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Lowell wrestlers lose to conference rival Greenville


Andrew Morse recorded a pin in 1:56 of first period in a 34-27 loss to Greenville.

by Thad Kraus

The implications from Lowell wrestling team’s 34-27 loss to Greenville Thursday night at Lowell High School will reach beyond an O-K White Conference championship.

In fact, the ramifications may be felt in Battle Creek come March. Both Greenville’s Paul Johnson and Lowell’s Dave Dean believe the Yellowjacket’s victory will earn them a second seed if they make it to the state tournament. It will be a BIG story if either of the two clubs fail to reach Kellogg Arena.

Why is it important? The team seeded second will not run into St. John’s (ranked #1 in Division 2) until the finals.

Yes! That means Lowell, likely a third seed, following the loss, could very well see St. John’s in the semi final.

“This match is exciting every year,” Johnson said following the win. “Along with beating a very good Lowell team, this absolutely gives us a good shot at a second seed. However, I’m not involved in making that decision.”

In stating Greenville’s case, Johnson notes that his Yellowjackets beat Temperance Bedford, who beat Tecumseh, who beat Lowell.

A Red Arrow wrestling enthusiast would add that Lowell, fresh from a long football post season, did not wrestle with a full squad in its loss to Tecumseh. Don’t look for any symphathy. It is what it is, a loss.

“Oh yeah, this loss hurts. The boys, however, don’t have time to hang on to it, they have a conference tournament on Friday. Dealing with the loss will have to wait until Sunday,” Dean said.

Greenville won four of the first five matches, grabbing a 15-4 advantage. The Yellowjackets won at 112, 125, 130 and 135. One of a few swing matches, in a pairing of clubs equally matched, came at 125 where Greenville’s Mike DeLaFuente bested Lowell’s Kalvin Meyer 8-4.

“I think that was the biggest match of the night. It changed the way Lowell’s Bailey Jack had to approach his match at 103,” Johnson said. “It forced him to have to score big.”

Jack with Lowell trailing 31-27 tried to connect with a big move. “It just wasn’t there,’ Dean explained.

Trailing by 11, Lowell’s Gabe Morse, 140, won 13-3; Andrew Morse 145,  recorded a pin at  1:56; and Dan Fleet, 152, won 10-4. The string of  three consecutive wins gave the Red Arrows their first lead of the night at 17-15. Andrew Morse recorded Lowell’s first of two pins.

Greenville’s big two,  Adam Bonner (160) and Jordan Thomas (171) answered  with a 17-7 win and a pin at 2:38 of the second period, respectively.

Trailing 25-17, the Red Arrows fought back as Garett Stehley posted a 16-7 win at 189 pounds and Gabe Dean (215) followed that up with a pin at 3:46 of the second period to propel Lowell back into the lead at 27-25.

Greenville, however, had the big finish. Justin Zimmer (HWT) powered his way out of a near pin and then rolled Jake Lynema on his back in recording a first-period pin (55 seconds), giving the Jackets a 31-27 advantage.

Michael Schmidt (103) secured the lead as he held off Jack 3-2 in the final match of the night.

“We lost a number of bonus points and I thought we had some break downs out there,” Dean said. “Maybe wrestling in a tough tournament in Ohio the weekend before this match wasn’t a good idea?”

“I think we’re about .500 with Lowell. Dave runs a class program. Matches like this are great for the sport,” Johnson concluded.