The individual postseason began Saturday as area wrestlers set out for a chance to reach the Michigan High School Athletic Association state championship at Ford Field. Competing at various district tournaments, several grapplers from Cass, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo Counties won championships and even more grabbed spots in the top four of their respective weight classes to move on to next week’s regional tournaments.
For complete results, go to trackwrestling.com.
Kalamazoo Central’s Jeffrey DeYoung moved on with a fourth-place finish at 130 and teammate Sam Henley was runner-up at 140. Fellow Maroon Giant Leonardo Gallasso took third at 160. Adding another second-place performance for Kalamazoo Central was Joshua Boggan, who was beat 3-0 by Brighton’s Greyson Stevens in the 189-pound championship.
Portage Northern’s Mitchell Derhammer lost by pin (3:20) to Holt’s Ryan Granger in the finals to secure second place.
Logan Stuckhardt, of Portage Central, placed fourth at 145. Also earning a spot in the regional tournament for the Mustangs was Bryce Hoff, who reached the championship bout and was pinned in 2:42 by Brighton’s River Shettler.
The Eddies’ Jackson Hoover registered a second-place performance at 135, losing a 3-1 decision to Javond Ball (Niles) in the finals, as did Jacob Reece at 140 after a loss by pin (0:42) to Niles’ Kade Wagley. The string of second places for Edwardsburg continued with Michael Tatay (145) and Caden Reece (160). Dillon Hursh kept his season alive with a third-place finish at 189 and Drew Bidwell moved on at 215 in fourth place.
Gull Lake’s Dakota Oman, a junior, finished off a district title at 145 pounds with a pin (1:38) over Edwardsburg’s Tatay. Oman had a first-round bye and pinned Edwardsburg’s Jeremy Walker in the first round of the quarterfinals. In the semis, Oman pinned Marshall’s Wink McDonald in 4:39 to improve to 38-10 for the year.
Gull Lake duo Payton Mcdurmon and Patricio Ortiz both punched their regional tickets at 119 pounds. Mcdurmon was runner-up after forfeiting the championship match and Ortiz placed fourth.
Dowagiac’s Dylan Elmore stood atop the podium at 119 pounds following a forfeit by Otsego’s Josh Sunnerville in the finals. Elmore, who is now 43-3 for the season, defeated Parchment’s Dylan McLean in the quarterfinals and earned a 7-5 decision over South Haven’s Ray Woodall in the semis.
Also claiming a district title for the local contingent was Constantine’s Isaac Hall, who had to go through a teammate to do it. Hall, a sophomore, had a first-round pin, a major decision in the quarterfinals and a 7-6 win over Delton-Kellogg’s Nick Lawson in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Falcons junior Dakota Anthony pinned his way through the first two rounds before registering a 13-12 decision against Comstock’s Cameron Gilley in the semis. In the championship, Hall pieced together a 16-5 major decision.
Boe Eckman joined the Constantine championship crew at 215. Eckman cruised in the quarterfinals with a first-period pin and then recorded an 8-2 win over Fennville’s Eric Hernandez in the semis. Eckman eked out a 6-5 win against Delton-Kellogg’s Max Swift in the finals to improve to 32-2 for the season.
Three Rivers senior Mike Draper collected three pins to win a title at 189, which included a fall in 2:50 over Delton-Kellogg’s Hunter Belew in the finals. In the same weight class, Dowagiac’s Mike Schlup advanced with a third-place finish.
Comstock’s Aaron Alvarado won a district crown at 130 with a pin in the quarterfinals, an 8-4 decision over Paw Paw’s Jason Rocz in the semifinals and a pin (3:57) versus Otsego’s Peyton Bohl. Alvarado, a sophomore, improved to 34-3. In the same weight class, Constantine’s Gage Ensign ended the day fourth overall to advance.
Brandt Lafferty, of Three Rivers, grabbed the last regional qualifying spot at 119 after a 14-4 major decision loss to South Haven’s Woodall in the third-place bout.
Constantine’s Eric Demas was runner-up at 135. Demas lost an 11-0 major decision to Paw Paw’s Jackson Kannianen in the championship. Teammate Carter Bates finished fourth at 152.
Dowagiac’s Nick Turnbow also advanced at 152 in second place. Allegan’s Tristan Mohrland won by fall against Turnbow in the finals (2:36). Fellow Chieftain Wyatt Bailey pulled off a runner-up effort at heavyweight, falling in 5:10 in the championship to Coloma’s Cole Alsup. Teammate Jordan Simpson registered a third-place finish at 103, as did Tyler Huston at 112.
Brandon Bavin (Comstock) fell (1:30) to Jake Case in the 160-pound finals and Parchment’s Vinny Yado was third at 152. Brandon York (Three Rivers) was fourth overall at 160.
Photos by Aaron Olson
On the hunt for a third state title, Mendon junior Skyler Crespo (43-1) laid down an 11-2 major decision against Athens’ Rayden Roggow in the 140-pound championship. Top-ranked Crespo pinned Bronson’s Jared Shotzman in 43 seconds in the quarterfinals and tacked on another 43-second pin in the semis, this time over Addison’s Noah Springer.
Also grabbing a title for the Hornets was junior and Eric Vergauwen, who edged classmate and teammate Wyatt Diekman in the 145-pound finals, 3-1. Vergauwen collected a 13-1 major decision victory versus Athens’ Jonah Case and went on to beat Bronson’s Craig Tappenden in the semifinals, 6-2. Diekman also majored in the quarterfinals, beating Hudson’s Kameron Betzer 11-1. He then edged Hudson’s Dylan Smith 2-0 in the semis.
