Manchester Wrestling Captures 12th Consecutive District Title, Sends Wrestlers to Regionals

By: Seth Kinker,

Make that two of three goals checked off for head coach Steve Vlcek and the Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team.

After winning the conference meet last week the Dutchmen traveled to Dansville High School on Thursday, cruising to their twelfth consecutive District title, defeating Webberville (66-15) and Dansville (78-3).

Manchester Wrestling after capturing their twelfth district title at Dansville on Thursday. Photo courtesy Jean Robert.

“It’s nice to see the program continue to be successful,” said Vlcek when asked about what accomplishing two out of the three season goals. “You don’t want to be arrogant about it but it’s more about where our standards are and what we expect,”

With the conference and district titles won, the focus will be on getting back to the team state tournament this year.

On Saturday, the Dutchmen traveled to Clinton High School to take part in individual districts, with the top four in each weight class going on to individual regionals.

Seniors Reese Fry (112), Blake Belaire (135), and Charlie Depp (215) won their bracket to become District champions.

All fourteen Manchester wrestlers made it to through to individual regionals, taking place next Saturday (2/17).

Sophomore Drew Gebhardt (103, second), sophomore Jacob Shelby (119, second), junior Grant Tungate (130, third),  junior Josh Bunn (135, third), sophomore Jacob Kurgin (140, 2nd), junior Max Wagner (145, third), sophomore Derek Guenther (152, second), sophomore Colin McCaffrey (160, second), sophomore Nick Phillips (171, fourth), junior Travis Withrow (189, fourth), and sophomore Simon Lato (285, third) rounded out the placings for the Dutchmen and Coach Vlcek was happy with how his team performed despite facing opponents who they don’t normally see during the regular season.

“I think we wrestle a good enough schedule that we can go with just about anybody,” said Vlcek. “I was pleased with the kids today, though, there’s a lot of unfamiliar kids but my biggest thing is they outwrestled them.”

In the semi-finals of the 119-weight class, Shelby had one of the bigger wins of the day for the Dutchmen, coming from behind to pin the no. 2 seed, Christian Minard, a Clinton wrestler who is from Manchester.

“It’s sort of a little rivalry and lot of emotions,” said Vlcek. “Which is always good, I felt good for Jacob because he’s young and starting to figure it out. Those are important wins for him.”

The Dutchmen are back in action on Wednesday (2/14) for team regionals.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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