Viking grapplers reach finals at Oscoda tourney

By Greg Gielczyk
Grayling’s wrestling team picked up three wins in the Oscoda Team Invitational tournament on Saturday, Dec. 10 and had two wrestlers go 5-0 on the day in a tremendous performance.
The Vikings rolled over Alpena, 51-21 in the first round and then overwhelmed Saginaw Vally Lutheran, 66-6 in round two. Round three found the Vikings continuing their relentless march, as they defeated Whittemore-Prescott, 45-27.
A narrow 38-36 win over Beaverton in the fourth round put the Vikings into the championship match where they went up against Garber and that’s when the string would end. Essexville-Garber handed the Vikings a 51-30 loss.
Max Halstead and Tim Burr each went 5-0 while Nick Green, Cole Hibbard, Andrew Hopkins, Zach Kelly and Tyler Withers finished 4-0.
“Overall it was a really good day for us,” Vikings coach Andy Moore said. “We were really
strong in the lower weights today. Tyler Withers came up with a big pin against his Beaverton opponent to secure the win for us.
“It would have been great to win the tournament, but Garber was just too deep for us in the finals. We gave up three voids every dual. Our guys knew that and responded well.”
Zach Kelly wrestled very strong all day. His best match of the day came against Garber
where he narrowly lost, 4-3 to a state qualifier from last year. Halstead and Burr accounted
for six teams points every time they stepped on the mat.
Grayling opened the season Wednesday, Dec. 14 hosting a four-way meet that also featured Petoskey, Sanford Meridian and Sault Ste. Marie and wound up splitting a pair of duals, losing to the Northmen by a 37-30 count on the last match of the night and defeating Sault Ste. Marie, 42-27.
Logan Joseph, Reece Ferrigan and Halstead all picked up wins by falls to highlight the
Vikings’ win over the Blue Devils. Registering wins for the Vikings against the Northmen
were Hopkins by pin, Withers and Justin Bodkins.
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