Eau Claire tops Brandywine for Division 4 district crown

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

NILES — A lack of numbers hurt host Brandywine in the Division 4 Team District championship match against Eau Claire Wednesday night.

The Bobcats defeated River Valley 42-18, while the Beavers defeated short-handed Cassopolis 66-6 to advance to the championship match.

In the finals, Brandywine gave up five forfeits, while there were a pair of double forfeits.

Eau Claire, which has turned around its wrestling fortunes under Coach Colin Kelley, gave up just one forfeit.

In the matches that were contested on the mat, Brandywine won three of the five bouts.

The championship match started at 132 pounds, and Eau Claire picked up its first forfeit to take the quick lead. The Bobcats’ Kaden Santana pinned Roman Alvarado in 1:50 at 138-pounds to square the match at 6-6.

Another Brandywine forfeit at 144 pounds gave the lead back to the Beavers, who following a double forfeit at 150, got a pin from Keane Yanez over Jack Perez-Gonzalez in 4:55 to open up an 18-6 advantage.

Gavin Schoff stopped the Eau Claire streak as the Brandywine senior earned his 150th career victory with a pin of Aidan Fisher in 40 seconds. Schoff also earned his 100th career win against Fisher and his 100th career pin during previous match-ups.

The Bobcats made it back-to-back wins a Josh Patrolia won by forfeit at 175 pounds, but when Brandywine gave those points right back with a forfeit at 190, the writing was on the wall.

The Beavers closed out the match with Noah Ruiz pinning Logan Zigler in 1:13 at 215 pounds, gave up a forfeit to Andrew McKee at 285 pounds and won by forfeit at 106 and 113 pounds.

The final bout of the night saw Brandywine’s Kaiden Rieth pin Giovanni Alvarado in 3:09 at 126 pounds.

Eau Claire now advances to the Division 4 Team Regional where it will face White Pigeon in the semifinals Wednesday.