Spring Lake’s district semifinal loss to Fruitport on Thursday was marred by a the accusation that the Lakers’ Max Kriger bit his Trojans’ opponent.
Kriger wrestled Fruitport’s Collin Butler at 145 pounds. At one point, with Kriger leading the match 6-2 late in the second period, Butler’s arm ended up across Kriger’s face, and Butler claimed Kriger bit him.
The official agreed, and issued a flagrant misconduct penalty, which eliminated Kriger from the competition and also keeps the Lakers’ senior from wrestling in Saturday’s individual district tournament, where he would have been one of the favorites in his weight class.
“Max was wrestling, was winning, and their wrestler said, ‘He bit me,’ and the ref said yes,” said a disgusted Lakers’ coach Dan Robinson. “I could understand it if he was down, but he was up 6-2. Why would he bite him?
“That really put a damper on the night.”
Robinson said he’ll exhaust all of his resources trying to figure out a way to allow Kriger to wrestle on Saturday. Otherwise, the outstanding senior’s season is over.
“Max was wrestling great,” Robinson said. “He was peaking at just the right time.”
Trojans’ coach Jack Nummerdor was disappointed to see Kriger disqualified from future competitions.
“Collin cross-faced him, and he ended up biting Collin,” Nummerdor said. “The ref thought it was flagrant, so he has to sit out Saturday. It’s a crying shame. It really stinks because it’s the kid’s senior year.”