Division 2: Vikings take back title from Lakeshore

ST. JOSEPH — The last time Niles won the Division 2 district team championship two years ago, seniors Brian Soto and Robert Buckland, were not key cogs in the Vikings’ wrestling matching.

Both played key roles this season as the Vikings reclaimed their title with a 44-24 win over arch rival Lakeshore at St. Joseph High School Wednesday night.

Veteran Niles coach Todd Hesson has a lot of wrestlers just like Buckland and Soto, who had to wait their turns to step into starting roles and to begin winning their own championships.

Trailing 24-9 with seven bouts remaining against the Lancers, Hesson turned to those upperclassmen to deliver.

He started by telling junior Javond Ball that it was time to run the table on Lakeshore and win the final seven bouts and the district title. Ball went and gathered the other six wrestlers who were awaiting their turn on the mat, and he and Hesson told them the same thing.

And thats exactly what the Vikings did. They won all seven of those bouts, several of them with gritty efforts, to head back to the Division 2 regional where they will face host Edwardsburg Wednesday night.

“We talked a little bit about it after we lost at 130,” Hesson said. “We said, ‘Let’s run the table,’ and the kids did. We had some tough matches, but the kids came through.”

It started with Ball, who scored a 25-10 technical fall at 135 pounds against Lakeshore’s Justin Crowder.

Bryce Brust, the transfer from Battle Creek Lakeview, kept it going with a pin at 140.

Kade Wagley energized his teammate,s and the large crowd of Niles fans when he scored a reversal with just 20 seconds left in the match at 145 to edge Sam Prince 8-6.

The Viking train had long left the station and was building up plenty of momentum by the time Buckland pinned Lakeshore’s James Harris in 1:24. Cole Simpson followed with a 5-4 decision over Erik Taylor at 160 pounds as he scored a last-second takedown for the victory.

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community

Berrien County

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children

Buchanan

Buchanan District Library awarded American Library Association grant

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees prepares for Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation visit

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths

Dowagiac

No danger found following lockdown at DUHS

News

Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff