Greenville wrestlers dominate invitational


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:36 am on Monday, December 12, 2011

Greenville’s Jake Hopkins, top, tries to turn over Byron Center’s Lynn Cannon during their 152-pound match at the Greenville Invitational Saturday. Hopkins won the match. — Daily News/Chip Burch

GREENVILLE — Greenville’s “A” wrestling team came back from a pair of losses to ranked Division 1 teams with a sweep of its own wrestling invitational Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets beat all five opponents in the meet, finishing with a slightly controversial 36-35 win over Byron Center.

“I felt that it was a pretty-balanced group coming in,” Greenville coach Paul Johnson said. “Certainly the top six teams were what we thought they’d be and all the kids that wrestled did a nice job.”

In pool play the Jackets beat Spring Lake, Jenison and Wyoming Rogers to take the top spot. In the fourth round, which was cross-pool play with the second-place team in one pool facing the first-place team in the other pool, Greenville knocked off Coopersville to get to the final.

Byron Center, meanwhile, beat the Broncos, Caledonia and Greenville’s “B” team to take first, then downed Jenison in the fourth round.

“They do a nice job coaching at Byron Center,” Johnson said.

The meet between the Bulldogs and Jackets was controversial in the 130-pound match. Greenville won that match 1-0 but Byron Center’s coaches felt like they were given the shaft by the referee when he ruled their wrestler was out of bounds before a takedown, which would have scored two points and swung the match in the Bulldogs’ favor.

“They were upset at the moment and that’s understandable,” Johnson said. “And you know what? I understand what they’re saying. I’ve had calls against our team that way and that’s just kind of the way it goes.”

Eventually the meet came down to the final match, and the Jackets got a major decision to win by one point.

“I don’t know if we would have won if we tied or not,” Johnson said. “I looked at the tie-breaker. I think we had the same number of pins, the same number of decisions, the same number of major decisions or tech(nical) falls. So we would have had to look at the most takedowns or unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Greenville’s Kyle Reamer, top, works on Jenison’s Stevie Elzinga during the third round of the Greenville Invitational Saturday. Reamer won the match. — Daily News/Chip Burch

Greenville had four undefeated wrestlers and five with one loss. The undefeated wrestlers were Devin Lehman (145 pounds), Austin Davis (152), Caleb Bell (171) and Jordan Thomas (189).

Those who went 4-1 were Nate Baker (103), Mike Schmidt (112), Will Parmelee (125), Kyle Reamer (135) and Luke Gilmore (160).

The Jackets’ “B” team struggled all meet long and didn’t get any wins. However Jake Hopkins (145) and Luke Laidlaw (215) were 4-1 on the meet.

Greenville will next go to Holland next weekend for a team invitational there.

“We’re in a pool with Hartland, who we lost to already, Tecumseh, who we lost in the state semifinals last year, Allegan, who was at team state last year, and Holland,” Johnson said. “It’s very competitive.”

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