Who hasn’t heard the whole “go participate and have that high school experience,” speech but really what is the big deal about getting involved? What would it be like being on a team, and having that highschool experience.Wrestling has been in Grandville since the 60’s. Grandville was a power house from the 70’s into the late 90’s. Bubba Gritter has been coaching wrestling for over ten years at GHS.
Coach Bubba Gritter says, “The wrestlers have such a huge impact on my life. Each wrestler makes me a better coach and person. I even named my son after a former wrestler.” Junior varsity wrestler Dash Herrema says wrestling has impacted his life by “making a lot of new friends and built connections that will hopefully last a lifetime.” Dash’s advice to other students wanting to join the team would be, “If you’re not mentally tough enough to try, then don’t.” Grandville wrestling has a special bond that Coach Bubba Gritter says “I like to keep things fun outside of the wrestling room. I make them work extremely hard during matches and practices so I try to disconnect from that once it is over and be a friend and mentor to them.” Marquice Fields tore his Acl Lateral Meniscus and needed surgery last fall, he is a senior varsity wrestler who says “Even though I am injured, wrestling has had a big impact on me through the tough practices. They have helped me build character through these three years of wrestling. I also like being able to just go and watch the boys wrestle hard.” Grandville was state champs in 1962 and 1993. Grandville varsity wrestling is well known for holding many state titles. Senior varsity wrestler Bobby Schondel says that, “Practices 6 days a week of putting in my time for the team. I have been dedicating my time to this sport for four years and my favorite team memory is going to the team tournament like going to the UP and spending the weekend together as family. The bulldog experience to me means you have to put in time and effort otherwise you won’t be good.” Cassie Grifhorst has been a varsity stat girl for the wrestling team for four years now and the bond she has built with the team is palpable and she comments, “We have all grown together as a family through the team meets and always traveling together like in Marquette Michigan, the tournament we do every year for a weekend and every Wednesday and Saturday. If it wasn’t for doing stats all these years I wouldn’t know a lot of the guys on the team I have built a bond with by doing stats.” Even though Cassie does not wrestle for the team she travels with the team and considers them family. “This has certainly changed my highschool life for the better, building a bond with this family and not just the wrestlers but the families of the wrestlers as well.” Grandville varsity wrestling is not only a physical strength sport but a mental sport. Grandville wrestling lives by the saying “hard work is not given, it is earned.”