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WMC wrestling: Whitehall boys, Montague girls make statements over weekend

Hart second at Benzie; Mason County Central senior earns 100th career win.

On Thursday, representatives of Whitehall’s wrestling team were featured guests on the VanDyk Mortgage Power Hour at North Grove Brewers. (Watch the replay below.)

On Saturday, the Vikings showed just how powerful they can be. They defeated four opponents, three of them ranked in Divisions 1 or 2, en route to making a statement in winning the Rockford Invitational.

Elsewhere, Montague’s girls wrestlers represented well with several placers at the Northview invite.

Also, Hart finished second as a team in the Benzie Super Duals, while a Mason County Central senior reached the 100-win plateau.

Here is a roundup of weekend action for West Michigan Conference wrestling teams:

WHITEHALL

Division 2 fifth-ranked Whitehall made a statement Saturday in the Rockford Invitational by beating three opponents ranked in Divisions 1 or 2 and dominating a fourth foe.

The Vikings opened with a 33-22 victory over Middleville Thornapple Kellogg, which is No. 7 in Division 2. They followed with a 66-3 win over Forest Hills Northern, then took down D-2 No. 4 Stevensville Lakeshore in convincing fashion in the semifinals, 41-25.

In the finals, Whitehall posted a 37-25 victory over Division 1 seventh-ranked Rockford, which took care of D-1 No. 4 Holt in the other semifinal (42-26).

“This was a huge day for us,” said Whitehall co-coach Justin Zeerip, whose squad remains unbeaten on the season. “We answered a lot of questions about who we are and what we’re about as a team. I’m really proud with how hard all of the kids competed and got behind each other.”

Whitehall’s Ira Jenkins put on a clinic en route to a 4-0 record on the day with four pins, three at 285 and one at 215. Shane Cook went 4-0 with three pins, with three of the victories at 215 and one at 285. Max Brown (145) also was 4-0 on the day, while Nick Blanchard (171) went 3-0.

Dylan Osborn (112), Aiden Weiler (140), Wyatt Jenkins (160) and Bradyn VanPatten (189) all went 3-1 for the Vikings.

Meanwhile, Whitehall sent a group of wrestlers to a tournament at Lakeview. Riley Wentworth and Blake Morningstar both placed third, while Brayden Bond was fifth and Avery Jura sixth.

MONTAGUE

In Montague wrestling coach Kris Maddox’s words, “Anytime all of our girls place at a tournament is a good day.”

Saturday was a good day for the Lady Mat Cats.

All six girls for Montague placed in the top four, led by championship efforts from Savannah Winkleblack and Emma Pendel. Abby Thommen placed second, while Ava Pelton was third. Presley Davis and Abby Dyer both finished fourth.

“Emma started the day off beating last year’s returning state champ, (Taylor) Randolph from Clinton, 5-0. She then proceeded to beat another state-ranked girl from West Catholic en route to the championship,” Maddox said. “Savannah continues to wrestle really well. She dominated her way to a championship.

“I’m very excited to see us using things from practice and applying them in competition. These girls are recognized across the state as a very competitive group. They are starting to peak and perform at the right time of the year.”

Montague girls wrestlers pose with their medals after each of them placed in the top four of the Northview Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Photo by Gabe Dyer)

HART

Hart’s wrestling team finished second Saturday in the Benzie Super Duels. The Pirates opened with a 44-21 loss to seventh-ranked Kingsley, then they strung together four straight victories: 66-12 over Benzie Central, 42-35 over Gladstone, 72-5 over Gladwin and 72-10 over Kalkaska.

Undefeated wrestlers on the day for Hart included Jose Chavira, Mason Cant, Leo Guadarrama and Jon Ponce. Going 4-1 for the Pirates were Bryce Jorissen, JoseLuis Andaverde, Guillermo Ortega and Zane Thomas.

MASON COUNTY CENTRAL

Carter Hirschfeld reached the 100-win milestone in his Mason County Central career Saturday as the Spartans placed fourth in the Carson City-Crystal tournament.

The Spartans beat Carson City-Crystal (57-24) and Leslie (60-12), and they lost to Comstock Park (49-24), Pine River (39-36) and Laingsburg (48-35). Hirschfeld, Mason County Central’s 140-pound senior, went 5-0 on the day.

“Carter wrestled real tough today,” MCC coach Kendel Trim said. “He has solidified himself back in our lineup and it makes a big difference. That one extra wrestler pulls us into so many more dual meets. And then it really helps when it is a wrestler the caliber of Carter.”

Senior Andrew Quinn (285) also went 5-0 to improve to 32-0 on the season, while MCC teammates Nyvaeh Wendt (103) and Hunter Sanford (112) also were 5-0. Zane McCabe (125) and Colter Kirchner (135) both went 4-1.

RAVENNA

Ravenna finished ninth out of 12 teams Saturday at the Sparta Invitational.

Place-winners for the Bulldogs included Zeke Thompson (160) in second, Juan Castillo (189) third, Norman Slade (119) fourth, and Brenden Forsythe (215) and Landen Goerbig (285) both fifth.

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

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ronald Gaffner

    January 17, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Great coverage on Wrestling’s local teams. CatchMark is doing a great job. Congrats to all the teams and their coaches. Keep up the good work.

    • Scott DeCamp

      January 19, 2022 at 9:04 am

      Thank you much, Ron!

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