The Wildcats wrestlers are on their way to the state finals again following the Feb. 2 Oakland Activities Association (OAA) regional competition.
Clarkston came in second while Lake Orion placed third.
Oxford overcame a 15-6 deficit to Clarkston in a regional semifinal, winning five straight matches en route to a 36-24 victory over its rival. The Wildcats then cruised past Lake Orion, 51-20, in the championship match, solidifying their journey to the MHSAA upcoming state finals.
“We had a few younger guys step up and a few older guys that we needed to. It was a good example of wrestling being a team sport. Oftentimes it’s not recognized like that. We could have done better, but we got the job done that we needed to,” said Head Coach Ross Wingert.
The Wildcats have become ‘regulars’ at the MHSAA state finals over the years. Oxford has gone to team states for 10 out of the last 11 years, according to Wingert.
Oxford opened the semifinal with victories by freshman Jack Thompson (125) and senior Daltan Myers (130).
Clarkston bounced back, as Ethan Polick picked up a decision, followed by back-to-back pins by the Wolves to give their team a 15-6 lead.
Junior Trent Myre turned the tide for the Cats, pinning Clarkston’s Carter Hoogewert in 2:45. Junior Caleb Tabert followed with a major decision victory, giving the Cats a 16-15 lead.
Junior Thomas Wandrie, juniors Devin Trevino, Austin Schlicht and Matthew Curtis; along with freshman Ashton Anderson, picked up victories in the Wildcats’ win.
The Cats are set to compete in the MHSAA state finals which will be held Feb. 24 at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.
“I’m looking to have the guys that may not be in our lineup most times be able to experience this level of competition that we’ve worked for. We talk about that all year and all off-season, when we get down to team state, that’s the level of competition that we work for all the time… to win team state titles… I want to see who’s ready to compete and put into action all of the work that we’ve done. That’s what an ambassador is for us – someone who makes great matches when it counts the most. This weekend, we’ll finally have our best lineup together and we’re really looking forward to putting our best 14 out there,” Wingert added.