ROSCOMMON — Hart’s wrestling team made the long trip north to Roscommon Wednesday night and brought home a regional title, the program’s first since 1990.
The Pirates, ranked #5 by MichiganGrappler, were never seriously threatened, pounding Mancelona 78-6 in the regional semifinals and defeating Whittemore-Prescott 49-19 for the title.
Sunday afternoon, the MHSAA revealed pairings for the quarterfinals, to be wrestled Friday at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. The Pirates were seeded #4, and will wrestle #5 seed Manchester at 12 p.m. Friday. Hart would wrestle again at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, likely against the top seed Hudson Tigers, if it defeated Manchester.
In the semifinals, Hart won the first five bouts, twice by forfeit and three times by pin. Scoring pins in that span were Mason Cantu, Jerry Brandel and Thomas Tanner.
After the Bulldogs got on the board with their lone win of the match, Hart rolled through the rest of the Mancelona lineup, with pins at every weight class except for two more forfeits. Braeden Carskadon was the first to respond to Mancelona’s win with a pin victory, and Tanner Breitwisch, Bryce Jorissen, Nick Sawdy, Chance Alvesteffer and Fabian Vilches-Mendoza would follow suit.
Forfeit wins by Hart in the semis came from Adrian Rendon, Leo Guadarrama, Trayce Tate and Spencer VanderZwaag.
The finals were a bit tougher, as the underdog Cardinals scored the first win of the match. Brandel and Tanner responded by each securing their second pins of the night, but Whittemore-Prescott did come back with two more wins, evening the score at 12.
Carskadon eked out a 4-2 decision over Ronnie Boggs of the Cardinals, and Breitwisch followed up with a pin. The Cards got another win to cut Hart’s advantage to 21-16.
That was W-P’s last relevant victory, as Hart reeled off the next five bouts, four of them pins. Trenton Swihart scored a pin, then Tate, and VanderZwaag earned a major decision. Alvesteffer and Vilches-Mendoza polished things up with two more pins.