(Prep Wrestling) Broncos, Emeralds each send two to Rogers City
NEWBERRY – The season will continue for four area wrestlers after placing among the top four in their respective weight divisions in Saturday’s Division 4 individual district.
Bark River-Harris junior Curtis Labadie was runner-up in the 215-pound class, with classmate Kyle Dowd (285) placing third.
Manistique senior Austin Miller (125) took third and junior Michael Brock (189) was fourth.
The individual regionals are set for Saturday at Rogers City.
Labadie was pinned by Rogers City senior Andrew Selke two minutes, 39 seconds into the title bout.
“He’s tough and very strong,” said Labadie. “He has definitely been hitting the weight room. This is the first time I’ve seen him. Overall, today went good. I just need to come out a little stronger in the regional.”
This will mark the third straight trip to the regionals for Labadie, who was also second last year and fourth as a freshman two years ago.
“I definitely know what to expect down there,” he added. “I have to generate a little more offense and be able to defend against shots.”
Labadie reached the final by pinning Onaway junior Jamal Porter at 5:38 and Iron Mountain freshman Brayden Fitzpatrick in 3:58.
Dowd needed just 95 seconds to pin Norway senior Casey Siegel in a third-place match.
“I came in with confidence,” said Dowd, who will make his first regional appearance Saturday. “I’ve wrestled him before and we’re pretty good friends. The difference between taking third and fourth is like the difference between night and day. I’m so happy to bring home third.
“I go into every match with the same approach. I treat every wrestler as an all-state wrestler. You always have to be ready and focused.”
An escape in the closing moments enabled Miller to squeeze past Rogers City sophomore Justin Saile 7-6.
“He had taken me down, then I had a stand-up for the escape in the end,” said Miller. “All year, my family, friends and coaches have given me plenty of support, and they were there to give me support in the end. He pinned me the first time I saw him this year, but going out there with confidence helps.”
Brock was pinned in 4:57 by Charlevoix sophomore Mick Hinkle in his third-place bout.
“I think our kids performed well,” said Manistique coach Gary Bowman. “This was a good experience for them. Austin wrestled a real nice match to get third. MIchael has only wrestled for three weeks and he’s going to the regionals. He’s strong and a real good athlete. I’m glad this meet was in Newberry. This is a nice, central location. I hope they’re here again next year.”