Columbia Central High School junior Mercaydeez Scott watches her teammates during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 individual district tournament on Saturday at Michigan Center High School. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Mercedes Benz has been known as the highest standard in the automotive world for numerous years.
Columbia Central High School wrestler Mercaydeez Scott will be known as the new wrestling standard for the Golden Eagles.
Scott won the first Michigan High School Athletic Association state sanctioned wrestling title with a win at the Michigan High School girls’ wrestling finals at the Merillat Sports and Fitness Center on Feb 3.
The event was conducted by the Michigan Wrestling Association with sponsorship from the MHSAA.
Scott won the title at 123 pounds pins in her first few matches and nearly a major decision in the final. Scott defeated Kennedi Gocha of Linden 11-4 in the 123-pound final.
It is the first state wrestling championship in CCHS’s long history in the sport. The Golden Eagles have experienced wrestlers who finished second in their respective weight classes and a team that was second in the state, but no state champions.
“I thought winning a state title was cool,” Scott said Saturday at the MHSAA state individual district tournament at Michigan Center High School. “Wrestling is something that our family does.
“I got into it because of Jakob and Sophie Stahl.”
She competed in the CCHS Division 3 team district last week but did not wrestling in the individual tournament.
The junior plays on a traveling volleyball team and has a tournament this weekend. If she would have qualified for the regional individual event, Scott said she would have had to pull out of the wrestling tournament.
Guernsey said Scott is pretty good – giving the No. 3 seed in the 119-weight class (at the district tournament) a run for his money at the team district tournament.
“She lost 13-11, but had him on his back from nearly 90 seconds,” Guernsey said.
Scott said she is not sure which path she will take – volleyball or wrestling. She would need to get on the Team Michigan wrestling team for additional exposure in the sport.
“I am so used to wrestling guys, it was tough at the all-girls’ tournament,” Scott said. “Girls are more flexible, while guys are stronger.
“Some moves used on guys won’t work on girls.”
There were numerous local wrestlers in the tournament who medaled including Elena Alvarado of Jackson (eighth at 105 pounds); Natalie Lutz of Northwest (seventh at 119); Jayla Oberst of Jackson (seventh at 130); Brooklyn Slate of East Jackson (seventh at 140); and Natalie Tobey of Jackson (eighth at 140).
All girls competing on wrestling teams sponsored by Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools and included on their alpha master rosters were eligible to participate. More than 160 wrestlers participated in the girls’ state final and represented approximately 100 teams from around the state. The MHSAA served as a presenting sponsor for the event, providing financial support, messaging and signage. Adrian College and the Adrian College wrestling program assisted in sponsorship.
CCHS Coach Ron Guernsey said he can see a day where both boys and girls state tournaments are held right next to one another.
“The sport of girls wrestling is growing in college sports,” Guernsey said. “The MHSAA is gathering data on the event and I expect to see an MHSAA girls’ wrestling final in the near future.”
Nationally, girls wrestling participation has nearly doubled since 2014 with more than 16,565 athletes competing during the 2017-18 season, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. MHSAA member high schools reported 250 girls reported participating in wrestling last season, according to the Michigan Wrestling Association.