Wrestlers deserve congratulations
Published 2:50 pm Friday, January 13, 2006
Congratulations to the Niles varsity wrestling team for its Big 16 Conference West Division victory over Lakeshore Thursday night.
It has been more than 30 years since the Vikings have defeated Lakeshore on the mat.
The win also give the Vikings the inside track on winning its first West Division championship.
Niles needs only to defeat Dowagiac on Feb. 2 to lock up the title.
For those who follow wrestling, there is no bigger feather in your cap than a victory over the Lancers.
Lakeshore has been the king of wrestling in southwestern lower Michigan for decades.
But on this particular Thursday night, Niles was the better team.
This was the second meeting between the two schools in a dual match. Lakeshore defeated Niles on Dec. 30 in Battle Creek at the SMAC Team Wrestling Tournament.
The Lancers also topped Niles on Saturday, but in an individual wrestling format at the Berrien County Meet up in St. Joseph. It was the 10th straight county title for Lakeshore.
The Vikings and Lancers are scheduled to meet one last time this season and it will be for much bigger stakes than a division championship.
The two will be paired in the Division 2 district wrestling tournament in February.
Niles would love nothing more than to make it two straight.
The win would also advance the Vikings to the regional tournament - the second step toward winning a state championship.
While the Vikings got it done on the mat, the fans in the stands did their part as well.
A loud and proud crowd cheered Niles on to victory.
That same type of enthusiasm will be needed next month to help the Vikings try and win a district championship.
That day is still a ways off, so Vikings fans, enjoy the moment as you now stand at the top of the wrestling mountain in this area.