BATTLE CREEK — The Belding Redskins didn’t have the recent history of playoffs success like Dundee, nor could they compare season resumes with the Vikings. What Belding did have that was comparable was the heart to compete to the best of its ability despite the extreme odds against the No. 1 team in Division 3.
While Belding didn’t win, the score wasn’t indicative of how the shorthanded Redskins team wrestled in a 51-19 loss to the Vikings on Friday afternoon at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek at the Division 3 team quarterfinals.
That fact wasn’t lost on Dundee coach Tim Roberts. He said his Vikings team will have to do better in the next rounds, but Belding out-wrestled them.
“This was not the showing that is going to do anything in the next round for us,” Roberts said. “If that is all we are going to bring to this tournament then we are going home early.
“Belding came out and out-wrestled us,” he added. “Maybe they didn’t have enough guys, but they definitely wrestled a better match than us.”
Despite the expected outcome, Belding planned the matched as normal.
“We came into this with no different opinion than any of our other matches,” Belding coach Travis Meyer said. “We looked to see where we could get some points and shave some points, and we tried to make it happen. 51-19 is still a pretty tough margin, but I don’t think anyone guessed it would be that close.”
Dundee (21-2) jumped out to a 21-0 lead with pins in its first two matches at 135 and 140 pounds. Dakota Foster lost a tough 5-0 decision in match three.
Belding got on the board with a 3-1 decision by Michael Walker. Walker defeated the No. 2 ranked wrestler in Liam Grantham. The same two wrestlers will meet next weekend at the individual finals.
Dundee came back with a win at 160, while Belding voided at 171 for a 27-3 deficit.
“I wish this was a tournament where we could get some mat time with the other teams to see where we stack up,” Meyer said. “Dundee is a clear-cut favorite, but I don’t know if they have it locked up. I think we wrestled well with them. A couple of matches we got pinned, but they were close before the pin.”
At 189, Belding’s Neil McCully (ranked 10th) defeated Teddy Warren (ranked 4th) with an 11-3 major decision. It was just the third loss of the year for Warren.
Todd Haller followed up the McCully win with a 1-0 decision over third-ranked Jay Sroufe of Dundee. Haller is ranked eighth.
Belding voided at 285 and was pinned in its next two matches, as Dundee expanded its lead 45-10.
Nathan Cooley (119) picked up a 7-2 decision and Jesse Scheidel (130) pinned his opponent in the final match.
“I wanted it bad. I went out with the mentality of winning and it came out,” Scheidel said. “It was fun. If we had a full team, I think it would have been a little bit different, but they are a good team.”
The Redskins finished with five wins out of the 14 matches, much better than the 69-0 prediction by michigangrappler.com prior to the event.
“They were excited and want to hang out and enjoy the moment,” Meyer said of his team. “I can’t believe they handled the crowd the way they did. They haven’t seen anything like this. I don’t think they realized there was a crowd once they got on the mat.”
For Belding, it will lose just three seniors this year. Meyer expects interest to increase in wrestling because of the visit to the quarterfinals.
“We are going to miss our three seniors. They aren’t easily replaceable, but an experience like this makes a lot of kids think this is cool,” Meyer said. “I think we will be able to replace three kids and we only have one junior. Replacing four kids in two years is a good situation to be in.”
Dundee will wrestle No. 4 seed Birch Run in the semifinals. Birch Run topped Chippewa Hills 28-25.
Belding finished the season 17-9.
SCORING PER MATCH
Dundee 51, Belding 19
135: Brad Scholl (D) fall Devin Bailey (B), 2:21
140: Doug Rojem (D) fall Brady Phelps (B), :57
145: Zach Motylinski (D) dec. Dakota Foster (B), 5-0
152: Michael Walker (B), dec. Liam Grantham (D), 3-1
160: Noah Newhouse (D) fall Blake Rodamer (B), 4:37
171: Todd Olson (D) won for forfeit
189: Neil McCully (B) maj. dec. Teddy Warren (D), 11-3
215: Todd Haller (B) dec. Jay Sroufe (D), 1-0
285: John Marogen (D) won by forfeit
103: Kenny Reinhart (D) fall Michael Hunter (B), 1:14
112: Zach Blevins (D) fall James Douglas (B), :51
119: Nate Cooley (B) dec. Sean Keilitz (D), 7-2
125: Brendan O’Connor (D) fall Connor Barker (B), 1:42
130: Jesse Scheidel (B) fall Logan Grantham (D), 2:40
Division 3 results
No. 1 Dundee (21-2) 51, No. 8 Belding (17-9) 19
No. 4 Birch Run (28-3) 28, No. 5 Chippewa Hills (26-5) 25
No. 3 Whitehall (26-0) 56, No. 6 Parchment (34-2) 18
No. 2 Richmond (25-4) 48, No. 7 Gladstone (12-1) 15