(Photo by John Cook) Mayville's Jake LaValley (top) and Darren Dickson, of Cass City, wrestle at Friday's Ryan Mercer Memorial. LaValley won the 152-pound match, and took first place in the weight class. But it was Dickson's Red Hawks that won the team championship.

Cass City takes first at 14-team Ryan Mercer Memorial

(Photo by John Cook) Mayville's Jake LaValley (top) and Darren Dickson, of Cass City, wrestle at Friday's Ryan Mercer Memorial. LaValley won the 152-pound match, and took first place in the weight class. But it was Dickson's Red Hawks that won the team championship.
(Photo by John Cook)
Mayville’s Jake LaValley (top) and Darren Dickson, of Cass City, wrestle at Friday’s Ryan Mercer Memorial. LaValley won the 152-pound match, and took first place in the weight class. But it was Dickson’s Red Hawks that won the team championship.

MAYVILLE — The Cass City wrestling team featured just two wrestlers that made it to the top of the podium Friday.

But superior depth helped it capture the annual Ryan Mercer Memorial.

The Red Hawks won the 14-team tournament with a score of 196.5. Perry finished second with a score of 166.5 and host Mayville (166.5) captured third. North Branch placed sixth with a 107.5.

“We were missing three of our starters and a spot starter, but I know other teams were missing guys too,” said Cass City coach Don Markel. “Some of our other kids stepped in and did well for us, and most of them ended up placing so it was a good experience for those kids.”

The Ryan Mercer Memorial, in its eighth year, is named for the 2004 Mayville graduate, and four-year wrestler, who died following a car accident in 2009.

The Red Hawks’ two champions were T.J. Moore and Wyatt Dickson, who took first at 215 and 160 pounds respectively.

Moore was ranked No. 6 at 215 pounds in the preseason Division 4 individual rankings. He is splitting time this winter between the wrestling and varsity basketball team.

“If there are conflicts between the two, his primary sport is wrestling,” Markel said. “There are big expectations for him this year.”

Moore pinned Michael King, of Pontiac, in the second round of the championship match.

Dickson defeated Mayville’s Zach Lefler 8-2 in the 160-pound finals. Dickson’s older brother Darren Dickson, placed third at 152 pounds.

“(Wyatt Dickson’s) a real solid wrestler, he and his brother both,” Markel said. “They spend a lot of time during the summer going to camps and trying to improve themselves, and I think it’s starting to show some dividends.”

A pair of Cass City wrestlers — Race Woloshen (135 pounds) and Seth Osentoski (140) — took second place and Tritan Swiderski was third place in the 130-pound division.

The host Wildcats featured three tournament champions — Jackson Schenk (285 pounds), Ben Hulley (145) and Jake LaValley, who captured the 152 pound bracket.

Schenk defeated Bradley Geirman, of Brown City, 14-2 in the championship match, Hulley beat Saginaw Swan Valley’s Jayden Pahssen 6-2 in the finals and LaValley pinned Perry’s Ethan Orweller in the second round of the 152-pound final.

Lefler was the only runner up for Mayville, which had third-place finishers Steven Jackson (140 pounds) and Logan LaBean (189).

Donollin Guzman was North Branch’s lone champion after defeating Osentowksi 11-3 in the 130-pound title match. Donald Tournier placed second at 130 pounds for the Broncos.

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