BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Trailing by a score of 30-10, to the No. 10 team in the state in Battle Creek Lakeview, the Holt wrestling team didn’t lose hope. Pulling off what will not only go down as one of the biggest comebacks in program history, but one of the biggest upsets as well.
On Wednesday, February 7th, a roster filled with freshman, sophomores, and new talent entered the gym at Battle Creek Lakeview High School as vast underdogs. Head coach of the Rams, Rocky Shaft, knew it was going to be a tough hill to climb for Holt to keep the district championship streak alive.
Five of the first nine matchups ended with a loss by pin for the Rams. Momentum started to shift when Holt’s Colby Deberry in the 160lb. weight class would beat Lakeview by pin, followed by Isaiah Scruggs in the 171lb. weight class with a pin. Lakeview followed that up with a pin of their own.
The second to last matchup of the day was one to remember, Holt’s heavyweight Diego Hunt (204lbs.) would face Lakeview’s heavyweight of 286lbs. The Rams a big underdog in the matchup, but Hunt would grind out one of his best performances of the season, and win by a pin to upset Lakeview!
The final matchup of the night ended with a decision win by Platte (103), to give Holt the win!
After trailing by 20 at one point, Holt would win its 31st consecutive district championship, by a final score of 36-35. Earning wins were Platte (103), Phelps (119), Lenon (135), Kalinski (140), Deberry (160), Scruggs (171), Bruce (215), and Hunt (HWT).
Earlier this week it was announced head coach, Rocky Shaft was one of eight finalists for National Wrestling Coach of the Year.
“Winning that night is the exact reason he is a great coach,” said assistant coach, Stan Granger. “His belief in every kid, kindness, statistical mind, and pride for his program and community. He convinces our kids they can achieve anything and everything. Guts, pride, trusting the system and the coaches, and believing in our program is what it’s all about. And our kids did it.”
The season continues for the Rams wrestling team as they will head to Kalamazoo Central High School for the regional semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 6pm.