Belding, Tri County win wrestling district titles

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 9:54 am on Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Belding Redskins defeated Portland 52-30 to win a Division 3 team wrestling district title on Wednesday night at Vermontville Maple Valley.

It was a pretty successful night on Wednesday for area wrestling teams.

In addition to Central Montcalm (see story above), the Belding Redskins and Tri County Vikings took home district championships.

The Redskins — at Vermontville Maple Valley — defeated the host school easily in the semifinal match 67-12. Belding won the district title with a 52-30 win over Portland in the finals.

“We had a couple issues on the side and ended up wrestling with a limited lineup on a pretty big night,” Belding coach Travis Meyer said. “But when guys go out on the mat and take care of business like they did tonight, you’re able to overcome it.”

Michael Hunter (103 pounds), Nate Cooley (112), Connor Barker (119), Jesse Scheidel (125), Devin Bailey (130), Brady Phelps (140), Dakota Foster (145), Michael Walker (152), Neil McCully (189) and Todd Haller (215) all went undefeated.

“It was a lot of fun to see our guys having so much fun on and off the mat. It’s exciting when you can combine fun and success to that level,” Meyer said.

Tri County had an easy time in the semifinal match, but had to work to top Grant in the district finals.

The Vikings opened with a 61-12 win over Lakeview (district winners last year) and then defeated Lakes 8 Conference rival Grant 41-37.

“We wrestled really well tonight. We knew everything would have to go perfectly to beat Grant, and in the end, we did enough to win,” Tri County coach Corey Renner said. “We lost a few that we thought we would win, but had a couple surprises too.”

Renner said Ricky Kilts started the championship dual off with a huge win.

“Ricky Kilts had a big win to start the dual off. Jayson Van Dyken had a pin to finish the dual as we were behind going into the last match,” Renner said. “Along the way, we had a huge win from Cody Smits and got a pin out of Justyn Veneklasen in a match that we were just hoping for a narrow win.”

Belding will face Chesaning in the regional semifinals at Lakewood on Wednesday. Tri County will face Allendale (rated No. 8 in Division 3) at Comstock Park on Wednesday in the regional semifinals.

Saturday, Belding is at Lakewood and Tri County is at Allendale for individual districts.

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