A model of consistency
Kent City’s Wrestling Program is a model of consistency. The Eagles have won 16 District championships since the 2000-2001 season. Over the past two seasons, Kent has won the CSAA Silver championships two times. They have enjoyed this success by staying the course. Those wrestlers who can handle the rigors of wrestling are rewarded, not only with team championships year in and year out, but usually individual honors as well: all-conference, all-district, all-region, and even all-state. There are many times when a Kent City wrestler will toe the line with an opponent who appears to be physically superior, but because of the fundamentals they have learned in the wrestling room each day, they come out on top — literally. Coach Chad Kik has another solid group of wrestlers back for the 2018-2019 season as they make a run for their third consecutive CSAA Silver Championship and 9th consecutive District championship.
Senior Evan Jones highlights what should be a strong lineup
All-State senior Evan Jones will headline a lineup that will be tough, but at this time, not complete. Jones has qualified for the MHSAA State Individual Finals every year in high school, but finally broke through last season for a 5th place finish. Austin Hickman and Jonathan Willson Westbrook return for their senior seasons after qualifying for Regionals last year. Sophomore Bradley Brooks also qualified for Regionals as a freshmen and is just returning from an injury he sustained last season. Also back for Kent City are Alex Russo (senior) and Dolan Bair (junior), who along with Hickman and Willison Westbrook, earned All-Conference Honorable Mention at last season’s CSAA Championships. Senior Hulices Hernandez Ruiz has had his share of success over the past four seasons and is eager to start his final campaign, while Jayden Williams (junior) and Hunter Carr (junior), Austin Neuman (junior), and Jake Anderson (junior) will make an immediate impact at their respective weight classes.
2018-2019 Schedule will prepare the Eagles for MHSAA post-season success
This year’s varsity wrestling schedule is not much different from the schedule in years’ past. The Eagles will be challenged throughout the season which will only prepare them for post-season action. Within the CSAA Silver, only four teams sponsor wrestling teams (Kent City, Holton, Hespera, and Lakeview), therefore Kent City will need to finish 3-0 to earn their third consecutive CSAA Silver Championship. This will not be an easy task with perennial power Hesperia in the conference, as well as a solid Lakeview squad. Kent City should be the slight favorites, but it will depend on several factors when league quads start after the New Year. The likely showdown will take place at Muskegon Catholic Central when Kent City battles Hesperia on Wednesday, January 23. To close the conference season, Kent City will host the CSAA Championships featuring all of the wrestlers from the CSAA Silver and CSAA Gold divisions. The top two wrestlers in each weight class earn 1st team all-conference honors, while the 3rd and 4th place wrestlers are honorable mention all-conference.
In non-league action, Kent City will be spending a lot of time with Lakeview without wrestling the Wildcats. In fact, Kent City will travel to Lakeview two times before the Holiday break, and then host them three times (CSAA Silver Quad, CSAA Championships, and MHSAA Team Districts). Kent City may also be headed to Lakeview on Saturday, January 19 for a team tournament.
Kent City will host the 28th annual Kent City Kickoff Classic on Saturday, December 8 with 10 teams attending: Kent City, Fremont, Rockford, Kenowa Hills, Godwin Heights, Reed City, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, East Grand Rapids, Belding, and Whitehall. The Eagles will also attend the Kent County Championship before the break which will pit the smallest school in Kent County (Kent City) against some perennial powers in one of two individual tournaments on Kent City’s regular season schedule, the other individual tournament is on January 12 at the Sparta Invitational. Over the Holiday break, the Eagles will head to the Martin Clipper Classic, a tournament they have won previously and the Coopersville Bronco Wrestling Invitational where they finished as runner-up last year. At this tournament, each school will wear special military uniforms representing different branches of the military.
The Eagles will host their 4th consecutive MHSAA Team District at the Nest on Wednesday, February 6. After a season in Division III, Kent City is back down in Division IV. However, with Lakeview and Carson City (Quarterfinalist in 2017-2018), winning their 9th consecutive District championship will be tough.
Varsity Wrestling Schedule 2018-2019
Friday, November 30: @ Hesperia Scrimmage — 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 5: Kent City Opening Quad (Kent City, Fremont, Big Rapids, & Zeeland East) — 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 8: 28th Annual Kent City Kickoff Classic — 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, December 12: @ Lakeview Quad (Kent City, Lakview, Belding, & ) — 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 15: @ Kent County Championships (Forest Hills Central High School) — 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, December 19: @ Lakeview Quad (vs. Muskegon Catholic Central & Manistee) — 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 22: @ Martin Clipper Classic — 9:00 a.m.
Friday, December 28: @ Coopersville Bronco Wrestling Invitational — 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, January 9: Kent City CSAA Silver Quad (vs. Lakeview & Orchard View) — 5:00 p.m. (Parents’/Senior Night)
Saturday, January 12: @ Sparta Invitational — 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, January 16: @ Ludington CSAA Silver Quad (vs. Holton & Ludington) — 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 23: @ Muskegon Catholic Central CSAA Silver Quad (vs. Hesperia & M.C.C.) — 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 26: @ Shelby Super Duals — 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, February 2: CSAA Championships — 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, February 6: MHSAA Team Districts (Kent City, Lakview, & Carson City Crystal) — 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 9: @ MHSAA Individual Districts (Ravenna) — TBA
Wednesday, February 13: @ MHSAA Team Regionals (Winner of Vermontville Maple Valley District) — TBA
Saturday, February 16: @ MHSAA Individual Regionals (New Lothrop) — TBA
Friday, February 22 & Saturday, February 23: @ MHSAA Team State Finals (Wings Stadium — Kalamazoo) — TBA
Friday, March 1 & Saturday, March 2: @ MHSAA Individual State Finals (Ford Field — Detroit) — TBA
We are still working on finalizing a tournament for Saturday, January 19.