BY ED WRIGHT
Feb. 13, 2010, 10:15 p.m.
The cream rose to the top at Saturday's Division 1 individual District wrestling tournament at Plymouth High School.
Of the 56 wrestlers who will be taking their skills to next Saturday's Regional tournament at Saline High School, 23 were wearing singlets bearing the logos of Novi Detroit Catholic Central (14) or Canton (nine).
Barring an off-the-charts upset or two in first-round matches, Catholic Central and Canton are destined to meet in Wednesday's Regional team final at Canton High School.
In the three head-to-head championship matches held on Saturday, Canton went 2-1 against CC.
CC's amazing depth was evident as three championship weight-class matches featured Shamrock teammates squaring off against one another.
Led by weight-class champions Donnie Watkins (140), Brent Winekoff (152), Keith Zech (160) and Anthony Abro (189), the Chiefs will be sending a school-record nine grapplers to Saline next weekend.
"Going into today, I thought we had a chance to get 11 out to the Regionals," said second-year Canton coach Corey Mancuso. "Am I happy with nine? Yes, but I would have liked to get 11 out."
Mancuso didn't hesitate when asked who the most pleasant surprise was Saturday.
"Sophomore Alex Eimers making it at 119," said Mancuso. "He had a great tournament."
The Chiefs' four champions were nothing short of dominant in their respective weight classes. Watkins barely broke a sweat at 140, recording first-round pins in all three of his matches.
Winekoff also breezed at 152, notching a pair of pins and a forfeit against teammate Sean O'Keefe. While O'Keefe didn't qualify for Regionals, he excelled in his first two matches, defeating Salem's Tyler Gross, 10-3, and CC's Gerid Gee, 5-3.
Zech pinned his first two foes before shutting out his final two opponents: Salem's Colin Gross (3-0) and CC's Andrew Erickson (4-0).
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