Wolverine Wrestlers Triumph at Jenison

When the Spartans square off against the Wolverines, there will always be some fireworks to watch for. Unfortunately for Tom Minkel’s wrestlers, they were on the losing end of the meet against Michigan on Sunday.

The Spartans fell by a final score of 28-9, with the Wolverines winning the lower weight classes handily.

There were some bright spots for the Spartans however, as fifth-year seniors Nick Proctor, John Rizqallah and Nick McDiarmid all won their individual matches Sunday.

Proctor wrestled through a scoreless first period and then took a 2-1 lead with a takedown in the second period. Proctor then escaped 10 seconds into the third, and got a takedown with 55 seconds left in the match. His opponent, Connor Brancheau, escaped shortly after, but Proctor held on for the win.

Rizqallah recorded an upset victory over No. 13 Domenic Abounader by a score of 4-3. Rizqallah notched a takedown early on, two escapes and held off a furious onslaught by Abounader to get the win.

McDiarmid kept the streak going at 197 against Michigan’s Chris Heald. McDiarmid scored first with a takedown two minutes into the match, and managed to hold off Heald by a score of 3-2.

Takeaways: While the Spartans did not win the dual, they can take away some positives from the day. Many of the matches were fairly close between the two teams, and Javier Gasca even moved up a weight to compete with Michigan’s George Fisher at 141.

The upper weight classes are strong for the Spartan squad, it just seems that the smaller weights are struggling as of late. Coach Minkel surely has some things for the team to work on, and will implement them the next time the team takes the mat.

It seemed as though the Spartans, at the lower weights at least, seemed to struggle with countering and escaping Michigan’s front headlocks and breakdowns while the Wolverines were on top.

Michigan State wrestling returns to action Friday, January 16 at 5 p.m. in Jenison Fieldhouse.

Nick Carver is the host of Pinned Down for Impact Sports

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports