Chippewa Hills wrestling downs Big Rapids for 12th straight district title

IMPRESSIVE STREAK: Chippewa Hills’ Luke Henderson (left) wrestles Big Rapids’ Kyle Bewalda on Wednesday. The Warriors won their 12th straight district title with a 66-10 victory. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

IMPRESSIVE STREAK: Chippewa Hills’ Luke Henderson (left) wrestles Big Rapids’ Kyle Bewalda on Wednesday. The Warriors won their 12th straight district title with a 66-10 victory. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

REMUS — Chippewa Hills’ wrestling team won its 12th straight district title on Wednesday, defeating visiting Big Rapids 66-10 in the championship.

“It’s been a lot of people,” longtime Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge said of those who helped contribute to the streak. “Sweated a lot of sweat, bled a lot of blood and cut a lot of weight to get this thing to where it is now. A lot of people care about it. That’s what makes it special.”

The Warriors, ranked No. 4 in Division 3, have aspirations to accomplish much more this season, though, including their first state title.

The team reached the state semifinal last season and has advanced to at least the state quarterfinal each of the past four seasons.

“Our team is as strong as it’s ever been,” Chippewa Hills junior Kaden Ellis said. “Yeah, we lost a lot of guys from last year, but we’ve had younger guys come in and step up. We’re constantly learning and have to peak at the right moment.”

Ellis, who is ranked No. 9 at 119 pounds but wrestled at 125 Wednesday, defeated Big Rapids’ Aaron Repke 6-4 for his 100th career win.

“It’s something I’ve always looked forward to,” Ellis said. “My main goal this year was to get to 100 wins and get to the state meet and break 40 wins on the season. I’m at 35 now. I’m really confident. I’m having a really good season. I keep moving forward and I learn from my mistakes. My losses are to good kids and I am always learning.”

Austin Spedowski (135), Robert Granberry (160), Luke Henderson (171), Seth Mitchell (189) and Brendan Barry (215) each were victorious for Chippewa Hills. Slade Todd, Austin Santa, Bray Haynes, Mason Hayes, Alex Davy and Amison Oliver all won by forfeit.

Big Rapids’ Nick Worden (152) and DeSaun Griffin (145) each went 2-0, helping the Cardinals edge Reed City 38-36 in the semifinal.

The Warriors (27-1) will head to Essexville-Garber on Wednesday for the regional meet, with sixth-ranked Caro expected to be the team’s toughest competition, Ellis said.

“Caro definitely has enough kids where they could knock us off,” Ellis said, “but if we take care of what we need to, we’ll get it.”

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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