GREENVILLE — It wasn’t the anticipated wrestling district final everyone was expecting, but for the Greenville Yellow Jackets it was a familiar outcome.
The Yellow Jackets (ranked No. 5 in Division 2) won its seventh straight Division 2 district title with a convincing 67-3 victory over the Cedar Springs Red Hawks on Wednesday night.
Greenville had been preparing for the No. 9 ranked Sparta Spartans. It looked like the Spartans had defeated the Red Hawks in the semifinal 48-19, but that was not the case.
Unfortunately, the Spartans used a wrestler at the wrong weight and had to forfeit the match. The mistake was caught and the final score was ruled a 1-0 victory for Cedar Springs.
Wrestlers are allowed a two-pound growth grace above their listed weight class. That means a wrestler can weigh in at 127 pounds and wrestle at 125. Sparta used a wrestler that weighed 128 pounds and he would have had to wrestle at least 130 to be within MHSAA guidelines.
Cedar Springs had to regroup to wrestle again, but still was no match for the Yellow Jackets.
“I had no idea what was in Cedar Springs’ lineup,” Greenville coach Paul Johnson said. “I knew a couple of kids and that was about it. I think they are are a pretty young team and most of their kids wrestled really hard.”
The change in opponent didn’t effect the Yellow Jackets, but they too had been expecting a tough match with Sparta.
“I let them know what happened and it wasn’t what they were preparing for as well,” Johnson said. “I told them to make sure everything is the same and go out and wrestler their best.”
When the finals got underway, Devon Lehman (140 pounds) started the match off for the Jackets with a pin in 59 seconds and they never looked back.
In all, Greenville had six pins, two decisions, two major decisions, won twice by voids and one technical fall.
“We let one slip at 145. We were up 5-0 and ended up losing,” Johnson said. “I thought Tate Jeffery looked really good at 119. I was really pleased with his effort. Alec Ward wrestled really well and usually does.
“Mike Schmidt did just what we thought he would do and I was pleased with Nate Baker’s major decision,” he added.
Kaleb Bell (171), Jordan Thomas (189), Carter Magirl (215), Tate Jeffery (119) and Kyle Reamer (135) all earned pins.
“It feels real good to win. The team wrestled good,” Bell said. “I wrestled well, but I was ready to wrestle Rodgers (James, Sparta). I will see him at districts.”
Thomas, who injured his knee two weeks ago, earned a pin in 1:05.
“I felt really good. My knee feels 100 percent,” Thomas said. “I haven’t worked out in two weeks so my conditioning was a little issue. So I have to get back in shape, to where I was. It was my last home match ever and it felt good to be here.”
In a battle of state ranked opponents Luke Gilmore defeated the Red Hawks’ Austin Wamser with an 11-6 decision at 160. Reed Cox (152) also won by a 9-6 decision.
Michael Schmidt earned a technical fall while Nate Baker and Alec Ward each had major decisions. Luke Laidlaw and Will Parmelee won by void.
The win advances Greenville to regionals at Bay City Western on Wednesday and gives them a chance to reach Battle Creek for a third straight season.
Greenville will face Gaylord in the regional semifinals on Wednesday. Gaylord defeated Petosky 51-22 in the Ogemaw Heights district finals.
Mount Pleasant will face the Sault Ste. Marie district winner in the other semifinal.
140: Devon Lehman (G) pinned Sean Thompson (CS), :59
145: Matt Patin (CS) dec. Keaton Johnson (G), 8-5
152: Reed Cox (G) dec. Josh Champion (CS), 9-6
160: Luke Gilmore (G) dec. Austin Wamser (CS), 11-6
171: Kaleb Bell (G) pinned Allen Slagter (CS), 1:50
189: Jordan Thomas (G) pinned Dominick Chong (CS), 1:05
215: Carter Magirl (G) pinned Teddy Edwards (CS), 1:22
285: Luke Laidlaw (G) won by void
103: Michael Schmidt (G) tech. fall Baron Lenardson (CS), 17-2
112: Nate Baker (G) major dec. Robbie Peckham (CS), 14-2
119: Tate Jeffery (G) pinned Brett Bouwens (CS), 1:08
125: Alec Ward (G) major dec. Cody Oehme (CS), 12-4
130: Will Parmelee (G) won by void
135: Kyle Reamer (G) pinned Nate Doerr (CS), 1:20