The rivalry match came as part 2 of a quad, as Muskegon and Comstock Park also visited Spring Lake High School. In Round 1, the Panthers got the best of the Lakers, 66-15, while Fruitport toppled Muskegon, 59-18.
Karl Glydewell picked up a win via technical fall against Muskegon, while Tyler Renhaw and Jayme Woodring picked up pinfall wins.
Jack Parker defeated state-qualifier Bailey Borgeld from Comstock Park in their opener, 4-3, while Nate Derose also picked up a victory on the mat via pinfall.
In the nightcap, Fruitport took early bragging rights with a 51-25 victory. Savion Williams, Crue Cooper, Dominic Dault and Woodring took wins via pinfall for the Trojans, while Glydewell defeated Tristyn Ball, 10-6.
Parker picked up his second win of the night with a 5-2 decision over Connor Sykes, while Max Montgomery defeated Trever Wahr via pin and Jamie Holt defeated Evan Ludlow with a major decision, 14-1.
Both coaches saw what they wanted to out of their lineups in their first real run through. The Trojans will lean on veteran talent to reach some lofty goals this season, while the Lakers will look to develop a roster made almost exclusively out of unproven, young talent.
“Coach Sykes left the program in a good spot with those guys who are returning like Dault and Sykes and Cooper. Those are guys we are looking to for big things this year,” said first-year Fruitport head coach Mike Michelli. “We have big goals. Of course, we have the conference, city and district championships on our list. It’s a lot, especially when you have to go through teams like Reeths-Puffer and Whitehall. We have some work to do to be able to accomplish our goals, but they are realistic, I think.
“Getting those nerves out of the way was a big part of tonight. I was hoping to see a lot of what happened tonight. There is some stuff we can build off of for sure. It was a good start for us. What I wanted to see was our guys going out and attacking and getting after it, and they were doing that.”
“We know what we are this year. We are so young with 12 freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and two seniors,” said Spring Lake head coach Dan Robinson. “We knew these teams were tough and bringing back a lot of kids tonight, so it was about just getting onto the mat and working.
“We saw some guys do good things tonight. They went and fought hard and brought what we are working on in practice to the mat and that’s exactly what we wanted to see.
“A few were deer in the headlights. It’s their first night and that happens. Jack Stewart wrestled outstanding. Montgomery wrestled very well and got that win and was still mad after the match and wanted to keep going that is why I like him. He’s got that mentality.
“Caleb Kitchen is up two weight classes and did some good things because of what we have in the young pups. He is doing the things we are asking him to do.
“We also had a lot of the young guys go out there and show we aren’t afraid, which is exactly what we want to see.
“Jack got a win over a state-qualifier from Comstock Park and then knocking off Sykes was great. That’s huge. He had a great night both for him and the young pups out here. It shows the young guys if they work with us and work with him they will get there, too.”
The Lakers return to the mat Saturday at the Forest Hills Eastern Invitational, while the Trojans take on the Grandville Challenge.