Redmen’s Caster leads 13 area wrestlers to The Palace
MARQUETTE – Thirteen Superiorland high school wrestlers will be among the 896 scheduled to participate at the MHSAA Individual Finals to be held at The Palace of Auburn Hills from March 3-5.
The baker’s dozen, coming from Marquette, Ishpeming, Gwinn, Westwood, Munising, Newberry and Manistique high schools, qualified for the trip to the northern Detroit suburbs by finishing in the top four in their weight class at regional tournaments held around the state on Saturday.
All but one, Marquette junior Beau Caster, were competing at the Division 4 regional held in Rogers City.
Caster won the 152-pound division at the Division 2 regional held in Imlay City, winning all three of his matches.
While the Redmen have had state finalists before, Caster is believed to be the first MSHS wrestler to win a regional title, according to his coach, Tony Gentz.
Caster opened with a pin of Trevor Sholtz of Armada at 2:49, then decisioned Bryce Davis of Linden 8-3 and Honour Kline of Goodrich 14-1 in the finals.
While no area wrestler won a regional title in Rogers City, five were runners-up, including two from Manistique. Each won their first two matches before losing for the first time Saturday in the championship match.
Emeralds senior Landon Burton at 215 pounds pinned Chris Bivins of Mio-Au Sable at 4:59 before edging Bryan McCurry of LeRoy Pine River 2-1. He was pinned by Dylan McGregor of Mio at 1:15 in the final.
Junior teammate Tanner Gonzalez at 160 pinned Ryder Christensen of Manton in 4:20 and defeated Joe Rigling of Pine River 2-1 before losing to Garrett McQuiston of Farwell 3-0 in the finals.
Senior Ryan Johnson of Gwinn was runner-up at 285, beating Kenney Stacey in Charlevoix in an injury default and pinning senior Trent Deans of Westwood at 3:04 before falling to Charlie Prescott of Whittemore-Prescott at 3:56 in his finale.
From Munising, senior Hunter Sadler pinned Ethan Wetzel of Lake City at 3:04 and nipped Michael Hinkle of Charlevoix 3-2 in overtime before losing out to Josh Jackson of Pine River on an injury default.
And from Newberry, sophomore Cameron Symonds pinned Daniel Simaz of Traverse City St. Francis at 43 seconds and decisioned Austin Sandel of Farwell 13-4 before falling to Camden Alden of Charlevoix at 5:19.
Three more wrestlers finished third at Rogers City.
Junior Daren Giuchin of Ishpeming has a rather unique distinction after his third-place finish. He has now made it to the Upper Peninsula or state finals in four sports within the last year – U.P. track and field, U.P. cross country, Division 7 state football and now Division 4 wrestling.
Giuchin, wrestling at 140, opened with a pin of Cody Fuller of Mancelona at 3:55, later defeating Noah Burroughs of Mancelona 8-2 before beating junior Louis Berry of Manistique by injury default in the third-place match.
Two from Westwood took similar routes.
Senior Shawn McIntyre at 152 opened with a loss before beating Morgan VanLanen of Bark River-Harris 16-1, junior Andrew Miles of Munising 10-2 and for third place, Troy Klein of Onaway 9-7 in overtime. Klein had beaten McIntyre 12-3 in the opening round.
Patriots freshman Nathan Brewer at 103 pinned Hunter Tyrrell of Houghton Lake at 40 seconds, then later pinned Colton Juillett of Whittemore-Prescott at 4:37 before shutting out Cameron Demory of Mio 7-0 for third.
Four more area wrestlers came in fourth to advance. They were Deans of Westwood at 285, sophomore Nick Miles of Munising at 119, senior Hunter Collins of Newberry at 215 and Berry of Manistique at 140.
A number of other wrestlers also won one match before bowing out at the regionals, including junior Michael Pizziola of Negaunee at 185 in the Division 3 regional at Remus Chippewa Hills.
Those in Division 4 doing the same were junior Kevin Roberts of Gwinn at 189, junior Cedric Nora of Westwood at 125, junior Wyatt Makosky of Westwood at 130, junior Andrew Miles of Munising at 152, sophomore Nathan Magnusson of Newberry at 112, senior Michael McNeill of Newberry at 130, junior Adam Hildebrant of Newberry at 171 and senior Travis DuFour of Manistique at 135.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is email@example.com.