Chippewa Hills prepares for wrestling regional on Wednesday

Senior Robert Grandberry (left) and the Chippewa Hills wrestling team are preparing for Wednesday’s regional tournament. (Pioneer file photo)

REMUS —  Bray Haynes and his Chippewa Hills teammates will try to take another big step toward state contention when they wrestle in the Division 3 regional tournament on Wednesday.

The Warriors won their 14th straight district a week ago. They now go to Ogemaw Heights for the regionals and will face the host school in the first match. The winner takes on either Caro or Sanford Meridian for the title. The winners advances to the team state finals on Feb. 24-25.

The Warriors also had 12 wrestlers come out of the districts as regional qualifiers. There were champs, including Haynes, plus Carson Hayes and Billy Koepf, who notched his 100th career pin.

Haynes, at 125 pounds, is a junior. Coming into this season, Hayes made the finals his freshman year.

“I’d like to get back to that,” he said. “Going to state individually last year was nice. He was at 112 pounds last year.”

“It’s a little different,” he said of the change in weight classes. “It’s a little different going from little guy to big guy. I’m going from little guy to big guy too.”

Haynes started out 11-3 after his first 14 matches and has continued to be extremely competitive.

“I’m wrestling pretty good,” he said. “I want to be on the podium at the state finals this year. I just have to get after it. I’m pretty good on top. My neutral is all right. I’m pretty good out. I have to work on my shots.”

Haynes is hopeful of a strong state finish for the Warriors.

“Every team has its flaws, but we have our depth,” Haynes said. “It should be interesting.”

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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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