By: Seth Kinker, email@example.com
On Jan. 5 the Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team placed third at the 44thannual Dave Elliot Memorial Invite at Clinton High School.
The Dutchmen (186.5) finished behind Woodhaven (244) and Clinton (214) with Tecumseh (177) and Coldwater (120) rounding out the top five, with 17 schools in attendance.
Freshman Jared Bunn (103), junior Jacob Shelby (130), junior Collin McCaffrey (171), and Simon Lato (Heavyweight) all took first in their respective weight classes.
Bunn, who is ranked seventh in division four, defeated Woodhaven freshman Marcello Luna, who was undefeated at 17-0 and ranked fifth in division one coming into the day, in a 6-4 decision in the championship match. Bunn had faced and lost to Luna earlier this season when Woodhaven traveled to Manchester for a tournament.
Shelby ranked second in division four, defeated Clinton freshman George Ames 6-5 after trailing 4-3 coming into the third and final period, scoring early in that period and holding off Ames late for the win.
McCaffrey, ranked seventh in division four, defeated Grass Lake sophomore Trenton Holden in the finals. After a 0-0 first period, a late reversal gave him the 2-1 lead heading into the final period, and he won 5-1.
Lato led Coldwater senior Dillon Minton 2-1 after the first period. Minton tied it in the second period at two, and in the third period Minton tied it late with 30 seconds left. In overtime, Lato scored a quick takedown to win 6-4.
Other placers for the Dutchmen included junior Drew Gebhardt (119, 4th), senior Grant Tungate (135, 2nd), junior Jacob Kurgin (145, 3rd), junior Nick Phillips (160, 5th), junior Derek Guenther (189, 4th), and senior Travis Withrow (215, 4th).
“They’ve really stepped up these past two weeks,” said Vlcek after the tournament. The Dutchmen’s third-place placing improved from fifth last year. “A lot of good competition here (today) and I’m proud of the way we wrestled.”
At the same time the Dave Elliot Memorial invite was taking place, a second Dutchmen squad traveled to Napoleon for another invite.
Sophomore Adam Pringle (135) placed first, freshman Garret Pope (145) placed second, and senior Lenin Fierro (152) took fourth. Sophomore Phoenix Waters (125) and senior Nikolai Rovenko both picked up a win at the tournament as well.
The tournament win for Pringle was his first action back from an injury, he went 5-0.
“That’s a good tournament for him to get his feet wet on the season,” said Vlcek of Pringle’s win.
“I’m glad they were able to get over there and get 3-4 matches a piece,” added Vlcek on his wrestlers getting some action, whether at Clinton or Napoleon. “We have to build them up and get them ready if we ever need them in a pinch (this season) and for the seasons coming up. I was really happy they did as well as they did.
On Jan. 9 the Dutchmen, 14-2 (1-0), travel to Grass Lake for their second league match, taking on Michigan Center and Hanover Horton.
“We have to make sure were sharp this week and have a good couple days of practice to get ready for them Wednesday night,” said Vlcek.
Video highlights to be added.