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West Michigan Conference wrestling: Roundup for Dec. 28-30, 2022

West Michigan Girls Showcase in spotlight at Montague; Whitehall fares well at Grandville.

Wrestling action is a bit hit-or-miss during the holiday break, but here is a roundup of what West Michigan Conference teams are up to:


On Thursday (Dec. 29), Montague will host an all-girls wrestling tournament called the West Michigan Girls Showcase. Locally known as the “Lady Mat Cat Invitational,” the event feature 47 teams bringing 150 female wrestlers from across the state.

Among the competitors will be 17 returning all-staters with two defending state champions and one runner-up. The 135-pound weight class is one to watch, as it features six all-state wrestlers, including both of the aforementioned defending state champions. One of those defending state champions is Montague junior Emma Pendell.

The tourney begins at 10 a.m.

On Friday (Dec. 30), it’s the boys’ turn at Montague, which hosts the 16-team Eric Scott Holiday Mat Cat Classic. It honors the late Eric Scott, a former wrestling and football coach, who passed away a few years ago. That tournament begins at 9 a.m.


Photos courtesy of Whitehall wrestling

Whitehall’s wrestling team competed well against big-school powers Wednesday (Dec. 28) in the Marge and Tate Invitational at Grandville.

Division 3 Whitehall opened with a 57-23 victory over Division 2 Reeths-Puffer, then followed up a 47-18 win over Division 1 Grand Haven. The Vikings beat Division 1 ninth-ranked Grandville, 38-31, before they fell to Division 1 sixth-ranked Temperance Bedford in the final match, 46-21.

Against Bedford, Whitehall faced 10 ranked seniors.

“Of course we want to compete with teams like Bedford. They’re good, and they really wanted us after we beat them here last year,” Whitehall co-coach Collin Zeerip said. “But I thought we wrestled them a lot closer than the scoreboard showed. We gave up some pins right at the end of matches. We were 5 seconds from going into overtime at 144.” 

Added Justin Zeerip: “Our young guys didn’t go out and lay down. I thought they fought hard and didn’t seem intimidated. I think they learned a lot about themselves.”

Darnell Mack, Wyatt Jenkins, Jackson Cook and Shane Cook all went undefeated for Whitehall, while Cody Manzo and Ryne Christensen both finished 3-1 on the day.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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