Niles locks up Big 16 title with win over Dowagiac

Published 6:30 pm Friday, February 3, 2006

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Although Thursday evening's wrestling match between Niles and Dowagiac wasn't exactly a thriller, there was much to celebrate when the night was over.
It was Senior Night in the Vikings gym, where all of the seniors and their parents were introduced before the start of the match.
And after a contest that lasted almost two hours, Niles claimed the 48-15 win, making it champions of the Big 16 West Division.
After a brainstorming session with some of the parents, Galvin figured out it had been five years since Niles won a conference championship.
Despite the loss and missing five starters, John Green, the Chieftains' head coach was pleased with the way his team performed.
Ben Brandstatter and Mike Kasper got things rolling at 152-pounds. The match went all three periods, with Brandstatter taking the 8-6 decision.
Jake Groves won the next match at 160-pounds for the Vikings, as he pinned Andrew Hurrle in the third period.
Dowagiac's Elijah Caldwell grabbed the Chiefs' first win at 171-pounds, defeating Casey Wirick,12-1 in three periods.
Alex Zanders took a 10-1 win for Niles at 189-pounds and Dowagiac's Drew Staley defeated Micah Barrett, 12-2, to bring the score to 13-8.
Tony Stewart took the next win for the Chieftains at 275-pounds, defeating Chad Nichols 10-2 and bringing Dowagiac within one point of the lead, 13-12.
However, a forfeit at 103 pushed Niles' lead to 19-12.
Jake Glueckert (112), Bryce Flannery (119), Andy Karsten (125), Nate Heiermann (130), Mason Stephenson (135) and Todd Scansen won the next six matches for Niles, securing the victory with a 48-12 lead.
John Wregglesworth and DeShaun Baylock met on the mat for the final match of the night, which went in favor of the Chiefs, 17-12, posting the final 48-15 score.
Niles will face Three Rivers on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and will travel to Coldwater for the SMAC Meet on Saturday, Feb. 11.