Local wrestlers take first step toward the Palace

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Four Buccaneers’ wrestlers won individual district championships and four others also placed in the top for at Saturday’s Div. 1 individual district tournament, held at Grand Haven Fieldhouse.

Grand Haven’s Dakota Juarez, Connor Moynihan, Matt Mulcahy and Camden Bertucci were crowned district champions on Saturday.

Chase VanHoef, Antonio Reyes, Luke Avril and Aaron Cummings also advanced to next Saturday’s individual regional tournament by placing in the top four in their respective weight classes.

Juarez won a district championship at 160 pounds, and in the process remained undefeated on the season at 38-0. He capped off a fantastic day by scoring a technical fall over Hudsonville’s T.J. Lubbers.

At 171, the Bucs’ Moynihan also cruised into the finals, where he pinned Forest Hills Central’s Andrew Fotis in just 1:37. Moynihan, who is now 34-2 overall, pinned all three of his opponents on the day.

Mulcahy, now 35-3 on the year, pinned his first two opponents, then dominated Rockford’s Brandon Houle in the finals at 215 pounds, scoring a 9-0 major decision.

Wrestling at 112 pounds, Bertucci improved his season record to 39-1 with a trio of wins. He pinned his first opponent in just 16 seconds; scored a technical fall in 2 minutes in his semifinal match; and scored a 17-6 major decision over Rockford’s Stephen Jendritz in the title match.

Avril placed second at 140 pounds. He pinned his first opponent, then scored back-to-back close wins to reach there finals. There, Avril (14-20) suffered a 5-1 loss to West Ottawa’s Gage Keene.

In the heavyweight category, the Bucs’ Chase VanHoef finished in fourth place. He suffered a 6-2 loss to Grandville’s Dakota Pike in the consolation finals.

At 130 pounds, the Bucs’ Antonio Reyes (20-17) continued his strong sophomore season with a fourth-place finish. He fell to Nick Hughes of Forest Hills Central in the consolation finals, 9-8.

Another sophomore, Aaron Cummings, improved to 11-14 on the year when reached the finals of the consolation bracket. There’ Cummings suffered an 11-4 setback to West Ottawa’s Daniel Visccher.

The eight Buccaneers who advanced out of Saturday’s individual district tournament  From there, the top four individuals in each weight class get the chance to wrestle in the Div. 1 state tournament, which will be held at the Palace of Auburn Hills the weekend of Feb. 28-March 2.


Not only did Spring Lake senior Billy Belcher clinch a Division 2 district title in his heavyweight weight class on Saturday, he also scored his 100th career victory in the process.

Belcher turned in a dominating display with three pins en route to the title.  In the process, he improved his season record to 39-2.

He was the only Laker to win his respective weight class, although Spring Lake had four other wrestlers move on to the regional round by finishing fourth or better.

Gabe Giddings was the closest Laker to take home a district title, however, he was pinned by Sparta’s Dom Chong in the finals of the 145-pound weight class.

Finishing fourth for the Lakers on the day were Zack Kennedy at 160; Shane Skorupski at 215; and Kyle Edwards at 125.

Fruitport had three wrestlers move on, including Collin Butler in the 125-pound class. Butler was the No. 1 seed, but was upset in the second round. He fought his way through the consolation bracket to place third.

Tommy Martinez was also third at 130 pounds, as was Austin Flalek at 152.

Fruitport will host the individual regionals on Saturday, Jan. 16.

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