Cardinal grapplers take first in home invitational

Big Rapids wrestling wins home Cardinal Invitational meet

BIG RAPIDS — After going 0-2 in a Central State Activities Association (CSAA) double dual meet on Wednesday, the Big Rapids wrestling team made good use of its two days of practice before winning the BRHS Cardinal Invitational on Saturday.

“I was much happier with the way they wrestled (Saturday) than I was on Wednesday,” Big Rapids coach Ben Kosmalski said. “I think it did kick in what they need to do to be successful, because since Wednesday they’ve worked so hard in the (wrestling) room, much harder than they have all year. It really took the bad beatings (Wednesday) to get them to realize what they need to do to be successful.”

TAKEDOWN: Big Rapids’ DeSean Griffin (right) takes down an opponent from Traverse City West at the Cardinal Invitational on Saturday. Big Rapids took first place in the team tourney. (Pioneer photo/Daine Pavloski)

TAKEDOWN: Big Rapids’ DeSean Griffin (right) takes down an opponent from Traverse City West at the Cardinal Invitational on Saturday. Big Rapids took first place in the team tourney. (Pioneer photo/Daine Pavloski)

The Cardinals went 3-0 to start the day at their home invitational, defeating Evart, 59-6, Traverse City West, 65-12, and Muskegon Orchard View, 48-27.

The 3-0 start made a dual meet with Grand Rapids West Catholic the only thing standing between the Cardinals and the first-place trophy, meaning the home team would need some inspired performances to get the job done.

“I told them that every point matters because there are guys that we depend on to get wins and get points and we’re hoping to get six points out of them,” Kosmalski said. “There are some guys that sometimes it comes down to them just not getting pinned.

“(Against GRWC) the guys who we were hoping to save us some points and just stay off their back, ended up earning us six points by getting pins,” he continued. “Lucas Monroe and Joey Dennis had back-to-back pins and pretty much sealed that dual meet.”

The Cardinals beat GRWC, 58-24, to seal the dual meet win and their spot in first place.

Four Cardinals went 4-0 on the day, with Hunter Jacobs at 130 pounds, Nick Worden (140) and Tristan Wilkes (215) all going undefeated while DeSean Griffin (152) went 4-0 with four pins, putting his season record at 6-0 with six pins so far.

“I’m just doing what I know and what they teach me,” Griffin said. “Just going 100 percent and things like that.”

Brandon Hatchew (103), Garrett Smart (112), Aaron Repke (119) and Kam Robinson (heavyweight) all
posted three wins on the day.

Evart attended the tournament with just four wrestlers participating as the first-year program opened its season.

“All of our kids are first-year kids in a first-year program,” Evart coach Ryan Hopkins said. “A lot of our kids’ goals (Saturday) were to go a full six-minute match without getting pinned. Everyone hit that and we won some matches and I was very, very impressed. The kids did very well.”

Jonah Smith (189) picked up a pin for the Wildcats and Zach Parshall (171) had two wins on the day.

“Coach was pretty happy,” Hopkins said. “I was pretty excited and (the wins) were pretty nice. It shows the other teammates that it can be done.”

Caleb Parrish and Roman Tiedt also competed for Evart throughout the invitational as the Wildcats fell to Big Rapids, 59-6, GRWC, 72-6, and TC West, 30-18.

“They’re all first-year guys and I told them ‘Look, you’ve seen the competition and now you know what kind of conditioning it takes,’” Hopkins said. “We hit our goals (Saturday) and did very well. It’s just time to take it up a notch or two.”

Big Rapids will return to action on Wednesday in a quad meet at Lakeview as Evart heads to Pine River.

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