By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD – Iron Mountain collected another outstanding wrestler award and Norway finished runner-up to defending champion Gladstone in the annual Ray Mariucci Wrestling Tournament at Kingsford High School Saturday.
Mountaineers’ Alex Edwards decisioned Gladstone’s James Bruce 8-5 for the 119-pound title. The junior also accepted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award.
“I didn’t see this coming,” said Edwards when receiving the trophy from tournament director Al Unger.
Edwards, owning a 19-2 record, pinned Cedric Nora of Westwood to reach the finals.
“Alex wrestled a great tournament,” said Iron Mountain Coach Brandon Rutter. “He is quick on his feet, and a strong, physical wrestler. Most opponents have a hard time defending against his shots.
“He has had some good matches the past few weeks.”
Edwards became the third Mountaineer in the past four years to win the outstanding wrestler award. Jared Gauthier, who won the 125-pound title Saturday, earned the honor last season while Ryan Gauthier was the 2011 recipient.
Gauthier pinned Brayden Williams of Gladstone for the 125-pound crown. Gauthier decisioned Williams in last weekend’s Escanaba Invitational semifinals.
Jacob Weslin (145) joined Edwards and Gauthier with gold medals. Aaron Bolo (140) and James Christiansen (189) added seconds; Brayden Fitzpatrick (215), third, and Corbin Henkel (135), fourth.
“Jacob Weslin had some tough matches,” said Rutter, indicating Jordan Tousignant of Ishpeming and Tanner Gonzalez of Norway (7-2 decision). “Weslin was able to control the match. Since the Marquette Challenge, Weslin has been wrestling strong and it was great to see him take first this weekend.”
Fitzpatrick had a nice tournament with a great consolation final, according to Rutter. Fitzpatrick executed a takedown with five seconds left in the match to nip Cassidy Stoken of Marquette 5-4.
Gladstone’s Jeremy Kadish (152), Jake Cronick (189) and Tommy Bailey (285) triumphed again at the “Mariucci.”
The Braves, with nine wrestlers in the finals, took the team title with 234.5 points. Runner-up Norway notched 185, followed by Marquette, 118.5, and Iron Mountain, 115.5.
“We had a good day,” Norway Coach Nick Burklund said. “We moved about half our kids up one weight class and I thought they did really well.
“There was a lot of fight in the kids this weekend which is good to see now that we’re halfway through the season.”
Unbeaten Zac DeCremer (22-0 at 103), Dylan Hoffart (112) and Cole Gonzalez (140) wrestled to Norway titles.
Rutter called Cole Gonzalez “tough as they come.”
Tanner Gonzalez (145) and Zavier Gonzalez (160) placed second, and Tim Huddleston (119), Donny Houle (125), Cody Spade (152), Taylor Bonetti (171) and Kasey Siegle (285), third.
“Dylan Hoffart had a great finals match against Alex Anderson (Gwinn),” said Burklund, noting a second-period pin. “Tanner and brother Zavier both had tough matches that, I thought, could’ve went either way.”
Weslin downed Tanner 7-2 and Gladstone’s Brandon Gagnon pinned Zavier.
Huddleston and Houle had “good days.”
“Spade really has turned the corner the last couple of meets,” Burklund said. “He had a very good day. Taylor Bonetti wrestled well and Kasey Siegle really stepped it up. He did a nice job.”
Travis Moon (189) and Pat Guffey (215) picked up wins.
Kingsford’s Robert Rigoni (103) was second and Zach Jones (112) third.
“I was very impressed with the performance of Zach this weekend,” said Flivver coach Torrey Adams. “He bumped up a weight class so that Robby could wrestle this weekend.”
Jones’ only loss on the day was to Hoffart.
“Zach wrestled hard and stepped up his game,” Adams said. “He really deserves some recognition for the performance he put in on Saturday.”
Iron Mountain’s Gauthier and Edwards are gunning for third straight U.P. titles in Marquette Saturday.
“We have wrestled real well the past two tournaments,” Rutter said. “I like the direction we are moving in and looking forward to the U.P. Championship.”
The Mountaineers wrestle Thursday at Westwood. Kingsford hosts Negaunee and Escanaba Wednesday/
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Burklund said. “Where I feel we have a good chance at making a good run at winning it (U.P.), the kids know we have to put the work in and good things will come.”
Standings – Gladstone 234.5, Norway 185, Marquette 118.5, Iron Mountain 115.5, Ishpeming 59, Westwood 47, Negaunee 45.5, Kingsford 43, Bark River-Harris 40, Gwinn 35.
103 – 1. Zac DeCremer, Nor. pinned Robert, Rigoni, K, 1:26; 3. Maddy Lund, BRH.
112 – 1. Dylan Hoffart, Nor, pinned Alex Anderson, Gw, 4:23; 3. Zach Jones, K, pinned Tyler Ten Eyck, Mqt, 2:40.
119 – 1. Alex Edwards, IM, def. James Bruce, Gl, 8-5; 3. Tim Huddleston, Nor, pinned Cedric Nora, Ww, 3:52.
125 – 1. Jared Gauthier, IM, pinned Brayden Williams, Gl, 3:52; 3. Donny Houle, Nor, pinned Cole Arnsten, Mqt, :32.
130 – 1. Hunter Moore, Mqt, pinned Trevor Swanson, Ww, 1:37; 3. Kyle McKenzie, Gl, pinned Mike Luoma, Neg 3:36.
135 – 1. Bobby Beauchamp, Gl, pinned Johnathan Willey, Ish, 2:29; 3. Beau Caster, Mqt, dec. Corbin Henkel, IM, 6-3.
140 – 1. Cole Gonzalez, Nor, dec. Aaron Bolo, IM, 19-5; 3. Jared Syverson, Gl, dec. Brody Rosten, Neg, 13-5.
145 – 1. Jacob Weslin, IM, dec. Tanner Gonzalez, Nor, 7-2; 3. Sam Taylor, Gl, won on default over Jordan Tousignant, Ish.
152 – 1. Jeremy Kadish, Gl, dec. Brian Helmer, Mqt, 2-0; 3. Cody Spade, Nor, pinned Josh Argall, Ww, :53.
160 – 1. Brandon Gagnon, Gl, pinned Zavier Gonzalez, Nor, 3:32; 3. Charles Morton, Mqt, dec. Zeke Oswald, BRH, 11-7.
171 – 1. Bradley Gagnon, Gl, dec. Ricky Baker, Mqt, 5-1; 3. Taylor Bonetti, Nor, dec. Nate Meyer, Ish, 9-1.
189 – 1. Jake Cronick, Gl, pinned James Christiansen, IM, 1:18; 3. Austin DeBacker, Gw, pinned Jackson Mahler, Mqt, :20.
215 – 1. Curtis Labadie, BRH, dec. Jack Cronick, Gl, 7-2; 3. Brayden Fitzpatrick, IM, dec. Cassidy Stoken, Mqt, 5-4.
285 – 1. Tommy Bailey, Gl, pinned Jamie Collins, Neg, :29; 3. Kasey Siegle, Nor, pinned Alec VanHorn, Ish, 1:36.