Braves grapplers back on top

Bruce shines as Gladstone wins Ray Mariucci Invitational

Burt Angeli | Iron Mountain Daily News Gladstone’s Adam Bruce (right) accepts the Ray Mariucci Invitational’s most outstanding wrestler award Saturday from Kingsford athletic director Al Unger.

KINGSFORD — Adam Bruce kept the Ray Mariucci Invitational’s most outstanding wrestler award in the Gladstone family Saturday.

Bruce, who chalked up three pins to win the 135-pound title, huddled up his teammates after receiving the individual award. He then proceeded to turn over the trophy to a stunned Garrett Matzke.

“We had a really big accomplishment,” said Bruce, who wasn’t talking about his award or the Braves’ sixth Ray Mariucci Invitational title in the past seven years. “Garrett won his first match in two years. For us he was our MVP. We’re proud of him.”

Matzke posted a second-period pin in the 140-pound consolation bracket for his rare win.

As for the other part of Bruce’s pep talk, the senior told his teammates “to keep their heads up.”

“We wrestled tough today,” said Bruce, Gladstone’s first most outstanding wrestler since Joe Mileski in 2008. “To win this tournament after last year, it was huge for us to get the win today. It’ll be big for us going into U.P. Finals.”

Marquette edged Gladstone 210.5-203 for the 2018 title. Gladstone topped Westwood 181.5-175 for this year’s title. Iron Mountain, 137.5, placed third followed by Marquette, 128.5, and Kingsford, 117, in the 11-team title.

“As a team, we lost a lot of guys (from last year) which is hard on us,” Bruce said. “We’re a family. We’re going to come together and cheer each other on.

“I was just telling them I’m proud of them. We have a lot to work on this week in practice.”

Gladstone had three other individual champions in Lane Matzke (103), Cole Hansen (152) and Cole Dawson (215).

“Kingsford hosted an awesome tournament, they always do,” Bruce said. “I’ve been coming here for four years. Every time I’m here it runs well.”

Bruce, unbeaten on the season, notched his second 135-pound title in the Ray Mariucci Invitational. He’s also won at 130 twice.

Although Bruce is a three-time MHSAA state wrestling qualifier, he will be running next year at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The UP Division 1 cross country champion has accepted a full academic scholarship.

“It was a tough choice, but I decided on running in college,” Bruce said of competing in cross country and track. “What it does is keep me in really good shape when I’m out there on the mat. I have really good lungs from all that running and it really helps me transition into wrestling season.

“When I’m out on the mat I never feel tired. I just feel excited for my matches. That’s the best part about it.”

Other place finishers for Gladstone were Michael Brazeau (112) and Nick Dawson (125) in second. Hunter Solis (119) and Devon Eickhoff (160) third and Garrett Matzke (140) fourth.

“It was really a great all-around effort by our team,” said Gladstone coach Dan Seronko. “It came right down to the last match. We had a five-point lead and knew we had to win at 215 pounds because we knew Sam Gilles (of Westwood) was going to win the 285 final. I’m so proud of this team. We had a lot of ups and downs, but every week the guys are getting better.”

Avry Corrigan (103) and Tyler Racicot (145) were runners-up for BR-H, which finished eighth with 52 points.

The Broncos host Munising and Menominee Tuesday and Gladstone hosts Ishpeming Wednesday.

Gladstone 181.5, Westwood 175, Iron Mountain 137.5, Marquette 128.5, Kingsford 117, Ishpeming 63, Negaunee 60.5, Bark River-Harris 52, Florence/Niagara 51, Munising 44, Gwinn 16.5

103 — L. Matzke, Glad, pinned Corrigan, BR-H, 1:05

112 — Derocha, W, dec. Brazeau, Glad, 9-6 (OT)

119 — Lagrou, Mqt, pinned Wilson, I, 1:30

125 — Mascarette, F-N, dec. N. Dawson, Glad, 8-1

130 — Moore, Mqt, pinned Dawson, IM, 4:49

135 — Bruce, Glad, pinned Tre Sabotta, Gw, 1:20

140 — Roberts, IM, pinned Lindholm, W, 3:24

145 — Carrion, IM, pinned Racicot, BR-H, 2:28

152 — Hansen, G, pinned Holdwick, M, :21

160 — Povolo, K, dec. R. Carlson, W, 13-0

171 — Martin, I, tech fall over Gabe Cole, Mun, 21-6

189 — Burklund, IM, pinned Walsh, I, 5:53

215 — C. Dawson, Glad, pinned Vidlund, W, :58

285 — Gilles, W, dec. Cardew, K, 10-2.

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