Greenville wins another district title


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 9:59 am on Friday, February 07, 2014

Greenville’s Jake Hopkins goes for a pin against Colton Elder of Fremont during the district semifinals on Thursday. Hopkins pinned Elder in just 49 seconds.

GREENVILLE — In February, the Greenville Yellow Jackets winning a district wrestling title is as common as the cold and snowy weather.

On Thursday at home, the Yellow Jackets put together two easy wins for their ninth consecutive Division 2 district title. The streak started in 2006 and continued this season with wins over Fremont (66-9) and Cedar Springs (56-18).

Greenville coach Paul Johnson said winning a district title never gets old.

“No it doesn’t get old and we will start getting prepared for regionals next week,” he said. “I anticipate Gaylord in the first round. We will have our hands full.”

Cedar Springs had a semifinal bye, while the Yellow Jackets met a shorthanded Packers team.

“We knew Fremont was going to be short a few matches, which they were,” Johnson said. “I never know what to think about Cedar. They didn’t have a couple of their kids that are quite good wrestlers. That might have made for a closer match. But, as always, I’m not going to complain with a victory.”

Greenville opened the semifinal match with a decision from Andrew Bowen (215) and a pin from Cole Antcliff (285) for a 10-0 lead. Fremont voided five of the next six matches, with the only match resulting in a pin by Greenville’s Will Parmelee for a 45-0 advantage.

“The first thing we talked about was not taking people lightly,” Johnson said. “It’s a great lesson to learn. You have to respect all of your opponents, first match or last match.”

Greenville senior Will Parmelee goes for a pin against Fremont’s Jesse Empie on Thursday. Parmelee got the pin in 3:24.

Alec Ward (145) won by technical fall, Jake Hopkins (152) pin, Reed Cox (160) by major decision and Teagan Boni by void to close out the match.

Cedar Springs was missing a few regular wrestlers, as well, but still nearly filled its entire lineup.

The Red Hawks opened the match with back-to-back pins for a 12-0 lead. Johnson saw an opportunity to get a couple of non-regular varsity wrestlers (Tyler Kuiper and Austin Dickinson) some time on the mat.

“There was a couple of more I would have liked to get out there,” Johnson said. “We have some other great candidates. We just weren’t able to get them on the mat.”

Dren Bartrum (112) won by void, while Stephen Hilliker (119) earned a pin in just 42 seconds to tie the match at 12.

Cedar Springs’ Baron Lenardson gave the his team a brief 15-12 lead with a decision over Alex Budge (125). Parmelee and Tate Jeffrey quickly regained the lead for Greenville with pins. Jeffrey’s pin took just 20 seconds.

After a Red Hawks decision at 140, the Yellow Jackets reeled off six straight wins by Ward (technical fall), Hopkins (pin), Cox (by forfeit), Luke Bontrager (decision), Zach Holder (pin) and Bowen (void).

“It feels good. This is the fourth time we’ve done this since I’ve been here,” Bontrager said. “It’s nice to finally be a part of it.”

Greenville will head to Mount Pleasant for regionals on Wednesday.

Escanaba will face Bay City Western, while the Yellow Jackets will face Gaylord in the regional semifinals. Greenville is ranked No. 8 by michigangrappler.com, while Gaylord is ranked No. 7 and Bay City Western No. 6.

“Regionals will be tougher than usual, but I think if we pull together and have everyone at the right spots, we will be fine,” Bontrager said.

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