By: Seth Kinker, email@example.com
Last year, the Manchester Flying Dutchmen Wrestling team tied a program record, sending ten to individual states at Ford Field.
On Feb. 16 the team broke that record, sending 12 wrestlers to individual state while having three wrestlers win individual regional titles.
Freshman Jared Bunn (103, 5-0), junior Jacob Shelby (130, 7-3), and junior Simon Lato (Hwt., 11-0) all won their championship matches in decisive decisions to win individual regional titles.
“They flip flopped from last week and I said you gotta have a good week of practice and get after it. He was down a little bit,” said Manchester head coach Steve Vlcek on Jared, who lost an individual district title to his brother last week. “But he did a good with getting after it. Shelby started slow against the Ames kid who he had a tough match against here at the beginning of the season. I think once he got the nerves out of the way he did great. Simon had a great match in the finals, like we’ve talked about it’s been someone different (stepping up) each week.”
Freshman Jake Bunn (103, 2nd), junior Drew Gebhardt (119, 2nd), senior Grant Tungate (135, 2nd), senior Josh Bunn (140, 4th), junior Jacob Kurgin (145, 3rd), senior Max Wagner (152, 3rd), junior Nick Phillips (160, 3rd), junior Collin McCaffrey (171, 3rd), and junior Derek Guenther (189, 2nd) all qualified for individual states by placing fourth or higher.
Before the medals were distributed, regional coaches of the year were announced based on voting from their fellow coaches, and Vlcek was one of two coaches to win.
“Taking 12 guys to states, I’m really happy,” said Vlcek after the medal ceremonies.
On Feb. 17 the team will take the day off to enjoy their wins as well as find out their seed for team states on Feb. 22 and 23 in Kalamazoo.
Individual states take place at Ford Field on Mar. 2 and 3.