Niles racks up another championship
ST. JOSEPH — The No. 7-ranked Niles wrestling team once again dominated the Greater Berrien County Invitational at St. Joseph Saturday.
The Vikings, behind four individual champions, won its sixth county title in the last seven years.
Niles finished with 261 points, while arch rival Lakeshore finished a distant second with 228.5 points and Edwardsburg third with 171 points.
Dowagiac finished fourth with 125 points, Cassopolis 10th with 54 points, Buchanan 11th with 49 points and Brandywine 14th with 33 points.
Winning individual championships for the Vikings were Jamison Zimmerman (103), who won the Michelle Kruse Award for wrestlers between 103 and 140 pounds, Kade Wagley (145), Robert Buckland (152) and Brian Soto (285).
Cassopolis’ Dylan Green captured the 160-pound title and was named the Nathan Broehm Award winner for the top wrestler in the higher weight.
Edwardsburg finished with a pair of champions as Jackson Hoover won at 135 and Dillon Hursh won at 189.
Dowagiac finished with a pair of runner-up wrestlers as Dylan Elmore (119) and Wyatt Bailey (285) lost in the championship finals.
Brandywine’s top finisher was Hunter Heath, who finished third at 130 pounds.
Buchanan’s top placer was Mason Colglazier, who was fifth at 285 pounds.
The Vikings will now get ready to take on Lakeshore for the SMAC West Division championship when they meet in Niles on Wednesday.
The Lancers will host the SMAC Tournament on Saturday before the two have a potential meeting in the Division 2 district finals hosted by St. Joseph Feb. 6.
Dowagiac and Edwardsburg will compete in the Wolverine Conference Tournament at Sturgis on Saturday, while Brandywine and Buchanan will compete in the BCS Athletic Conference Tournament at River Valley on Saturday.
Cassopolis will compete in the Southwest 10 Tournament at White Pigeon on Saturday.