Niles wrestlers open with big win over Portage Central

NILES — The Niles wrestling team wrestled its first dual match of the season, as it hosted Portage Central in a SMAC West Division match Wednesday night.

A young Mustang team was no match for the Vikings, who defeated them 55-4.

The lone Portage Central win was a major decision at 140.

“We wrestled well last night,” said Niles coach Todd Hesson. “As a team we are coming along. We had a great weekend at Allegan, finishing runner-up to Lowell and placing ahead of five other ranked teams.

“Most of our kids were up a weight class. Our conditioning is coming along.”

Picking up wins for Niles were Carson Landon (103), Jamison Zimmerman (112), Ryan Franco (119), Austin Franco (125), Javond Ball (130), Austin Reid (135), Cole Simpson (145), Robert Glover (152), Davin Simpson (160), Dayton Smith (171), Dawson Bruckner (189), Kenneth Krempetz (215) and Brian Soto (285).

“[The] kids wrestled well,” Hesson said. “Javond Ball looked solid on his feet. He has spent a lot of time in the practice room with Austin Franco and it is paying off. Austin Reid also had a good night and wrestled well against a solid kid.

“Conner Tibbits wrestled tough against a ranked kid. He has been battling a broken nose but coming along. Cole  Simpson made 145 and wrestled well at the new weight class. Austin and Ryan Franco both looked sharp.”

The Vikings are 1-0 on the season as they head to the Penn Super Duals on Saturday.

“We will have our hands full this weekend at Penn,” Hesson said. “Hopefully we can continue to build. Kids still getting to their weight classes. Like all seasons, it’s a work in progress.”

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