Montabella wrestling coach nears 300 wins

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:48 am on Monday, December 26, 2011

BLANCHARD — Montabella wrestling coach Shaun Balhorn has his team sitting at 7-2 in dual meets so far this season.

If the Mustangs win their next dual meet, it will be a milestone victory for him.

“We come back to school and have a home dual on the fourth,” Balhorn said. “We wrestle (LeRoy) Pine River that night and if we win, that will be my 300th career victory as a coach.”

It’s been a good season so far for Montabella in Balhorn’s eyes.

“We’re really happy with where we stand at this point of the season,” he said. “We’re still really young and a lot of it has been our sophomores and our freshmen.”

Balhorn noted the team is on a seven-meet winning streak.

“We started out with Chip(pewa) Hills, which is always a warmup match for us,” he said. “It gives our guys some incentive to show where we need to be. We were able to put up some points on Chip Hills. We haven’t lost a dual since that night.”

That included their own invitational Dec. 18. Balhorn cited a few of his wrestlers who have stood out this season.

“Jonny Durham has been wrestling well for us. He’s our 161-170 pounder,” he said. “He was a regional qualifier last year so we knew he’d be good.

“Tristan Viglianco is our 119-pounder. He’s 11-1 as a sophomore.”

Balhorn also mentioned the efforts of Joey Durham and Jeremy Quezada. Quezada, who wrestles in the 189-pound class, is 11-2 so far this season.

So Balhorn said the Mustangs are on their way to achieving some of the goals the team has set for itself.

“I think our first goal is to win the league title,” he said. “Dansville is favored to win the league. Carson City(-Crystal) is not talked about but is pretty strong this year.

Montabella wrestles in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference because no other Mid-State Activities Conference school has wrestling.

Balhorn even believes his team could win team districts in February.

“We look at our district and we feel strongly about being district champions,” he said. “Then we host regionals. We hope to have a strong showing there, and anything can happen.”

But first and foremost, the Mustangs have to get Balhorn his 300th dual-meet win. That’s Jan. 3.

“Then we go to St. Louis and that’s an individual tournament and I found out St. Johns is sending their ‘B’ team,” Balhorn noted. “Their ‘B’ team is better than most ‘A’ teams.”

St. Johns is also the defending Division 2 state champions. That meet is Jan. 7.

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