BELDING — What was supposed to be an eight-team invitational turned into a regular quadrangular. Regardless, the Belding Redskins put forth a dominating performance by winning all three matches at home on Saturday.
Earlier this week, two schools canceled coming to the Redskins Invitational and another was a no-show Saturday morning, leaving the invitational with just four teams.
“It was a little frustrating coming into the tournament expecting an entirely different situation,” Belding coach Travis Meyer said. “I feel bad for the teams that did show up. There wasn’t much we could do about it with a couple of teams dropping last minute and one not showing up today.”
Belding (13-4) defeated Wyoming Lee 66-0, Grand Rapids Christian 64-6 and Grant 49-30.
“I think the coaches and kids did a really good job staying focused on just getting mat time making use of the weigh-in,” Meyer said.
Nine Redskins’ wrestlers went undefeated on the day, including Todd Haller, Neil McCully, Michael Walker, Blake Rodarmer, Jesse Scheidel, Nate Cooley, Michael Hunter, Devin Bailey and Brady Phelps.
Four wrestlers finished with just one loss, including James Douglas, Aleks Silva, Sean Paauwe and Dakota Foster.
Belding senior Todd Haller improved his record to 19-3 on the season.
“I wrestled pretty good, actually,” Haller said. “I was working on my shots and I think everything improved. I’m not usually one for shooting, but I have been working on it and I think I can go a long ways with it.”
Haller wrestles at 215, but bumped up to 285 in his exhibition match against Lee’s Ricardo Perez, which he won with a late takedown 6-3.
“I just wanted to bump up and wrestle heavyweight because he is good,” Haller said. “I didn’t want to lose on my home mat. I knew I could do it, I was just being lazy with my shots. I had to do it.”
Belding was able to extract some revenge with its victory over Grant. Grant did well against Belding at Chippewa Hills prior to Christmas break.
“We wrestled well with Grant. Our guys made it a personal goal to make sure we got that match today,” Meyer said. “A few of the individual results were significantly different from what happened at Chip Hills.”
Following the three team duals, the wrestlers took a short break. The day finished with some exhibition matches that allowed for better match-ups than the duals did.
“The matches we did get were quality matches,” Meyer said. “We got a lot of young guys on the mat. The guys that needed good matches, we were able to do that during this exhibition time. It was worth it.”
Belding will travel to Greenville on Wednesday. It’s been a while since the two schools faced each other.
“This is the first time since I’ve been coaching we are facing their varsity,” Meyer said. “When I started coaching, they were winning state championships and we had seven kids. I haven’t been to a Belding-Greenville dual since I was in high school 10 years ago.”
Cedar Springs will also wrestle on Wednesday.