South Haven ends Dowagiac’s reign as regional champion

CONSTANTINE — The king is dead.

The three-year reign of the Dowagiac wrestling team as the Division 3 Regional champions came to an end against former Wolverine Conference foe South Haven at Constantine High School Wednesday night.

The Rams took advantage of some missing starters for the Chieftains to defeat the Chieftains 45-26. South Haven was defeated by Constantine 38-36 in the title match.

The Falcons reached the finals with a 63-12 in its semifinal.

“I don’t know where the energy was,” said Dowagiac Coach Colin Burandt. “I think having two starters out kind of takes a little bit out of you, but you still have to show up and wrestle. We just didn’t do it.”

Dowagiac led early, 15-9, before the Rams used a series of wins in the middleweights to gain the advantage and the momentum. South Haven won five consecutive bouts between 140 and 171 pounds, four via pinfall to turn that deficit into a 35-15 lead it would never relinquish.

Picking up wins for Dowagiac in its final team competition of the 2020-21 season were Israel Villegas (125), Dustin Sirk (130) Pedro Brito (135), Brayan Parades (189), Wyatt Bailey (285) and Jordan Simpson (112).

The Chieftains now turn their attention to this weekend’s Division 3 individual regional, which is also being held at Constantine High School. Dowagiac advanced seven out of districts, including champions Simpson and Bailey.

“Hopefully, we will use this as motivation to put as many through to state as possible,” Burandt said.

 

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