The boys varsity wrestling team clinches a district title and sends two wrestlers to regionals


Once again, the boys varsity wrestling team rocked the mats in a two-day districts competition to decide the conference champion. On Thursday and Saturday, the team walked away with memories and another chance to win. 

On Thursday, the team faced off against Grand Rapids Christian in the team district championships and won a lopsided 81-0 match. Just to put the victory into perspective, the highest score you can get in wrestling is an 84. So, the team was nearly perfect in its execution. This gave the boys a trophy to mark their hard work and lifelong memories and hope for their next competition, which came two days later on Saturday. With all the momentum being built up, the team showed up at Lowell High School as ready as ever. This meet was also significant to the seniors competing as their time as a Ranger is coming to a close. 

“That was an enjoyable experience with the team for my senior year. We have never won a district championship during my time here, and I had a lot of fun. After we celebrated in the locker room,  it’s a great memory to have,” senior Arash Kordbacheh said after Thursday’s meet.

Arash isn’t the only senior who felt like Thursday was a good day to be a Ranger, though. One of the team’s captains, senior Evan Elzinga, was proud of his team and where its hard work had gotten it.

“After Thursday’s win, we are all feeling pretty good, and it’s nice to have that with us and to have another trophy in the case for our hard work,” Evan said. 

Saturday came fast, but the hearts in the crowd were going faster. Each boy competed individually for a chance in the finals that would send them straight to regionals and would open up a chance to get them to states. All the boys wrestled strong and did their bests, and in the end, it paid off when seniors Will Richardson and Evan Elzinga earned themselves tickets to regionals this week. 

“Evan and Will have worked really hard these last four years, and it’s great to see their hard work pay off,” head coach Brad Anderson said. “I’m really proud of their focus and dedication; it’s been a pleasure to coach them.”

Will has been working hard since freshman year to build his way up to this moment, and all of his hard work has now proven worth it and will only continue to get tested. 

“Will has a cadre of coaches around him that helped shape him into an excellent heavyweight wrestler. Assistant coach Dan Anderson has been working with Will since ninth grade, and volunteer assistant Sreten Franovic and Seth Leali and Michael Moore routinely work out with ‘Big’ Will,” coach Anderson said. “It was great to see him fired up yesterday when he defeated the Greenville wrestler and Lowell wrestler.”

Will’s fellow teammate Evan Elzinga placed fourth after many intense matchups and also got himself to regionals, where his senior season will hopefully stay alive. 

“Evan has just been a hard-nosed wrestler for the last four years, and his family is very involved in this sport in our community. I’m happy for him and his family. They put in a lot of time and a lot of miles. Glad that he could stand on the podium yesterday,” coach Anderson said.

From here on out, the only wrestlers whose postseasons are still alive are Will and Evam. The two seniors continue their run towards states with regionals on Saturday, February 19, at Allendale High School.