Paw Paw’s Martinez signs with SMC wrestling

Published 10:02 pm Monday, February 14, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Paw Paw’s Niko Martinez, who finished third in Saturday’s Division 2 Individual District Wrestling Tournament at 145 pounds, has signed a National Junior College Athletic Association letter of intent to wrestle for Southwestern Michigan College and Roadrunners’ Coach Todd Hesson.

“Niko was born to be a wrestler,” said Paw Paw Coach Jason Bowers. “He is very hardworking and dedicated with a never say die attitude. This in turn makes him successful at whatever he does. Niko is an outstanding student and a great all-around human being.”

Hesson believes Martinez’s style will translate to the college level.

“Niko is a hard-working wrestler,” he said. “He has great positioning and his style will work well for the next level of wrestling.”

Martinez joins former Brandywine standout Hunter Heath, Mattawan’s Tyson Ford, Coloma’s Caeleb Ishmael and Dowagiac’s Jordan Simpson on the Roadrunners’ roster.

Ishmael won the Division 3 District championship at 135 pounds. while Simpson won his third consecutive Division 3 District title.