Coming off a disappointing showing at last weekend’s O-K Red Conference tournament, the Buccaneers’ varsity wrestling team is looking for a better showing at tonight’s Division 1 team district tournament at West Ottawa.
The Bucs open tonight’s tourney against Hudsonville, a team the Bucs beat in a close match earlier in the year. With a win, Grand Haven would advance to face the host Panthers later in the evening. West Ottawa placed second in last Friday’s O-K Red tournament.
West Ottawa beat Grand Haven two weeks ago by nine points.
“If our kids wrestle to their abilities, we’re as tough as anybody in this area,” coach James Richardson said. “We just have to relax and be themselves, and I think they’ll be pleased with their results at the end of the night.
The Buccaneers have dominated the district tournament over the past decade, winning titles in 12 of the last 13 years.
Richardson isn’t worried about what’s happened in the past. He’s more concerned with what happens tonight.
“I feel this group has done a great job of continuing to get better the entire season,” he said. “Hopefully they enjoy (tonight) and continue to be aggressive and physical.
“The conference tournament did not go very well. I think we’re capable of more.”
Richardson has been pleased with the performance of freshmen Alec Benton and Zac McKinnon, as well as Aaron Cummings.
“All three of those guys are in the lineup for the first time, and I’m just extremely pleased with their efforts to get better and help this team,” Richardson said.
The Bucs have also received outstanding performances this season from Camden Bertucci, Dakota Juarez, Conner Moynihan, Conner Morley and Matt Mulachy, among others.
After competing in tonight’s team district, the Bucs host the Division 1 individual district tournament on Saturday.