Three Local Wrestling Teams Prepare for State Quarterfinals
Fremont, Hart and Whittemore-Prescott will compete in the state quarterfinals on Tuesday at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.
Fremont received the No. 5 seed in the Div. 2 tournament. The Packers made their first appearance in the state quarterfinals last season, where they lost to Alma. They defeated Bay City John Glenn, 46-30, in the regional semifinal and then Escanaba, 48-29, in the regional final to secure their second straight quarterfinal appearance.
This season, they will face Monroe Jefferson, who received the No. 4 seed. The Bears last made it to the quarterfinals in 1995. They are coming off a pair of wins in regionals over Tecumseh, 67-12, and Riverview, 53-22.
Hart is also make its second straight appearance in the state quarterfinals. Last season, in Div. 4, they lost to Manchester. That was the Pirates’ first appearance in the quarterfinals since 1990.
This season, Hart picked up wins over Kingsley, 43-22, and Boyne City, 59-5, in the regional tournament to return to this stage. They will be the No. 7 seed in this tournament, taking on Whitehall.
“It’s a big, big thing for our program to keep it going,” Hart coach Brad Altland said. “If things go our way, we can battle with a few of those teams down there so we’re looking forward to having the opportunity to go down to Kalamazoo and give it a shot. So, I think the kids will step up and do that.”
The Vikings are coached by former Hesperia star, Justin Zeerip. This will be their fifth appearance in the quarterfinals in the last six years. They have advanced to the semifinals in three of the previous four appearances, where they lost to Dundee. They reached this point of the tournament by defeating Comstock Park in the regional final, 64-6.
Out of all the local teams still competing in the quarterfinals, Whittemore-Prescott has the most appearances, but it has been a while since the Cardinals have reached this point of the tournament.
Whittemore-Prescott will make its first appearance in the quarterfinals since 2006. They last made it to the semifinals in 2002, when they won the state title. They had a tough regional final appearance against Pine River, who had made the quarterfinals in five of the last six seasons, and the Cardinals won, 36-31.
They will face a Leslie team who is making its first state quarterfinal since 1995. The Blackhawks defeated 2020 state semifinalist Manchester in the regional semis, 41-30, and then carried that momentum into a 44-36 win over Laingsburg in the regional final.
The Division 1 and 3 quarterfinals and semifinals will be held in “The Valley” portion of the Wings Event Center, while Division 2 and 4 will be in “The Arena” portion. The finals matches will all be held in “The Arena.”
Fremont will start its quarterfinal matches in The Arena at 12:30 p.m. Hart will be in The Valley with a 12:30 p.m. start as well to its quarterfinal. Whittemore-Prescott will start at 10 a.m. in The Arena.
The semifinals will be held in the same location at 3 p.m. and then the finals will be at 6 p.m.