Months of hard work and preparation boiled down to one meet as ten Romeo athletes battled to keep their seasons alive on Saturday. With the Bulldogs falling short to Oxford in District play, ending team competition, 10 Romeo athletes managed to continue their season by qualifying for the Individual Regional held at Oxford High School Saturday, February 22nd. This weekend brought all four D1 individual Regionals into play, as qualifiers from across the state flocked to their respective regions in hopes to compete against the best of the best at the State Finals.
“It is an exciting time of year and it is awesome to see the guys who put so much into the sport get rewarded for their efforts,” Coach Cali said.
Corey Allison 20’, Brenton Wehrley 22’, Alex Lukowski 20’, Angel Espinoza 20’, Jonathan LaFave 20’, Matthew Cali 20’, Brayden Mirjavadi 23’, Caleb Youngblood 22’, James Rivers 22’, and Jacob Clifton 20’ of Romeo competed in seven different weight classes at the Regional. Unfortunately, only five reached the pinnacle. In the 112 lb weight class, Cali placed 2nd and Mirjavadi 4th to keep their season aspirations alive. The top four places from each weight class qualify for the state finals. Youngblood, who finished 4th at the State Finals last year, placed 2nd in the 119 lb weight class. Rivers punched a ticket to the State Finals with a 3rd place finish in the 130 lb weight class and LaFave of the 285 lb weight class placed 2nd as Romeo’s final bulldog to earn their spot in the State Finals.
“After all was said and done, we are very proud of all the Romeo wrestlers. Everyone wrestled with heart and displayed great sportsmanship,” Coach Cali said.
For these five remaining Romeo athletes, their seasons will come to a close at the State State Finals Friday March 6th and Saturday March 7th at Ford Field as they battle to obtain all-state recognition. The top eight athletes of each respective weight class at the finals are deemed All-State.
Led by coach Cali, the Bulldogs received some amazing accomplishments this season, and look to continue their success next year, especially with three returning state qualifiers on the team and more to follow.