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Whitehall wrestling team finishes state runner-up for second time in three years

See photos, video and details as young Vikings cap another memorable season with 32-4 record.

Whitehall’s wrestling program expects to be in Kalamazoo in late-February each season, competing in the team state finals.

Despite graduating eight wrestlers from their 2022 squad and featuring only three seniors this season, the young Vikings made it back to Wings Event Center.

For the second time in three years, Whitehall finished as the Division 3 state runner-up. The third-seeded Vikings lost to top-seeded, juggernaut Dundee Saturday in the finals match, 60-18.

Whitehall (32-4) pulled out a thrilling 40-27 semifinals victory over second-seeded Algonac earlier in the day Saturday, sparked by sophomore Blake English’s surprising pinfall of a ranked Muskrats wrestler at 144 pounds.

On Friday, Whitehall doubled up sixth-seeded Gladstone in the quarterfinals, 48-24.

Photos by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

“Ours kids in the match against Algonac, they stayed off their backs and they only gave up decisions and then a lot of our kids got pins, too, so we did a good job of getting bonus points and just wrestling hard — that’s all we ask of our guys,” Whitehall co-coach Justin Zeerip said.

“I couldn’t be prouder. Last year we lost eight seniors. We made the semifinals last year. We were a super young team this year — we’ve got three seniors on our team. I’m so proud of how hard they worked and how they all bought in and put time in in the offseason. And just their grit and determination all weekend, all year.”

In the semifinals win over Algonac, Whitehall got wins from Ryne Christensen (138), the aforementioned English (144), Darnell Mack (150), Ryan Goodrich (157), Wyatt Jenkins (165), Jackson Cook (190), Blake Morningstar (215) and Shane Cook (285).

In the finals loss against Dundee, Whitehall got victories from Jackson Cook (190), Morningstar (215) and Shane Cook (285), all by pinfall.

The season continues for five Whitehall wrestlers, who have earned berths in the individual state finals this Friday and Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit: Shane Cook, Jackson Cook, Jenkins, Goodrich and Mack.

“It’s a great group, just overall. They work so hard every day, they do everything coaches ask of them — just super proud of them from top to bottom,” Whitehall co-coach Collin Zeerip said. “Different kids stepping up throughout the year, just super proud.”

Photos by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

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