brings
The Niles wrestling team unseated Lakeshore at the Greater Berrien County Wrestling Invitational Saturday night at St. Joseph High School. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

The kings of Berrien County

Published 11:23pm Saturday, January 28, 2012

ST. JOSEPH — After decades of domination at the old Berrien County Meet, Lakeshore was deprived of winning the first Great Berrien County Wrestling Invitational at St. Joseph High School.

The last team to knock the Lancers out of the top spot at the old county meet was Niles. It was the Vikings who did it again Saturday night.

Niles claimed two individual championships and had three runners-up as the Vikings edged Lakeshore 213.5-206 to claim the first championship in the new era of the meet.

Combining the old county meet and the Southwest Michigan Invitational, 17 teams competed in the St. Joseph fieldhouse for the chance to win the first title.

When the smoke cleared, the Vikings had their first county championship since 2007 and third overall.

Host St. Joseph was third with 195 points, while Lawton was fourth (171) and Buchanan fifth (138.5). Edwardsburg finished seventh with 94 points and despite having just three wrestlers compete, Dowagiac came in 10th with 54 points.

Cassopolis was 12th with nine points.

Donte Stevens of Niles successfully defended his tournament championship Saturday. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Niles’ Donte Stevens successfully defended his championship as he defeated Edwardsburg’s Blake King in the championship match, 2-1. Stevens blanked Cody Burhard of Buchanan (5-0) and defeated River Valley’s Alex Ehlert (8-4) to reach the finals.

Stevens had a bye in the opening round, as did King.

King defeated Dave Sopaseuth of Cassopolis by injury default and Patrick Wheatley of Buchanan (11-0) to advance to the title bout.

Fritzel Findeisen captured his first career tournament championship as he defeated Lawton’s Colton Calloway 4-2 in overtime.

In reaching the finals, Findeisen pinned Jacob Blue of Benton Harbor (2:42), pinned Sebastian Westphal of Cassopolis (1:32) and pinned Jack Ruggless of Buchanan (0:53).

Darek Mills of Niles finished second as he was pinned by St. Joseph’s Tyler Daniel in the 119-pound championship in 34 seconds.

Casey Burandt was defeated by Buchanan’s Jeff Mucha in the 135-pound championship 8-4.

Ryan Casey lost to Watervliet’s Brad Thomas in the 189-pound championship match, 11-3.

Finishing third for the Vikings were Brendon Meek (103) and Nicholas Zimmerman (112).

Niles’ Cole Allison was fifth (125), John Couch fifth (171), Jerrico Lamberton was sixth (140), Blane Myers sixth (160) and Derek Scott sixth (285).

“The kids wrestled well today,” Niles coach Todd Hesson said. “The key, will always be, no matter who wins it, will be the kids coming back through the consolation.

“You always want to have champions, but in our case, Cole Allison was unseeded and came back and placed fifth. John Couch was unseeded and placed fifth. It kids like that come through. Jerrico Lamberton was a low seed and he ended up getting fifth. The big guns are wrestling to their seeds. The unseeded ones, those are the ones who have to come through.”

Dowagiac’s Matt Lyle (130) and Carl Grant (215) finished fourth, while Jacob Worthington finished sixth (119).

Cassopolis’ Tyler Butrick was second at 130 and Dominic Forbes third at 189.

Edwardsburg’s Bradley Brasfield (171) was second and Michael Kempton (130) was third.

Greater Berrien County Wrestling Invitational

At St. Joseph High School

Team scores

Niles 213.5, Lakeshore 206, St. Joseph 195, Lawton 172, Buchanan 138.5, Watervliet 132, Edwardsburg 94, Covert 91, Berrien Springs 62.5, Dowagiac 54, Coloma 52

Cassopolis 45, Hartford 19, River Valley 18, Countryside/LMC 15, Benton Harbor 12, Bridgman/New Buffalo 8

Championship round

103: Kyle Barkovich (Law) p. David Melendez (SJ), 3:14

112: Ivan Gallegos (Cov) p. Aaron Ward (Lake), 1:49

119: Tyler Daniel (SJ) p. Darek Mills (Niles), 0:34

125: Brock Thumm (Water) t.f. Cole Menck (Law), 15-0

130: Gunner Harrison (Lake) p. Tyler Butrick (Cass), 3:19

135: Jeff Mucha (Buch) d. Casey Burandt (Niles), 8-4

140: Kyle Miller (Law) d. Travis Dragomer (Lake), 10-6

145: Donte Stevens (Niles) d. Blake King (Edw), 2-1

152: Fritzel Findeisen (Niles) d. Colton Calloway (Law), 4-2 OT

160: J.P. McDougal (Lake) d. Brad Connor (Law), 10-2

171: Mike Gould (SJ) t.f. Brad Brasfield (Edw), 19-4

189: Brad Thomas (Water) d. Ryan Casey (Niles), 11-3

215: Gage Hutchison (Buch) p. Kyle Spear (Lake), 0:36

285: Kyle Carlson (Lake) d. Jaxon Dehaven (Water), 9-8

Consolation round

103: Brendon Meek (Niles) d. Bryce Albars (BS), 8-2

112: Nicholas Zimmerman (Niles) d. Trevor Sherburn (Law), 16-4

119: Rigo Cortez (Cov) p. A.J. Tyler (Col), 2:01

125: Cody Short (Country/LMC) won by injury default

130: Michael Kempton (ED) p. Matt Lyle (Dow), 3:34

135: Arin Reyna (Cov) d. Conner Myers (SJ), 9-2

140: Dan Isbrecht (Water) d. Cam Hunsberger (SJ), 6-4 OT

145: Alex Ehlert (RV) d. Chris Ketchmark (SJ) 11-10 OT

152: Jacob Peasley (BS) t.f. Jack Ruggless (Buch), 16-0

160: Max Murray (Col) d. Weston Dehaven (Water), 3-2 OT

171: Matt Reynolds (Lake) p. Jacinto Arreola (Hart), 2:59

189: Dominic Forbes (Cass) d. Alex Rutherford(SJ), 3-1

215: Arlando Lopez (BS) p. Carl Grant (Dow), 4:01

285: Nicholas Daily (Water) d. Jim DeVlaminck (Buch), 9-2

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