By CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — More experience could go a long way toward turning around the fortunes of the Traverse City West and Traverse City Central wrestling teams.
With teams dominated by freshmen, sophomores or first-year wrestlers, it’s been a year of learning for both squads. That made success hard to come by at Wednesday’s Traverse City West Quad, where the Titans split matches against Petoskey and Alpena while Central dropped both matches.
Petoskey was unblemished in its two matches, beating West 67-12, then blanking Central 84-0. West’s victory came 56-21 over Alpena. The Wildcats handed Central a 48-30 loss.
“Petoskey’s a good team,” said West head coach Nash Myers. “We beat Alpena so that’s a nice conference win. (It will be) a few years before we can compete with Petoskey.
“We’re very young. We’re just growing. We’ve just got to keep growing. They fight hard, but we just have to get more experience. When you’ve got that (youth) you’ve just got to keep working and try to work harder than the next guy.””
Central head coach Dave Haughn is in a similar situation, watching his inexperienced team struggle against more veteran squads and grapplers.
“We’re at a point in the development of our program where the kids wrestle well enough, but they just aren’t quite there,” Haughn said. “It’s because of experience mostly. Very few of them have more than one or two years experience. I’m real happy with the way they wrestled. They wrestled tough. They just don’t quite wrestle enough to win.”
Only one wrestler on either team was victorious in two matches — West’s 171-pounder Tanner Yanski, who is one of the few seniors for the Titans. David Henderson and Mitchell Ford each went 1-0 at 119 and 125 pounds, respectively. Other single-match winners for West included: Gabe Jasman (152/160), Zach Provost (160), James Peck (215), Vince Priante (103), Caleb Harris (103/112), Jonah Jasman (125/130), Austin Cochrane (130/135) and Tyler Mathie (140), who all were 1-1.
Central lost by such a wide margin to Petoskey because of a handful of voids. The Trojans earned 18 points against Alpena due to voids as Hunter Luhrs (125), John Felton (130) and Drake Wables (135) claimed those points. They also scored on Cole Hooper’s pin at 112 pounds and Dan Steele’s 6-4 decision at 189 pounds.
Central heads to a tournament at Portage Central this weekend. West has its eye on the Northern Michigan Championships in Gaylord, where Myers believes the Titans could have a few placers.
“I feel like we should have three or four guys who will definitely place and maybe some dark horses,” said Myers, who feels Priante, Peck and Jonah Jasman have the best chance for the Titans on Saturday. “If they come out with their hearts on fire they’re going to win some matches.”