HESPERIA — For the first time since 1974, Hesperia’s wrestling team didn’t win a conference championship. Instead the Panthers finished second to Chippewa Hills at the Central State Activities Association meet Saturday.
Lakeview finished third, Reed City was fourth and Central Montcalm was fifth. The Wildcats had two conference champions at the meet.
Andrew Hall won the 135-pound class, taking home his fourth conference championship. He is now 45-1.
“It’s nice to close out his regular season with a fourth conference title,” Lakeview coach David Blaser said. “It’s nice to be able to rely on him to go out and get a pin.”
The other was his cousin, Jordan Betham. He won the 152-pound division to go to 45-2.
“They (Betham and Hall) are helping me build this program,” Blaser said.
Kody Burgess was second in the 171-pound class, Joe Main was second at 189 pounds and Gus Ward was third in the 251-pound class.
“I was very happy,” Blaser said. “You want to win every meet, but you have to take a realistic approach. Hesperia and Chippewa Hills are good programs.”
The Green Hornets got a champion from Jesse Judge. He was the one who beat Burgess in the 171-pound class.
“Judge went out there and tore everyone up,” Central coach Dan VanderVlucht said. “He didn’t do anything wrong. I think the total time he spent on the mat was five minutes in five matches.”
Cody Veltkamp was second in the 103-pound division.
“Veltkamp was 4-0 going into the final match,” VanderVlucht said. He wrestled (the wrestler who beat him in the final) in the third round and beat the snot out of him (then).”
Dakota James was the only other wrestler to place for the Hornets, getting a third in the 152-pound division.
“The way I saw it, everybody wrestled outstanding,” VanderVlucht said. “We were right in every match.”