lineup. Hesperia returns seven state qualifiers from last year, including five that are top-ranked in their weight classes for all divisions, according to michigangrappler.com.

                  Both W-P and Mio travel to Manton on Saturday for the individual district tournament. The top four finishers advance to next week's individual regional.



Mio-AuSable 55, Whittemore-Prescott 21 (Championship)





Nick Sholler (W) win by void



Mike Kososky (M) def. Brandon Hall (W) by maj. dec., 8-0



Dylan Stefani (M) def. Kyle Hensley (W) by dec., 4-2



Koeddie Prince (W) win by void



Justin Makowski (M) def. Andy Steele (W) by fall, 0:54



Adam Taggart (M) win by void



Tomohiro Koike (M) def. Ella Manyen (W) by fall, 4:31



D.J. Burden (M) def. Cody Lucynski (W) by fall, 1:57



Brian Locke (M) win by void



Neil Hanson (M) def. Derek Salgat (W) by fall, 3:18



Chancey Rattie (W) def. Josh Chartier (M) by dec., 4-1



Aaron Smith (M) def. Greg Draves (W) by fall, 5:12



Dan Baldwin (M) win by void



Scott Garnett (W) win by void







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