Wrestling team defeats Lake Michigan Conference opponents from Charlevoix and Traverse City St. Francis
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The wrestling team from Grayling High School competed in its first two Lake Michigan Conference meets of the 2019-2020 season on Wednesday, and the Vikings won both of them, defeating Charlevoix and Traverse City St. Francis to start its league slate at 2-0.
Grayling – the home squad for the three-team Lake Michigan Conference competition – wrestled against the Charlevoix Rayders to start the event.
At 112 – the first bout of the series – Grayling earned six points with a first round pin by Zach Duncan. At 119, Jesse Vandecasteele won by default for the Vikings. Grayling led 12-0.
The Rayders won by pin in the 125-pound weight class. At 130, Nick Green pinned his Charlevoix opponent in the first round. Tucker Mertes (135) won by pin in the second round and Jordan Wakeley (140) pinned his Charlevoix counterpart in the third round.
Grayling, after six of 14 weight classes, led 30-6.
The Rayders won by pin in the 145-pound division. Neither squad had a wrestler at 152. Grayling forfeited at 160.
The Vikings, with five weight classes remaining, led 30-18.
Parker Dole (171) pinned his Charlevoix counterpart in the first round. Both teams forfeited at 189. At 215, Drew Kanary won by default for the Vikings. In the heavyweight division, Nick Bluemlein pinned his Charlevoix opponent in the first round. In the last weight class of the series (103), Joe Armstrong won by default for Grayling.
The Vikings won by a final score of 54-18.
Grayling ended its night of wrestling with a 54-24 victory vs. the Gladiators of Traverse City St. Francis.
St. Francis won by pin at 125. Cole Dickie (130) won by default for the Vikings, tying the score at 6-6.
Mertes (135) pinned his Traverse City St. Francis opponent in the first round. Grayling forfeited at 140. The score was 12-12 after four of 14 weight classes.
Wakeley (140) won by pin in the first round vs. the Gladiators. Traverse City St. Francis won by pin at 152, tying the score at 18-18. The Vikings did not have a wrestler for the 160-pound division. The Gladiators led 24-18 with seven weight classes remaining.
Dole (171) won by default. Neither squad had a competitor at 189. In the 215-pound division, Kanary won by pin in the first round. Bluemlein (heavyweight) also won by pin in round one vs. Traverse City St. Francis. Armstrong pinned his St. Francis opponent in the first round.
The Gladiators forfeited the last two weight classes to Duncan (112) and Vandecasteele (119).
“Two big wins for us for sure,” Coach Andy Moore said. “Tucker Mertes has really stepped up for us this year. He’s taken on a leadership role with this team. Blue is wrestling good. That’s how you impose your will. Andrew Kanary, good to see him get a win. Good to see the hard work he puts in at practice come through on the mat.”
The Vikings will compete in the Ithaca Invitational on Saturday, January 18.