Braves dominate at wrestling quad meet

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone wrestlers began 2013 in dominating fashion Thursday, romping past Norway 69-6 and Kingsford 77-0.

Norway’s Don Houle began the evening by pinning Gladstone’s Jake Kujala two minutes, 55 seconds into the 119-pound bout. Then, it was all Braves from there.

Gladstone tied the score at six with a forfeit at 125 and Jared Syverson (130) gave the Braves a 10-6 lead by taking a 14-5 decision from Jake Wetzel.

Wetzel led 5-4 midway through the second period. Syverson then gained the upper hand with a pair of near falls.

“The kid who wrestled Kujala is a pretty tough kid,” said Braves’ coach Jesse DeBacker. “It was good to get Jared going again, and he got us a pretty big win. That stopped their momentum and started ours. Then, we got a couple big pins and that kept the ball rolling.”

Sam Taylor (135) pinned Jake Julian in 62 seconds to put Gladstone up 16-6.

After another forfeit, the Braves raised the count to 28-6 when Chuck Hughes (145) pinned Cody Spade in 65 seconds.

The tightest match took place at 103 pounds when Jack Simison used a reversal with two seconds remaining to earn a wild and wooly 20-19 victory over Zach Decremer.

“That was a crazy match,” said DeBacker. “It was good for Jack to get his confidence up. He’s a tough kid who works hard. There’s no giving up in him.”

Gladstone opened against Kingsford with a forfeit. Bobby Beauchamp (130) then gained a 4-2 triumph over Keaton Parent on a takedown in overtime and Taylor followed with a 5-2 victory over Seth Collins.

The Braves finished with three pins against the Flivvers, who forfeit seven weight classes including the last five.

Norway, which allowed seven pins against the Braves, bounced back to beat Negaunee 56-16.

Houle (125) started by pinning Mike Luoma in 4:53.

The Knights then built a 27-0 advantage before Tyler LaJoie (160) got the Miners on the board with a 14-4 victory over Taylor Bonetti.

“Our kids kept their heads up high taking a real beating from Gladstone,” said Norway coach Nick Burkland. “Yet, we wanted to beef up our schedule, so I had no problem with taking a beating. We have a lot of kids feeling under the weather, although that’s not an excuse. I thought our kids fought hard. I also think Gladstone is the team to beat in the U.P.”

Negaunee opened with a 45-16 triumph over Kingsford.

The Flivvers took a 10-9 lead on Eli Martonen’s (140) pin of Jake Ferguson in 1:07 and gained a 16-9 lead on a forfeit at 145.

Negaunee then secured the decision with two forfeits and four pins.

All four teams are expected to be on hand for Saturday’s Escanaba Elks Invitational.