On Wednesday night, fans at the home wrestling meet between the Raiders and the Bulldogs of Ionia got to see the end of one chapter, while also getting a sneak peek of chapters yet to be written for the Portland wrestling program.
The sneak peek came in the form of the Portland Wrestling Club being introduced prior to the start of the match. These youngsters are members of Portland’s youth wrestling program and are in the earliest stages of learning the sport.
The ending of a chapter came in the form of the last home match of the season for the Raiders. And for seven seniors, their final time wrestling on their home mat.
On the mat, the Raiders dominated nearly every weight class and defeated Ionia 75 to 3. Head Coach Mark Holdren said, “I was really excited that we came out and just wrestled basic matches. We didn’t try to over push, we didn’t try to under push, and with the team we knew Ionia would have some spots that were not filled. We also knew that we would have to wrestle good solid matches to be able to win. It was nice to come up with as many pins as we did. Those are sort of icing on the cake. They are not part of the pre-plan. The pre-plan is to win a match, but the icing on the cake comes with the pins.”
As for his thoughts on his seniors last match at PHS, Holdren said, “It is always a bitter sweet kind of thing when you have a senior, especially in their last home gym match. I thought our crowd was great tonight. The support with only having two home matches, having this many people show up to support them, it was great. They all came out to win and everyone got that opportunity. This is a good group. We are going to miss them in a year, but we always say part of who they are has to be left with the young kids so that they can transition next year.”
When asked about his last home meet, Raider senior Owen Guilford said, “It is a little sad knowing that I will never wrestle in the Portland gym again, but the team still has a lot left for the season so we are going to keep grinding and give it everything we got. Keep moving forward.”
In tonight’s meet, Ionia did not have wrestler for three weight classes. Last week, I noticed that Charlotte also had several voids. When I asked Holdren about Portland’s ability to field a team its size, he said, “For the size of our school, it is abnormal to have a full line-up. It is really getting to a point where there are two or three voids on every single team, and it is nice to be able to fill those weights. After that we are a little thin. We have one per weight class, but we are filling every one of them. We are excited that we can do that. That is what makes our team depth and competition level so good. I always tell everybody that it is not that we have studs at every weight class, we just have good wrestlers at every single weight class, so that is why we can compete against other teams, is because we are never out of matches.”
A match by match summary is listed below.
215: Doak Manshum (PORTLAND) over Aidan Clute (IONIA) (Fall 1:49)
285: Zackary Fedewa (PORTLAND) over Scottie Grant (IONIA) (Fall 5:13)
103: Carter Johnson (PORTLAND) over Nate Dygert (IONIA) (Fall 1:20)
112: Caiden Pelc (PORTLAND) over Blake Ledesma (IONIA) (Fall 0:19)
119: Brendan Wartella (PORTLAND) over (IONIA) (For.)
125: Trent Trierweiler (PORTLAND) over Nate Richardson (IONIA) (Dec 8-3)
130: Jared Thelen (PORTLAND) over Christian Villa (IONIA) (Fall 3:17)
135: Jackson Weygandt (PORTLAND) over (IONIA) (For.)
140: Eli Garcia (IONIA) over Marty Thelen (PORTLAND) (Dec 5-2)
145: Ethan Getchell (PORTLAND) over (IONIA) (For.)
152: Hunter Hoppes (PORTLAND) over Shawn Bongaurd (IONIA) (Fall 5:37)
160: Kyle Hinds (PORTLAND) over Carter Meyers (IONIA) (Fall 3:00)
171: Owen Guilford (PORTLAND) over Dalton Wood (IONIA) (Fall 0:54)
189: Ethan Guidi (PORTLAND) over Erik Pilkinton (IONIA) (Fall 1:48)
The Raiders next action is this Saturday when they travel to Ithaca for the Ithaca Invitational.