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Costanzo: Area shows it has class at all levels

Posted Saturday, January 23, 2010 by Paul Costanzo

Blue Water Area wrestling fans have plenty to be proud of.

In each of my three years covering the sport here, I've had at least one state champion to choose from when it came to selecting a Wrestler of the Year.

Also in those years, I often find myself deciding between two or more state placers in multiple weight classes for the all-area team. There has been more than on occasion where a state qualifier was an honorable mention selection, and I can think of a few where state placers were even relegated to that designation.

For as small an area as this is, those accomplishments are pretty awesome.

But what has struck me more than anything in being around wrestling in the area is the class that wrestlers, coaches and fans show at various meets.

I write this a week after an incident in Bay City at the Super Duals, while Richmond was wrestling Dundee. It's been blown up on wrestling message boards as a full-scale riot, but from all I've heard from people I trust (I wasn't there), it was a little more of an isolated incident than it was made out to be, instigated by a non-local individual.

When I first heard of the incident, I thought it was unfortunate because I've known the fans in this area to be very well behaved as a whole. Obviously you're going to have people act inappropriately on an individual basis (Lord knows I said some things I regret while watching my younger brother), but it's definitely not anything that's troublesome. My fears were calmed after talking to people who knew what happened, however.

It's great to go to meets in the area and see parents talking cordially with the parents of the opponent. I enjoy the fact that in this area, you have kids who can be in an incredibly competitive match in one moment, and be laughing together in another.

A lot of this comes from the fact many of the best wrestlers in this area train together in the summer. But I think most of it stems from the coaches. All of the area coaches are class acts, and they all have great respect for each other (at least that's how it seems, which is fine). Because of that, I think you see good relationships between the schools despite some very good rivalries.

So keep it up, everybody. You definitely make wrestling a joy to cover in this area.

Individual top 10

1. Brian Henke, Richmond

2. Roger Crump, Richmond

3. Austin Pickering, Port Huron Northern

4. Josh Rivard, Richmond

5. Steve Lams, Yale

6. Camden Sebring, Port Huron Northern

7. Tom Bolday, Capac

8. Casey Martin, Richmond

9. Preston Treend, Richmond

10. Brian Kulman, Capac




  • Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or pcostanzo@gannett.com. View Costanzo's blog at www.thetimesherald.com/sports.
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