Varsity A wrestling faces tough competition at Portage Central McCloughan Duals

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The varsity A wrestling team competed against five other teams on Friday in the McCloughan Duals at Portage Central. Head coach Brad Anderson said it was a tough day against really good competition, and it showed. The Rangers won just one of the duals 42-35, and it was against the host team Portage Central.

While the Rangers did lose the other four duals, the score against Portage Northern was as close as it could be; the score ended up being 37-36. The Otsego, Sparta, and Rockford duals weren’t as close, but the team still fought hard in all of them against the solid, experienced competition.

Although the team had a rough showing, there were still some great individual performances. One came from senior John Samsell, who wrestled against respectable opponents and still ended up going 2-1. The best outing for the Rangers came from junior Brendan Guitar, who also wrestled in three matches. All of the matches ended the same way for him, as he pinned his opponent and earned 6 points for the Rangers each time. Another pin came from senior Gordon Schimeck against a big Portage Northern opponent.

Part of the problems for the Rangers were age and experience.

“For a young team with a lot of potential, we just need more mat time and experience against these good teams like Rockford or Sparta,” sophomore Isaac Gurley said. “There were also some really good teams and really good competition [at Portage Central].”

The varsity A wrestling team will wrestle next on Jan. 4 at Ottawa Hills. It will be the team’s first tri-meet of the year, as the Rangers look to bounce back and grow as a team against Ottawa Hills and Forest Hills Northern.

“We are fighting hard, but we are getting edged out by age and experience,” Anderson said. “It was a tough, tough day, though.”

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