Allegan leads way with four wrestlers heading to state finals
Four Allegan wrestlers were among the participants at the Division 3 individual regional at Williamston on Saturday, Feb. 16.
All four will be making the trek to The Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual state finals beginning on Friday, March 1.
Tyson Emmons finished second in the 125-pound weight class, while Tyson Mead (140) and Tristan Mohrland (152) earned third-place finishes to go with the fourth-place showing from Tyler Mead (145).
Otsego’s Josh Sunnerville (119) and Jacob Case (160) each won their weight class to join the Allegan quartet in advancing, with the Hopkins duo of Ashtyn Bennett (second at 103) and Logan Klinge (third at 125) also qualifying.
First-year Allegan coach Phillip Joseph couldn’t have been prouder of his four grapplers.
“The underlying factor is that all four guys stayed focused and showed up with a purpose,” he said. “It’s especially exciting for me knowing that this is all of their first time qualifying for state. It’s just a testament to the hard work that we have been putting in. It’s a lot of fun to see the success that comes out it.”
Emmons’ first two matches ended with him winning via a 16-2 major decision over Dundee’s Austin Jaworski (first match) and a 17-2 technical fall over Jonesville’s Zayne Stevenson.
The finals saw Emmons suffer a 17-4 major decision loss to Corey Gamet, the top-ranked wrestler in the state.
“I was confident in Emmons’ ability to make his way through the tournament,” Joseph said. “It was only a matter of staying focused on the match ahead. Obviously we were disappointed with the finals match, but we plan on seeing (Gamet) again at the state tournament and have two weeks to prepare accordingly.”
Tyson Mead’s path to The Palace was a little more tenuous, as he was pinning in his first match. Undaunted, he won his next three matches to secure the third-place finish.
His final win of the day came over Jonesville’s Jacob Colbert via a first-round pin, while he won the match before that via an 8-2 decision over top-seeded Ian Ishmeal of Coloma.
“Tyson Mead may have had the most exciting story of the day to punch his ticket to state,” Joseph said. “He just kept getting better as the day went on, getting more physical and more determined. He is a very physical wrestler and when he gets it going it’s very difficult to slow down.”
Tristan Morhland won his first match by pin before suffering a major-decision loss in the second round. He regrouped to beat Constantine’s Carter Bates by pin in the consolation semis before besting Leslie’s Ethan Fehrenbach in the third/fourth-place match.
“Morhland has been steadily improving throughout the entire season, so to see him have the success he is having is a lot of fun,” Joseph said. “He always shows up to practice ready go 100 percent every day. A lot of kids can’t handle the pace that he brings to all of his matches.”
Like his brother, Tyler Mead also lost his first match to go into the consolation bracket. He then won two matches in a row—the first by pin and the second by a 3-2 decision—to guarantee himself a place at state.
He didn’t wrestle in the consolation finals as he was nursing an injury.
“Tyler is a very tough and technical wrestler and that alone got him where he is,” Joseph said. “He had one of the hardest paths to states, and had match in the blood round with a very tough competitor from Paw Paw. Tyler was losing the match the entire time but found a way to win the match with literally the last few seconds securing his spot at state.”
“He is a very aware competitor which is one of his greatest strengths when he goes out there. A lot of guys just don’t know how to wrestler him.”
For Otsego, Sunnerville defeated Dowagiac’s Dylan Elmore by a 13-3 major decision in the finals at 119 to claim his championship.
Case earned a decision over Onsted’s Cole Wixon in the finals at 160.
“I thought both Josh and Jake wrestled tough and aggressively throughout the whole day,” Otsego coach Brian Sparks said. “I think both of them are peeking at the perfect time and have a great opportunity to be very competitive (at state).
“They should have the expectation of standing on the podium when its all said and done next weekend.”
A trio of wrestlers from the combined Martin/Climax-Scotts team will be competing at The Palace.
Jordan Tutt headlines that group, having won the regional title at 152 pounds.
Tutt rolled through his first two matches, beating his first-round opponent by an 11-0 major decision before earning a second-period pin in his second match to advance to the finals.
In the finals, Tutt and Carson City’s Caleb Collins went back and forth throughout the match, with Tutt emerging with the 1-0 decision.
Teammate Michael Minne (215) also competed for a championship, but fell to Carson City’s Brian Yeakey 5-1. Minne opened the tournament with a 9-0 major decision before posting a 6-0 decision.
Cooper Simmons rounds out the Martin qualifiers with his third-place showing at 189.
Simmons dropped his first match—a 15-3 major decision to New Lothrop’s Camden Orr—only to regroup to win the next two via pins. That was enough to earn him a place in the consolation finals and, more importantly, a berth at state.
In the consolation finals, had a chance to avenge the earlier loss as he again squared off with Orr. But Simmons suffered the loss by pin in the second period.