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WMC wrestling: Whitehall’s Ira Jenkins earns 150th win; 4 from Montague claim titles

Ravenna and Mason County Central also competed over the weekend.

Whitehall wrestling on Jan. 8, 2022 at Allendale High School (Tom Jenkins)

WHITEHALL

Whitehall’s wrestling team split up to compete at two invitationals over the weekend. A mix of varsity A and B wrestlers placed fourth overall at Ravenna’s Lloyd Cogswell Memorial Invitational and other Whitehall wrestlers traveled to the Allendale Invitational.

In Allendale, senior heavyweight standout Ira Jenkins marked a milestone with his 150th career win. Jenkins pinned Nathan Stafford of Reeths-Puffer High School to accomplish the feat with some emphasis.

Nick Blanchard (171), Shane Cook (215) and Ira Jenkins (285) all took home first-place medals. Wyatt Jenkins (160) and Alec Pruett (152) both finished in third.

Photos by Craig Christensen

At Ravenna, Riley Wentworth placed sixth at 145. Mason Rake finished fifth at 189. Kyren Bluhm finished second in his first competition since last year. Nolan Taranko was third at 103. Freshman Parker Mott finished third at 189. Freshman Ryan Goodrich placed third at 135. Blake Morningstar battled his way into the finals and finished runner-up.

Whitehall was paced by tournament champions Ryne Christensen (119) and Darnell Mack (171). Christensen, the number five seed, avenged a loss from earlier this season in his finals match, winning 8-6.  Mack, the number one seed, was dominant all day, collecting four pins along with a 6-4 victory in the finals.

”I’m really happy with the way the guys performed. Everyone, even the guys who didn’t place as high as they would have liked, are getting better every week,” Whitehall assistant coach Craig Christensen said. “It’s good to see these guys get some momentum going into the second half of the season.”

MONTAGUE

Montague’s “Mat Cats” finished runner-up at Ravenna’s Lloyd Cogswell Memorial Invitational on Saturday. The team was paced with four individual champions, including Chris Aebig (125), Landon Askins (130), Cale Coppess (135) and Tristan Winkleblack (145).

Michael Moore followed closely behind with a runner-up finish at the 152 -pound weight class.

Other placing Wildcats included: Jimmy Thommen (103) – fourth; Ethan Hite (112) – fourth; Andy Hernandez (160) – fourth; Logan Kahl (171) – fourth; Kevin Roll (119) – fifth; Tyler Risch (171) – sixth,

“The boys came out of break and wrestled really well after a few tough weeks of completion. They are starting to adjust and make the needed corrections to win,” Montague Coach Kris Maddox said. “Continued strong performance from Coppess, who is now 19-0 on the year. We were especially proud of Aebig, Askins and Winklebkack today. Each started the day strong and finished great with Askins and Winklebkack getting falls in the finals. Michael Moore had a great day and finished with a good finals loss.

“It was great to get almost every guy on the podium today! We have been telling the team we need to wrestle to our potential and we hadn’t done until today. I am really proud of the improvements we made today.”

Montague Girls Wrestling

The Montague girls wrestling team traveled to Grand Haven on Saturday. The team was led by Ave Pelton and Savannah Winkleblack, who were both crowned champions. Emma Pendell, Abby Dyer and Abby Thommen all finished in second place. Presley Davis took home a bronze medal to round out the day.

“It was great to get them some more mat time against other girls,” Maddox said. “Emma Pendell defeated VanderZwag of West Ottawa, who defeated her twice last week, to get into the finals. She dropped a tough finals match. We have been telling her to relax and go have fun. Let it fly. Once she opens up, she will be dangerous.

“Freshman Ava Pelton continues to be impressive. She worked her way to the finals before winning 11-10 to secure her championship. Once she puts it all together, she will be extremely tough to beat. She is now 11-4 on the year. We really love her aggression.

“The girls are starting to settle in and find thier own style.  They, too, are starting to wrestle to thier potential. Huge improvements each week.”

MASON COUNTY CENTRAL

The MCC wrestling squad traveled to Pine River to compete in the Fallen Bucks wrestling invitational on Saturday. The team finished with a 2-3 record on the day, defeating Montabella (52-12) and Central Montcalm (45-29).

“We wrestled real well today as a team and we were in almost every dual,” MCC coach Kendel Trim said. “We still just struggle with the empty weight classes. I tell the kids just to work on what we can control and work to win as many matches as we can and to wrestle every second of every match.”

Andrew Quinn (285), Hunter Sanford (112), Jacob Maidens (125) and Zane McCabe (130) all finished 5-0 on the day. Raiden Keefer (189) and Colton Kirchner (135) both won four matches and lost only one.

“Colter had a good day. He has to wrestle up a weight because of our line up so to go 4-1 for him today was a notable achievement,” Trim said.

RAVENNA

The Ravenna wrestling team hosted the Lloyd Cogswell Memorial Invitational on Saturday, where the Bulldogs finished in fifth place as a team.

Zeke Thomas (160) and Brenden Forsyth (215) both took home championship medals in the home invite. Davidthon Orr (152) and Landen Goerbig (285) both placed third. Norman Slade (119) and Juan Castillo (189) both finished fourth. Damien Stafford (145) took fifth and Jackson Peebles took sixth.

Media Specialist for CatchMark Technologies and CatchMark SportsNet.

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