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  • James Townsend

Portland Wrestling Club Shines at MYWAY State Meet

The Portland Wrestling Club had another amazing day on the mats at the MYWAY state tournament. The tournament was held on March 29-31, at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. It was a follow up of the regional tournament in which 20 out of 20 wrestlers qualified for the state meet in hopes of achieving all-state status.

Of the 20 wrestlers that participated, an astounding 10 wrestlers came home with all-state medals. The club had two state runner-up finishes, a 3rd place, three 4th placers, three came in 5th, and one claimed a 6th place medal. The top eight finishers in each weight class earn all-state status, so it was awesome to see these ten wrestlers finish top 6 or higher. The other 10 wrestlers did extremely well as many of them were only one win away from making the podium. It truly was a gutsy performance by every wrestler in the club where everyone left it all on the mats. Here is how it all went down. Newcomer, Bryson Crowley (49lbs), lost his first match by pin, but came back with a second round victory over Ashton Gliddon of Fulton WC by fall. He lost his next match by pin, and was out with a 1-2 record. James Feldpausch (55lbs) went 2-2 on the day and was one win away from placing. He won his first match over Cooper LaPin of Upper Level WC 8-0. James dropped his second match by a 4-I decision, but claimed another victory over Travis Murphy of Holly 6-0, and was beat 7-0 in his last match. James was 4th in the state last year, and had a solid season this year. Emmett Fandel (57lbs) lost two tough matches, but wrestled his guts out all season long. It was his first trip to the state meet, which is quite an accomplishment for any wrestler. He lost a close match in the opening round 8-6, and lost by pinfall in his next match. Kolton Bowers (66lbs) wrestled hard going 1-2 on the day, in his 3rd straight finals appearance in the last 3 years. He was defeated in his first match 3-0, but claimed a hard fought decision over Alex Moore of Grayling 2-1. After a loss in the third round, he fell just short of placing. Zachary Stanton (78lbs) had an outstanding day going 2-2 and falling just one victory shy of placing. He won his first match by a 6-2 dec. over Chris Crisler of St. Joe, and lost his next match by a pin. A third round pin over Dustin Phillips of Newberry advanced him to the “blood-round”. He was then defeated by technical fall (TF) 21-5 and fell just short. Landon Lanz (60lbs) went 1-2 in his second finals appearance. Landon lost by a 9-2 dec. in round 1, but had a great pin over his rival Nala Forist of the Central Region in 1:22. After a tough 7-1 loss he was out of the tournament. Landon had an exceptional season by placing 1st or 2nd in numerous meets this year. Gunnar Williams (126lbs) went 1-2 on the day, and came one match away from all-state honors. It was his 2nd trip in as many years, and has been a solid performer since he started wrestling. Gunnar was pinned in his first match, but stormed back to pin Logan Eding of Hamilton in 30 seconds. Williams lost in the next round by pin and ended his season on a high note. Issac Kramer (90lbs), in his 3rd straight trip, wrestled very well but came one match away with a 2-2 record. He took his first match by a1!5-0 TF over Wyatt Mack of New Boston, and dropped his next by pin. He fought hard to defeat Korbin Hicks of Constantine 6-0, and was put out in the blood round by a fall. Isaac competed on the middle school team this season as a 6th grader and is one tough customer. Deakin Guidi (138lbs) had a valiant effort in his first state final, but dropped his first match by pin, and lost a very close 3-2 dec. to Dewley of Owosso. Deakin won a regional title two weeks prior and is making big strides in wrestling. He will look to compete at the high school level next year and add to the Portland wrestling tradition. Ethan Webert (100) was making his 7th or 8th finals in a row (hard to keep track), because he has been in the sport a long time. Despite going 1-2, he will make a fantastic wrestler in the future as he will join the high school next year as well. He lost his 1st round by pin, and had a quick pin in 33 seconds over Vladimir Uhlik of Bear Attack WC. After a 3rd round loss 6-0, he finished an amazing youth career in which he collected tons of hardware. Ethen is very technically sound and gives everyone he wrestles a tough match, and he will be sorely missed at the club level. His father, coach Kevin Webert, who has been an instrumental rock, and an inspiration to many wrestlers in the club, will also be hard to replace. I bid both father and son a good luck farewell and thank them for their time and dedication to the PWC. Grady Lanz (52lbs) finished in 6th place in a tough weight class. He won 3-2 over Jace Duncan of Tecumseh, and then dropped a heartbreaker in the semis to Nicklowicz of Caro 8-6. He then defeated Garrett Aldrich of Corunna 6-0 to secure his place on the podium. Lanz wrestled Duncan again in the consi-semis and won 5-0 this time. After two tough losses 9-0 & 2-0, he finished as an all-state wrestler. Branlun Simon (63lbs) finally cracked the top 8 in his second trip to the finals. Simon wrestled his way to a 5th place finish in a loaded bracket. He did it the hard way after a loss in his first match 5-0. Simon then rattled off 4 straight victories to reach the consi-semis, not an easy feat! He beat Blake Berget of Buchanan by pin (:31), Jordan Row of Mustang WC (7-2), Joelan Coyer of Lakeshore WC (MD 12-2), and Gavin Lewis of Oxford (7-0). He dropped his next match 7-0 before finishing with a victory over Richard Davis of Plymouth Canton by (FF). Also taking 5th place, was newcomer