For the third consecutive season the Grand Ledge Varsity boys’ wrestling team came home from the CAAC Blue Tournament with the championship trophy, this time edging out rival Holt to win the 2017 title.
The Comets finished with 209.5 points, seven points better than the second place Rams. This is the first time in school history the wrestling program has won three straight league titles.
Jackson finished in third with 127 points while Sexton placed fourth with a score of 111.5. Okemos, East Lansing, Eastern and Everett rounded out the final standings.
Grand Ledge finished with a total of six wrestlers as conference champions.
“Six Conference champs is the most I have ever had in a single year along with 10 finalists,” head coach Steve Delaney said. “It was a great day but like this group knows its time to look forward and keep moving towards other goals we have set on the season.”
Freshman Andrew Hughes brought home the league title at 103 pounds. Hughes is now 33-1 in his freshman campaign. Senior Cole Janes improved to 25-5 on the season while winning the title at 112 pounds. Teammate and fellow senior Jack Snauko notched his 30th win of the season against only two losses while winning the 130 pound title.
Sophomore Karson Kost was the winner at 135 pounds to move his record to 22-7 while junior Andreus Sigurani placed first at 140. Senior Nic Lloyd cruised at 285, winning the title and pushing his season record to an impressive 29-2.
Senior Wesley Barnes ended up in second place at 171 improving to 19-13 his season while Jarrod Arnouts placed third at 215.
“This Saturday was a great moment for me as coach, and that moment was much bigger than just being CAAC Blue Conference tournament champs,” coach Delaney said. “The great moment for me was watching a group of young men grow into stronger more determined young men.
“Coming off a very tough 3 point loss to Holt just three days earlier, most people would find a way to shut down and feel sorry for themselves,” Delaney said. “Not this group!”
The Rams handed the Comets their lone conference loss on February 1st. Delaney pointed to the loss as motivational, pushing the team to higher levels which were witnessed by all this weekend.
“I’m so proud of how our team responded from the loss,” Delaney added. “We reached higher and went out and grabbed a share of the CAAC Blue conference title.”
The Comets have faced their share of adversity this season, losing key varsity team members Mitchell Krahulik and Garret Kroczaleski to injuries.
“We have also had one of the toughest schedules in the state this year which at times can be tough mentally and physically, but this group has found away to push through adversity and get better,” Delaney said.
Grand Ledge begins the MHSAA tournament schedule this week with the team tournament at East Lansing on Wednesday and the Individual tournament at Jackson Parkside on Saturday. Wrestling begins Wednesday night at East Lansing at 5:30 p.m.