By: Seth Kinker, email@example.com
The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team hosted an invitational at Manchester High School yesterday, bringing in Madison, Trenton, Belleville, Pinckney, Woodhaven, Ida, Jackson, Homer, and Napoleon.
After splitting the ten teams into two pools, the schools wrestled everyone in their pool as well as a crossover match before the winner was declared.
The Dutchmen cruised through pool play, going 4-0 and defeating Belleville (40-27), Trenton (57-13), Madison (64-9) and Pinckney (78-6).
“That was a bit of a wake-up call,” said Manchester head coach Steve Vlcek when asked about the first round matchup against Belleville, a division one school. “Not that we wrestled that poorly but if you want to be at the next level you have to win matches, individually and as a team.”
“As long I’ve been coaching Belleville’s been tough, just hard-nosed kids,” said Vlcek. “We lost two or three matches in the third period we shouldn’t have lost. That was probably a great match for us to get started with and listen I’m not taking anything away from Belleville because that’s just the way they wrestle, they make you earn anything we just didn’t take it.”
In the first and second place match, the Dutchmen took on Woodhaven, who went 4-0 in their pool as well. The Dutchmen weren’t able to overcome a slow start even with a late push at the end and fell 38-26.
Woodhaven had a bit more experience but Vlcek knew it would benefit his players in the long run. He has never been shy about scheduling tough opponents, not worrying about early season losses as long as they learn from them.
“If they run against a little more experienced kid, it’s good for them in the long run so I never worry about any of my kids, I have a lot of confidence in them,” said Vlcek.
Top performers for the Dutchmen included senior Reese Fry (5-0) sophomore Drew Gebhart (5-0), junior Josh Bunn (5-0) and senior Blake Belaire (4-1)
The Dutchmen are back in action tomorrow at the Lawton Invitational, an event Vlcek stressed importance on performing well for potential seeding for the state team tournament, which was a major goal for this season.
With only two days between the tournaments, Vlcek saw small things to improve upon heading into Saturday.
“We really need to work on not giving up our arms so much,” said Vlcek. “Easy stuff but we gotta work on that. Other than that I think we’ll be okay, we’re gonna battle and we’ll see what happens, all you can do right?”
For more photos head to http://thesuntimesnews.com/photo-gallery-manchester-wrestling-invitational-122817/