Niles Vikings win own wrestling invitational

Published 2:55 pm Monday, December 3, 2007

By By STEVE MORRISON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – In his first year as head coach of the Niles Viking wrestling team Todd Hesson has produced some great initial results, beginning the season 6-0, after the hosting Viking team won the 2007 Viking Invitational at Niles High School on Saturday.
"It was ugly, but I'd rather have it ugly and win. We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of basics, a lot of conditioning. We're missing all of those starters (10) from last year. The kids that have been in the program haven't all been on the varsity. The varsity is a whole different ball game. We've got some good senior leadership. Kenyon (Ellison) and Nate Allison did a good job. Plus we have some kids that have stepped up," reflected Hesson. "Edwardsburg wrestled well, and Buchanan wrestled well. The Lakeland conference is tough, and they came out after us. It's a big adjustment for me. The key is just hard work."
During the five round match that began at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Niles soundly disposed of Sturgis (55-18) and Centreville (74-5) in the first two segments.
Then Niles had its work cut out for them against a scrappy Edwardsburg team in round three. The Eddies started out with two consecutive pins by Chris Cramer against the Vikings' Eric Long, in the 189 class, and Steve Franklin over Niles' Michael Gentry in the 215 division.
Kenyon Ellison started Niles back on track with a pin of Josh Williams at the beginning of their second period. After Josh Klosenski, of the Eddies, pinned Tyler Baber in the lightweight division, Niles ran a steak of four straight pins from Gage Pearison over Cameron Warren, Marcus Bricker over Justin Fielder, Nate Allison besting Troy Lundy, and Cody Durham pinning Nick Doughmann.
Niles' Mike Gard made a valiant comeback against Dylan Devenney, but was narrowly outlasted 15-11. Eric Dulcet, at 140, edged Terry Bradford of the Eddies 9-8 and Wade Smous pinned Vikes' Nate Heirman at 145, but Terrance Eppenger (152) of Niles won 12-3 and Ben Brandstatter pinned Alex Steinke in the 160 class. After the Eddies' Jeremy Mutchler had pinned Eric Young, the Vikings stood as the survivors with a 41-33 win.
Frank Mucha's Buchanan Buck team had stymied Centreville 71-8, and downed Sturgis 43-30 in rounds one and three. They came out vocally inspired against Niles, but Ellison put a dent in their hopes with another pin of his own against the Bucks' Robert Riggs in the first match of round four in the heavyweight class.
Taylor Glavin of Buchanan turned the tide, briefly, with a pin of Niles' Tyler Barber in the 103 division. Then Niles turned it on. Pearison took only 12 seconds to pin Tanner Phillips of the Bucks in the 112 class. Bricker, next up for Niles, took only 51 ticks to subdue Nick Baab, followed by Allison's second period pin of the day, versus Buchanan's Justin Fuller. Durham, in his first varsity afternoon for the Vikes, took only 30 seconds to tie up D.J. Hurd, Durham's second consecutive pin. Niles suddenly held a huge 30-6 lead.
Buchanan rebounded with a Drew Medlin pin of Gard, while Adam Byrdak outlasted Niles' Eric Dulcett 5-0.
Heirman made a strong comeback from a 5-0 deficit to rally against Jaimie Marbeiter and win for the Vikes,10-7, in his match.
After Buchanan's Tony Taylor pinned Eppenger to keep the Bucks' hopes alive at 33-21, Niles' Brandstatter outlasted Aaron Leneway 9-7; but David Ferris pinned Jeremy Mutchler to close Buchanan to 27-36.
In perhaps the most important bout of the day, Eric Long defeated Ferris 9-4 to guarantee the home team the title with 39 points.
Buchanan's Mike Connors decisioned Casey Wirrick 9-2, but Niles had held on for the victory, 39-30.
2007 Viking Invitational Results
Round One
Niles 55 – Sturgis 18
Buchanan 71- Centreville 8
Round Two
Niles 74 – Centreville 5
Edwardsburg 39 – Sturgis 33
Round Three
Niles 41 – Edwardsburg 33
Buchanan 43 – Sturgis 30
Round Four
Niles 39 – Buchanan 30
Edwardsburg 67 – Centreville 12
Round Five
Edwardsburg 43 – Buchanan 28
Sturgis 44 – Centreville 15
Final Standings
Niles 4-0
Edwardsburg 3-1
Buchanan 2-2
Sturgis 1-3
Centreville 0-4