Whitehall fight as good as advertised in dominant performance at GMAA tournament

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The Whitehall Wrestling Team pose for a photo after winning the GMAA City Tournament on Saturday January 22, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Whitehall Athletics).

MUSKEGON — The Greater Muskegon Athletic Association’s wrestling tournament served as a mid-term test for competing programs heading into the playoffs.

If so, Whitehall’s wrestling program was adopted with flying colors in the citywide competition on Saturday from Mona Shores High School.

The Vikings won eight of 14 weight class championships to record 283 points and win their 15th GMAA championship in 16 seasons. Fruitport was second with 125 points, while Reeths-Puffer was third with 123 points.

Montague (122.5) was fourth, Mona Shores (81.5) fifth, Muskegon (68) sixth, Muskegon Catholic Central (51.5) seventh, Ravenna (50.5) eighth, Holton (39) ninth, Orchard View (21) was 10th and Oakridge (18.5) was 11th.

“I think we performed well across the board,” Whitehall head coach Justin Zeerip said. “There’s only been one weight class where we haven’t had a kid in the top four and that’s because he got injured in the semis. For us, it’s always important to go to the GMAAs and show your team.

“It is important to continue the tradition of this tournament. I know that’s important to a lot of people in Muskegon County, and it’s always important to fight to your maximum potential, especially when you’re playing against other teams in the West Michigan area. We want to defend our territory when we can. »

Senior Dylan Osborn shook things up for Whitehall with a pinfall win (3:43) over Fruitport’s Kyle Holt in the 112-pound Championship match, while fellow senior Riley Buys added a victory of his own (1: 11) on Landon Askins. of Montague in the 130-pound title match.

Senior Max Brown added an 8-3 decision win over Gavyn Stout of Mona Shores at 145lbs, senior Alec Pruett beat Muskegon Catholic’s David Hill by pinfall (5:08) in the title match at 152 pounds, and senior Nick Blanchard won defeated Reeths-Puffer’s Omillion Wyrick by pinfall (1:28) in the 171-pound championship match.

The Vikings closed out the day with a decisive victory (2:29) by Bradyn VanPatten over Zach Michael of Muskegon Catholic at 189 pounds, a major 20-9 decision by Shane Cook over Caleb O’Neal of Fruitport at 215 pounds and off Senior contest Ira Jenkins continued his undefeated season with a pinfall victory (2:23) over Reeths-Puffer’s Nathan Stafford at 285 pounds.

“There are a few seniors on our team who had never won the city tournament, so it was great to see guys like Riley Buys, Nick Blanchard, Bradyn VanPatten and Alec Pruett accomplish this Saturday,” Zeerip added. . “It was kind of a nice honor and recognition to kind of put them on a high note.

“This group of seniors is a special group. They’ve always had those leadership qualities, and just talking to the guys before the tournament, some of them said they’d never won the city tournament and they would really like to win it. We didn’t really need to keep them focused today because they’re already connected like that.

Junior Roan Cooper led the way for Fruitport with a major decision victory (12-3) over Whitehall’s Ryne Christensen in the 119-pound title match.

Montague won a pair of individual titles with senior Cale Coppess scoring a major decision victory (12-3) over Reeths-Puffer’s Kaden Malotke at 135 pounds and junior Tristan Winkleblack adding another major decision (16-2) victory over Nash Cooper of Fruitport at 140 pounds.

Reeths-Puffer freshman Ian Cook at 103lbs with a technical win (16-0) over Montague’s Jimmy Thommen, Mona Shores’ Anthony Cage at 125lbs with a close 2-0 decision over Montague’s Chris Aebig , also won individual championships. and Holton senior Rice Robbins at 160 pounds with a 13-8 decision over Zeke Thompson of Ravenna.

For full tournament results, click here

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