Whitehall, Brown maintain their domination at GMAA City Wrestling Tournament

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal.com

RAVENNA – The Whitehall wrestling team’s dominance of the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association City Wrestling Tournament has reached a full decade.LSJ Logo incert

The way the Vikings are excelling, who knows when it might end?

Whitehall captured its 10th consecutive city title on Saturday at Ravenna High School, with six wrestlers winning individual weight class championships and three finishing second.

Whitehalls Britton vs RP?

Whitehall’s Jwan Britton gets turned the wrong way in his championship win over Reeths-Puffer’s Blake Ross. Photo/Jason Goorman

That means the Vikings had finalists in nine of the 14 weight classes, which is quite an accomplishment by any measure.

Overall the Vikings finished with 219.5 points on the day. Reeths-Puffer was second with 158.5, followed by Mona Shores (117), Montague (93), Muskegon (89), Ravenna (71), Fruitport (62.5), Orchard View (56.5), Catholic Central (28.5), and Holton (15).

Whitehall Coach Cliff Sandee said it wasn’t his team’s best performance, but he was happy his athletes kept the winning tradition intact.

“I didn’t like the process today, we didn’t wrestle very well but we got what we thought we would out of our seniors who were good,” Sandee said. “We weren’t the most physical team in every match and that’s something we pride ourselves on because we don’t want people looking forward to facing us.”

Like his team, Whitehall’s Reiley Brown has been a dominant force at the city meet for years.

Brown, a senior who won an individual state title last year, became only the sixth wrestler in tournament history to win a city title four years in a row.

Brown wrestled in the 135-pound bracket on Saturday and pinned Bailey Lynn of Fruitport in the finals at the 3:17 mark. In previous years wrestled in the 103, 119, and 125 weight classes in the tournament and pinned every opponent he faced.

“I’m glad I can set an example for future kids that are coming into the program who are going to do the same thing as me,” Brown said. “It’s more important to me that we won as a team than winning individually.”

Luke Morningstar wraps up Reeths-Puffers Dawson Romanosky in their championship match for the 189 pound title. Photo/Jason Goorman

Luke Morningstar for Whitehall wraps up Reeths-Puffer’s Dawson Romanosky in their championship match for the 189 pound title. Photo/Jason Goorman

“He’s pretty good and we’re lucky to have him,” Sandee said. “I think he’s pinned every kid he’s wrestled in the county, not just in the tournament but throughout dual meets and other tournaments.”

Other city champions for the Vikings were Corey Robinson (119), Josh Thommen (140), Jojo Dowdell (145), Jwan Britton (152), and Luke Morningstar (189).

Placing second in their respective weight classes for Whitehall were Hunter Bower (103), Allen Powers (125), and Tom Balaskovitz (130).

Powers fell just short in one of the most competitive matches of the championship round. He lost 14-12 to Matthew Lipka of Montague in a back-and-forth battle that came down to the final seconds.

Balaskoitz scored multiple points in the final minute and seemed to have momentum, but ultimately was unable to overcome Lipka’s early lead.

“He’s a really good wrester and I had to give everything I had to stay ahead,” Lipka said. “They called me for stalling a couple times, he was kind of pushing me out, I was trying to stay in, but I wanted to make sure I stayed ahead and won the match.”

Other individual weight class champions were Anthony Borrego of Montague (103), Sean Halverson of Mona Shores (112), Marcus Murar of Muskegon (130), Sam Karel of Mona Shores (160), Brett Thomas of Reeths-Puffer (171), Max Briggs of Reeths-Puffer (215), and Dovel Wilson of Muskegon (285).

Wilson and Murar became the first individual city champions for Muskegon in more than a decade.

“It feels really good to be a city champion because Muskegon hasn’t had one in a while,” Wilson said. “It shows that Muskegon is on the rise and we’re working hard just like everyone else.”

2016 GMAA City Wrestling Meet
Individual Champions

103 – Anthony Borrego, Montague

112 – Sean Halverson, Mona Shores

119 – Corey Robinson, Whitehall

125 – Matthew Lipka, Montague

130 – Marcus Murar, Muskegon

135 – Reiley Brown, Whitehall

140 – Josh Thommen, Whitehall

145 – Jojo Dowdell, Whitehall

152 – Jwan Britton, Whitehall

160 – Sam Karel, Mona Shores

171 – Brett Thomas, Reeths-Puffer

189 – Luke Morningstar, Whitehall

215 – Max Briggs, Reeths-Puffer

285 – Dovel Wilson, Muskegon

 

 

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