Onaway wrestling team learning on the fly

PETOSKEY – The Onaway wrestling team traveled to Petoskey on Wednesday and were defeated by a score of 64-18.

The team wrestled seven weights against Petoskey and finished 3-4.

“I thought out team wrestled hard and we were battling some great positions throughout the meet. For a young squad they are all learning how to battle for everything while realizing that wins in this sport do not come easy,” Onaway head coach Mark Grant said.

Dawson Hilliker (130) and Isaac Nave (120) both earned two victories each on the night. One of the highlights of the night for Onaway was Coty Ionetz (152) secured his first two varsity wins on the young season with both victories coming by fall.

The Cardinals had a 4-2 record against Petoskey’s varsity B team. Gavin Fenstermaker (140) added a win for Onaway by fall.

CHIPPEWA HILLS – On Saturday the Cardinals were back in action for a 23 team invitational tournament that enlightened everyone as to what wrestling at the next level really means.

“This was the toughest I have seen this tournament in years and our kids had to fight for every scrap they wanted,” Grant said.

Nave finished in fifth place after being upset in the quarter final round, but did finish his day strong with a win over a worthy opponent.

DJ Fenstermaker recorded his first win of the season in dramatic fashion with a nice takedown and power half against a good sized kid from Muskegon.

Hunter Stiles also had a win as well that advanced him to the finals of the lower consolation bracket.

Despite some of the Onaway wrestlers did not find a win at the tournament, it was a great experience for them to be able to participate at such a big tournament with solid competition.

“Seeing some of the kids win really reminded me why I love to do this. I think the team is buying into the idea that they need to be at these events to prepare themselves for success later in the year and in years to come,” Grant said.

Onaway will have a quick turnaround as the team will travel to Ionia today to compete in a 10 team round robin tournament with several teams from the Grand Rapids area.

“I believe we will be the only division four team down there so once again they will compete against teams that we will not see again this season. The kids will get a lot of good mat time down there before we take a few days off to spend with our families for the holiday,” Grant said.