The Union High School wrestling team has achieved success on the mat and in the classroom over the past five years, including an increase in the number of wrestlers and a higher ratio in recent years of female wrestlers.
Indeed, this year the wrestling team includes three females who are part of what is the fastest-growing segment of the sport. In fact, last year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association sanctioned a separate state girls' championship for the first time ever.
Union also saw an increase in the number of wrestlers as a whole, with this year’s team having 15 more grapplers than last season.
And the returning wrestlers have more experience under their belt which should result in a more competitive season.
Head Coach James Lundy is excited to see the talented scholars become better wrestlers.
Lundy said a newcomer to the watch is first-year competitor Sam Kik. He comes with experience and won both of his matches during the first meet in the first week of December 2022. Kik participated in the middle school wrestling program, which currently boasts 25 talented future GRPS wrestlers.
“Our weight class is full this season, which hasn’t happened in the past 12 years,” said Lundy. “I am excited to see that there will be no forfeits because of that.”
Lundy has been coaching wrestling through GRPS since 2011 and was an all-conference wrestler during his high school days. Prior to Union, he coached for Creston High School, Ottawa Hills High School, and the Byron Center middle school team.
He is joined by coach Austin Burrill, a talented individual who wrestled for him back in 2016 and was an all-conference wrestler and three-year captain.
“My favorite part of coaching is building relationships with the scholar-athletes,” said Lundy with a smile. “I also have the honor of working with Burrill who is a natural-born athlete and coach.”
Lundy and Burrill are excited to continue coaching throughout the wrestling season this year, especially with new scholar-athletes who bring in lots of wrestling experience and athletic drive.