Clare grapplers expectations high

       The Clare Varsity wrestling team headed out to Houghton Lake on Wednesday December 12, 2012. Clare squared off in their first Jack Pine Conference match of the season against the Bobcats of Houghton Lake, followed by a non-conference match-up with district rival, Oscoda.

       The evening started off with a quick dual meet against Houghton Lake. In the 171 pound weight class, sophomore Steven Bentley picked up 6 points for Clare after pinning Jake Barth of Houghton Lake. Brenden Hensley had a tough loss against Dalton Bailey who placed 2nd in the state last year. Tyler Orwig captured a win at 215 pounds, but Houghton Lake was able to bounce back and took a quick 6 in the heavyweight division. With the score 12-12, Houghton Lake voided the next 7 weight classes to Clare before capturing a 9-5 minor decision win in the 145 pound weight class. Clare then picked up 2 more voids at 152 and 160 to bring the final match score, 48-15 in favor of the Pioneers.

       The second dual of the evening was full of excitement and came down to criteria points to make the final call. Winners for Clare included Brenden Hensley, Michael Evers, Austin Wieler, Brandyn Simon, Eric Litke, Dominik Herkel, and Logan Emery. Oscoda matched all of Clare’s pins to bring the final score of the match 42-42. Moving swiftly through the first 5 levels of criteria, Clare and Oscoda still remained dead even. Finally, the winner was determined by looking at who scored the first points in each match of the dual meet. Clare scored first in 6 matches, as opposed to Oscoda who scored first in 4 of the matches. Final decision went to the Pioneers which improves them to 4-0 on the season.

       “This is one of the best starts to our season that we have had in a while. A lot of individuals are really stepping up big for our team, and I am excited to see how that progresses throughout the season.” The Pioneers head to Montabella for a round robin tournament on Saturday December 15, 2012.