By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team finished second in team regionals Feb. 17, traveling to Bendle High School for the Division IV regional matches.
The Dutchmen first defeated the Memphis Yellow Jackets (78-0) before advancing to face the Clinton Redskins with the winner advancing to team states.
Coming into the season Manchester had three goals; to win their tenth consecutive league title, to win their twelfth consecutive district title, and to make it to the team states tournament.
They accomplished the first two but fell short against the Redskins 42-18.
Senior Reese Fry (112), senior Blake Belaire (135), sophomore Derek Guenther (152), senior Charlie Depp (215) picked up wins for the Dutchmen but the Redskin’s experience proved too much for a younger Dutchmen team.
“They’re just solid from top to bottom, they had more experience than us,” said Manchester head coach Steve Vlcek. “They’ve got four, five seniors and seven juniors in the lineup. I think you saw that on the mat. They’re just better, tougher mentally, they’ve been thru it they were there last year. It is what it is, we got beat by a better team – they deserved it.
Vlcek spoke shortly with the team after their season ending loss, speaking of the importance of getting ready for individual regionals at New Lothrup for a chance to qualify for the individual state tournament.
“You hope it leaves a bad taste in my teams’ mouth for next year,” said Vlcek on the steps that needed to be taken to get back to team states. “You just say, ‘Hey we have to put in the extra work.’ That’s one thing about that team, they’ve gotten a lot better from hard work, it doesn’t happen overnight.