Constantine tops Dowagiac for Division 3 Regional title

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

DOWAGIAC — For the sixth consecutive season, the Dowagiac wrestling team finished as one of the final 16 teams in Division 3.

The Chieftains reached the Division 3 Team Regional championship match before being eliminated by Constantine 49-22.

Dowagiac reached the finals with a 47-33 win over Hartford in the semifinals, which the Chieftains hosted Wednesday night.

In the title match, Dowagiac gave up 24 points on four forfeits and were pinned four times. The Chieftains also gave up a four-point decision in another weight class.

Those bonus points proved to be the difference in the match.

“It was typical of this year, we had a lot of adversity,” said Dowagiac Coach Colin Burandt. “I am proud of this team performed throughout the season and all that adversity we went through.”

Burandt said that the moves they made during the match were the ones they needed to, but there was not a lot of flexibility with the lineup Wednesday night.

Dowagiac did make some key shifts against Hartford in the semifinals to make sure the Wolves did not come up with the upset.

With the match still hanging in the balance, Nicholas Green ended any hopes of knocking off the six-tie defending dstrict champion Chieftains at 120 pounds.

The Wolves sent out their top wrestler, Ernesto Rodarte, who was looking for a pin against Green.

Not only did he not get a pin, Green almost pulled off the upset of Rodarte, before falling by decision, 13-11.

Hartford was out of moves and Dowagiac moved on the championship match.

“We wrestled well that first match,” Burandt said. “There were a few things that went wrong, but they performed well and made the finals. Nick Green got knocked out [of the individual tournament] this weekend, but he really wrestled well against Rodarte.”

Burandt and the Chieftains now shift their focus back to the individual state tournament, which has moved to the regional round.

Dowagiac qualified six wrestlers for the tournament, which is being hosted by Adrian Madison High School Saturday.

“For the kids who made it through, we are really going to gear up on what they need to go to qualify for the state finals,” Burandt said. “For those who did not make it through, we start the offseason.”