Dowagiac wins record seventh straight district title

Published 6:54 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

DOWAGIAC — There are some things in life that you can always count on. One of them is the Dowagiac wrestling team winning the Division 3 District championship.

The Chieftains set a new school record for most consecutive district titles in any sport by defeating Buchanan and Berrien Springs for their seventh straight championship.

Dowagiac knocked off Lakeland Conference foe Buchanan in the semifinals 48-30, and then defeated the Shamrocks, another league opponent, 60-17 in the championship match.

“Our kids came prepared mentally and everyone did their job,” said Dowagiac Coach Colin Burandt. “We’ve had a few great weeks of practice and kids are starting to piece things together at the right time. It’s an honor to be a part of this district championship run and am super proud of all the kids and support we’ve had through the years to reach this point.”

Berrien Springs advanced to the finals with a 64-6 victory over Benton Harbor, also out of the Lakeland Conference.

Against the Bucks, Dowagiac received four consecutive forfeits to start the match, which began at 138 pounds. In all, the Chieftains received seven forfeits. Dowagiac gave up just one forfeit at 126 pounds.

Of the weight classes that were contested, Buchanan won five of the six bouts.

Picking up wins for the Bucks were Leland Payne (165), Brayden Sebasty (175), Dean Roberts (215), Holden Carrington (106) and Cooper Mabry (120).

Dowagiac’s lone win came at 132 pounds where Cody White pinned John Keser in 1:14. Winning by forfeit for the Chieftains were Alfonzo Williams (138), Cameron White (144), Jacob Villegas (150), Israel Villegas (157),

 Hayden Groth (190), Cal Chapman (285), and AJ Munson (113).

Berrien Springs was able to fill 10 of the weight classes, but were no match for Dowagiac, which won seven of those matches by pins.

Starting at 144 pounds, Cameron White got the Chieftains off on the right note with a pin of Peyto Eckerly in 3:59. Jacob Villegas and Israel Villegas followed with back-to-back pins of Kaden Wilson and James Anderson. Their combined time on the mat was just two minutes.

Berrien Springs got on the scoreboard at 165 pounds as Dylan Russell pinned Maverick Baerg.  The Shamrocks made it two straight when Solomon Miller pinned Timothy Masterman at 175 pounds.

Dowagiac, which will face Hartford out of the Southwest 10 Conference in the regional semifinals Wednesday, sealed the record-setting victory by winning all but one of the final eight bouts. There was a double forfeit at 106 pounds.

Hayden Groth started the run with a forfeit at 190, which was followed up by David Nichols’ pin of Evan Krig in 58 seconds at 215 pounds. Chapman received his second forfeit of the night at 285.

Following the double forfeit, Markus Ottinger pinned Nellie Patsika in 1:09 at 113, Munson pinned Mark Smith in 46 seconds at 120, Nicholas Green pinned Ben Gilbert in 1:09 at 126 and Cody White won by forfeit.

The match ended with Tyler Dowell, of Berrien Springs, pinning Williams.

The Division 3 Regional will be hosted by Hopkins Wednesday. In the other half of the bracket, defending regional champion Constantine will take on Hopkins. 

Dowagiac will now set its sights on the Division 3 Individual District Tournament at Constantine Saturday.