Burandt pleased with Chieftains’ progress
Colin Burandt took over the Dowagiac Union High School wrestling program shortly before the 2015-16 season.
In about three months, he has witnessed progress in the Chieftains while putting his stamp on the program.
“We’ve done pretty well,” Burandt, a former Niles High School wrestler who was an assistant at his alma mater the past three seasons, said Thursday, after a 42-33 semifinal loss to Constantine at the MHSAA Division 3 Constantine Team District. “It’s just a matter of time. Things don’t happen overnight.”
Burandt said Dowagiac wrestling has been gaining momentum in recent seasons and the numbers were coming up.
Wrestling, Burandt style is very assertive.
“I like a very physical wrestler,” Burandt said, describing the style he exhibited while wrestling at Niles for coach Todd Hesson. “I like being mean. I try to enforce that and being aggressive and scoring a lot of points. It’s not the easiest to teach a kid, especially if the confidence isn’t there.”
Burandt saw that kind of fierceness demonstrated by his last senior to take the mat Thursday.
“Mason Hiler did an exceptional job tonight,” Burandt said of the 152-pounder who Hiler scrambled and earned a fall in the first period of the final bout against Constantine. “He always keeps working. He never stops. He’s a machine out there. That’s the kind of work ethic I like to see in a wrestler.”
Dowagiac (15-7) went down scrapping in its final dual meet of the 2015-16 wrestling season.
“We still had two kids go out there and get pins. That’s important to still have that drive to win,” said Burandt after the loss to perennial powerhouse Falcons. “They stayed in there and fought. “
In a match where competition began at 160 pounds, junior Michael Nuyen (pin at 160), freshman Jesse Edge (pin at 112), sophomore Gage Williams (decision at 119), junior Kaleb Detwiler (pin at 135), senior William Phillips (pin at 145) and senior Mason Hiler (pin at 152) were Dowagiac winners.
While he lost 10-4, Dowagiac 189-pound senior Seth Fear showed the kind of fight Burandt appreciates. He was down 8-0 when he scored a three-point near fall and it looked like he might even score the pin.
Constantine took eight matches, including four by pin.
“Clearly we got outwrestled. We had to stay off our back to win and that didn’t happen,” Burandt said. “I know (Constantine) is usually tough and they were tough today.”
Constantine went on to beat Coloma 60-24 for the district title and the right to compete Wednesday in the Coloma Team Regional.