Three Coyotes, two Bucks headed to wrestling state championships
REED CITY — Three Reed City wrestlers, including regional champion Steven Ruppert, will be advancing to the Division 3 wrestling finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 3-5.
The top four finishers in each weight class at the Benzie Central regionals advanced to the finals.
Ruppert took first place at Benzie with a 3-0 record at 135. Brian Michell was second at 160 and Josh Mobley fourth at 285.
It marks Ruppert’s first regional title. His record is 54-1. Michell is 49-6 and Mobley 29-11.
“We had a great week of practice going into the regionals and had an opportunity to focus on each one’s individual style,” said Reed City coach Roger Steig. “Steven Ruppert was unstoppable. He was pretty dominant. Josh Mobley, to get into the finals, he wrestled the match of his career. He beat a Tawas kid 10-7 to make it to state. He was thrown on his back the first period and went on to win the match.
“Brian Michell should have been a regional champion. He was beaten on a controversial call by the referee. He lost in overtime. We had the guy taken down with two seconds to go. But they waived the takedown off to put it into overtime.”
Adam Kehr was 0-2 at 140 for the Coyotes.
The three qualifiers now prepare for the state meet.
“One of our former wrestlers who is out wrestling in Bridgewater, Minn., will be working out with Steven this week,” Steig said, referring to Mike Lackney.
Two Pine River wrestlers finished in the top four of their weight class on Saturday in the Division 4 regionals at Rogers City and will be competing in the state finals March 3-5 at The Palace.
Abel Langworthy at 125 pounds took second place while at 145, Larry Kissinger wound up in fourth place.
“Abel had a tremendous day,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “He wrestled a boy who’s a returning third-place state finisher in Division 2 (Chris Aiken of Clare). He moved to a new school. Abel lost the final match 15-14. It was a tough and high-paced match.
“Larry Kissinger was an underdog for the day. He showed a real good spirit throughout the day.”
Six wrestlers competed for Pine River at the regionals and coach Tim Jones said some wrestlers wound up in the blood round with a chance to be guaranteed of a top four spot. But they fell short.
“We had some real close matches in that one inclined at 119 with Kyle Nixon and Zach Kanouse at 285,” Jones said. “They wrestled tough and gave everything they had for the last match, but it didn’t play out in their favor.”
Pine River wrestled in the team regionals at Farwell on Feb. 16 and lost to Hesperia 68-3 in finals. The Bucks won 48-24 over Saginaw Nouvel in the regional semifinals.