Evart wrestling team set to host first match

EVART — When Evart hosts a home wrestling match on Jan. 6, it will be an extremely significant event.

“That is our first home varsity wrestling meet since 1961,” coach Ryan Hopkins said.

Action starts at 6 p.m. The opponent is Manistee.

The Wildcats had a meet on Dec. 16 at Farwell.

This marks the second varsity season with the current program. Hopkins has seven wrestlers on his varsity roster right now. The top wrestler so far has been sophomore Caleb Parish at heavyweight with a 7-2 record.

“He’s off to a good start,” Hopkins said.

Senior Zach Parshall (160) is 3-5.

“He’s been wrestling tough competition and is doing very well,” Hopkins said.

Junior Jacob Kleeves (152) is 2-7.

“The season is going great,” Hopkins said.

At the Farwell dual meet, four wrestlers notched their first varsity win against Lake City with Kleeves, Roman Tiedt, Andruw Shaw and Sky Ranjel.

Lake City won 34 to 25, but Evart forfeited seven classes.

“We have twice as many kids as we did last year so we’re definitely on the uprise,” Hopkins said. “We had 40 in our youth group last year and have over 50 this year. Their competition is on Sundays. We started practice three weeks ago.”

Practices at the Evart Middle School are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m. The success of the youth program should provide Hopkins with full varsity teams in the future.

“Next year, we’ll still be a little shy,” Hopkins said. “But the year after that is when I think we’ll start putting full teams together.”

Evart also is scheduled to be at Lake City (Jan. 11), at Lakeview (Jan. 13) at Sanford Meridian (Jan. 20), at Lakeview (Jan. 22) and at Reed City (Jan. 30). Evart will compete in team districts (Feb. 11) and individual districts (Feb. 13).