Chippewa Hills wins big in quad match

BIG RAPIDS — As dominant of a performance as the Chippewa Hills wrestling team displayed Wednesday evening, there is still room for improvement.

The Warriors began the Central State Activities Association quad with a 57-15 victory over Big Rapids before knocking off Reed City, 55-12 at Big Rapids High School.

“We are beat up with kids out of the line-up, it’s that time of year,” Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge said.

Big Rapids defeated Morley Stanwood 61-5, while the Coyotes defeated the Mohawks 66-13.

Ethridge acknowledge he probably doesn’t praise his team enough. The Warriors are currently ranked No. 3 in Division 3. But that success comes with expectations and why with just a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, Ethridge is looking to fine tune.

TWO POINTS: Reed City's Jared Shyrock (left) works for a takedown against Corey Near of Morley Stanwood on Wednesday. (Pioneer photo/Bob Allan)

“It’s the little things inside a match,” he said. “It’s controlling the hands underneath and managing our matches, making sure we don’t give up points in short time and knowing the score and how that changes how we wrestle.

“We have to clean it up, it’s nothing major,” Ethridge continued.

Eight different wrestlers won a pair of matches for the Warriors, including Richard Ostrander, Zack Cooper, James Leiter, Nathen Weckesser and Johnny Wernette. Also taking two wins were Jason Peacock, Devin Esch, Damien Curtice and Quentin Moody.

“I don’t give the kids enough credit for how good they are,” Ethridge said. “They work hard, but there is a lot of expectations with the program and they understand that.”

Big Rapids coach Dan Sleeper was fairly pleased with how his team performed overall. The Cardinals have steadily improved and in the next couple of weeks before the start of the postseason, they will have to continue.

Winning twice for Big Rapids were Alim Muhammad, Brandon Buck and Kyle Carter.

“The biggest thing we have to focus on is finishing our leg shots,” Sleeper said. “We are getting to the legs, just not finishing and the guys who are getting turned have to stay off their backs.

“I was happy that a lot of guys fought off their backs,” he continued. “I’m pretty happy with that.”

Roger Steig has seen steady improvement from his young squad all season. Though the score was ‘lopsided’ against Chippewa Hills, it was a far better match than the first time the two teams hooked up.

“Our team has come a long way,” Steig said. “They are learning to stay in matches, keep them close. There were four or five matches, that if they go our way, it is a totally different outcome.”

To changes those matches, Steig said it has to come from within the wrestlers.

“The biggest thing with youth is believing in the things we are doing,” he said. “If we can do that, success will follow.”

It was a tough night for the Morley Stanwood squad, who came into the duals with just seven grapplers on the team. Steven Malloy did win a pair of matches during the course of the day.

Though a team district is more than likely out of the question, coach Jeff Davis is looking toward the individual tournament.

“I would like to see us get three or so wrestlers out of the district,” Davis said. “They can do that if they wrestle to their potential. we are progressing, moving in the right direction.”

Morley Stanwood and Big Rapids are in action Saturday when they travel to the Reed City individual tournament, while Chippewa Hills hits the road to the Shelby Super Duals

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