After three weeks of practice, Grosse Pointe South's wrestling team took to the mat, hosting Macomb Dakota 'B,' Redford Union and Sterling Heights.
The Blue Devils dropped matches to Sterling Heights, 66-15, and Redford Union, 63-16, but the increased enthusiasm for the program was evident.
Grosse Pointe Southâ€™s Alex Manchester was all smiles after winning his first match of the season, pinning his Redford Union foe.
"Our numbers are up from the past couple of years and coach Paul and I can see the excitement from our guys as they prepared for tonight," head coach Greg Snider said. "I thought our wrestlers did a nice job against a couple of tough teams. We have work to do, but I think we got off to a nice start."
Against Sterling Heights, Jeshua Yglesias pinned his foe in the 119-pound division and Earl Allard, competing at 103 pounds, won by void. The Blue Devils' final three points came when Frankie Pangborn earned a 7-5 decision in the 152-pound class.
Yglesias also pinned his Union foe at 119 pounds and Allard won a 20-9 majority decision at 103 pounds to give the Blue Devils nine points. The other six points came compliments of Alex Manchester, who pinned his foe in a match in the 130-pound division.
In the first action of the season, Snider had a lineup consisting of Allard at 103 pounds; Yglesias at 119 pounds; Andrew Simon at 125 pounds; Antoine Herrell and John Gough at 140 pounds; Pangborn at 152 pounds; Tommy Flynn at 160 pounds; Colin Brannegan, Naim Muhammad and Joseph Kurta at 171 pounds; and Carmeron Ennis at 189 pounds.
Last weekend, South traveled to Warren Cousino for a team tournament. Snider's grapplers competed against Sterling Heights Stevenson, host Cousino, Dakota 'B,' Marysville and Pontiac Academy of Excellence.
"We see some different competition and it's good for our guys, especially our new ones to the program, to get more matches under their belt," Snider said. "They can see what works and what they need to work on."
The team didn't fair well in the win-loss column, but the grapplers enjoyed some individual success.
The extra matches gave the newcomers a chance to learn from the mistakes made in the Thursday action.