Davison's Lincoln Olson is a two-time state championLast year's state title came in the most dramatic of ways: a pin by Evan Toth in the last match of the dual meet, one in which he was trailing throughout, to upend Davison 29-26 (in all fairness, Davison had an upset pin of their own in the second match of the meet). Each team comes off of activity this past weekend in Ohio: The Shamrocks defeated CVCA 60-18 and then upended No. 24 St. Edward on the ninth criteria from a 37-37 dual meet; while Davison went 10-0 over two days of dual meet action at Defiance College.
The following represents a weight-by-weight analysis based on expected lineups for the dual meet on Wednesday (note that Michigan does not use the current NFHS weights, never changing when the change started in 2011-12).
103: Alex Geelhood (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Deven Perez (Davison)
Perez is ranked fourth in the preseason Division 1 rankings from Michigan Grappler, while the junior Geelhood is in the lineup until the Shamrocks gain their starter in mid-January.
112: Tommy Hermann (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Max Johnson (Davison)
Johnson is ranked fourth in the preseason Division 1 rankings from Michigan Grappler, while the junior Hermann is unranked. In last year's state finals match, Johnson scored a 15-0 technical fall victory.
119: Parker O'Brien (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Jacob Madrigal (Davison)
Both wrestlers, whom are seniors, are ranked in the state after qualifying for the state tournament last year. In last year's state finals match, O'Brien came up with a very important 4-2 victory that tied the match at 23-all with two matches to go.
125: Chyle Johnson (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Lincoln Olson (Davison)
The junior Olson is a two-time state champion, and preseason favorite to win a third title; while Johnson is a reserve wrestler for the Shamrocks, as two-time state third placer Trevor Zdebski is out of the lineup with a short term injury. Olson beat Zdebski 3-1 in last year's state finals dual match.
130: Evan Toth (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Brennan McRill (Davison)
Both wrestlers are ranked in the preseason rankings from Michigan Grappler, the senior two-time state qualifier Toth is sixth, while the freshman McRill is eighth. This could be a crucial swing match in the outcome of the dual meet.
135: Eli Joseph/Greg Johnson (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Derek Humphrey (Davison)
This is another potential swing middle-weight match, and it will involve a pair of seniors. The Cardinals have two-time state qualifier Humphrey, who will certainly be seeking to exorcise demons from that last match getting pinned from ahead in last year's state final. Humphrey is ranked sixth in the preseason, while Detroit Catholic Central will have one of two seniors outside the top ten in the preseason rankings.
140: Myles Amine (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. No. 16 (at 138) Justin Oliver (Davison)
Both wrestlers in this match placed third in the state last year, and are highly ranked in the state in this weight class. Oliver had won state the previous two years, but failed to win this in 2013 after missing the bulk of the season due to injury. Earlier this fall Oliver placed fourth in the Super 32 Challenge. This match was the opening match of last year's state final dual meet, one that Oliver won 5-3 in overtime.
145: Malik Amine (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Matt Miller (Davison)
The senior Amine placed sixth in the Super 32 Challenge, and is a three-time state placer, including his state title won last season. Davison will likely double-enter this weight during the state series, with my estimation being they'll send out three-time state placer Miller in this weight class; he was a state runner-up last year. This was a match in the dual meet state final last year, one that Amine won 10-3.
152: No. 15 Nick Bennett (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Dominic Russ (Davison)
The senior Bennett was seventh at National Preps as a sophomore, and finished third in the Super 32 Challenge this fall down at 145 pounds. The Nebraska-bound Bennett is also ranked No. 97 overall in the senior class. Russ is a two-time state placer, and finished fourth at state last year; preseason ranking is second at 145 to Malik Amine per Michigan Grappler.
160: Tyler Morland (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Thomas Garty (Davison)
The freshman Morland enters his initial season of high school competition ranked eighth in Division 1 in this weight class by Michigan Grappler, while two-time state placer Garty is ranked fifth down at 152 pounds. This is yet another crucial swing match within the course of the dual meet.
171: No. 10 (at 182) Andrew Garcia (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. No. 14 Jordan Cooks (Davison)
Both wrestlers in this match are two-time state champions, nationally ranked, and top 100 seniors. Obviously, this matchup could happen again multiple times going forward. Garcia is ranked No. 81 overall in the senior class, while Cooks is ranked No. 95 overall. This is yet another crucial swing match within the dual meet, but one in which Garcia enters as the favorite.
189: No. 16 (at 170) Logan Marcicki (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Tyler Thomas (Davison)
Marcicki won state as a freshman and was a state runner-up last year. This summer, he was Junior National freestyle All-American, and he enters the season as the top ranked wrestler in the weight class. The sophomore Thomas enters the season ranked tenth in Division 1 in this weight class.
215: Nick Giese (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Jake Ellis (Davison)
A pair of juniors will take to the mats in this weight class, with Giese having placed third at state last year. In last year's team state final, Giese won a 12-4 major decision over Ellis.
285: Jimmy Russell (Detroit Catholic Central) vs. Dakota Powers (Davison)
The senior Russell is a returning state qualifier, and will be favored in this match against the junior Powers.
In terms of the overall dual meet, Detroit Catholic Central is clearly favored in four weight classes: the last three and Bennett at 152. Davison responds with being clear favorites in three weights, at 103, 112, and 125. The dual meet will ultimately come down to the other seven matches first and foremost, with secondary emphasis on capitalization/damage control from the matches where a favorite is clear.