Pioneer grapplers win first two matches of season

        The Clare Varsity wrestling team headed down to Shepherd for the season opener on Wednesday December 5, 2012. The Pioneers squared off against the Fulton Pirates in the first dual of the evening. Starting weight was drawn at 145 pounds which sent Clare sophomore Eric Litke out on the mat, where he started off the contest with a pin over John Vusich to put Clare up 6-0. DominikHerkel took a void at 152, as well as Steven Bentley at 160, to put Clare up 18-0. Junior Logan Emery came out strong in the 171 pound weight class and pinned for Clare to bring the match score, 24-0. A tough loss at 189 for Evan Sved gave the Pirates their first points of the night, but sophomore Brenden Hensley redeemed the loss by pinning Caleb Thelen in the first period. Junior Bob Green followed in the heavyweight position and captured his first Varsity win by pinning Troy Bearden in the first period. Double voids at 103 and 112 brought up the 119 pound weight class where junior Michael Evers took a tough loss, followed by junior Austin Weiler who both wrestled their first matches ever in a Clare uniform. With the match score at 36-18 in favor of the Pioneers, sophomore Brandyn Simon went out and grabbed 6 more points for Clare before a tough 12-11 loss for Zach Betzer of the Pioneers at 140. Overall match score, 42-30 in favor of the Pioneers.

        The last dual of the evening took place between the host team, Shepherd, and the Clare Pioneers. Getting things rolling, Logan Emery went out and pinned Landon Hazen in the first period to put Clare up 6-0. Sophomore Steven Bentley followed at 171 with a tough match but was pinned in the second period to draw the match score even at 6 all. Shepherd took another win by pin at 189 pounds over Brenden Hensley, but the Pioneers picked up another 12 points from voids at 215 and heavyweight. Heading into the 103 pound weight class, Shepherd picked up 6 points from a void, followed by another 6 for a void at 112. With the voids continuing, Clare rebounded and picked back up the 12 points at 119 and 125, but Shepherd was able to take 6 for a void at 130. With the match score tied at 30-30, Brandyn Simon went out and pinned Jack Davis at 135, followed by Zach Betzer who also pinned his opponent at 140 to put Clare up, 42-30. With two weight classes remaining, Shepherd gained 6 points back after a loss for Eric Litke at 145, which set the table for DominikHerkel at 152. With the match score, 42-36, Clare’s Herkel was able to avoid getting pinned and lost by a minor decision to bring the final score, 42-39.

        “This was a great way to start of the season for our team. We have a lot of young guys on our squad this year, and we are still working through some injuries. This first contest provides us with crucial insight as to what we need to work on as a team.” – Coach McKay

Clare heads to Houghton Lake on Wednesday December 12 for our next matchup.