Wrestling team from Grayling High School clinches eighth consecutive Lake Michigan Conference title
Grayling High School’s varsity wrestling squad clinched its eighth consecutive Lake Michigan Conference title on Saturday with a first place overall finish in the league’s championship tournament held in Charlevoix. The Vikings won five individual Lake Michigan Conference championships during the event.
Zach Duncan placed 1st in the 112-pound division, posting a 3-0 record during Saturday’s Lake Michigan Conference championship tournament. He won all three bouts by pin.
Tucker Mertes finished 1st in the 135-pound weight class. He pinned opponents from Boyne City and Kalkaska.
Max Halstead posted a 3-0 record on Saturday in the 152-pound division. He pinned all three of his opponents.
Parker Dole won by pin vs. Charlevoix and Boyne City to place 1st in the 171-pound weight class.
Joe Armstrong (103) won his weight class by default. None of the other squads had a wrestler at 103.
Nick Bluemlein (heavyweight) and Nick Green (119) finished as all-conference honorable mentions. Bluemlein posted a 2-1 record on Saturday, pinning opponents from Charlevoix and Boyne City. He lost to Kalkaska. Green pinned one of his teammates, lost to Boyne City, and won vs. Kalkaska.
Kylie Berringer, Jesse Vandecasteele, Cole Dickie, and Jordan Wakeley also won matches for the Vikings during Saturday’s Lake Michigan Conference championship tournament.
“Overall great day for the team,” Coach Andy Moore said. “Definite highlight today was Max winning his fourth conference title. Not too many wrestlers have done that at our school or even in the conference. Max is 15-0 on the season.”
“It was nice to see Tucker Mertes get another conference championship. He won his first one as a freshman and missed last year’s tournament due to injury. Tucker is currently 19-5 on the season,” Coach Moore said. “Zach Duncan finally gets a championship after finishing runner-up the last two years. He has been battling injuries this year and now that he is finally healthy Zach should be a force in the postseason. Zach is 28-4 on the season.”
“Parker Dole wrestled well today and his hard work at practice is really paying off. I expect him to make a long postseason run. Parker is 36-8 on the season,” Coach Moore said. “Joe Armstrong is one of the wrestlers we count on every time on the mat for a win. Problem is he isn’t getting very many matches lately because a lot of schools in northern Michigan are lacking a 103 wrestler. Joe is 24-4 on the season and will make a long run in the postseason.”
Grayling posted a 4-0 record in Lake Michigan Conference meets during the 2019-2020 regular season, defeating Charlevoix (54-18), Traverse City St. Francis (54-24), Boyne City (46-30), and Kalkaska (54-21). The Lake Michigan Conference title is determined by both regular season record and placements at the championship tournament.
Grayling High School will host the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s District 166-3 team tournament at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12. The tournament will feature three schools: Boyne City, Cheboygan, and Grayling. According to the MHSAA, Boyne City drew a bye in the semifinal round. Grayling will battle Cheboygan in the semifinals, and the winning team will wrestle against Boyne City in the finals for the District 166-3 title.
The Vikings will host the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s District 17-3 individual wrestling tournament at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 15. Participating schools, according to the MHSAA, will include Benzie Central, Boyne City, Cheboygan, Gladstone, Grayling, Kalkaska, Kingsford, Kingsley, Lake City, Ludington, Manistee, Menominee, Negaunee, and Reed City.