Grove Wrestlers Take on Class 5A – Presented by Grove Dental Associates

The Grove wrestling team entered unchartered waters this season wrestling in Class 5A. Head coach John Ward told VYPE Magazine editor Brad Heath, that the team was at the bottom of enrollment for Class 5A.

Despite the bounce to Class 5A, Grove still showed they have enough grit to compete and to send wrestlers to the state tournament.

One wrestler who brought home some hardware was sophomore standout Jaydale Whitlock. The underclassman finished runner-up at 113-pounds with a record of 34-8.

“Whitlock should have made our All-VYPE team this season,” said VYPE editor Brad Heath. “Whitlock certainly had the resume to make it, he was just overlooked. That will not happen with this kid again.”

But Whitlock wasn’t the only Ridgerunner making noise at state. Another sophomore, Gage Gates had some success as well and just missed the podium. Gates finished his season 30-18 and will enter the 2020 season as one of the favorites to make the podium as a junior.

Seniors Garrett Messimore and Dawson Tanner were also state qualifiers this season for Grove. Messimore finished his final season with a record of 35-9, while Tanner went 26-17.

Next season look for the Ridgerunners to possibly drop back down to Class 4A, but either way, one thing they showed this season is they are not focused on which classification they hold, but they are focused on making the most of every opportunity to compete and win on the mat.

Photos By Austin Bernard