Niles honors seniors at first home meet

Published 10:21 am Friday, January 11, 2019

NILES — This year’s senior class for the Niles wrestling program had to wait their turn, according to head coach Todd Hesson.

Those seniors have stepped it up this year and delivered for the Vikings, including a pair of big SMAC Conference victories over Portage Northern (76-0) and Gull Lake (65-12).

Unlike past senior nights, Hesson decided to host it on a night when the Vikings had a pair of duals and were able to get everyone into the line-up.

It worked to perfection as Niles continues to dominate its opponents.

“This senior class has paid their dues,” Hesson said. “Most have not been in the starting line-up until later in their high school careers. This group has had key roles in our line up throughout the last three years and now have an opportunity to step in and enjoy being the starters. I think they would like to put their own identity on the Niles wrestling program. We did goal cards this week and many kids felt it was their ‘turn’ for success both from an individual and team perspective.”

Seniors Cade Best, Dawson Bruckner, Robert Buckland, Tysen Custard, Cole Simpson and Brian Soto took to the mat Wednesday night and all walked off a winner in both matches.

“The night itself was good,” Hesson said. “A great crowd. All the seniors got a varsity start and all seniors won their matches. We also managed to get younger kids into the line-up as well. Terris Fricke and Harrison Hayden both got big pins for us. Tyson Custard is also starting to gain some confidence on the mat. Robert Buckland, Cole Simpson, Cade Best, Dawson Bruckner, Kenny Krempitz and Brian Soto give us a lot of balance at the end of our line-up. It was good to end senior night with conference wins.”

The Vikings will be home against next Wednesday as they host Mattawan in a SMAC match.