Grandville most impressive at tri-meet against ranked teams
Grandville – At the start of a long season, most high school wrestling coaches like to see where their team stands.
And there is no better way to do that than a tough couple of tests against two of the best teams in the state.
Grandville had that on Wednesday in its home gym. Give the Bulldogs an A.
Ranked No. 5 in Division 1, Grandville defeated Niles, No. 3 in Division 2, 34-27. Grandville then took care of the No. 3-ranked team in Division 3, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, winning decisively, 48-24.
“I knew each team would have some great wrestlers, and a lot of it came down to matches.” Grandville coach Bubba Gritter said. “But we know it’s early, and these are great wins for us, but you can’t get too caught up in the situation you are in early on. You need to keep getting better as the season moves on.”
Gritter has a young team and they were paced by Kane Mahaffey at 103 pounds, Dalton Lope at 125, Allen Matthews at 140, Alje Buiter at 145, Kam Bush at 160, Sam Greco at 189 and Eppe Saarenheimo at 215. All seven went 2-0 to lead Grandville to the two tough wins.
Where Grandville’s lineup looked strong and solid during the tri-meet, Catholic Central coach B.J. Schroder is already experiencing the effects of some illness and injury early on.
The Cougars two-time state champion Nate Limmex did not compete because of an undisclosed skin disorder. Limmex likely would have been a factor at 140 in both matches.
Catholic Central did get a pair of wins from two-time state champion Devin Schroder at 125, Kole Krauss at 135, state champion Foster Karmon at 152 and Grant Tennihill at 215.
“I knew what our lineup was going to look like going in,” coach Schroder said. “We have to build up a bunch of young kids in the lineup, so that we are where we need to be in February. I saw some good things tonight, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Niles coach Todd Hesson echoed those sentiments.
“We have to travel and find matches like this, and this was good for us,” Hesson said. “You don’t like the losses, but you don’t mind them this early because you can build on them.
“Like the Grandville match. This is the third time we have wrestled them in the past couple of years, and it has always come down to the last match. Those are the matches you build upon.”
Niles had four wrestlers go 2-0 including Cade Stevenson at 112, Josh Dayhuff at 119, 135-pounder Noah Hall and heavyweight Alex Bata.