The best high school wrestlers in the state of Michigan spent Friday and Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit competing in the MHSAA Championships. 18 grapplers from a St. Joseph County school were in the field searching for glory on the mats.
The 2022 edition also marked the first-ever separate MHSAA sanctioned girls championship bracket. The highest placers from St. Joseph County came on the girls side from Sturgis‘ Lola Barkby and Constantine‘s Bo Geibe.
The lone Trojan in the field, Barkby placed second in the 120 pound weight class. She earned victories by fall in the first two rounds, followed by an 8-6 decision semifinal win over DeWitt’s Danielle Ruiz. In the championship, Barkby was pinned at 5:56 by Milan’s Angelina Pena.
Geibe ended up taking third at 170 pounds. After a bye into the quarterfinal, Geibe won her quarterfinal via fall. She lost in the semifinal to Brighton’s Sabrina Nauss by fall, but won the consolation semi by fall. The third place match was a rematch of the quarterfinal against Loy Norrix’s Heaven Cole, which Geibe won by decision 11-6.
Five Falcon boys earned a spot in the Division 3 field with three taking sixth place; Troy Demas at 171 pounds, Eric Demas at 130, and Bennett VandenBerg at 189. Meanwhile, Greg Reed and Dathan Smith both went 0-2 Friday.
Three Rivers had five boys and two girls qualified. All seven fell in their opening round match. Jeremiah Detwiler, Talan Flowers, Jacob Reynolds, and Lloyd Ruesink each grabbed wins in their first consolation match, but all four were knocked out in their third match of the day. Javier Kelley meanwhile finished 0-2.
Both Wildcat girls; Lillian Ruesink and Maddie Jackson; won their first consolation match but were pinned in the following round.
Mendon‘s Noah Iobe finished fifth in Division 4 at 285 pounds. After dropping the quarterfinal, Iobe earned back-to-back consolation wins before dropping the consolation semi. In the fifth place match, Iobe pinned Steed Scutt of Leslie at 1:44.
White Pigeon sent Jack Davidson and Seth Miller with Miller going 1-2 and Davidson placing eighth with a 3-2 record. Davidson lost by fall at 3:39 in the seventh place match to Union City’s Colton Russell. For Miller, he lost the opening match, grabbed a win in the first round of the consolation bracket, but fell in the second round.
Thai Pratel was the lone Centreville representative, competing at 140 pounds in Division 4. Pratel won his opening match by 8-6 decision but dropped the quarterfinal 17-8 to Ryder Holmes of Pine Riner. Pratel would get pinned in the second round of consolation to end his trip.