Chips have strong individual showings in home quad

Manistee’s Keaton Ensley was one of four Chippewas to go undefeated on Wednesday night. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Keaton Ensley was one of four Chippewas to go undefeated on Wednesday night. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE —The Manistee Chippewas didn’t have the numbers for a team win Wednesday night, but they sure had the talent to rack up plenty of victories individually.

Despite losing 54-30 to Manton and 36-32 to Pine River — mainly due to Manistee’s voided weight classes — the Chippewas won all but three of the 14 matches they actually wrestled during their home opening quad-meet.

“When there are 14 weight classes and you’re forfeiting seven, it’s very hard to beat anybody as a team,” said Manistee coach Darrell Burchfield. “But we’re winning these individual matchups.

“The guys we put on the mat are wrestling well and I’m proud of that. We’re not too focused on the team scores right now.”

Four Chippewas were undefeated Wednesday as Isaac Reynolds (135 pounds), Keaton Ensley (152), Bryson Jensen (171) and Keith Barke (215) each went 2-0. Manistee’s Ayden Bladzik (112), Connor Barke (160) and John Glover (285) finished 1-1 on the night.

“Two of the three (losses) were first-year kids, just their second time on the mat,” Burchfield said. “And that’s to be expected. The other (loss) was a simple mistake that we know won’t happen again.”

Burchfield added that, as a coach, he’s looking at the bigger picture during this early portion of the season.

“I tell them all the time: it’s not where we start, it’s where we end,” he said. “Not many people are going to remember how this quad meet went tonight, but people will remember if you won conference, districts, regionals or state. That’s what we’re preparing for and building toward now.

“And I really feel good about where we’re headed.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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