by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
St. Ignace took first and Alpena placed second in the Bill Barrett Memorial Tournament hosted by Rogers City Tuesday. The tournament named for the “father” of Rogers City wrestling, who founded the program in 1970, drew four teams, as DeTour withdrew after fielding only one wrestler.
The Hurons drew Sault St. Marie in the first round, coming out on the short end of a 36-30 score in a void-filled match. Sault voided at 119-, 130-, 135-, 145-, 152-, 160-, 103- and 112-pounds. Rogers City voided at 125-, 160-, 171-, 189-, 103- and 112-pounds.
Winning by void were Sam Sobeck (119), Austin Cook (130), Jacob Shoemaker (145) and Jacob Pilarski (152). The Hurons who wrestled didn’t fair well as Zach Myers (140) was pinned at 1:33, Nick Toth (215) fell at 1:50 and Brendan Hart was pinned in 55 seconds in the heavyweight slot. Rogers City led 30-6 after the first seven matches, which began at the 119-pound category, but failed to score in the last seven matches.
Alpena took a 33-24 decision over the Huron grapplers. Austin Cook (130) got it going with a pin of Brady Oliver in the closing seconds (5:54) and Tristan Baller (135) followed with a pin of Keegan Harris at 2:51. Then Myers lost an 11-4 decision to Isaac Peterson and Shoemaker and Pilarski each suffered pins as Alpena took the lead for good in the match.
Rogers City voided at 160- and 171-pounds and each team voided at 189. Alpena’s Noah Cannon was worked by Toth for a pin at 1:30 and Zach Auger pinned Hart 40 seconds into the first round.
In the Hurons’ final match of the day, they went up against eventual champion St. Ignace with the Saints winning 60-24. Rogers City voided in six weight classes and St. Ignace didn’t fill in the 135 and 140-pound classes. Winners for the Hurons were Sam Sobeck, who quickly pinned Halley Halberg in 33 seconds and Toth, who pinned Mason Matson in 23 seconds. Myers and Baller won by void.
Shoemaker was pinned at 3:27 by Greg Paquin and Hunter Amacher pinned Pilarski in 39 seconds.
Cook suffered a heart-breaker at 130 as he was pinned by Hunter Brown at 5:50 in a hotly contested match, which could have gone either way.
Coach George Sobeck said the Huron wrestlers have things to work on as the season progresses, but he is pleased with their progress.
“We had some ups and downs. In general we saw good improvement. With each match they will pick up little things and get better. I am happy with Jacob Pilarski, who scored some points. Now he has to take it to the next level and consider winning some matches. You can see some confidence in him,” the coach said.
Coach Sobeck said Cook had good matches as did Myers in close losses.
“Nick Toth finished the day with a pin and I am very happy with that,” Sobeck said. “Jacob Shoemaker showed great improvement. He put the kid on his back and almost got the pin. He is very strong and it is just a matter of him putting some combinations together.”
“St. Ignace is good. They only had two empty spots on their roster,” the coach said. “We are improving. It is not what Rogers City is used to; but the numbers we have are much smaller and the experience we have is much less than what we are used to, from where the teams were with full rosters. Even with freshmen, we had experience from the youth wrestlers, but we don’t have that anymore. It is a matter of rebuilding the program and once we do, we will be back at it.”
Other scores were St. Ignace over Alpena 39-36, St. Ignace over Sault Ste. Marie 48-30 and Alpena defeated Sault Ste. Marie 42-24.
Sam Sobeck (119) was named the outstanding wrestler for the lighter weights while Francis Scheid earned the honor as outstanding wrestler for the heavier weights.
The Hurons will host the individual regionals at the end of the season for their only other scheduled home date, as the North Star League scheduled for Jan. 25 has been canceled.