By Travis Smola
In their latest quad meet at home against Paw Paw and South Haven, the Vicksburg varsity wrestling team lost both matches. The score may have been 53-30 in Paw Paw’s favor, but it was the second time they had faced this team recently. Head Coach Jeff Mohney said their latest match went much smoother. “We’re improving, we’re just young.”
The big highlight of the match-up against Paw Paw was Kenny Stermer in the 189-pound weight class. Stermer got off to an early lead in points that he never relinquished. It was 15-5 and the match nearly went the entire six minutes. He scored a pin fall victory with just 11.6 seconds left.
The Bulldogs had Gunnar Niewiadomski and Daxton Rugg pick up quick pinfall victories against the Redskins. In the second half of the meet, when the team faced South Haven, they were at an early disadvantage simply because the first four weight classes were vacant.
Many of the boys did put in spirited efforts, even in defeat. Mohney said they’ve been well engaged. Exam week was a distraction during this latest quad meet. The team is learning to roll with it. “We stress academics first, so the classroom always comes first, wrestling comes second,” Mohney said.
The team had hoped to get more freshmen competing in JV events this year. Unfortunately, the arrival of winter in Michigan cancelled a few of those events. On January 18, the JV team was scheduled to go to Harper Creek for an event. When that event was cancelled, Mohney moved a few boys over to a varsity Individual tournament in Marcellus happening the same day, where they did very well. The experience should help with future events.
“The freshmen coming in have to learn how to deal with academics, have to learn how to deal with training,” Mohney said. “They have to learn the environment of wrestling; it’s just a whole new ballgame for them.”