Dowagiac’s Walker picks up 100th career victory

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac wrestling program is celebrating its 60th season this year.

The Chieftains kicked off its celebration by hosting its alumni night prior to the start of the Wolverine Conference match against visiting Edwardsburg Wednesday night.

While the defending league champion Eddies posted a 55-15 win over the Chieftains, there were plenty of positives on the night for Dowagiac.

Kody Walker picked up his 100th career victory when he defeated Jacob Reece 7-3, at 119 pounds.

“He wrestled great,” said Dowagiac coach Colin Burandt. “I believe that was a state qualifier that he beat. It was nice to see him get it in front of the home crowd. He has come a long way since I have taken over.’

Burandt also said that his team is making strides and heading in the right direction.

“Although it did not show so much on the mat tonight, we are getting better,” he said. “Edwardsburg is a solid team. They are tough to beat. We just did not wrestle well today. We need to learn to stay off our backs and be a little more aggressive when we wrestle.”

After the Chieftains and Eddies traded decisions at 112 and 119 pounds, Edwardsburg took over the match, winning eight consecutive bouts, two by forfeits to break the match wide open.

Picking up wins for the Eddies were Caden Reece, Jackson Hoover, Michael Tatay, Derek Hess, Josh McMann, Nick Bradley, Dillon Hursh and Jacob Andrina.

“I was not expecting that whatsoever,” said Edwardsburg coach Jesse Becraft of the lopsided win. “Dowagiac is a good team, but we came out and performed pretty well.”

The Eddies are a bit behind as the football team’s trip to the state finals slowed the preseason practice.

“A few of them came back to the line up tonight for the first team, which helped out quite a bit,” Becraft said.

Dowagiac’s Justin Lyle stopped the winning streak at 171 pounds, as he pinned Gage Strawderman in 49 seconds.

Drew Bidwell and Josh Harris earned two more wins for the Chieftains before Dowagiac ended the night with a pin by Tyler Huston over Caleb Fielder at 103 pounds.

Dowagiac will compete in the Blue Devil Invitational on Saturday, while the Eddies head to Penn.

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