Vikings win first crown since 2007Published 11:22pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012
EDWARDSBURG — It took Niles coach Todd Hesson pushing all the right buttons to give the Vikings their first district wrestling title since 2007.
While Hesson won’t take the credit for making all the right moves alone, he and assistant coaches were right on the money all night long as Niles defeated Sturgis 43-31 in the semifinals and then knock off hosts Edwardsburg 44-27 to claim the Division 2 Team Tournament championship Wednesday night.
“I would love to say it’s pushing the right buttons, but sometimes you flat out get lucky,” Hesson said after the title match. “The other side of it is I have great assistant coaches. They are doing all the calculating. They are saying ‘hey coach. I need numbers. I need to see what’s going on and refigure.’ That’s where it all comes from. They are constantly figuring and refiguring.
“Edwardsburg made some nice moves. We made some other moves that worked out for us.”
Most of those moves came in the middle of the Vikings’ lineup.
Niles bumped up Donte Stevens and Fritzel Findeisen. Both of them came away winners.
Just as key was Ryan Roberts being inserted into the lineup at 140-pounds and going the distance against the Eddies’ Danny Rousseau.
Because Edwardsburg standout Blake King was locked in at 145-pounds because he was unable to move up two weight classes to wrestle Stevens, the Vikings were able to just give him a forfeit and move Stevens and Findeisen up a weight class.
“Ryan Roberts jumped in,” Hesson said. “We haven’t had Jerrico Lamberton, our regular 140. He’s been gone. Ryan Roberts stepped in and took that spot and kept it to a decision. It was huge at that time.”
Leading just 17-15, Stevens stuck Lee Williamson with 14 seconds remaining in the bout to extend the Vikings’ lead to 23-15. Findeisen’s 8-6 win over Greg Hall made it 26-15 and really put the Eddies in a deep hole.
Despite a pin by Bradley Brassfield at 171-pounds, Edwardsburg still was in need of a run of victories to pull the match out since they were going to give up a forfeit at 103-pounds, the final bout of the night.
The Eddies never stood a chance.
Ryan Casey pinned Col Hunsberger in 3:59 at 189 and freshman Alex Bata pinned Garrett Hunsberger in 1:29 at 215 to seal the victory.
Edwardsburg heavyweight Seth Barnett received a forfeit from the Vikings at 285 to end the match.
“Blake weighed in at 140 tonight to give us a little more ability in the lineup to move some guys around. So we couldn’t take him up to 152,” first-year Edwardsburg coach Mike Higley said. “It was was disappointing, but an incredibly good move on coach Hesson’s part. We knew we were going to have to match up just right tonight to beat them. We are a little thin. We just didn’t match up.”
Against Sturgis, needed a strong finish to advance to the district finals.
Clinging to a 21-19 advantage against the Trojans heading into the 152-pound match, the Vikings got on a roll. Niles won four of the final six bouts, two by pin and one by forfeit, to earn the victory.
Findeisen defeated Dyland Bowser 12-3, John Couch pinned Juan Espinoza in 47 seconds, Ted Jakowiak earned a forfeit and Casey pinned Jovani Cruiz in 4:34.
Niles now moves on to the Division 2 Regional Tournament at Three Rivers High School Wednesday. The Vikings will face the winner of the Marshall District. Lakeshore will take on Coldwater in the other semifinal.
Division 2 Team Wrestling
103: Brendon Meek (N) wins by forfeit
112: Nicholas Zimmerman (N) p. Keathley Marks, 1:30
119: Darek Mills (N) p. Dustin Vires, 4:59
125: Michael Borden (E) d. Noah Hall, 6-4
130: Cole Allison (N) t.f. Devon McGrath, 16-0
135: Michael Kempton (E) d. Casey Burandt, 8-3
140: Danny Rousseau (E) d. Ryan Roberts, 6-0
145: Blake King (E) wins by forfeit
152: Donte Stevens (N) p. Lee Williamson, 5:46
160: Fritzel Findeisen (N) d. Greg Hall, 8-6
171: Bradley Brassfield (E) p. John Couch, 0:37
189: Ryan Casey (N) p. Col Hunsberger, 3:59
215: Alex Bata (N) p. Garrett Hunsberger, 1:29
285: Seth Barnett (E) wins by forfeit
103: Brendon Meek (N) wins by forfeit
112: Nicholas Zimmerman (N) d. Alejandro Soto, 8-4
119: Darek Mills (N) p. Dakota Smith, 2:43
125: Austin Nusbaum (S) p. Josh Dayhuff, 0:49
130: Ricardo Soto (S) p. Noah Hall, 2:49
135: Cole Allison (N) p. Austin Smith, 0:42
140: Austin Kidd (S) d. Casey Burandt, 9-1
145: Caleb Huff (S) d. Donte Stevens, 11-6
152: Fritzel Findeisen (N) d. Dyland Bowser, 12-3
160: DJ Mathews (S) p. Daniel Sierra, 3:33
171: John Couch (N) p. Juan Espinoza, 0:47
189: Ted Jakowiak (N) wins by forfeit
215: Ryan Casey (N) p. Jovani Cruz, 4:34
285: Zack Heavrin (S) wins by forfeit
103: Dylan Hough (TR) wins by forfeit
112: Derek Tulla (TR) p. Keathley Marks, 2:48
119: Matt Rose (TR) d. Dustin Vires, 8-5
125: Connor McElroy (TR) p. Michael Borden, 2:54
130: Devon McGrath (E) d. Harvey Allen, 13-5
135: Danny Rousseau (E) d. John Abel, 14-3
140: Michael Kempton (E) p. Lowell Sanders, 1:16
145: Blake King (E) p. John Adair, 0:34
152: Lee Williamson (E) p. Dallas Todd, 1:23
160: Greg Hall (E) p. Kyle Boody, 1:04
171: Bradley Brassfield (E) d. Mike Brown, 11-3
189: Col Hunsberger (E) p. Logan Friel, 4:19
215: Garrett Hunsberger (E) p. Leo Eggleston, 1:14
285: Dallas Recker (TR) p. Dillon Cline, 0:57