June 16 • 01:44 AM

Capac wins sixth straight district title

Chiefs defeat Raiders, then survive thriller with Spartans

Capac heavyweight looks to pin Imlay City’s Rojelio Oliva in the disrict championship clash. photo by Kevin Kissane.

February 17, 2010
TRI-CITY AREA — Capac (37-6) overcame a 17-6 deficit after five weight classes to register a 42-29 triumph against host Imlay City (29-17) in a Division 3 dual wrestling district title encounter last Wednesday night.

It marked the sixth straight year Capac, which equaled a school record for wins in a season, has earned the distinction of district champions.

With the outcome, Capac advances to Wednesday's regional at Montrose where it will square off versus the Chesaning District winner. That match is slated to get underway at 5:30 p.m.

"It was a dogfight just like we knew it would be," Capac Coach Jason Klink said. "We had beaten them twice before but it was just a couple match swing difference each time," he noted.

"It was a great team effort and really made me proud of the way we competed. We had some matches that didn't go our way but the kids never gave up or sunk their heads. They kept battling and if something didn't go right they just picked each other up and someone else came through. It was a true test of the character of this team and they really showed what they were made of. Everybody was doing their best for each other and the team and that is what it is all about."

Klink said he was especially proud of the way his team stepped up to the challenge after falling behind early in the battle.

"Anytime you win a championship it is special," Klink said. "To win six in a row is just awesome," he noted.

"I've said it before but it's true. Capac wrestlers are the hardest working student athletes around."

The district championship clash began with the 119-pound weight class where Imlay City's Andrew Pawlaczyk and Capac's Matt Schuman collided.

Their battle went the six-minute distance with Pawlaczyk claiming a 14-6 win.

That gave Imlay City a 4-0 lead at the time.

The advantage, though, would prove shortlived.

Capac 125-pounder Gideon Gaiter saw to that, pinning Imlay City's Kyle Guerrero 1:26 into their confrontation.

That staked Capac to a 6-4 edge at the time.

The momentum, though, would soon shift back to Imlay City's side.

Jake Scillian got the ball rolling, pinning Brandon Schalm 5:45 into their battle at 130 pounds. Sam Lyscas then notched a 12-1 win against 135-pound foe Dan Cornish; and Jake Newton escaped with an 8-6 victory over Joshua Kaiser at 140 pounds.

That staked Imlay City to a 17-6 cushion at the time.

Capac then sent out Brian Kulman next, while Imlay City countered with Steven Preisel.

It was there Kulman brought an end to Imlay City's three-match run of triumphs, pinning Preisel with 49 seconds gone.

That trimmed Capac's deficit to 17-12.

Next up was the 152-pound match pitting Capac's Aaron Smith against Imlay City's Nick Nivison.

It was there Smith pinned Nivison with 1:31 gone, giving Capac an 18-17 edge midway through the 14-match slate.

The 160-pound weight class would see Imlay City's Matt Myers pull out a 3-2 victory over Capac counterpart Derek Gottschalk.

That enabled Imlay City to regain the lead at 20-18.

Next up on the docket was a bout pitting Capac 171-pounder Ed Niemi against Imlay City's Nino Mosher.

It was there Niemi registered a triumph by pinfall 3:37 in, giving Capac a 24-20 lead.

Capac followed it up with three more wins. That stretch saw Thomas Bolday pin Nelson Pena with 53 seconds elapsed at 189 pounds; Chris Bly stop William Podeski 5:38 in; and Pat White pin Rojelio Oliva with 41 seconds elapsed at heavyweight.

Those aforementioned outcomes staked Capac to a 42-20 advantage at the time, giving them an insurmountable 22-point cushion with two bouts remaining.

Josh Scillian then provided Imlay City with a win by void at 103 pounds.

The 14th and final bout on the docket saw Imlay City's RJ See notch a 14-8 victory over Capac's Mykle Dedenbach.

That left Capac with a 42-29 triumph to celebrate when the final scores were added up.

Klink said the 152-pound encounter pitting Aaron Smith against Nick Nivison was one of the keys to the win.

"Brian Kulman had just won by pin at 145 pounds to close the gap to five points," Klink said. "Aaron Smith then came out and got a pin against Nivison," he noted.

"That ignited us. It gave us the confidence that we could still win it after falling behind early."

Earlier that night, Capac locked up their spot in the district final with a 53-16 win against Almont.

A group consisting of Dedenbach, Schalm, Kulman, Niemi and Bly led Capac with victories via the pinfall route. Dedenbach took 1:20 to upend Nick Justice at 112 pounds; Schalm required 2:39 to defeat 130-pound rival Roger Savonne; Kulman needed 4:52 to turn back Pat Finn at 145 pounds; Niemi took 4:55 to beat 171-pound adversary Nick Ouillette; and Bly required 2:25 to conquer Jake Ferrell at 215 pounds.

Kaiser (140) and White (285) provided Capac with triumphs by void.

Gottschalk gave Capac a win by technical fall, accomplishing the feat with a 21-6 outcome versus Jason Feys at 160 pounds.

Cornish and Bolday added wins by decision to Capac's cause. The former obtained a 9-6 victory over Kurtis Creger at 135 pounds and the latter notched a 9-6 triumph against 189-pound foe Derek Kopp.

Logan Kunath (103) led Almont, which finishes at 25-6, with a win by void.

Josh Kunath gave Almont a victory by major decision, thanks to a 10-1 outcome versus Aaron Smith at 152 pounds.

Taylor Lawrence and Dylan Creger tacked on wins by decision to Almont's cause. Lawrence claimed a 13-6 victory over 119-pound foe Matt Schuman and Creger registered a 12-6 triumph against Gideon Gaiter at 125 pounds.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.
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