BELDING — The Belding Redskins used a full lineup to open the season with a pair of wins against Ionia and Carson City-Crystal.
The Redskins — who in the past gave up points with voids — had all 12 spots filled in a 54-24 win over Ionia and a close 40-36 win over the Eagles.
“We haven’t been 2-0 since I’ve been here,” Belding coach Travis Meyer said. “It was exciting. We have a full lineup out there, which is fun just to write down. We won a lot of matches the past few years, but didn’t come out on top because of the missing weights.”
Carson City-Crystal (1-1) opened its night with a 54-18 win over Wyoming Godfrey-Lee.
“I thought we wrestled pretty good for our first time out,” Eagles coach Kacy Datema said. “There is some rust we have to knock off from the off season. Overall, we wrestled well.”
Belding started the night quick with a pin by Brady Quick in 3:51 to open a 6-0 lead. The Eagles responded with pins by Darren and Dillon Decker to jump up 12-6.
“They (Eagles) have got a lot of really good kids,” Meyer said. “We picked up a match quick with a pin. We got behind, but going into the end it was good to know we had it locked up with a couple of matches left.”
Cody Douglas pulled Belding within one point at 12-11 with an 18-3 technical fall. The Redskins regained the lead for good when Neil McCully used a 13-4 major decision for a 15-12 advantage.
“It was good to see some of our young guys. It was good to see them wrestle on the mat finally,” Meyer said. “Some of them stepped up big for us. It was pretty exciting.
”We’ve only covered the basics so I wanted to see what they had beyond that,” Meyer said. “It was good to see a couple of kids running wings and throwing some legs in on their own.”
Belding senior Zack Johnston got the chance to wrestle against his former school. Johnston, now a senior, wrestled his freshman year at Carson City-Crystal. He earned a pin in just 2:43 for a 24-12 lead.
“It was different, but kind of fun,” Zack Johnston said. “It’s interesting wrestling people you used to wrestle with. I wrestle with their coaches. I did well tonight, but need to work more on the bottom.”
The Eagles earned two pins sandwiched around a Belding pin. Travis Willet (215 pound) and Kenneth Dittenber (103) pinned their opponents in just 43 and 36 seconds. Todd Haller had the pin in between for Belding as the Redskins led 30-24.
“For the most part the kids did what we asked them to do,” Datema said. “We knew we were going to have a tough match.”
Belding sealed the match with a major decision at 112 by Michael Albert and a pin by Jesse Scheidel at 119 for a 40-24 lead.
The Eagles finished the night with pins at 125 (Garner Cusack) and at 130.
“We lost by four points, but I can see four points in there,” Datema said looking at the scoresheet. “We will see them again Saturday.”
Both teams will take part in the eight-team Tri County Invitational on Saturday. The matches begin at 10 a.m.