Andrew Vinton shoulders load for Warriors

 

GRAPPLE: Andrew Vinton hopes to keep Chippewa Hills strong at 285 pounds this season. (File photo)

GRAPPLE: Andrew Vinton hopes to keep Chippewa Hills strong at 285 pounds this season. (File photo)

Vinton keeps Chippewa Hills wrestling competitive at 285

REMUS — Chippewa Hills’ Andrew Vinton is looking for what could be a banner wrestling season for the Warriors at 285 pounds.

Last season was a memorable one when he placed seventh in the state at 285 in Division 3. He figures on being closer to his exact weight, perhaps heavier, this season.

Vinton, a junior, helped the Warriors to a Division 3 state second-place team finish last season.

“Last year, I thought we worked great as a team,” he said. “We worked hard. It wasn’t good enough. I think we have a great chance to make it back (to the finals). We’re doing the right thing this year.”

Reaching his goal of a higher than seventh-place finish is doable, but Vinton realizes there’s other things to keep in mind, especially avoiding getting trapped.

“I’ve been working a lot on trying not to get underneath big guys,” Vinton said.

A lot of wrestlers, like Vinton, and head coach Nate Ethridge, went right from football to wrestling.

“Physically, I feel football’s harder on the body,” Vinton said. “Mentally, wrestling can wear you down. It’s harder. But football is a good starter.”

On the mat, “I normally try to go inside and for singles, and I try to knee pick or ankle pick,” Vinton said. “I usually escape really well.”

The Warriors were first-place winners in their home Joe Loren Memorial Invitational on Dec. 17 and were scheduled to be at the Goodrich Invitational on Friday.

Chippewa Hills resumes action at the Alma Tournament on Jan. 7 and wrestles at Big Rapids on Jan. 11 in Central State Activities Association competition.

The Warriors, as state runners-up last season, will start making their bid for first place in February during postseason action.

“This team has the talent to win a state title this year,” Vinton said. “Everyone has to get in here, do our thing and not make mistakes, and work hard every day.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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