Seven grapplers prepare for finals

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, March 2, 2006

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Brandywine and Buchanan will be well represented at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Lower Peninsula Individual Wrestling Finals to be held March 9-11 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Bobcats, runners-up in the Lakeland Conference, qualified three grapplers for the Division 4 state finals.
Lakeland Conference champion Buchanan, which will compete in the team state quarterfinals on Friday in Battle Creek, advanced four wrestlers to the Division 3 finals.
Wrestling will begin on Thursday, March 9 at The Palace with the Grand March at 2:30 p.m.
The first round will begin at 2:45 p.m.
Wrestling will continue on Friday, March 10 at 8:30 a.m. with the first round of consolation matches. The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, March 11, wrestling will get under way again at 8:30 a.m. with consolation matches.
The finals willl begin following the Grand March at 4:30 p.m.
Representing Brandywine will be Aaron Edquist (275), Jeremy Hechtl (215) and Adam Simons.
Also wrestling at the Division 4 state finals is Cassopolis' John McCoy.
Qualifying for the Bucks were Todd Taylor (112), Nick Wheetley (125), Travis Reith (130) and Jim Connors (189).
Also qualifying for the Division 3 finals was Dowagiac's Tony Stewart (275).
Division 3
Taylor (42-6), a junior, will face Mark Weber (52-1), a sophomore, from Goodrich in the opening round at 112-pounds.
Other top grapplers in the weight class are Chad Reiber of Chesaning (56-1), Cody Carpenter Muskegon Orchard View (51-9), Rendina Pete of Dundee (52-1), Elijan Troost of Comstock Park (47-3) and Casey Snyder of Gladwin (46-3).
Wheetley (46-7), a junior, will open the tournament against Andrew Novak of New Boston Huron. The junior is 52-2 on the season.
Other top grapplers in the class are Kyle Rosser of Corunna (56-2), Dave Otten of Allendale (50-6), Joey Schneider of Roscommon (47-2) and Ryan Brown of Parchment (47-3).
Reith's first round opponent will be Frank Knickerbocker of Vassar. Reith, a senior, is 47-4 on the season. Knickerbocker, also a senior, is 50-3 on the year.
Among the top wrestlers at 130-pounds are Mitch Reatini of Allendale (52-5), Andrew Wieferich of Portland (50-8), Brandon Roose of Roscommon (56-3), Zach Perrien of Corunna (57-1) and Miles Freed of Central Montcalm (50-7).
Connors, a senior, is 42-11 on the season. He will face Whitehall's Steve Shields in the opening round. The Whitehall junior is 45-7 entering the state finals.
Top qualifiers in the 189-pound weight class include Steve Frye of Essexville Garber (53-0), Steven Fedewa of Ovid-Elsie (48-1), Marcel DeBose of Highland Park (40-0) and Ben Leal of Birch Run (40-2).
Dowagiac's Tony Stewart, a senior who is 45-10 on the year, will take on Mt. Clemen's Lionel Julian, a senior who is 40-6, in the opening round.
Other contenders for the 275-pound state championship will be Tim Ofield of Forest Hills Eastern (48-0), Tim Lee of Mevlindale (46-1), Alex Deschaine of Frankenmuth (55-7), Paul Fate of Remus Chippewa Hills (41-1) and Jarod Trice of Highland Park (38-3).
Division 4
Simons, a senior, will take on Jacob Tuomi-Galindez of Lutheran-Westland (42-1) in the first round.
Also expected to compete for the title will be Tom Schneider of Addison (53-1), Chris Darrow of Martin (53-5), Andy Bishop of Memphis (51-3) and Roger Emmendorfer of New Lothrop (50-3).
Hechtl, a junior, will meet Ryan Erickson of Leroy Pine River (49-4) in his first match.
Among the other contenders will be two-time defending state champion Jordan Rasmussen of Decatur (no record availble), Dan Lubbestael of Manchester (55-1), Tony Reece (43-9) and Keith Peterson of Brown City (47-5).
Edquist, a senior, will face Wes Schroeder of Addison (50-7) in the opening round at 275-pounds.
Other top contenders will be Mike Middaugh of White Pigeon (49-5), Rudy Spalding of Hesperia (47-9) and K.C. Hall of St. Charles (32-2).
McCoy, a junior (no record available), will face New Lothrop's Ryan Confer (46-8) in the opening round at 145-pounds.
Other top competitors will be Josh Ritter of Manchester (54-1), Cody Peckham of Martin (52-6), Zac Maloney of Whittemore-Prescott (56-0) and Justin Wright of Unionville-Sebewaing (59-2).