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Richmond grapplers eye road to repeat

Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 by Macomb Daily Sports Writer
Richmond's Brian Henke and Roger Crump enter today's Division 3 individual regional tournament with the same goal in mind — defend their regional titles.

However, both have much different paths to do so.

Henke, who won a second straight district title last week, faces a 145-pound bracket sprinkled with ranked wrestlers all the way to the finals.

Crump, who won his third straight district title last week, has just one ranked wrestler at 160 pounds to worry about.

"Everyone in the bracket is tough," said Henke, who's 40-0 this season. "I can't wait for tomorrow. Having a tough bracket is fun."

If Henke gets past his first opponent, Caro's Mike Daniel, he will more than likely face Saginaw Swan Valley's Matt Beebe. Beebe is ranked fourth in the state at 145.

Awaiting Henke, who's ranked second in the state behind Big Rapids' Garrett Schaner, in the finals should be Caro's Travis Jaster. Jaster is ranked third in the state.

"I've really picked up the intensity at practice this week," said Henke, who placed second in the state at 145 last season. "Knowing what I've got at regionals, it's easy to get my intensity level up."

Henke, who beat Daniel at the first round of regionals last season, beat Jaster as a freshman at the state finals to reach the match for third place. He got the Caro grappler in a headlock to win by pin.

"I'm going to go out there and look for the same things," said Henke, who wound up placing fourth in the state as a freshman. "I'm assuming the match with be completely different, but I'm going to wrestle like I want to wrestle." Crump on the other hand would just like to know a bit more of what lies ahead of him today.

"I don't know anybody in the weight class," said Crump, who placed second in the state at 160 last season. "It's kind of nerve wracking. I've just got to wrestle my match. If I do that I can beat anybody."

The lone ranked wrestler besides Crump, who's ranked second behind Kelloggsville's Chris Brown in the state, is Caro's Sterling Hermann. Hermann is ranked fifth.

"I feel a bit of pressure being a defending champ," Crump said. "I go out and expect to win every match. When you don't is when bad things happen."

Crump is 48-6 this season. All six of his losses have come against wrestlers from other divisions or ones who are at different weight classes in the Division 3 state tournament.

"I feel pretty confident," Crump said.

Richmond's Casey Martin won a regional title at 103 pounds last year.

The county's other defending regional champs are Anchor Bay's Larry Rybarz, L'Anse Creuse's Josh Batkins and Roseville's Josh Roberts and Chris Nash.

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