by Angie Asam-Staff Writer
The postseason has begun for the Onaway Cardinal wrestling team. Thursday (after press time) was the first on-site weigh in of the postseason with team districts in Charlevoix. Onaway was set to take on the winner of the Charlevoix/Rogers City dual which began at 6 p.m. for the district title. Saturday the team will travel to Manton for the individual district tournament.
Senior Joe Traynham (119) was Onaway’s lone champion over the weekend at the Straits Area Conference/North Star League Challenge. He notched his 150thcareer victory with a 17-1 win over Rogers City’s Tristan Baller in his first match of the day. He then went on to defeat Cameron Symonds of Newberry in the finals 16-1 to claim the title. Traynham is now 36-3 on the season.
“Although it was not our best day on the mat the highlight of the day was watching Joe earn his 150th career win. Tristan Baller of Rogers City always wrestles Joe tough and that is a good way to earn a milestone win,” said coach Mark Grant.
Junior Zeke Nave (125) finished second on the day with a tough 3-1 loss to Rudyard’s Jimmy Spencer. Nave had pinned Tom Clayton of Mio in 1:40 and Tyler Schumann of Sault Ste. Marie in 1:32 to reach the finals. Nave is now 32-6 on the season.
“Zeke wrestled tough but he wrestled at Spencer’s pace and not his own. Spencer is a tough kid and we look forward to that match again as it could happen right back in Rogers City during the individual regional tournament,” said coach Grant.
Senior Elijah Shockley (171) went 2-2 on the day and finished fourth. Shockley started the day with a pin over Newberry’s Adam Hildebrant in 1:37 before falling to Hunter Sadler of Munising by technical fall. He then pinned Reilly McMaster of Mio in 2:47 before losing to Sault Ste. Marie’s Adam LaJoie by pin in 4:28 to finish fourth and bring his season record to 24-14.
Jesse Watson (130) was 1-2 on the day. He was pinned by St. Ignace’s Cameron Collier to start the day but then pinned Brandon Gravelle of Newberry in 1:33 before losing by pin to Rudyard’s David Mommerency. Watson is now 8-19 on the season.
Brad Moore (145), Troy Klein (152), Lucas Tollini (189), Zac Stiles (103) and Devin Tulgetske (135) each went 0-2 on the day.
“I thought my guys wrestled a little flat and below their ability. That is partly my fault for not peaking them right for the meet. We know what needs to happen for the individual district tournament, we just need to get it done,” said coach Grant.
The winner of the team district tournament will move on to regional action next Wednesday in Leroy Pine River. Top four finishers in each weight class at the individual district tournament will move on to regionals Feb. 21 in Rogers City.