Heading into the final of Wednesday night’s Division 3 team wrestling district finals matchup against Comstock, Schoolcraft coach Rob Ling, whose squad defeated the Colts 60-15, knew his team had some difficult matchups in the early matches.
“We knew the 135 and 140 matches were going to be tough, going up against a couple of their studs (Connor Nolan at 135, Jesse VanAvery at 140).”
With a 10-3 lead heading into 135, Schoolcraft’s Jett Gott squared up with Comstock’s Nolan. In the last minute of the third period, Gott was able to score a big takedown and capture the win for the Eagles, 6-3.
“We’ve been preaching all season that ‘You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your level of preparation. We know we are prepared to go three full periods and it is okay if we win by points” said Ling.
That win for Schoolcraft seemed to set the tone for the next couple matches, including Brandon Myers’ bout with the Colts’ Dino Sivley at 145.
Midway through the second period, Myers was able to score a huge reversal on what looked to be a solid scoring opportunity for Sivley and turned it into a pin a 3:17.
“Those guys (Gott and Myers) are freshmen wrestling in big matches,” praised Ling, “They are getting better every week, especially now that they have 30-40 matches under their belts.”
Despite losses at 160 and 171, Schoolcraft was able to score two quick pins at 189 (1:01) and 215 (:29) to break the match open, and following two Comstock voids at 285 and 103, saw their lead jump from 30-15 to 54-15.
Closing out the match at 112, another of the Eagles’ freshmen, Hunter Martens, was able to grab a quick pin to close out the Schoolcraft victory, 60-15, for the District title.
“We wrestled pretty good as a team,” said Ling, “we’ve been stressing that all season, ‘wrestle to score team points and not give up bonus points.”
Schoolcraft advances to the team regional where they will face Lake Odessa Lakewood.
The Eagles had a bye in the first round, but Comstock had to go through Parchment to open the night. It ended as a 59-24 victory for Comstock, which won four weight classes by forfeit and six more by pin.
Photos by Brett Beier
(At Kalamazoo Central)
Hosting a Division 1 district round, the Kalamazoo Central wrestling team certainly played its role in generating some drama.
The Giants claimed the district crown Wednesday night, after beating Portage Central and Portage Northern – both on criteria.
Kalamazoo Central won its semifinal matchup against the Mustangs, after a 40-40 tie was decided by pins. The Giants held that advantage, 7-5. Then, in the finals, Kalamazoo Central was given the nod after a 33-33 tie was decided by wins. This time, the Giants held an 8-6 advantage.
When asked if he’d seen anything like that before, Kalamazoo Central coach Mike Schrum kept it simple.
“Not in my 15/16 years of wrestling,” Schrum said. “That was pretty unbelievable.”
Earning wins in the championship match for Kalamazoo Central were Cameron Williams (103 pounds),Nick Vallies (119), Jeriean Steward (125), Jeffrey DeYoung (130), Austin Post (135), Sam Henley (140), Craig King (189) and Jacob Seager (285).
Two-time winners for the Giants were Vallies, Steward, DeYoung, Henley, King and Seager. All six wrestlers earned pins in the semifinal match with Portage Central, which proved crucial.
For Portage Northern, winners in the final round were Keegan Russell (145), William Prowse (152), Alex Cox (160), Tyonne Caper (171), Jimmy Calhoun (215) and Dominique Maestas (112). The Mustangs reached the finals with a 60-16 semifinal win over Loy Norrix, where Maestas, Russell, Prowse, Cox and Calhoun all earned wins, making them all 2-0 on the night.
Portage Central had seven winners during its semifinal match with Kalamazoo Central. Leading the way was Dominick Wilson, who pinned Lamontre Coker in 1:12, wrestling at 215 pounds. Also earning wins for the Mustangs were Drew Fuller (112), Garrett Stace (135), Evan Werner (145), Logan Stuckhardt (152), Gavin McNamara (160) and Bryce Hoff (171).
Loy Norrix finishes its season at 8-18. The Knights will partake in individual districts in Jackson on Saturday. Winning semifinal matches for Loy Norrix were Chase Thomas (119 pounds), Ismael Enriquez (135) and Roy Britney (160).
Click here for complete Kalamazoo Central vs. Portage Central results
The Sturgis wrestling team faced off with the host Cardinals in the finals and lost 58-9. Koehl Meek earned a pin over Carter Hoard at 140 pounds, and Angel Gomez bead Cody Miller by decision.
Coldwater defeated Marshall 53-24 in the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Dowagiac bested Brandywine 68-12 and Constantine topped Buchanan 43-18. No information on the Falcons’ semifinal win was reported.
Dowagiac went on to claim a district title with a 43-21 victory over the Falcons. The Chieftains raced out to a 24-3 lead with a win by forfeit at 103 pounds, a pin at 119, a pair of decisions at 125 and 130, and a pin at 135.
Constantine’s Devyn Begley edged Dylan Elmore 2-0 at 112, and Roy Solis had a quick pin in the opening minute over Xander Keller at 140. Jack Jones (145) and Boe Eckman (189), logged decisions for Constantine, and Mathew Hutton pinned Derrek Collett in the final match of the night at 285.