Bruce bows out in style

Gladstone’s Adam Bruce wrestles against Marquette’s Griffin Moore, left, in the 135 weight class division during the final bouts of the 2019 Upper Peninsula Championships, Saturday afternoon at Marquette Senior High School. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Adam Bruce concluded his wrestling career in style Saturday night, earning his fourth consecutive Upper Peninsula title under the spotlight at Marquette High School

The Gladstone senior, who will undergo surgery on his left hip Jan. 28, took a 7-0 decision from Marquette junior Griffin Moore in the 130-pound championship match to become the first Gladstone grappler to earn four consecutive U.P. championships.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “When I was a little kid, I dreamed of doing something like this. This is something I’ll never forget. Being the first one from Gladstone to win the U.P. Finals four years in a row is very special. Everybody on our team had their best match today, which makes this even more special.”

Bruce finished 27-0 this season and was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Wrestler.

“This has been a real emotional season for me,” said Bruce, who will miss his senior track season this spring. “This was a very difficult decision. If I could, I would be there for the team. But it’s getting tough for me to work on moves and my teammates, coaches and family understand.

“The hardest thing I had to do was give up my senior year of track, but I still want to be there for my teammates.”

Bruce led 5-0 after the second period and secured the decision on a reversal with 66 seconds remaining in his final mat appearance.

“U.P. wrestling, I love it,” he said. “It makes me proud that I did it with all the best wrestlers up here. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m thankful for all the support I received from Zoie (Berg), my friends, family, coaches and the community. I have a lot of nice memories.”

Bruce’s effort helped the Braves finish second behind Escanaba.

“It was nice to get our first four-time U.P. champion,” said Braves’ coach Dan Seronko. “We’re going to miss having Adam in our lineup, but he’s starting a new chapter in his life. I’m sure he’ll excel as he does in everything else.”

Bruce, the U.P. Division 1 cross country champion who will run at Wisconsin-Superior, closed by providing a message to the younger kids.

“Keep your head up,” he said. “That was me. I was once that kid.”

Senior Trevor Povolo (160) became Kingsford’s first four-time champion by taking a 10-0 decision from Westwood junior Rocco Carlson.

Sault Ste. Marie sophomore Nathan Heyrman improved to 31-0 after pinning Iron Mountain freshman Tre Sabotta in three minutes, 41 seconds into the 135 final.