BELDING — Belding’s wrestling team has a shot at winning an O-K Blue Conference title today.
A long shot, noted coach Travis Meyer, but a shot nonetheless.
“Allendale is in a pretty comfortable position,” Meyer said. “I think Sparta and us and Coopersville will have to show up and wrestle our tails off.”
That’s because going into today’s conference championship in Sparta, Allendale was 6-0 in the conference, while the Redskins, Spartans and Broncos are all 4-2. So the whoever does the best out of the three second-place teams will finish behind the Falcons.
“There’s an outside chance that a couple of us, if Allendale has a rough day where they took third and we took first, could have a conference championship,” Meyer said.
Regardless, there is more than just a team title at stake, Meyer noted.
“We’re only taking 11 guys,” he said. “In our conference all 11 guys are wrestling to place, and a handful of guys are going to wrestle for championship matches.”
With that many medals on the line, Meyer explained what Belding will have to do to end up in second place, if not first.
“In order to be successful you have to get some bonus points,” he said. “We preach in the wrestling room that championships are won on our feet. If you can get a single takedown you can win. Even if you let them up you’re still up 2-1. We’ve preached that all year long and the kids have done well on our feet.”
Meyer listed some of the wrestlers who have a chance to win their weight class.
“Todd Haller has one loss in the conference,” Meyer said. “That’s up for grabs. I think Neil McCully at 189 has a beast of a chart but it’s up for grabs between three or four guys. Michael Walker has a chance to something good. Jesse Scheidel may be a favorite but he has to wrestle well. Nate Cooley dropped down to 112 and it’s a class lighter from last season. They can win and everyone else has a legitimate shot to place.”
But what would really make Meyer happy – outside of an O-K Blue title – would be to see his guys want to win.
“Seeing our guys go out and wrestle with a bit of confidence,” he said. “We had a whole bunch of guys place third or fourth last year. Those are the guys that have a chance to wrestle in finals championship.”
Along with that, the playoffs are also on Meyer’s mind.
“Getting ourselves up well to do something in districts is good here,” he said. “Going for a district is an exciting endeavor.”
The district tournament will be next Wednesday.