Tuesday was perhaps one of the biggest nights in the life of St. Clair wrestling head coach Jake Scillian.
“It was a crazy night. I found out we won a MAC-Blue title via Facebook live and three hours later, our son was born,” Scillian said. “It was an awesome day.”
The final MAC-Blue duals were set to take place last Wednesday, but after the weather postponed most athletic events in the area, the match was rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, the same day Scillian’s pregnant wife would possibly be induced.
St. Clair was leading the league 3-0 at the time and had Marysville and Roseville left to face.
“Knowing that, I kind of put a game plan together looking at the lineups of Marysville and Roseville. I sent it off to my assistant coaches in case I wasn’t going to be there,” Scillian said. “Sure enough, Tuesday came and she was sent in to be induced.”
The Saints went into Tuesday's match with momentum after a successful weekend at the Richmond Duals, where they picked up big wins against Holly, Chippewa Valley, and Dearborn.
And that momentum was clear from the start of their dual with Roseville.
They would void at 215-lbs, putting the Panthers ahead 6-0, but from there, St. Clair picked up nine straight wins to pull ahead 45-6. The team would ultimately win 57-18 with eight pins on the night.
“I know against Roseville, the kids came out really fired up,” said Scillian, who was watching the match via livestream from the hospital room. “They reeled off several pins in a row to get started. And against Marysville, we kind of had a trick up our sleeve.”
That trick was junior Tivis Crawford at 120-lbs.
“Tivis has been in and out of our lineup this year but he’s a very good wrestler. He’s kind of under the radar, a lot of people don’t know about him,” Scillian said. “He picked up a huge win over Jacob Tunich from Marysville, who I think in the match prior earned his 100th win.
“So for Tivis to go out there and pick up a win from him, that was a big statement.”
Crawford won by a 12-8 decision to give St. Clair three points. He was one of nine Saints to win his match, helping the team to a 46-28 overall victory and securing the MAC-Blue title in undefeated fashion.
“[The title] means a lot," Scillian said. "Last year we kind of had it going for us to win it, but then we got in our own way. The kids knew that and rebounded this year. They really wanted to get that title so they worked hard for it.”
Scillian said team captains Warren Westfall (175-lbs), Nathan Tallon (132-lbs), Caden Azzinaro (175-lbs), and Jack Wiegand (138-lbs) have been key in this year’s success, both on and off the mats.
“They’re just doing a great job of making sure the team’s ready and leading by examples and setting the tone when they go out there,” he said.
Together, they’ve combined for more than 90 wins on the season. They, along with standout underclassmen like freshman Cristian Haslem (106-lbs) and sophomore Zachary Drugach (113-lbs), who each picked up a pair of wins Tuesday night, will have a boosted confidence now heading into next week’s district tournament.
“That was big for our program,” Scillian said.
This year marks Scillian's third at the helm of the St. Clair wrestling program, and Tuesday's win was the first league title of the young coach's career. And it just so happened on the same night as the birth of his first son.
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