Simpson defends Wolverine title
THREE RIVERS — It came down to the final match of the day, but the Edwardsburg wrestling team was able to stave off Paw Paw to successfully defend its Wolverine Conference championship at Three Rivers High School on Saturday.
The Eddies, who were undefeated in regular-season dual matches, edged Paw Paw 149-146 to win the conference tournament.
Plainwell finished third with 116.5 points and Dowagiac fourth with 108.5 points.
The Eddies and Chieftains each had one conference champion.
Jacob Reece, a senior, captured the 145-pound championship as he defeated Julius Guzman of Paw Paw by technical fall 19-0. Reece reached the title match by receiving a first-round bye and pinning Mason Wassink of Plainwell in 47 seconds.
Dowagiac sophomore Jordan Simpson pinned Vicksburg‘s John Culver in 5:48 to win the 103-pound conference championship. He reached the finals by pinning Mason Wooster of Allegan (0:27) in the quarterfinals and pinning Otsego’s Dayman Sutherland (1:07) in the semifinals.
Both Reece and Simpson were defending champions. Reece was the 140-pound champion in 2019, while Simpson was the defending champion at 103.
SMAC Conference Tournament
PORTAGE — Lakeshore took home yet another SMAC championship as the Lancers easily outdistanced runner-up Battle Creek Lakeview at Portage Northern High School on Saturday.
Lakeshore finished with 205 points, while Lakeview finished with 181.5 points. Niles was a distant third with 148 points.
Winning conference championships for the Vikings were Mikey Robles (103), Ryan Franco (130) and Javond Ball (135).
Robles defeated Nolan Wertanen of St. Joseph 6-3 in the championship match. After receiving a first-round bye, Robles won by major decision (15-1) over Gull Lake’s Caleb Mason in the semifinals.
Franco won by major decision (8-0) over Bryce Sheeders of Lakeview in the championship match. After his opening-round bye, Franco pinned David Lopez of Portage Northern in 32 seconds in the semifinals.
Ball defeated Micah Hanau of Lakeshore 5-3 to win his SMAC championship. He received a first-round bye and then pinned Gull Lake’s Oliver Hess in 1:54 of their semifinal match.
Wrestling teams begin state tournament action on Wednesday with the team districts before heading into individual district competition on Saturday.