Bucks will try for first district win in 15 years Wednesday
Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2006
By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Tradition.
Dowagiac has it. Buchanan is hoping to build it.
Wednesday night at Buchanan High School, Dowagiac and Buchanan will both be trying to advance in the Michigan High School Athletic Association state team tournament.
The Chieftains have won 11 out of the last 12 district championships, while Buchanan hasn't won a district title in 15 years.
That could all change on Wednesday though as the Bucks come into the tournament with a No. 7 state ranking in Division 3 and a 24-2 overall record.
The Chieftains are just 24-16 this season, but know what it takes to win in the state tournament.
If Dowagiac is to successfully win another district title, it will have to do so without the services of several starters.
Gone are freshman Andrew Ostrowski, who reinjured his shoulder on Saturday at the Big 16 Conference Tournament.
Dowagiac has also been without the services most of this season of senior Ritchie Hutchinson adn junior Nate Behnke.
Dowagiac will count on seniors Tony Stewart (38-9) and Elijah Caldwell (29-13) to carry the team Wednesday night.
After that, the Chieftains are nothing but underclassmen.
Dowagiac's other top wrestlers are sophomore Drew Staley (27-12), junior Mike Kasper (33-12), sophomore Terry Prowoznik (33-15) and junior Nathan Cottrell (36-11).
Buchanan is led into the tournament by Lakeland Conference champions Todd Taylor (32-5), Nick Wheetley (38-4), Travis Reith (37-3), Auston Ferris (34-6) and Phil Metz (15-9).
The Bucks will face Berrien Springs in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.
The championship match is scheduled to begin 10 minutes after the completion of the first round.