Four wrestlers qualify for regionals by finishing in top four at districts
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Andrew received his 100th career win during the blood round. It was awesome for him to get his 100th career win at home. Andrew wrestled well Saturday and has a great chance to qualify for the state finals.” – Andy Moore, Grayling High School Varsity Wrestling Coach
Four wrestlers from Grayling High School placed in the top four at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Individual District 17-3 tournament on Saturday to earn spots at the upcoming individual regionals. The district tournament – hosted by Grayling High School – featured wrestlers from 16 different schools.
Andrew Hopkins (112), Max Halstead (125), Logan Joseph (160), and Reece Ferrigan (189) were Grayling’s four regional qualifiers.
Hopkins (112) pinned a Gladstone opponent in his first match of individual districts; it was his 99th career victory. He then lost to a Big Rapids opponent (the eventual 112-pound division champion). Hopkins pinned a Kalkaska opponent to earn his 100th career win and clinch a spot at regionals. In the battle for third and fourth place, Hopkins lost an 11-2 decision vs. Reed City and finished fourth.
“Andrew received his 100th career win during the blood round. It was awesome for him to get his 100th career win at home. Andrew wrestled well Saturday and has a great chance to qualify for the state finals,” Coach Andy Moore said.
Halstead (125) started his day at districts with a win by pin vs. Manistee. He lost a 3-2 decision vs. Iron Mountain in his second bout. Halstead scored a pin vs. a different Manistee opponent to clinch a place in regionals. In the third/fourth place bout, Halstead won a 6-5 decision vs. Chippewa Hills to place third in his weight class.
“Max lost a tough semifinal match but battled back for third place. His third place match was one of his best matches he has wrestled this year,” Coach Moore said.
Joseph (160) won by decision, 11-1, vs. Benzie Central. He lost vs. Boyne City. Joseph won an 11-0 decision vs. Gladstone to earn a spot at regionals. In the battle for third and fourth place, Joseph lost a 2-1 decision vs. Manistee to place fourth.
“Logan wrestled good Saturday. He lost a tough 2-1 match in the finals. Logan will have a good chance to qualify for the state finals,” Coach Moore said.
Ferrigan (189) pinned a Charlevoix opponent in his first bout of districts. He scored a pin vs. Benzie Central and then lost vs. Chippewa Hills. Ferrigan won by pin vs. Kalkaska to earn a spot in the regional tournament. In his final match of the day, Ferrigan won by pin vs. Reed City to place third in his weight class.
“Reece Ferrigan went 4-1 on the day, losing a close match in the semifinals to a ranked wrestler from Chip Hills. Reece will no doubt have a great chance to qualify for the state finals,” Coach Moore said.
Four other Vikings won matches at individual districts but did not place high enough to advance to regionals.
Tyler Withers (215) won his first match, defeating a Benzie Central opponent in a 10-3 decision. He lost his next match, then won an 8-6 decision vs. Charlevoix. He lost to a Gladstone opponent to finish outside of the top four.
Zach Kelly (heavyweight) won vs. Menominee 5-2 in his first bout of districts. He then lost vs. Mason County Central’s heavyweight. Kelly lost his third match, finishing outside the top four.
Cole Hibbard (130) won a 10-2 decision vs. Big Rapids. Hibbard lost a 7-0 decision vs. Chippewa Hills, ending his season.
Gabe Ervin (140) pinned a Menominee opponent before losing by tech fall, 16-0, vs. Gladstone. Ervin lost vs. Negaunee and did not finish inside the top four.
“We had 13 wrestlers competing Saturday. We were looking to get six or seven to qualify for the regional. A few of the kids got sick at the wrong time and were not at their peak performance Saturday. One of them was Zach Kelly. Zach had a great chance to qualify for state. Zach wrestled great all season so it was disappointing that he didn’t make it to the regional,” Coach Moore said.
“Tyler Withers and Cole Hibbard lost in the blood round Saturday, ending their season. Both of them got us so many team points this season. They will play a big role on the team next season,” Coach Moore said.
The Region 9-3 tournament is slated for Saturday, Feb. 18, at Charlevoix High School. The MHSAA’s Individual State Finals will be held at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 2-4.