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All-for-one attitude lifts Richmond

Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 by The Macomb Daily

 

 

It's easy to see where Richmond's wrestling priorities lie.

On a day that the Blue Devils qualified a school-record 13 wrestlers for the state Division 3 individual championships, members of the team were thinking more about winning the state team title next weekend in Battle Creek.

"This just shows how much depth we have as a team," said Richmond's unbeaten 145-pounder, Brian Henke. "That's our main focus. To win the team state title."

Henke, who pinned Caro's Travis Jaster a minute into their championship match, was one of six regional champions for the Blue Devils, who hosted the regional on Saturday.

No one illustrated Richmond's team concept better than Adrian Morang. Morang made it to the championship match at 152 pounds, but defaulted because he wanted to make sure he was ready for the

team quarterfinals on Friday.

"He hurt himself in the league tournament and we just figured, better safe than sorry," said Blue Devils' co-coach Brandon Day. "Greg Sebastian got dinged up today and defaulted at 215. They're team-first guys. We wanted to make sure their bodies are 100 percent for this week. We want to try to win that team title."

If Sebastian had continued to wrestle, he probably would have given Richmond the maximum 14 qualifiers for the state individual championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 4-6.

"I think he would have qualified," Morang said. "I'm not quite 100 percent and I need to be for the team. I already made the individual tournament so I wanted to make sure I took care of my team too."

The regional at Richmond was a tough one with state-ranked wrestlers in nearly every weight class.

"And we knocked some of them off," said co-coach George Hamblin. "We got two defending state champions today. That's the thing about wrestling. Anything can happen at any time. That's wrestling. I'm proud of this team."

Hamblin stopped short of labeling this Richmond squad the best that he has coached.

"I never compare teams," he said. "They're like children. Every one is different. This is the most state qualifiers and (regional) finalists we've had. It was a great day."

The 145-pound final matched the second and third-ranked wrestlers in the state at that weight class and the second-ranked Henke made quick work of Jaster to improve his season record to 43-0. The defeat was only Jaster's second in 50 matches.

"I was just going to wrestle my own match," Henke said. "Once I shot into it, (the pin) was just there, so I hit it."

Day said that Henke doesn't let the pressure of an important match get to him.

"Brian is such a calm kid," Day said. "He's all business. He's hard to rattle. He's explosive. He gets in a position and doesn't hesitate. He just goes. Some kids hesitate. Brian just runs right through that wall."

Henke said that he doesn't feel added pressure being undefeated this deep into the season.

"There's pressure in that I don't want to lose, but (the perfect record) doesn't matter next week," he said. "You can have 10 losses and still win the state championship."

Richmond's Justin Russo won the regional title at 215 with a 5-1 victory against second-ranked Chris Thiele of Saginaw Swan Valley.

"I wrestled him in the Swan Valley duals and he beat me 3-0," Russo said. "I had to come back and beat him this time. Today I got my escape and started shooting more on him. Last time I didn't get my escape. I didn't wrestle him so cautious today. I just went for it."

Russo's victory against Thiele was important because Swan Valley has also qualified for the team quarterfinals.

"Now Justin has beaten (Thiele) and he beat (Swan Valley 130-pounder Darius) Wass earlier this year," Day said. "Swan Valley is a team we could potentially see this week in Battle Creek so those matches are huge."

Stephen Ireland remained unbeaten at 103 pounds (23-0) with an 11-3 major decision over Birch Run's Josh Hobson in the final at that weight class.

The Blue Devils were assured of a regional championship at 112 before even taking the mat for the final as Dominic Cattera edged Richmond teammate Dustin Pitcel 3-1.

Roger Crump, ranked second at 160, defeated fifth-ranked Sterling Herrmann of Caro 7-2 in the final.

Richmond's other regional champion was Dakota Boldrey, who overpowered Trevor Atwell of Montrose 14-2 in the final at 171.

The Blue Devils had three other regional finalists. Pat Baruth dropped a tough 4-2 decision to Swan Valley's Wass, who is ranked second in the state at 130. Josh Rivard lost 7-3 to Andy Brown of Midland Bullock Creek at 119.

No Richmond wrestler had a tougher draw in the finals than Preston Treend at 135. He faced Indiana-bound Ryen Nieman of Midland Bullock Creek, who was featured in this week's Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd. Nieman, a two-time Division 3 champion, is 55-0 and is ranked No. 1 nationally at 135 pounds. He posted a 14-2 major decision against Treend.

