The Alpena wrestling quad on Wednesday was a showcase for four of the top wrestling squads in Northeast Michigan: Alpena, Gaylord, Rogers City and St. Ignace.
Each team faced two opponents and there was plenty of high flying wrestling action on both mats.
Gaylord went undefeated, beating Rogers City 49-22 and St. Ignace 63-18. Alpena split, losing 51-18 to Rogers City and beating St. Ignace 50-15.
News Photos by Eric Benac
Alpena’s Austin Hawks (green) pushes Darik McDonald of Rogers City to the mat at the Alpena wrestling quad on Wednesday. Hawks pinned McDonald 41 seconds into the third period.
Alpena’s Emry Zarins (green) tries to fight his way out from underneath Jack Ryan. Zarins was pinned 1:39 into the second period.
"Gaylord is really tough again this year. There's a reason they're ranked in the state," Alpena coach Jake Stenz said.
The first duals pitted Alpena against Rogers City and Gaylord against St. Ignace. Alpena struggled against Rogers City, going eight straight matches without a win.
However, Austin Meicher (160) and Tom Szatkowski (189) picked up default points in their matches to give Alpena a 33-12 lead going into Austin Hawks' (285) matchup with Darik McDonald.
Hawks took quick control of the match, picking up two points for a take down in the first and second periods. McDonald struggled to stay off the mat against Hawks, but kept off his back.
That changed when Hawks finally turned McDonald 41 seconds into the third period for Alpena's first and only pin of the Rogers City match up.
"Against Rogers City, our guys came out flat. We battled well this past weekend in Howell and they had a really good effort. For whatever reason tonight against Rogers City, we didn't have that effort. They're a quality team and they always are," Stenz said.
Noah Sobeck (130) of Rogers City picked up his 100th career victory with a pin of Daron Mathia 1:35 into the third period.
The Gaylord and St. Ignace match up was fairly one sided for the Blue Devils. Gaylord earned 21 unanswered points, including a 40-second Jacob Ponosso pin of Garret Kellen.
Other Gaylord pins included Jeff Heinz (145) over Robin Chargo 2:40 into the second period, Forrest Madagame (189) pin of Dylon Danielson in 53 seconds and a Dominic LaJoie (103) pin of Austin Marshall 2:31 into the second period.
St. Ignace's James Cryderman (171) pinned Jake Juranek in 53 seconds to give St. Ignace its only non-default win against Gaylord.
The Wildcats picked up the pace in its matchup against St. Ignace, picking up three pins and giving up only two.
Alpena's first pin came off a Jason Frank (135) pin of Garrett Kellan 1:02 into the second period as he led 7-4.
"We got a young team, but we have some quality wrestlers. Jason Frank is a freshman, he's been wrestling two weeks and he got a pin tonight," Stenz said.
R.J. Centala (152) picked up an 18-7 win against Jason Brown, earning nine takedowns and giving up only escape points.
Austin Meicher (160) picked up a pin of James Helms 1:27 into the second period to give Alpena a 20-0 lead.
St. Ignace got on the board when Cryderman pinned Dakota Patterson with one second left in the match. The match was tied up 6-6 before Cryderman got the pin.
Szatkowski made up for his earlier loss by pinning Danielson 59 seconds into the match, giving Alpena a 26-6 lead. The Wildcats were aided by four default wins, which netted 24 extra points.
"Against St. Ignace, we rebounded well. Our guys really stepped up and wrestled much better," Stenz said.
The Gaylord and Rogers City match was the closest of the night. Rogers City took a 6-0 lead after Cameron Urban (135) pinned Panosso one minute into the third period.
Rogers City extended its lead to 22-6 after Jacob Sobeck (145) won a decision against Jeff Heinz, Ryan won a default and Jared LaFleche (171) pinned Juranek.
LaFleche's win came after his nose started to bleed in the second period. A quick wrap job by his coach got him back into the match for the win.
Gaylord then earned 43 straight points to take the win. The Blue Devils tied it up 22-22 with a default victory and took the lead 28-22 when Dominic LaJoie (103) pinned Tom Vogelheim in 55.
From there, Trent LaShauy (112) pinned Tristan Baller in 1:44 while Jon Martin (119) picked up a default win to give Gaylord a 40-22 lead.
Seth Lashauy (125) then pinned Justin Saile 4:53 into the third period for the Blue Devils' last pin of the night.
"All our young guys, especially the second match, we had a much better effort. Hawks wrestled really well against Rogers City and we challenged him to be on the mat and to be a big strong physical kid and he did that tonight," Stenz said.
Alpena travels to the 18-team Carroll tournament on Saturday.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.