Two Bulldogs, one Tiger capture conference wrestling titles
The final of the 125-pound weight class at the Wolverine Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 2, featured a pair of county grapplers as Allegan’s Tyson Emmons squared off with Otsego’s Gavin Gregory.
Emmons won that battle, posting the technical fall by a score of 16-1 to claim the championship. But it was Gregory’s Bulldogs who posted the better showing in the team standings.
Otsego ended with 134 points to finish runner-up to league champion Edwardsburg and its 176.5 points. Dowagiac was third with 131 points, followed by Plainwell at 104.5 and Allegan at 82.
The conference title was the third in a row for Edwardsburg.
In addition to Gregory, Otsego had five other wrestlers compete in the finals of their weight division. Two of those—Josh Sunnerville at 119 and Jacob Case at 160—won titles.
Sunnerville beat Dowagiac’s Dylan Elmore by a 5-0 decision in his final, while Case bested Dowagiac’s Lamberto Paredes by a 13-1 major decision in his final.
“Josh is now a three-time conference champion as a junior,” Otsego coach Brian Sparks said.
Peyton Bohl (130), JesseJames Roe (215) and Jake Slater (285) joined Gregory in finishing runner-up.
Bohl beat Edwardsburg’s Austin Peacock by a 9-5 decision in the semifinals; Roe beat Dowagiac’s Edwin Linares via pin in the semifinals; Slater best Edwardsburg’s Ethan Griffin via pin in the semifinals; and Gregory beat South Haven’s Junior Garcia by a 6-0 decision in the semifinals.
Otsego also had a third-place finisher in Aiden Grim at 103. Grim, who lost to Plainwell’s Caleb Williams in the semifinals, beat South Haven’s Trevor Price in the consolation finals.
“We came out pretty strong early in the day scoring a lot of extra bonus points in the first couple rounds, which put us in pretty good position going into the final round,” Sparks said.
For Allegan, Emmons was the lone champion.
“Tyson has wrestled phenomenal all season and to cap it off with a conference title is fitting,” first-year coach Phillip Joseph said. “He tech-falled the Otsego guy, who is actually really tough, in finals and didn’t give up any offensive points doing it. That is a big statement and his focus is on that state title.”
While Joseph was hoping for better than the fifth-place team finish, he was far from disappointed in his team.
“Today was actually a good day for us considering we were missing four starters from our line-up due to various reasons,” he said. “We had a couple matches where we should’ve won we didn’t, but I would say overall the guys have really come along way.”
Tristan Mohrland finished as runner-up for Allegan at 152, losing to a Paw Paw wrestling in the finals.
“Although he lost the match. I saw big improvements since the beginning of the season and to finish second in conference is no easy feat,” Joseph said of Mohrland.
Tristan Jacobs (171) and Zakary Foster (215) each finished third for Allegan, while Ben Powers (189) finished fourth.
“The conference itself is very young and very few seniors will be graduating,” Joseph said. “I’m excited to see why the future holds for both Allegan and the Wolverine conference.
“We have a tough week ahead of us and a lot of homework to do in regards to fixing some of these mistakes that we made at this tournament. We have a super tough team when we decide to show up and our only focus now is finishing the season the right way.”
For Plainwell, Dalton Shannon (171) and Owen McDaniel (135) joined Williams in finishing runner-up. James Seaver (160) placed third and Jared Perez (130) was fourth.