By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team went 2-0 on Dec. 19, hosting Kalamazoo Central, Fordson, and Dansville on
First, Manchester defeated Fordson, 69-12, picking up pins for the Dutchmen were
Against Kalamazoo Central, the Dutchmen won 56-23. Gebhardt, Tungate, Wagner, McCaffrey, Guenther, Withrow, and Lato had pins.
Before the contests began Manchester honored six seniors in the program; Nikolai Rovenko, Max Wagner, Travis Withrow, Josh Bunn, Grant Tungate, and Lenin Fierro.
Before the season began, Manchester head coach Steve Vlcek commended this year’s seniors for making the jump coming into the senior year.
“We finally got the seniors hungry and ready to rock and roll. Been waiting for that for a while now,” said Vlcek. “This group of seniors has brought a new attitude, the juniors last year had it. They’re competitive, still growing, but that’s the biggest jump I’ve seen. They realize this is the last shot, let’s go.”
After opening their season on Dec. 5 with two wins against Homer (78-0) and South Lyon East (78-6) the Dutchmen picked up two more on Dec. 13 at home against Grass Lake (78-0) winning their first league meet, and South Lyon (78-6).
On Dec. 15, the team took part in a tournament in Monroe, taking third place (219.5) behind Temperance Bedford (265) and Lakeshore Stevenson (234.5)
“That’s the kind of level of competition we needed to see, not that they were overconfident by any means, just to see where were really at,” said Vlcek after the Dutchmen didn’t attend JAWS this year. “Like I always told you, we use JAWS as an educator. Everyone was tested (on Dec. 15). Now, we have no one on our team undefeated which to me is a good thing, they come to the realization, ‘hey there’s kids up there that can kick my tail. I was pleased with it, saw a lot of good things with kids that were in the semis or in the match to get to finals and they shined through. Other ones were outmatched in finals and that’s okay early in the season and what we need to see.”
On Dec. 27 the Dutchmen will host a tournament at the high school, with nine other schools (Belleville, Homer, Ida, Jackson, Madison, Napoleon, Pinckney, Trenton, Woodhaven) scheduled to attend.