The two defending state champions that were beaten by Richmond wrestlers were B.J. Suitor, who lost 7-0 to Garett Edwards in the consolation semifinal at 119; and Cody Wray of Montrose, who was defeated 3-2 by Casey Martin in the consolation bracket at 125.

"All of those matches are something our kids can be proud of and something that we can build on," Day said. "All we've been working for is peaking at the end of the year. We're performing right now."

Day and Hamblin both said that the success of the Richmond program goes beyond the wrestlers and the coaching staff.

"Our parents did a great job with the district and with the regional today," Day said. "People are programs and when you have a lot of good people, good things happen."

Hard work goes into it, too.

"We work hard all the time because we have the common goal to win the state title," Morang said. "We all want it, so we keep pushing and pushing and pushing until we can't go any more - and then we go a little bit farther. That hard work keeps getting us better and better."

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103 pounds: Stephen Ireland, Richmond, maj. dec. Josh Hobson, Birch Run, 14-2. 112: Dominic Cattera, Richmond, dec. Dustin Pitcel, Richmond, 3-1. 119: Andy Brown, Bullock Creek, dec. Josh Rivard, Richmond, 7-3. 125: Justin Russo, Richmond, dec. Chris Thiele, Swan Valley, 5-1. 130: Darius Wass, Swan Valley, dec. Pat Baruth, Richmond, 4-2. 135: Ryen Nieman, Bullock Creek, maj. dec. Preston Treend, Richmond, 14-2. 140: Charlie Burch, Pinconning, dec. Jerry Flores, Swan Valley, 4-2. 145: Brian Henke, Richmond, pinned Travis Jaster, Caro, 1:00. 152: Troy Lamson, Swan Valley, won by inj. default over Adrian Morang, Richmond. 160: Roger Crump, Richmond, dec. Sterling Herrmann, Caro, 7-2. 171: Dakota Boldrey, Richmond, maj. dec. Trevor Atwell, Montrose, 14-2. 189: Thomas Bolday, Capac, dec. Mike Tyranski, Yale, 8-3. 215: Jordan Decker, Caro, pinned Brian Gosselin, Hemlock, 3:17. 285: Tyler Millerov, Caro, dec. Steve Lams, Yale, 3-2 (OT).

CONSOLATION FINALS

103: Dylan Ewald, Swan Valley, dec. Carl Wice, Montrose, 6-5. 112: Jared Flores, Swan Valley, dec. Chance Lisik, Hemlock, 9-6. 119: Kyle Henderson, Freeland, dec. Garett Edwards, Richmond, 4-2. 125: Derek Camilleri, Bullock Creek, dec. Casey Martin, Richmond, 6-0. 130: Scott Flowers, Bullock Creek, pinned Mitch Malott, Swan Valley, 1:22. 135: Samuel Lyscas, Imlay City, dec. Zach Rocheleau, Caro, 5-0. 140: Jeremy Hippensteel, Swan Valley, dec. Jordan Munro, Bullock Creek, 4-1. 145: Matt Beebe, Swan Valley, dec. Brian Kulman, Capac, 9-8. 152: Brian Hardy, Pinconning, dec. Caleb Slavik, Birch Run, 3-2. 160: Matt Myers, Imlay City, dec. Cody McGinnis, Bullock Creek, 5-3. 171: Josh Jensen, Cass City, dec. Ed Niemi, Capac, 8-6 (OT). 189: Derek Kopp, Almont, dec. Bart Didluch, Frankenmuth, 6-2. 215: Aaron Brown, Birch Run, dec. Jarred Pitts, Freeland, 12-5. 285: Trevor Timmreck, Birch Run, maj. dec. Pat White, Capac, 13-2.

DIVISION 4

AT NEW LOTHROP: Memphis senior Sean Lemerise finished second at 145 pounds to qualify for the individual state finals. This will be Lemerise's first trip to the state meet.

New Haven's Jonathan Gibson placed third at 215, pinning Pigeon-Laker's Jeff Diebel at 2:42 of the second period.

 

Macomb Daily photo by David Angell Richmond's Stephen Ireland, back, defeats Birch Run's Josh Hobson in a 103-pound match.

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