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Richmond's schedule is title-worthy

Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2010 by Paul Costanzo
January 2, 2010

Costanzo: Richmond's schedule is title-worthy

Some area wrestling fans might get sick of hearing about Richmond this season, but what's going on at the St. Clair/Macomb county line is pretty amazing.

It all started before the Blue Devils even wrestled a match, and no, I'm not talking about offseason training -- although that obviously had a lot to do with it, too.

I'm talking about the Blue Devils' schedule, which is more than enough to get a team ready for a state title run.

So far this season, Richmond already has wrestled teams ranked Nos. 3 (Greenville), 5 (Lowell), 9 (Swan Valley) and 11 (Dundee) in the Michigan Wrestling Coaches Association Power 15. They've won all four of those matches, and somehow are stuck at No. 6.

They started the year ranked No. 3 in Division 3, and within the first month of the season have climbed to No. 1, by beating the two teams that started the season ranked ahead of them (Dundee and Swan Valley).

Believe it or not, it gets better.

On Jan. 22, Richmond will wrestle St. Johns, the No. 4 team in Division 2, at Michigan State. The match will proceed a college dual between Michigan State and Minnesota.

That's cool enough on its own, but the next day, Richmond travels to Stevensville Lakeshore for a team tournament, where they'll see Lakeshore, which is ranked No. 2 in Division 2, and Swan Valley again.

The week before that, the team is at the Super Duals, and the week after it wrestles in the always tough Macomb/Oakland Duals.

This is a schedule that would bring lesser teams to their knees, but for a Richmond team that has no other ambition than to win a state title, it's perfect.

Richmond is loaded this year -- as you'll see in Sunday's Top 25 wrestlers list -- and when you're that good, there's no better way to prepare yourself for the big stage than by wrestling the best in the state. The only problem so far has been that only a couple of these other top teams have been able to truly challenge the Blue Devils.

Dundee kept things close, as did Greenville, Oxford and Lowell. But Lowell was wrestling a Richmond team without Brian or Nate Henke, both of whom are undefeated on the season.

It's still very early in the season, and a lot can happen between now and late February. But Richmond has clearly proven itself to be the class of Division 3, and because of the schedule it's wrestling, nobody can argue that.

Rankings note

No individual rankings today, because I don't want to spoil Sunday's Top 25.

As for the team rankings, I'm discontinuing them until further notice. We only have 11 teams in the area now, so ranking the top five does seem a little much. Also, the top three (Richmond, Port Huron Northern and Capac) isn't likely to change this year, so I don't really see the point.

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