Wrestlers clinch undefeated regular season in Lake Michigan Conference
Grayling earns league wins vs. Boyne City and Kalkaska on Wednesday night
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
With team wins vs. Boyne City and Kalkaska on Wednesday night, the Grayling High School wrestling squad ended its 2019-2020 Lake Michigan Conference slate with a 4-0 record, a big step toward its eighth consecutive league title.
On Wednesday, January 8, the Vikings opened their Lake Michigan Conference schedule with victories vs. Traverse City St. Francis (54-24) and Charlevoix (54-18) during a league meet hosted by Grayling High School.
Last week, on Wednesday, the Vikings battled league opponents from Boyne City and Kalkaska during a Lake Michigan Conference meet hosted by the Ramblers.
First, Grayling wrestled against Kalkaska.
In the first bout of the series, Cole Dickie (135) pinned his Kalkaska counterpart in the first round. Jordan Wakeley (140) won by default for Grayling.
The Vikings forfeited at 145. The Blazers won by pin at 152, tying the score at 12-12.
Max Halstead (160) won by default for Grayling. Neither squad had a wrestler at 171. At 189, Parker Dole won by default for the Vikings.
Kalkaska won by pin in the 215-pound weight class. The Blazers won a 2-1 decision in the heavyweight division.
With five weight classes remaining, Grayling led 24-21.
Joe Armstrong (103) and Kylie Berringer (112) won by default for the Vikings. Zach Duncan (119) pinned his Kalkaska opponent in the first round.
The Blazers forfeited the last two weight classes to Jesse Vandecasteele (125) and Nick Green (130).
Grayling won by a final score of 54-21.
Next, Grayling wrestled against Boyne City.
The Vikings won the first match of the series – the 140-pound weight class – with a 14-4 victory by decision from Tucker Mertes.
The Ramblers won the 145-pound division by pin in the second round.
Jeffery Kennedy (152) won by default for GHS. Halstead (160) won a 9-6 decision. Grayling forfeited at 171.
The Vikings, after five weight classes, led 13-12.
Dole (189) pinned his Boyne City counterpart in the second round. Andrew Kanary (215) won by pin in the first round vs. the Ramblers. Nick Bluemlein (heavyweight) scored a pin in the first round. Armstrong (103) and Berringer (112) won by default. Grayling forfeited at 119.
The Vikings led 43-18 with three weight classes remaining.
Duncan (125) won an 8-1 decision vs. Boyne City.
The Ramblers scored pins at 130 and 135, ending the series.
The Vikings won 46-30.
With the victory, Grayling ended its 2019-2020 league slate with a 4-0 record. Coach Andy Moore said the team just needs to finish “third or above” at the Lake Michigan Conference championship tournament at Charlevoix on Saturday, February 8.
“Eight in a row feels pretty good,” Coach Moore said.
In the series vs. Boyne City, Coach Moore said the victory by Mertes in the first bout “set the pace.” The Vikings battled back after an unexpected loss early in the series, Coach Moore said.
Coach Moore said the “tide turned at Parker,” who went up a weight class, and then Bluemlein, Kanary, and Duncan “took care of business” down the stretch.
The Vikings will wrestle at Mio on Wednesday, February 5.