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Iron Mountain grapplers focus on individual districts

Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News IRON MOUNTAIN FRESHMAN Bradon Farragh pinned Manistique’s Nic Wing in one minute, five seconds during Thursday’s MHSAA wrestling district semifinal at Central Middle School.

IRON MOUNTAIN — A shorthanded Iron Mountain wrestling team hosted an MHSAA Division 4 District Thursday evening in the Central Middle School Gymnasium. The Mountaineers took on Manistique in a semifinal, with Bark River-Harris awaiting the winner in the District Championship, in the three-team event.

Both Iron Mountain and Manistique carried very slim rosters in to the matchup, with the Emeralds narrowly defeating Iron Mountain 35-29. The dual came down to the (285) match between the Emeralds senior Isaac Brewster and Iron Mountain freshman Marcus Verette.

Brewster pinned Verette to earn the six team points that Manistique needed, which ended up being the difference in the dual, sending the Emeralds to the District Championship dual with Bark River-Harris.

“We knew we had to win one match to beat Iron Mountain, and Isaac (Brewster) got it done for us,” said Manistique head coach Mat Gonzalez. “With all of Iron Mountain’s forfeits and how well their other kids wrestled, we knew we needed the heavyweight match to go our way.”

Manistique earned forfeit wins at five of the 14 weight classes, which totals 30 team points.

The Mountaineers had pins from Shawn McGuire at (112) over Jena Osterhout in a 1:07, and the lone senior on the team Brent Aman, at (152) over Kirk Slater in 20 seconds, a Manistique senior.

Mountaineer freshman Bradon Farragh pinned freshman Nic Wing in 1:05, while Iron Mountain sophomore Preston Roberts pinned junior Josiah Gilroy at (140) in 1:42.

At (125), Iron Mountain freshman Evan Haferkorn defeated the Emeralds Austin Mischel by technical fall.

Due to a number of factors, with injuries being the most significant of those factors, the Mountaineers roster shrunk from 13 wrestlers on the first day of practice, to the six that competed today.

“Things went as expected tonight, I knew where we were going to get our points from, being so short handed,” said Mountaineer head coach Cory McLaren. “Heavyweight was going to be a swing match, it didn’t go our way, unfortunately. But Marcus (Verette) gave their senior (Brewster) a great match.”

Bark River Harris went on to defeat Manistique 69-10 and will travel to face Onaway in a Region 125 semifinal. Westwood and Newberry battle in the other semifinal.

IM prepares to head to Westwood High School in West Ishpeming on Saturday for the MHSAA Individual Districts.

On Tuesday in Gladstone, Kingsford dropped a Division 3 district semifinal against Negaunee, 54-28.

Kingsford was within 30-22 after Donovin Bowser (160) pinned McCollum in 3:59.

Finn Helppi (171) then pinned Ethan Gribble at 4:39 and Leo Helppi (189) pinned Elliot Johnson in 1:54, giving the Miners an insurmountable 42-22 advantage.

“Things didn’t go our way in a couple lighter matches,” said Kingsford coach Darren Groleau. “Ethan wrestled very, very well at 171, but ran into a real tough opponent. The guys gave a good effort overall. Only, we’re green and inexperienced and it showed. Plus, you can’t give up 24 points in forfeits and expect to win. It will be interesting to see the match-ups in the individual district. Hopefully, we’ll get a few guys through to the regional.”

Other winners for the Flivvers included Macario Kalcec (119), Josh Peterson (140), Toby Wilcox (152) and Ben Stanish (215).

Gladstone beat Menominee 72-11 and then earned its 11th straight district championship with a 48-31 victory over Negaunee.

Kingsford heads to Grayling Saturday for individual districts.

(John Vrancic of the Escanaba Daily Press contributed to this report)

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