Wrestling team wins 9th consecutive league title
Thu, 03/11/2021 - 11:36am caleb
Vikings edge Boyne City in a tiebreaker scenario during Wednesday’s home meet to clinch another Lake Michigan Conference championship
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity wrestling team clinched its ninth consecutive Lake Michigan Conference championship during a four-team league meet hosted by the Vikings on Wednesday night, edging the Boyne City Ramblers in a tiebreaker scenario to claim the trophy.
Grayling started its night with a match against Kalkaska. The Vikings defeated the Blazers 66-10 during a series that featured only three contested bouts.
Brodie Gross (189), Yeng Xiong (215), Logan Malonen (heavyweight), Caleb Baker (103), Katelyn Moore (130), Jesse Vandecasteele (135), Hunter Strohaver (140), Shelby Thomas (145), and James Potter (160) all won by default for the Vikings.
At 119, Joe Armstrong pinned his Kalkaska counterpart in the first round. Jake Huspen (171) won by pin in the first round vs. the Blazers.
Next, the Vikings wrestled against the Gladiators of Traverse City St. Francis. The series featured four contested matches and the Gladiators won all of them via pin. Xiong (215), Malonen (heavyweight), Drew Moore (112), Armstrong (119), Kylie Berringer (125), K. Moore (135), Strohaver (140), Thomas (145), Tucker Mertes (152), and Gross (189) all won by default for Grayling.
GHS won the series by a final score of 60-24.
The Vikings ended the night with a series vs. the Boyne City Ramblers, with the winner clinching the Lake Michigan Conference title.
In the first bout – the heavyweight division – Boyne City won by pin in the third round.
Baker (103) and D. Moore (112) won by default for Grayling. At 119, the Ramblers won by decision, 21-9. Berringer (125) won by default. After forfeiting at 130, Grayling led 18-16.
Boyne City scored a first round pin at 135. Thomas (140), Strohaver (145), and Cole Dickie (152) won by forfeit for the Vikings. Grayling led 36-22.
At 160, Mertes won a 13-5 decision, earning four team points. The victory put Grayling ahead by 18, 40-22, with three weight classes remaining.
Boyne City won by pin in the third round at 171. The Ramblers scored first round pins in the final two bouts – 189 and 215 – to tie the score at 40-40. After a series of tiebreakers, Grayling won by having the least amount of voids during the series, Coach Andy Moore said.
With the win, Grayling clinched the 2020-2021 Lake Michigan Conference title, extending its streak of championships in the league to nine straight. The Vikings posted an undefeated record during league duals this year. (Normally, there would be a conference tournament to also factor into the championship, but the event will not be held this year due to factors related to COVID-19.)
“Nine in a row feels pretty good,” Coach Moore said. “The kids worked hard. We were probably a little lucky to win this one.”
“Tucker Mertes got the win for us, getting those points to get the four points for us,” Coach Moore said.
The Vikings may wrestle against Boyne City again during team districts. Grayling is in District 166-3 in Division 3 of the Michigan High School Athletic Association team wrestling playoffs along with Cheboygan – the host school for the district tournament – and Boyne City. The District 166-3 tournament – slated to start at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17 – will start with the Cheboygan vs. Boyne City semifinal series. The winner will battle Grayling for the district title.
“We’ve definitely got to make some adjustments and come out with more fire. We’ve got to have a good week of practice. They’re going to make adjustments; we know that,” Coach Moore said.