No. 16 Wrestlers win close matches to edge Olivet

Senior Jamie Jakes
Senior Jamie Jakes

Olivet, Mich. - The Alma College wrestling team, ranked 16th in the latest NWCA poll, took on its main rival on Thursday (Jan. 21) evening, facing Olivet College. In a series that stood at 2-2 over the past four years, the Scots won for the second year in a row, defeating the Comets by a 22-16 margin. Since the rivalry rebooted five seasons ago, the Scots are the first team to post a win on the road. Previously, each school had held serve in its home arena.

With the victory, Alma is now 12-5 in dual meets this season and has defeated two of the three MIAA-member schools. The Scots will try and run the table later this season against Trine University.

Alma led, 19-16, going into the final match of the evening. The outcome of the meet came down to the final period of the 197-pound bout, where senior Jamie Jakes (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child) won by an 8-5 decision to seal the victory.

The Scots also picked up five other victories and won six of the 10 weight classes. Senior Trevor Maresh (Northville, Mich./Northville) won at 285 pounds, freshman Romeo Riley (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Central) was victorious at 141 pounds, and senior Shawn Brewer (New Boston, Mich./Huron) triumphed at 157 pounds. Sophomores Taylor McPhail (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) and Travis Heller (Escanaba, Mich./Escanaba) also captured wins in the 165- and 174-pound bouts. For McPhail, it was his 12th straight victory.

Some members of the Alma wrestling team will participate in the 5th annual Alma Open, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23, at Art Smith Arena. The varsity wrestlers will be back in action on January 29-30 when the Scots travel to Wheaton, Ill., to participate in the Pete Willson Invitation on the campus of Wheaton College.

RESULTS

285: Trevor Maresh (Alma) def. Youssef El-Sayed, 14-0*
125: Michael Schmidt (Olivet) def. Victor Sosa-Sevilla, 1-0
133: Jared Brickley (Olivet) def. Anthony Pizzo, 20-7
141: Romeo Riley (Alma) def. Curtis Blackwell, 13-12
149: Austin Kelley (Olivet) pinned Anthony Lesko, 1:47
157: Shawn Brewer (Alma) def. Ross Pennock, 13-2
165: Taylor McPhail (Alma) def. Tyler Grimsley, 12-4
174: Travis Heller (Alma) def. Nick Africano, 21-6
184: Rodney Harvey (Olivet) def. Trent Hullet, 11-7
197: Jamie Jakes (Alma) def. Thomas Hall, 8-5

* - denotes Alma deducted a team point for unsporting behavior at end of match

QUOTES

Head Coach Todd Hibbs

"It was a great environment and spirited and there was a lot of excitement in the arena. We were not at our best tonight and we still found a way to get a win on the road against our rival. I was pretty proud of how we fought in the final seconds of many of our matches. We fell behind a lot of matches tonight, but when it came down to the wire at 141, 165 and 197, we were able to put them away, and that's what we needed to do to get a big win against our rival."