By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity wrestling program’s resurgence continued toward the end of the season as the Bulldogs picked up a District win and sent three wrestlers to the Regional round and one to the state finals — senior JP Culver.
The Bulldogs drew Harper Creek in the first round of Districts where they picked up the win. The team was defeated in the next round by Gull Lake, who eventually moved on to team Regionals.
“In seven years that’s our first District win without a bye, and Harper Creek’s not terrible, so that was a good win for us,” Head Coach Jeff Mohney said.
Culver, Hunter Town, and Carter Mann all placed third at Harper Creek to earn a trip to the individual Regional tournament. Culver placed second at the event to advance to the state finals at Ford Field in Detroit. It was an eventful season for Culver in the 120-pound weight class. He also crossed the 100-win threshold this season.
Along with Culver, Mann, and Town, Vicksburg this year is set to lose seniors Daxton Rugg, Brandon DePlanche, Harrison Barton, Ty Barnes, Cooper Androsky, and TJ Murphy. While that might create some challenges for next year, Mohney is encouraged by what he’s seeing from Vicksburg’s burgeoning youth wrestling program.
“It all starts with our youth program,” Mohney said. “A lot of them (the seniors) have younger brothers.”
Vicksburg’s MYWAY (Michigan Youth Wrestling Association) program handily won a tournament a few weeks ago. Mohney is also hoping they can host another off-season wrestling camp to help teach the youngsters the skills needed for competition.
“Our MYWAY is very strong this year,” Mohney said.
Mohney thanked the school administration, the parents, and the volunteer coaches for being big parts of the program’s growth and expansion over the last six years.
Culver was scheduled to wrestle at the state meet on March 3 and 4.
By Travis Smola