About a decade ago, wrestlers like Austin Eicher and Jacob Gorial were beginning their careers in the Hartland Wrestling Club. Tomorrow, they could help the Eagles win their 12th straight regional championship. Coach Todd Cheney credits his program's success to wrestlers' strong background in the Hartland Wrestling Club, which he coaches, and the middle school wrestling program.
Wednesday's regional team meet will be held at Waterford Mott at 5:30 p.m., with Hartland matching up against Farmington Hills Harrison in the semifinals. If they win that match, they will face the winner of the other semifinal match — Clarkston or Birmingham Seaholm. The winner of the two semifinals will face each other in the regional championship match on the same night.
Hartland, who is favored to win the regional, would be making their 12th straight trip to Battle Creek for the MHSAA team state wrestling meet at Kellogg Arena.
Cheney believes the youth wrestling program is the reason for his wrestlers' success, he said.
On last Saturday, the Eagles hosted the individual districts, with 10 individuals qualifying for this Saturday's individual regionals at Davison. Seven of the 10 Hartland wrestlers won district titles on Feb. 11, Cheney said.
They are Nate Hughes (103), Jacob Gorial (112), Austin Eicher (119), Anthony Colaianne (140), Mitchel Thomas (152), Justin Charneski (171) and Brian Braun (215). In addition, Justin Rollins (125), Chad Maks (160) and Matt Ostermiller (189) took second and also qualified for individual regionals on Feb. 18.
Most of them have wrestled since they were 5 or 6 years old, Cheney said.
Any wrestler placing in the top four at regionals will qualify for the individual state wrestling meet at the Palace of Auburn Hills, March 1-3.