ORTONVILLE — With some wrestlers sporting sharply-designed warmups, the Brandon Blackhawks had the look of champions at Saturday’s Flint Metro League tournament.
And their look fit the result.
Brandon captured its first Flint Metro League title, scoring 207.5 points as the Blackhawks halted Holly’s four-year title win streak in the process.
Flint Kearsley was second with 167.5 points and Holly was third with 159 points. But with only one league dual meet loss, the Bronchos finished second in the final standings.
But the Blackhawks, with their unbeaten league dual meet mark (8-0), claimed sole possession of first place.
“We rocked and rolled today,” said Brandon coach Erik Donders, who set out at the beginning of the season with league title aspirations. “That was one of our goals. We won the dual meet season but we had to win the tournament, too.”
Brandon had eight wrestlers in the finals and four came away with titles. Brendan Ladd (103), Bryan LaVearn (112), Trevor Bourdeau (140) and Thor Wardell (152) each won titles while Ethan Douglas (135), Max Wardell (160), Matt Sears (171) and Gordy Dwyer (130) each placed second.
“The meat of our lineup really came through today,” said Donders, who along with assistant coach Dakota Peasley, impressed the team aspect on the Blackhawks. “These guys really picked it up this year. We pretty much wrestled to our seeds today.”
Bourdeau managed a 1-0 victory over Holly’s Sam Johnson, and Wardell’s third-period pin of Holly’s Kyle Pepper, one of the Bronchos’ top wrestlers, were key victories.
“My freshman year, we were kind of average,” said Dwyer, who was a part of the Blackhawks’ continued growth, “and this year all the hard work fell together in the right places.”
“It’s big for us because we’ve never been able to beat Holly,” Bourdeau said.
As for the outfits, comprised of white tops with Brandon wrestling and a Blackhawk imprinted, and black shorts with the Blackhawk logo, the verdict was unanimous.
“They’re sweet,” said Bourdeau. “We’ve wanted them for a few years.”
Trevor Hatfield (125) and Andrew Scott, who beat Brandon’s Max Wardell 10-1 in the 171-pound finals, were the lone champs for Holly.
After so many straight league titles, Holly coach Don Pluta was in a different position.
“I don’t think we wrestled particularly well today,” he said. “We knew Brandon had a lot of depth and it showed in the tournament. Their kids were ready.”
Lapeer East was fourth with 141 points Clio was fifth with 122.5 and Lapeer West followed with 117.
Flint Metro League Championship
(Saturday at Ortonville Brandon)
TEAMS — 1. Ortonville Brandon 207.50; 2. Flint Kearsley 167.5; 3. Holly 159; 4. Lapeer East 141; 5. Clio 122.5; 6. Lapeer West 117; 7. Linden 94; 8. Fenton 75; 9. Swartz Creek 56
103 — Brendan Ladd (Ortonville Brandon) pinned Luke Zimmerman (Linden) 3:35; 112 — Bryan LaVearn (Ortonville Brandon) pinned J.T. Mullens (Swartz Creek) 5:01; 119 — Mason Smith (Clio) pinned Jakob Chapman (Flint Kearsley) 3:24; 125 — Trevor Hatfield (Holly) def. Zach Shaw (Linden) 3-2; 130 — Mitchell MacArthur (Flint Kearsley) def. Gordy Dwyer (Ortonville Brandon) 1-0; 135 — Chase Smith (Clio) def. Ethan Douglas (Ortonville Brandon) 9-7; 140 — Trevor Bourdeau (Ortonville Brandon) def. Sam Johnson (Holly) 1-0; 145 — Dillon Ellsworth (Lapeer East) pinned Nick Harris (Lapeer West) 4:52; 152 — Thor Wardell (Ortonville Brandon) pinned Kyle Pepper (Holly) 5:14; 160 — Andrew Scott (Holly) def. Max Wardell (Ortonville Brandon) 10-1; 171 — James Davis (Flint Kearsley) def. Matt Sears (Ortonville Brandon) 7-0; 189 — Noah Raymond (Lapeer West) pinned Connor Kovacs (Fenton) 3:32; 215 — Jake Luckett (Lapeer West) def. Austion McNeil (Linden) 5-2; 285 — Dan Perry (Lapeer East) def. Tyler Eible (Clio) 8-3.
103 — Norman Golden (Fenton) def. Aaron Ruhstorfer (Flint Kearsley) 12-2; 112 — Dakotah Leland (Flint Kearsley) def. Josh Gonzales (Holly) 6-4; 119 — Colton Cleaver (Holly) def. Ronald Bishop (Lapeer East) 5-1; 125 — Chase Bates (Swartz Creek) def. Logan Getz (Lapeer East) 10-5; 130 — Ethan Liswiski (Lapeer East) pinned Dylan Musall (Linden) :41; 135 — Travis Wilfong (Flint Kearsley) def. Patrick Kerr (Linden) 7-2; 140 — Dylan Tarrence (Flint Kearsley def. Vincent Elequin (Lapeer East); 145 — Matt Dewyer (Clio) def. Jon Allen (Ortonville Brandon) 6-4; 152 — Brendan Thompson (Fenton) def. Tyler Jacot (Flint Kearsley) 8-0; 160 — Kane Williams (Clio) def. Seth Dixon (Lapeer East) 4-1; 171 — Tre Flores (Holly) def. Robert Tucker (Swartz Creek) 10-3; 189 — Reese Harbum (Flint Kearsley) def. Zach Manfroni (Ortonville Brandon) 11-6; 215 — Jake Perry (Lapeer East) def. Jacob Hardaker (Clio) 3-0; 285 — Justin Thomas (Lapeer West) def. Noah Brenner (Holly) 3-1.