In the prior two seasons, interstate rivals No. 15 Detroit Catholic Central, Mich., and No. 20 Cincinnati Moeller, Ohio have battled it out in dual meet competition. Two years ago, the Shamrocks traveled south as favorites, but were upset by the host Crusaders. However, last year, Moeller travelled north to Michigan and left with a loss for their trip. This Saturday, Moeller will play host, and the 2 p.m. dual meet should be one full of intrigue.
These two teams are extremely balanced. The matchups across this dual meet should be interesting to follow, with the overall outcome of the dual meet open for either team to win. Below is a breakdown of the projected lineups.
106: Zack Prater (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Will Kruspe (Cincinnati Moeller). This weight class is a relative weakness for both squads. The freshman Prater was one match away from placing at the Medina Invitational, while Kruspe is a senior whose lone tournament placement is eighth at SWOWCA.
113: Trevor Zdebski vs. Conner Ziegler. Zdebski was champion of the Medina Invitational in this weight class and placed third at state in the 103 weight class as a freshman last year. Fellow sophomore Ziegler has three notable tournament placements this year -- second at SWOWCA, fifth at POWERade, and champion at the Catholic Invitational Tournament -- after qualifying for state last year at 106.
120: Evan Toth vs. Jacoby Ward. The junior Toth qualified for state as a freshman and failed to place at Medina last month, while Ward is a freshman and yet to place in any tournament this year. However, he was one match away from placing at POWERade, and has a great family lineage with older brother Joey Ward and half-brother Chaz Gresham being state champions last year.
126: No. 12 Kenny Bade/Myles Amine vs. Connor Borton. The strategy for the Shamrocks may be to place the lesser of their two options, state qualifier Myles Amine, in this match against the sophomore Borton who was a state alternate last year. Myles Amine is ranked sixth in Division 1 at 130 pounds, while Borton placed fourth at both SWOWCA and the CIT.
132: Bade/Amine vs. Andrew Mendel. It would be ideal for the Shamrocks to have two-time state champion, and two-time Medina champion, Bade here. The Penn-bound wrestler would be a strong favorite against two-time state alternate Mendel, who was champion at CIT after a runner-up finish at SWOWCA and being one match away from placing at POWERade.
138: Malik Amine vs. Jonathan Tallarigo. The Shamrocks are strong favorites in this match with two-time state placer, and state runner-up last year, Amine the projected wrestler here against the junior Tallarigo, whose first varsity tournament placement came this past weekend at the CIT (where he finished sixth).
145: Chris Naubert vs. Austin Bohenek. This is another battle of relatively unproven wrestlers, as neither has been near the state tournament. The senior Naubert is unranked in Michigan Division 1, and went 2-2 at the Medina Invitational. The junior Bohenek was one match away from placing at the POWERade and CIT.
152: Mike Babicz vs. Wyatt Wilson. Babicz was a state qualifier in 2011, but falls outside the top ten and was one match away from placing at Medina in December. Fellow senior Wilson has yet to make the state tournament, and has finished fourth at SWOWCA and second at the CIT this year.
160: Logan Marcicki vs. Dean Meyer. This is a battle of excellent junior wrestlers, with Marcicki having won a state title in 2011 and finishing runner-up at the Medina Invitational. Meyer is a two-time state qualifier, who placed eighth as a freshman. This season, he placed fourth at SWOWCA, third at POWERade, and champion at the CIT.
170: No. 17 DrewD Garcia vs. No. 20 Dakota Sizemore. Yet another match placing excellent juniors against one another, this time both are in the national rankings. For the Shamrocks, Garcia is a two-time state finalist, winning state last year, and has won the Medina Invitational each of the last two years. Countering for the Crusaders is two-time state qualifier Sizemore, who was third at state last year; this season, he finished runner-up at SWOWCA, placed third at POWERade, and was champion at the CIT.
182: Nick Giese vs. Quention Rosser. The sophomore Giese placed sixth at the Medina Invitational in this weight class, and is ranked fifth in Michigan Division 1 at 189 pounds. For Moeller, Rosser is a junior who made the state tournament last year, and this season finished second at SWOWCA, was a match away from placing at the POWERade, before winning the CIT.
195: Jimmy Russell vs. Jerry Thornberry. The junior Russell was one match away from placement at Medina in December, but only cracks the lineup due to the extra upper-weight in NFHS wrestling. Fellow junior Thornberry placed eighth at state as a freshman but failed to make state last last year. This season, he finished fourth at SWOWCA, sixth at POWERade, and third at the CIT.
220: Jay Peterson vs. No. 10 Chalmer Frueauf. The senior Peterson is ranked ninth in Michigan Division 1 and placed seventh at the Medina Invitational. Only a junior, Frueauf has finished fourth in the state in each of his first two high school seasons. During this season, he placed third at the POWERade, and was a dominant champion at SWOWCA and the CIT.
285: Robert Coe vs. Max Swoboda. The senior Coe, bound for Boston University, placed seventh at state last year and fourth at the Medina Invitational. He is also the top ranked wrestler in Michigan Division 1 at this weight class. The Crusaders respond with fellow senior Swoboda, who failed to place at both SWOWCA and POWERade but finished third at the CIT.