FREMONT — Every year a new team is supposed to challenge Greenville for a district wrestling title. Every year, the result is the same, at least it has been for the past eight years.
The result, another Division 2 district title.
The Yellow Jackets defeated O-K Bronze rival Cedar Springs 66-11 in the district semifinal and then defeated Big Rapids 49-17 in the district final for their eighth consecutive district championship.
For Greenville, winning the district title is just the first step in returning to Battle Creek for the team state finals.
“What I like about it is it’s the start of the postseason,” Greenville coach Paul Johnson said. “The kids don’t celebrate overly about winning the district title these days. They know it’s the first step in getting back to the state finals and that is their goal.”
The Yellow Jackets were expecting a tougher match against the Cardinals than what ended up being the final outcome.
“When we wrestled Big Rapids, they had a mix-up with some wrestlers,” Johnson said. “They didn’t wrestle at 103, and that was a concern and ended up being a 12-point swing. Their 119-pounder didn’t make weight and he is a really good wrestler. It made a difference.
“But you still have to show up and wrestle the match and I thought we wrestled well,” he added.
And Greenville wrestled.
The Yellow Jackets wasted no time in opening up a 29-0 point lead after five matches. Jordan Dassinger (215), Carter Magirl (285) and Mike Schmidt (119) all posted pins, while Luke Fuhrman (103) won by void and Nate Baker (112) won by technical fall.
Big Rapids got on the board with back-to-back decisions to make the score 29-6.
Alec Ward (135) earned a technical fall and Kyle Reamer (140) a pin as Greenville extended its lead to 40-6. With just five matches remaining at that point, the match was out of reach for a Big Rapids comeback.
“It feels good. We were kind of worried about this team (Big Rapids),” Greenville junior Alec Ward said. “It turned out we beat them pretty good. We won all the key match-ups, except Will’s (Parmelee) match, which was pretty tough and Jake’s (Hopkins).
“Everyone wrestled perfect. It went exactly how we wanted it, too,” he added.
Two more decisions by Big Rapids made the score 40-12.
Ward said the team was initially worried about the Cardinals because of so many returning state qualifiers.
“They had a lot of returning qualifiers, even more than we did,” Ward said. “Our kids kept all their (Big Rapids) wins to minor decisions and kept the score the way it was.”
“You know what was nice, we didn’t get pinned,” Johnson said. “That’s always a big deal. We had a tech fall, but that against an all-state kid from last year. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I’m really pleased with tonight.”
Reed Cox (160) earned a decision and Dakota Sherrick (189) won by void. In between, Kyle Carter of Big Rapids won by technical fall of Teagan Weadley.
“We jumped out to a 29 point lead. When you get out there you don’t have to look back,” Johnson said. “For their kids it feels like I’m the next one to be beat and for us it feels like I’m the next one to win.”
The Yellow Jackets — ranked seventh in Division 2 by michigangrappler.com — will head to Mount Pleasant on Wednesday for regionals. They will face Escanaba in the semifinals, which won its district with a 53-30 win over Sault Ste. Marie.
Gaylord will face the winner of the Bay City Western district in the other semifinal. The Bay City Western district was rescheduled for Monday due to the weather.
Greenville will be looking for its fourth straight regional title and a return trip to Battle Creek.
“We are very confident. Bay City Western will be tough, but after how we wrestled tonight, if we do that again it will be the same score,” Ward said.
Big Rapids defeated Fremont in the semifinals 58-6.
Greenville improved to 26-4 overall.
Greenville 66, Cedar Springs 11
189: Sherrick (G), pinned Mcgahan (CS), 2:36
215: Magirl (G), pinned Rice (CS), :46
285: Dassinger (G), maj. dec. Edwards (CS), 12-3
103: Fuhrman (G), won by void
112: Baker (G), dec. Lenardson (CS), 13-6
119: Schmidt (G), tech. fall Peckham (CS), 19-4
125: Parmelee (G), won by void
130: Ward (G), def. Oehme (CS), injury def.
135: Callahan (G), pinned Empie (CS), 1:15
140: Reamer (G), won by void
145: Vodry (CS), pinned Burger (G), 1:54
152: Hopkins (G), pinned Champion (CS), 1:16
160: Bontrager (G), pinned Patterson (CS), :24
171: Wamser (CS), tech. fall Salak (G), 16-0
Greenville 49, Big Rapids 17
215: Dassinger (G), pinned Raglin (BR), 1:29
285: Magirl (G), pinned McIntyre (BR), 3:11
103: Fuhrman (G), won by void
112: Baker (G), tech. fall. N. Worden (BR), 17-1
119: Schmidt (G), pinned Bloomfield (BR), 1:52
125: Muhammed (BR), dec. Parmelee (G), 13-7
130: Weckesser (BR), dec. Jeffrey (G), 10-5
135: Ward (G), tech. fall Butler (BR), 16-1
140: Reamer (G), pinned Griffen (BR), 2:38
145: Miller (BR), dec. Hopkins (G), 10-7
152: Buck (BR), dec. Koogler (G), 6-2
160: Cox (G), dec. J. Worden (BR), 6-1
171: Carter (BR), tech. fall Weadley (G), 19-2
189: Sherrick (G), won by void