2017-12-07 / Sports

Wrestlers anxious to get season started

By Sports Sta ff


Who can forget this photo of Bentley coach Josh Roddy hoisting Robert Rogers on his shoulder after winning a repeat state title at 130 lbs. Rogers will be looking for his final state title after already committing to wrestle for Central Michigan next season. 
File Photo Who can forget this photo of Bentley coach Josh Roddy hoisting Robert Rogers on his shoulder after winning a repeat state title at 130 lbs. Rogers will be looking for his final state title after already committing to wrestle for Central Michigan next season. File Photo BURTON – Area high school wrestling teams were able to get their season started as early as last Saturday, but many chose to begin with the traditional Wednesday start yesterday before we went to press. Several state champs and state qualifiers are in the mix again this season, and newcomers are looking to follow in their footsteps. Below is a look at each team in our coverage area and who is looking for team and individual titles as the season progresses.

BENDLE: Larry Colburn’s team brings back quite a bit of experience after not graduating anyone in the offseason. Although the team only had five grapplers a year ago, all five return to the mats for the new season, including Christian Downer, who qualified for regionals last year.

Zach Murphy and Ryan Bushy are also back for their fourth seasons on the squad and Wesley Kimball and Tyler Johnson are also coming back.

“Looking forward to a new season. My numbers are up with lots of new faces,” said Colburn. “We will be a little inexperienced but it will be a fun year. If all goes well we should be able to fill all the weight classes. Not sure what to expect just yet but we should be competitive.” – B.P.

BENTLEY: The Bulldogs capped off last season with a third-place finish in the Genesee Area Conference-Blue and made it all the way to the district finals before a 49-23 loss to Memphis. It will help that defending state champion Robert Rogers is back in action, as well as Jake Brand, who finished in the top four in the state.

Harry Carlquist was also a state qualifier and Victor Shaw returns, as well. Jaiden Jackson and Jerimiah Kinder are new to the team but show quite a bit of promise. Heading into the year, Rogers is close to earning his 150th career win.

“I’m very excited to see what this team is able to accomplish this season,” said coach Josh Roddy. “We have a good balance of experience with a lot of newcomers. Each week we’re going to be tested but at the end of the season it will have us ready to make a run in the postseason.” – B.P.

KEARSLEY: Coming off of a successful 2016-17 season, the Hornets are looking to pick up right where they left off for this coming year. Kearsley had six individual wrestlers reach the state finals last year and three of them, seniors Malik Davis at 152 and Andy Ruhstorfer at 130 and sophomore La’Ron Ruffin at 103, will be returning.

Davis wrestled at 152 last season and finished with a 34-5 overall record but is now listed as a contender at 171. Ruhstorfer finished 36-8 at 130 last season, but will begin this season at 135. Ruffin is listed as taking over at 130 after competing at 103 last season.

As for big losses to graduation, Kearsley will have to fill voids left by Dylan Terrence at 160, Reese Harburn at 215 and Marcus Moss at 285. Terrence was second in the individual state tournament last season while Harburn finished fifth.

Looking to fill in are many wrestlers that return from last season’s roster including Ashtyn Cohoon-Smith and Tyler Byczynski at 171, Jacob Kunkel and Ethan Goss at 160, Trenton DeGenova at 145 and John Brown at 189, among others.

Attempts for other preseason information went unanswered. The Hornets began their season yesterday at home and travel to Capac on Saturday. – A.V.

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