By: Seth Kinker, 

The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team had three goals heading into the season. Win the league title, win the district title, and get back to the team tournament for States.

On Friday, Feb. 2 they accomplished the first of those goals, capturing their tenth straight Cascades Conference title at East Jackson High School.

Sophomore Drew Gebhardt (103), senior Reese Fry (112), sophomore Jacob Shelby (119), senior Blake Belaire (130), sophomore Derek Guenther (152), and senior Charlie Depp (215) all took home first place for the Dutchmen.


Junior Max Wagner (145) and sophomore Colin McCaffrey (160) added second-place finishes in their respective weight classes.

The Dutchmen (224) cruised to a first-place finish, beating out the second place Addison Panthers (181) by 43 points.

Michigan Center (106), Napoleon (81), Hanover-Horton (72), East Jackson (64), Grass Lake (53), and Vandercook Lake (47.5) rounded out the rest of the placings for the conference.

Manchester Wrestling Head Coach Steve Vlcek, who is in his 28th year at the helm, when asked about reaching the double-digit milestone for conference titles said he was happy to see his program continue to succeed.

“The program is going in the right direction and sometimes you get one or two classes where your team is doing well, but when they’re gone you have that drop off,” said Vlcek. “That’s one thing I’m really happy about, being able to sustain the success.”

Vlcek and the Dutchmen still have more goals to attain this season, but Vlcek is having fun.

“I’m excited about the win and people ask when I’ll be done coaching,” said Vlcek. “And I say, “When I don’t enjoy it’. A group of kids like this, though, it’s hard not to enjoy it.”

The Dutchmen close the season with individual (2/10) and team districts (2/7, 2/8) and individual (2/17) and team (2/14) regional rounds before the individual (3/2, 3/3) and team (2/23, 2/24) finals.

For more photos head to


Leave a Reply