It was an eventful 24 hours for the wrestling Mules. Things started on Thursday afternoon when the high school closed due to some major plumbing issues causing their practice to be moved to the junior high. Then the 15 passenger van we were supposed to get also broke down before it was picked up. Somehow we were able to get 2 minivans last second to start our journey. While eating at Jimmy John's (where several boys discovered the new "Giant" size subs), Coach Vogel told the boys we were going to make a stop at Mott's Children's Hospital to visit with teammate Connor Bartlett. Connor has been in the hospital fighting cancer for the past several months and was just recently allowed to have non-family visitors. Connor talked to the team for a few minutes mentioning how he missed wrestling and then answered a few questions from the boys. The visit ended with a team prayer led by Coach Roman that had everyone fighting back tears. Needless to say, it was an experience the boys will remember for years and one that cannot be put into words.
Now on to the tournament! There were twelve teams at the Marge and Tate Invitational that included 4 pools with 3 teams in each. The top team from each pool would then face off in a bracket of 4 to determine the final placings. The Mules had a bye the first round that gave them a chance to check out their competition. In the second round they took on Comstock Park. The Mules were ready and cruised to a 62-15 victory. Next up was Tri County. The Mules had a few back ups wrestle in this dual and they did not let their team down as all of them got wins. Mules cruised to a 74-3 win.
In the championship bracket, the Mules drew the number 2 ranked D4 team in Michigan, New Lothrop. New Lothrop had 10 wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight classes so it was going to be a brawl to get by them. Below is a match by match summary of the crazy dual:
160 - Jeff Johnson vs #8 D4 - Johnson with a 5-3 win
171 - #4 D1 Colin Jagielski vs #1 D4 - Jagielski with a 4-1 win
189 - Cage Dye vs #7 D4 - Dye fights hard but takes a 4-6 loss. Mules up 6-3
215 - Zack Solarek vs #8 D4 - Solarek takes a pin. Mules down 6-9
285 - #2 D1 Blake Wingate vs #2 D4. Wingate gets a first period pin to put the Mules back up 12-9.
103 - Erik Simmons gets a void. Mules up 18-9.
112 - Marcus Rollins vs #5 D4. Rollins takes a pin. Mules up 18-15
119 - Chase Grzegorczyk fights hard but gives up a 8-9 decision. All toed at 18
125 - Cade Sutterfield vs #9 D4. Sutterfield takes a 4-0 decision. Mules back up 21-18.
130 - Will Gorman vs #5 D4. Gorman takes a 0-5 decision. All tied again at 21.
135 - Rollie Denker vs #6 D4. Denker gets a major decision and puts the Mules up 25-21.
140 - Randy Boisselle gets a big 4-3 win to put the Mules up 28-21
145 - Conner Frantz vs #1 D4. Frants suffers a pin but the Mules are still up 28-27.
152 - Logan Frantz gets a come from behind 8-6 win to seal the Mule victory, 31-27.
The championship dual was now set between the D1 #6 Mules and the D3 #3 Whitehall Vikings. The Vikings may not have had as many ranked wrestlers (6) as New Lothrop, but they crushed their first 3 opponents on the day including Mule rival Saline and the host Grandville in the semifinals. It was going to take everything the Mules had in order to have a chance at defeating the Vikings. Once again, below is a summary of every match:
171 - #4 D1 Colin Jagielski vs #4 D3. Jagielski gets a major decision, 10-2.
189 - Zack Warnke vs #3 D3. Warnke gives up a pin. Mules down 4-6.
215 - Cage Dye vs #2 D3. Dye gives up a pin. Mules down 4-12.
285 - #2 D1 Blake Wingate gets a 2-0 decision. Mules down 7-12.
103 - Erik Simmons vs #10 D3, Simmons gives up a pin. Mules down 7-18.
112 - Marcus Rollins vs #6 D3. Rollins gives up a pin. Mules down 7-24.
119 - Chase Grzegorczyk gets a third period pin. Mules down 13-24.
125 - Cade Sutterfield vs #5 D3. Sutterfield gets a 9-3 win. Mules down 16-24.
130 - Will Gorman takes a pin. Mules down 16-30.
135 - Rollie Denker gets a pin to pull the Mules to 22-30.
140 - Randy Boisselle takes a major decision making the score 22-34.
145 - Mason Rimmer gets a 9-6 win. Mules down 25-34.
152 - Logan Frantz gets a 14-5 major decision. Mules down 29-34.
160 - Jeff Johnson gives up a Tech Fall.
Final Score - Mules 29, Whitehall 39
Coach Vogel stated, "Our guys wrestled very hard today. I think we made huge gains both physically and mentally in our wrestling. I can see them starting to believe in themselves and fight for each other. "
Wrestlers undefeated on the day with at least two matches included:
125 Cade Sutterfield 3-0
135 Rollie Denker 3-0
145 Mason Rimmer 2-0
152 Logan Frantz 4-0
171 Colin Jagielski 4-0
285 Blake Wingate 4-0
Next up for the Mules will be the Sheriff's Tourney at Monroe Jefferson on January 5th. Come out and support your Mules.