Belding matmen ‘dealt with some adversity’

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:50 am on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Belding’s Neil McCully, top, tries to roll over Allendale’s Jon Nielsen during the O-K Blue Conference championships Feb. 1.

BELDING — Even though the Belding wrestling team finished with a good record, it was a trying time for the Redskins.

The team had to rearrange lineups constantly, noted coach Travis Meyer.

“Compared to last year we dealt with some adversity,” Meyer said. “We had guys in and out of the lineup because of injuries. I thought we had kids that would be able to shuffle around in the lineup. But we still had a pretty strong season. We had two seniors in our lineup. Our young guys needed a season of JV and varsity matches and were thrown in to the lineup and were highly competitive.”

The fact that Belding couldn’t field a constant lineup hurt the team, Meyer said.

“It was we were never getting a chance to wrestle with a full lineup,” he said. “We were still well over .500, but we lost a lot of single-digit margins and a lot of three-to-five-point matches. When you lose one or two kids it’s frustrating knowing you could have had that one.”

The Redskins were able to send senior Neil McCully to the state tournament in Division 3, as well as Jesse Scheidel. But there were others who made a significant contribution to the Redskins, Meyer said.

“We threw in Max Walker at 103,” he said. “He wasn’t wrestled since hew was young. He’s one of the kids that got thrown in. He needed some time to develop but thank goodness he had a great attitude and by the end of the season he got a couple of big wins. Hopefully we can get him involved in the offseason and get him ready for next year.

“We had a couple surprises in Mason Kreiger, and Josh Smith wrestled at 152 but we we so deep at heavyweights so we had no room for him there. He wrestled heavy and did great.”

Meyer is already looking forward to next season.

“It’s exciting. Every year is exciting to look at the guys coming up,” he said. “And in the last couple of seasons we lost minimal numbers. This year we’re losing Neil and that’s a whole lot of points. But we have some incoming freshmen that will contribute, maybe not as much as last year. Kids with experience, if they get some wins it will pile up the points. It depends on how the kids grow. I’m not in control of that. If they are all in one weight class it doesn’t do any good.”

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