Redmen rally past Esky in district
ESCANABA — Prior to Wednesday’s Division 2 team district tournament, there was a feeling the Marquette and Escanaba wrestlers would meet in the championship round and it would be close.
That proved true as Marquette rallied past Esky 39-37 for its second straight title.
The Redmen now host next Wednesday’s team regional and face pre-meet favorite Gaylord in the opener.
Senior Cooper Holferty secured the decision by pinning sophomore Spencer Brunelle three minutes, 10 seconds into the 189-pound bout, enabling Marquette to take back-to-back district titles for the first time in school history.
“My nerves were very much on edge, knowing it all boiled down to that match,” said Holferty. “I was also excited about going out there. It was pure happiness when the match was over. That was a great moment. This was also an exciting meet. They (Esky) have a lot of good kids this year. We knew it’d be close and it came down to the last one.”
The Eskymos reached the title round by eliminating Sault Ste. Marie 57-9.
Esky led 37-27 after senior Scout Wunder (160) pinned Marquette senior Liam Groves in 1:47.
The Redmen, however, climbed within four points when senior Darren Holman (171) pinned Esky senior Tyler Cook at 2:34.
“To earn back-to-back titles for the first time in school history is pretty remarkable,” said Marquette coach Tony Gentz. “Among Escanaba, Gladstone and us, we’ve all battled for tournament titles. We knew it’d be close tonight.”
The Redmen climbed within 31-27 when senior Jacob Johnson won on default over junior Kyle Gendron, who went over the blood time limit. Johnson was up 15-2 going into the final 10 seconds when the match was stopped.
“Jake already had a major decision in hand,” said Gentz. “To get six points (instead of four) on blood time was huge. Tonight, we had swing matches go both ways.”
Esky appeared to have the momentum when sophomore Dayton Miron (145) upset senior Harley Huddle 8-5 for a 31-21 cushion.
Marquette, however, seemed to gain some momentum of its own from the turn of events at 152.
“Kyle wrestled his tail off,” said Esky coach Jeff Wright. “They just couldn’t stop the bleeding, which is unfortunate. With them winning the coin flip, we didn’t get the match-ups we wanted. Although, Dayton came through for us at 145. He’s the type of kid who will go through a brick wall for you. He just keeps going.”
The Redmen won the first two weight classes by forfeit.
Then at 103, freshman Collin Arnt pinned reigning U.P. champ Joe Lagrou at 3:50 to bring the Eskymos within 12-6.
In the next bout, classmate Brodey Bevins (112) won by technical fall (15-0) over sophomore Payton Holmstrom, slicing Esky’s deficit to 12-11.
Esky freshman Tyler Lawson (125) won both of his matches, taking a 4-2 decision from two-time U.P. champion and Sault junior Tyler Currie, then pinning Marquette freshman Trent Martin in 1:19.
“Tyler lost to Currie two weeks before,” said Wright. “That’s huge. I think he’s going to do well in the individual tournament. Courage Krueger wrestled one of the best matches I’ve seen him wrestle. He wasn’t going to be stopped and Collin probably wrestled the match of his life. It still hurts to lose in the team district, but having the individual district ahead of us takes away little bit of the sting.”
Krueger won by technical fall (17-2) over Marquette senior Richard Weycker and pinned Sault junior David Cole in 3:31 at 135 pounds.
Sault came with just six available wrestlers.
“We didn’t really have a chance to win,” said Sault assistant coach Clint Schumann. “But we got some time on the mat, which is important, and the kids had fun with it. With the individual districts coming up, anytime you see a different wrestler it prepares you that much better.”
All three teams resume in Saturday’s individual district at Gaylord.
Marquette 39, Escanaba 37
215 — Albright, M, forfeit
285 — Sneller, M, forfeit
103 — Arnt, E, pinned Lagrou, 3:50
112 — Bevins, E, tech fall (15-0) over Holmstrom, 4:05
119 — Fure, M, dec. Mathieson, 7-2
125 — Lawson, E, pinned Martin, 1:19
130 — Moore, M, pinned Krenek, 3:35
135 — Krueger, E, tech fall (17-2) over Weycker, 4:23
140 — Larson, E, pinned Swenor, 3:12
145 — Miron, E, dec. Huddle, 8-5
152 — Johnson, M, over Gendron, default
160 — Wunder, E, pinned Groves, 1:47
171 — Holman, M, pinned Cook, 2:34
189 — Holferty, M, pinned Brunelle, 3:10
Escanaba 57, Sault Ste. Marie 9
189 — Brunelle, E, forfeit
103 — Arnt, E, forfeit
112 — Chouinard, E, forfeit
119 — Heyrman, S, dec. Mathieson, 5-2
125 — Lawson, E, dec. Currie, 4-2
130 — Krenek, E, forfeit
135 — Krueger, E, pinned D. Cole, 3:31
140 — Weaver, E, pinned King, 1:07
145 — Welch, E, pinned J. Cole, :51
152 — Gendron, E, forfeit
160 — Wunder, E, forfeit
171 — Cryderman, S, pinned Pendergraft, 2:50