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Rochester Hills

Published February 27, 2013

Lutheran Northwest wrestling gaining numbers and wins

» click to enlarge «
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest’s Brandon Schrupp, right, tangles with an opponent from Memphis High during the Crusaders’ team district final match Feb. 7. The Crusaders lost but beat Mount Clemens High in its semifinal.

ROCHESTER HILLS — Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest wrestling coaches Nate Myers and John Jones see their program on the rise.

In just its second year after being canceled three years ago due to a lack of participants, the Crusaders are showing signs of improving.

“They performed well. We’re starting to win the matches we’re supposed to win. Now it comes down to winning those six-minute matches,” Myers said.

The Crusaders had 11 grapplers on the squad, but finished the year with six due to injury.

Northwest won four matches as an independent.

Senior Mark Gnewuch was the top performer. He finished 24-6 overall and was a regional qualifier at 152 pounds.

Christoper Bolen, Noah Eschmann, Andrew Justice, Brad Haller, Christopher Sturges, Alex Pierce, Michael Sowles, Trevor Schultz, Jake Klausmeier and Brandon Schrupp make up the rest of the team.

For next season, the coaches would like to increase the roster size.

“If we get the numbers, I think a district championship would (be possible),” Myers said.

Both coaches added that, even though the sport comes with its ups and downs while learning on the fly, the lessons are all worth it.

“It builds character. They know they’re going to get their butts kicked sometimes, but they still love coming to practice. It says a lot about their character,” Myers said. “In wrestling, you control your own destiny. It teaches you that, whatever you want out of life, you can go do.”

“You work hard, and sometimes you fail. Sometimes you’re successful,” Jones added. “You just learn a lot on the mat.”

Junior captain Trevor Schultz said it also builds friendships.

“It’s think it’s hard, but it creates a bond with your teammates because you know they’re going through the same thing,” he said.

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