Fall Guy – Spartans’ freshman highlights weekend

A silver lining came out of a rugged two days of competition for Manchester University Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11.

National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III fifth-ranked Wabash College rolled to a 33-5 dual victory over Coach Kevin Lake's squad to start the gauntlet Friday. Junior 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and senior 141-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.) each collected decisions. The final score could have been much closer. Freshman 125-pounder Elijuh Weaver (Warren, Mich.) dropped a 13-8 thriller due to a late six-point move by WC's Kaleb Guzier; sophomore 157-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.) held a 9-6 lead in the final period before the Little Giants' Kyle Hatch turned the tables with a fall; freshman 165-pounder David Kitko (Noblesville, Ind.) was down 9-2 after one period and pieced together a furious rally in a 14-9 loss; a third period takedown was the only difference between senior 184-pounder Tristan Wilson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Hunter Bates in a 4-2 final; and senior 197-pounder Alex Roberts (Campbelltown, Ind.) was side-stepped by Kyle Shaffer due to a seven-point final frame.

The Spartans sent a selected group of individuals to Trine University's Thunder Invitational Saturday, Nov. 11. Freshman 165-pounder Tyler Leonhard (Portland, Ind.) got a buzz going through the Black and Gold fans at Hershey Hall pinning his way into the semifinals before being edged 5-1 by North Central College of Illinois' Cam Hayes for a spot in the championship. He came back with a pin to reach the consolation quarterfinal but was upended one spot shy of the back side final four. Due to Leonhard's efforts, MU compiled 14.5 points on the team standings.

Lake's crew continues dual action Thursday, Nov. 16, facing off against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Adrian College on the road.