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Henke, Ireland win state titles

Posted Sunday, March 07, 2010 by Paul Costanzo

Henke, Ireland win state titles

 


By PAUL COSTANZO
Times Herald

• March 7, 2010

AUBURN HILLS -- Brian Henke and Stephen Ireland couldn't have been any better or asked for anything more this season. Literally.

The Richmond duo finished off a pair of undefeated seasons Saturday with a pair of Division 3 individual state championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The titles come a week after the Blue Devils won a team state championship at Battle Creek.

"It was the perfect season," said Henke, who defeated Travis Jaster of Caro 4-3 at 145 pounds. Ireland pinned Dundees Travis Sproles 5 minutes, 12 seconds into the 103-pound final. He pinned all four opponents at the meet.

Yale's Steve Lams (285 pounds) and Richmond's Dominic Cattera (112) each had runner-up finishes, falling in their respective finals matches.

The two state titles match the Blue Devils all-time total. Joe Riedel was the last champion, winning at 171 pounds in 2000.

"I'm so proud of Dominic, I'm so proud of all the kids that qualified and came down here," said Brandon Day, who co-coaches the Devils with George Hamblin. "For Brian -- Brian Henke's one of the greatest kids in the world and I'm so glad he got it done. Hopefully he can do it again next year.

"Stephen's the same way. We're talking about a kid that came to Richmond in September, and has been

'yes coach. No coach,' from Day 1. He's very coachable, and obviously a great athlete. I'm so happy for him and his mom and his dad, his whole family."

Henke, a junior, fell behind 2-0 in his match, as Jaster scored a first-period takedown.

After the wrestlers traded escapes, Henke took Jaster down in the second period to tie the match at 3.

An escape at the beginning of the third period wound up being the difference in the match, as the wrestlers spent most of the third period on their feet.

"I watched all of his matches, all he really tried to do was throw, so I had to just get good position and I knew I could win the match by just not getting thrown," said Henke, who was 50-0 on the season, and a state runner-up a year ago. "(I learned to) get in shape.

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Last year I died and (former Big Rapids wrestler Seth Schaner) just out-worked me in the third period."

Henke has three all-state finishes in as many years, as he placed fourth as a freshman. He's 143-17 for his career.

Ireland, a sophomore, was leading his match 9-6, before a scramble he ended up on top of, eventually pinning Sproles.

"Once he was cutting me and the score was getting close, I just had to use all the conditioning Coach Day gave us, all the times that he pushed us, I used it right there," said Ireland, who finished the season 30-0. "I just caught him out of position, got hip position and put him to his back."

Ireland didn't wrestle his first match for the Blue Devils until Jan. 22.

He was a state qualifier a year ago for Armada, but didn't make weight on the first day, ending his tournament before it started.

"First we beat (Dundee) at team states, then I win an individual state title and that's just capping it off," Ireland said.

"It's just amazing. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I was going to be this good, an individual state champion, I would have said, 'OK, let me prove it to you.'

"I didn't expect any of this. Coaches pushed me and led me to what I am now."

Cattera lost an 8-6 decision to Chippewa Hills junior Devane Dodgens.

Cattera fell behind 4-0 early as Dodgens was able to get two back points after a takedown.

Despite having fought out of early deficits both this weekend and at the team state finals a week ago, Cattera was unable to come all the way back this time.

"I got caught in a bad position and he capitalized," said Cattera, who finishes the season 43-4. "I felt pretty confident (I could come back), but that's just him being a good wrestler.

"This is the best I've ever wrestled. The best team I could have been on. It's a great ending, I'll tell you what."

Lams got a late takedown in his match against Lake Odessa Lakewood's Ryan Steverson, but Steverson was able to get an escape in the final 20 seconds to secure a 4-3 win. Steverson got two of his points from stalling calls.

"I felt like I wrestled good, the ref said I was stalling, but that's how heavyweights wrestle," Lams said. "Whatever, I can't change what happened."

Lams finished the season 50-3.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "I came in here, I had nothing to lose. I know if I did lose, I'd still have my fans and my family."

Richmond had four other wrestlers earn all-state honors. Justin Russo (125), Preston Treend (135) and Roger Crump (160) each took fifth, while Casey Martin (125) was seventh.

Also in Division 3, Capac's Tom Bolday (189) placed third, and Yale's Mike Tyranski (189) was sixth.

In Division 1, Port Huron Northern's Camden Sebring (125) placed sixth.
TAKEDOWN: Brian Henke of Richmond wraps up Caro's Travis Jaster during a145-pound title match. Henke won.Brian HenkeStephen IrelandSteven Lams

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