Bentley Tennihill (82), who opened up the tournament with a 15 second pin over Nicholas Alcini of Capac. Bentley was then defeated 9-1 before pinning his next victim in 37 seconds, Kale Johnson of Blackhawk WC. Another quick pin over Benjamin Streeter of Cedar Springs in 17 seconds, put him in the consi-semis, against teammate Brady Crowley. Tennihill and Crowley had an epic battle that ended 9-8 in favor of Crowley, which put Bentley in the 5th place match. Bentley finished the day with yet another pin in 1:22 over Logan Parker of East Detroit, and earned his place on the podium. He was a pinning machine all weekend and had an outstanding first year in the club. Next up was Braiden (67lbs), who claimed 5th place for the second straight year with a 3-2 record. In an almost repeat tournament from last year, Braiden found his way to the semifinal match. He opened with a first round pin over Davis Leonard of Plainwell in 54 seconds, and then pinned Jacoab Costello of Ida in 41 seconds. He lost in the semis by pinfall, and then fell in the consi-semis by and 8-5 decision. Ending the day on a good note, Braiden beat Parker Seacrest of Rocket WC by pin in 2:34. He has now earned all-state honors 2 years in a row, amazing! Garrett Williams (77lbs) rolled to a 4th place finish with an outstanding 4-2 record. He started the day with a pin over Everett Williams of Marcellus in 2:49. After dropping a quarter-final match by pin, Williams won 3 straight. He pinned Nolan Ashley of Downriver (:58), pinned Clarence Smithson of Newberry (:23), and defeated Thomas Perkins of Monroe (7-3). He lost 10-1 to Dyer of Comstock to end a fantastic run in the state meet. Brady Crowley (82), in his first year, collected all-state status with a 4th place finish. After a bye in round one, Brady pinned A’Zaria Lane of Monroe in 2:28. He was pinned in the semis before dropping to the consolation round, where he faced a familiar opponent in Bentley Tennihill. As mentioned earlier, Crowley won a battle of teammates 9-8 to advance to the 3rd place match. He was pinned by Mazur of Napoleon to end the season. It was very pleasing to have two wrestlers from our club take 4th and 5th place in the same weight, especially as both were giving this great sport a try for the first time. Drew Miller (114lbs) wrestled his way to a 4th place finish against some stiff competition. Miller came out banging with a pin over Logan Schwartz of Rockford in 52 seconds. He pinned his next opponent, Logan Furgeson of Hartford, in 54 seconds. He lost a close 4-1 decision in the semis, before facing Zak Shadley of Clinton in the consi-semis. Miller and Shadley have had some epic battles this year, and Drew came out on top 6-1. He rounded out the tournament with a 4-0 defeat to claim his all-state honor. Miller will enter high school next year, and undoubtedly will have an amazing career. He is such a fierce and true competitor, with maybe the best double leg I have seen in a while. Mayhem Garza (40lbs) finished with an outstanding 5-1 record to take 3rd place. He opened with a pin over Rowan Bailey of Holly in 30 seconds. He dropped his only match of the meet in the 2nd round by pin before rolling to 4 straight victories. He won a tight 5-3 decision over Cruz Loop of Hudson, then beat Alejandro Keuvelaar of Grandville (7-1), next Garza took out Benjamin Jeffrey of Lakeview (11-4), and finsh with a win over Trenton Villarrearl of Zeeland (3-0). Mayhem definitely had a great tournament and claimed his second straight medal, after a 5th place finish last year. He is the “peanut” of the club and is fun to watch wrestle. Finally, it was Brantley Reay (61lbs) and Branson Goodman (195lbs) that rounded out this awesome group with runner-up finishes. Reay started his run to the title match with 3 wins in a row. Brantley pinned Savannah Westover of Matcats WC in 21 seconds, then won a hard fought battle over Lincoln Ryan of Carson City (4-2), and ran over Patrick Moldenhauer of Jr. Lightning WC (8-0) in the semifinals. In the finals, he lost by TF 17-2 to Deonte White of Silverback Academy. Brantley has made huge improvements this season and has been very consistent all season in his approach to training to become a better wrestler. Last, it was Branson Goodman’s turn to take his shot at a state title. Branson hadn’t been challenged much this season in middle school or on the MYWAY circuit, but found himself in a battle in the finals. Goodman made short work of his first two opponents by pinning Aston VanHuysen of Pellston in 20 seconds, then disposed of Michael Romero of Hesperia in 3:31. He ran into a game Bradon Farragh of Iron Mountain, and in a marathon match, came out on the losing end 3-1 in sudden victory. Branson, along with a talented 8th grade group, will head to the high school next year to carry on the Raider wrestling tradition. No doubt, he will find much success at the next level, after spending many seasons with the club. Overall, it was a very satisfying and successful way to end the wrestling season. Everyone just seemed to get better as the year went on and peaked at the right time. As always, I would like to thank our dedicated parents and families that make it fun and operational. The wrestlers are truly a special group of kids that make it fun and motivating to coach. I personally want to thank Mike Feldpausch for his time in helping with the coaching duties. Also, I have to thank Kevin Webert for his time in coaching as well, and his genuine love for the wrestlers. Kevin has done so much for this program and his dedication and efforts will be felt for many years to come. Portland, Portland, Portland, Wrestling Pride (a team cheer that has been shouted many times over).

Thank you, Coach Fedewa

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