No. 1-ranked Emmett Bingaman piled on more hardware for the team with a 215-pound title. The junior (41-1) beat Reading’s Elijah Strine 7-3 in the championship. Bingaman pinned Addison’s Aidan Frost in 51 seconds and Bronson’s Carson Rose in 40 ticks.
Runner-up performances for Mendon included Chris Rios (130) and Kody Drewer (135). Rios lost a 4-2 decision to Addison’s Brendan Ford in the championship. Drewer was pinned in the first period of the finals by Jordan Hamdan (Hudson), who is now 38-0 and searching for a fourth-consecutive state championship.
Bodhi Miller (119) and Logan Hunter (125) each placed fourth for Mendon.
“I was very proud of the way all of our guys competed,” Mendon coach Caleb Stephenson said. “Especially our group of seniors. Although we had an incredible day, advancing eight to the regional in the toughest district in the state (36 ranked wrestlers), it was a little bittersweet as we saw Lincoln Crotser and Zach Duchene’s individual careers come to a close. They both competed extremely hard and should be extremely proud of themselves. I fully expect another great performance on Wednesday as they look to help us win a regional title at home.”
Colon senior Brenden Shelton reached the 189-pound finals and fell (3:47) to Hudson’s Kyle Mol. Magi teammate Caiden Carver kept his season alive at 152 pounds with a fourth-place finish. So did Ryan Bower, who was third overall at 112 pounds.
White Pigeon senior Dakota Conley came away from Saturday’s tournament unscathed, climbing to the top spot at 140 pounds. Conley (31-8) earned an 8-2 decision against Watervliet’s Coby Henslee in the finals. His only other match of the day was a 10-0 major over Galesburg-Augusta’s Rusty Noyes.
Chiefs teammate Kyle Black (senior) was also crowned district champ at 145 after a championship bout pin (2:00) against Lawrence’s Chris Schuman. Black pinned Centreville’s Aiden Kane (1:06) and Lawton’s Seth Miller (1:28) to get to the finals.
Schoolcraft senior Mark Fox (38-8) was the 152-pound champion. Fox pinned Lawton’s Andrew O’Donnell in 1:00 in the finals on top of two other pins earlier in the day.
River Fox was not to be outdone by his cousin and the senior registered a pin (4:58) over White Pigeon’s Kobie Debruine in the 285 finals. Teammate Lane DeLoof piled on another title at 103. The freshman pinned White Pigeon’s Yzack Hagen in 2:00 in the championship. The last district for the Eagles came from junior Caden Sukich, who pulled off a 3-0 win over Watervliet’s Trever Pelton in the last match.
Runners-up for Schoolcraft included Hunter Martens (119) and Brady Gillespie (135). The Eagles’ Brandon Newland (160) and Gary Cramer (125) were third overall.
Cassopolis senior Dylan Green (34-3) had to beat teammate Gage Collins, 6-3, in the 171 finals for a district crown. William Westphal took fourth at 119 and Galen Stahl was third at 152. Green earned two quick pins in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, and Collins also boasted a pair of falls to reach the championship.
White Pigeon’s Evan Atherton (senior) heads into the regional tournament with a 38-3 record following a second-place finish at 130 pounds. Atherton lost a 5-4 decision to Brandywine’s Hunter Heath in the championship. Teammate Lincoln Strawser, a junior, took third place in the same weight class. The Chiefs’ Jack Davidson moved on with a fourth-place effort at 152. Dominic Solis was runner up at 215 after a loss by pin (5:39) to Watervliet’s Matt Melcher in the finals. Preston Delarye moved on to regionals with a third-place finish at 103 for the Chiefs, as did Austin Raymond at 112.
For Centreville, Braylen Wyckoff logged a third-place finish at 140, beating Galesburg-Augusta’s Rusty Noyes 9-6 in the third-place match. Bulldog teammate Cooper DeLeo was runner-up at 189 after losing a 6-3 decision in the finals to Watervliet’s Don Smith. Centreville’s Johnny Gregory also stayed alive with a third-place finish at 215.
Also for Galesburg-Augusta, Cole Nyitray was third at 171, beating White Pigeon’s Collin Mayville by forfeit in the third-place bout. Rams teammate Auddie Terry also advanced with a fourth-place finish at 112.
Johnny Noel, of Marcellus, finished third overall at 189.
The Martin/Climax-Scotts co-op produced a solid group of regional qualifiers, including district champion Jordan Tutt, who finished atop the 152-pound podium. Tutt pinned Carson City-Crystal’s Caleb Collins in 1:58 to win the championship. He improved to 42-3 for the year.
Also finishing with a title was Michael Minne at 215 pounds. Minne ended the day with a 5-4 win over Carson City-Crystal’s Brian Yeakey to improve to 36-4. In the same weight class, Noah Gray was third.
Cooper Simmons settled for second place following a loss by pin (0:33) at 189 pounds, as did Ethan Huff at heavyweight. Huff was pinned in 3:42 by Ravenna’s Alex Straub in the finals.
Sophomore Carson Young was third at 140, beating Kent City’s Jake Anderson 9-2 in the third-place match. Jacob Robinson (160), Luke Mobley (171) and Eli Dykstra (112) each placed fourth.