Lakeland wrestling tournament returnsPublished 11:19pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013
A year ago, the Lakeland Conference decided not to hold a conference tournament.
With the league set to loss three teams to the Wolverine Conference, it was decided not to hold the season-ending tournament.
With four teams remaining in the conference — Brandywine, Buchanan, Cassopolis and New Buffalo-Bridgman — it was decided that the post-season tournament would return.
Brandywine, 3-0 during the regular season, will host the tournament tonight beginning at 6 p.m.
With no tournament a season ago, the league gathered and voted an All-Lakeland Conference team. Several of those wrestlers are returning and will be looking to win a title on the mat tonight.
Among them are Buchanan’s undefeated duo of Jeff Mucha (38-0) and Gage Hutchison (38-0). Also returning Jim DeVlaminck, Alex Brown, Colin Wheetley, Alex Brown and Cody Burkhard.
Hutchison is a returning Division 3 state champion. He captured the 215-pound title last year, but is wrestling at 285 this time around. Hutchison is 200-8 for his career, which leaves him just 18 wins shy of the area record held by Decatur’s Jordan Rasmussen.
One of the most anticipated matches of the Lakeland tournament will not be held.
Mucha and Brandywine’s Chanc Ravish, the runner-up in Division 4 last season, where headed for a third confrontation this season. Unfortunately, Ravish (35-2) will not wrestle after picking up a flagrant misconduct following his 5-2 loss to Mucha Saturday at the Greater Berrien County Meet.
Both of Ravish’s losses this season have been to Mucha. He must sit out one match due to the violation.
The Bobcats still have plenty of firepower heading into the tournament, among them are returning all-conference performers are Victor Moranchel and Joe Monica.
Other Brandywine wrestlers to keep an eye on are Arsalan Rehman, Jesse Lochmondy, Paul Lochmondy and Cory Katterheinrich.
The Cassopolis wrestling team is in the middle of a rebuilding process. Second-year coach Josh Rinehart feels his squad is headed in the right direction and could be a factor in a couple of weight classes.
The Rangers’ best bet for a championship will come from Khalil Brown, who was an honorable mention all-conference pick last year.