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2019-01-09 / Sports

NHS Wrestlers Anchor Middle Spot at Escanaba Elks Invitational

by John Vrancic for the Newberry News

ESCANABA — Six Newberry wrestlers earned medals Saturday, helping the Indians take ninth among 19 teams in the 46th annual Escanaba Elks Invitational.

The host Eskymos retained their title with 205 1/2, points. They were followed by Grayling 184 1/2, Westwood 144 1/2, Iron Mountain 141, Kingsford 119 1/2, Benzie Central 110, St. Ignace 102, Munising 84, Newberry 74, Ishpeming 70 1/2, Menominee 55, Negaunee 52 1/2, Bark River-Harris 51, Marquette 44, U.P. Extra 11, Escanaba II 6, Gwinn and U.P. Extra II and III 0.

“All of our kids who are able to get medals, got one,” said Newberry coach Bob Bowler. “Six of our 10 kids were placement winners. The kids competed well today. We have a younger group this year, but a couple juniors stepped up and are working on becoming leaders. This gave all the kids a chance to compete.”

Freshman Travis O’Neil placed third at 119 points by taking an 11 - 5 decision from Grayling junior Nick Greem.

“I felt pretty confident and wrestled pretty hard,” said O’Neil, who got pinned in one minute, 56 seconds by Westwood junior Wyatt Carlson in his previous match. “When he’d go to get a move, I was able to grab his arm and get on top. I had some tough matches, but was up to the challenge today. The second match was real tough.”

O’Neil opened by pinning Munising freshman Billy Crisp in 41 seconds.

Sophomore Jacob Gribbell (145)droppeda4-3decision to BR-H sophomore Tyler Racicot in his third-place bout, and senior Richard Nalette (152) was pinned in 2:03 by Marquette junior Jackson Holdwick in another third-place match.

Gribbell tied his match with Racicot at 2 - 2 with a reversal late in the first period, but was unable to gain the upper hand this time.

“We went back and forth,” said Gribbell. “It’s always close between us. I got a locking hands call (in the final 10 seconds) and it cost me. It was just a lack of execution. I made a mistake, but you can always learn something new.”

Gribbell pinned Esky sophomore Ryan VanEffen 5:46 into his opener, then got pinned by Grayling junior Max Halstead in 1:16.

Nalette pinned Benzie Central Jagger Richards 2:22 into his first match before getting pinned in 1:43 by Esky junior Noah Weaver.

Sophomore Noah Gielecki (125) pinned St. Ignace sophomore Paytin Curns just 23 seconds into a fifth-place bout. Kevin Wynn (152) added a fifth-place finish by pinning Westwood junior James Pietro in 1:50, and junior Cameron Depew (160) didlikewisewitha6-0decision over Benzie Central sophomore Joe Orfe.

“I knew I had to go strong from the beginning (in the fifth-place match) and got him in a cradle,” recounted Gielecki. “I lost my first match (to Iron Mountain sophomore Trevor Malburg). I made some mistakes and got pinned. I came in unseeded. With a higher seed, I think I could have placed higher.”

The Indians are scheduled to resume in St. Ignace tonight at 5:30 p.m. in a double dual meet with the Saints and Sault Ste. Marie.

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