DETROIT — With his 7-1 decision victory in the Division 3 112-pound championship match at Saturday’s individual wrestling finals at Ford Field, Jordan Rodriguez became Chesaning’s first state champion since 2005.
Indians coach Jeremy Reiber couldn’t be more happy for him.
“I don’t think there’s a wrestler more deserving of this,” Reiber said. “I’ve never had a kid work as hard in our practice room as hard as Jordan has for the last four years. He went out confident his senior year, wrestled his best match and won the state title so I’m super excited for him.”
Chesaning’s last state champion was Josh Brettrager, who won the 171-pound title in Division 3 15 years ago. For Rodriguez, the moment was even more special with it coming one season after being the state runner-up.
“It feels so good to redeem yourself,” Rodriguez said. “It sucks to lose in front of everybody and this feels really good, I’ve been working so hard all my life to finally win. This year I tried to separate myself instead of keeping everything close and it paid off.”
New Lothrop claimed one championship on the day as junior 215-pounder Cam Orr pinned Ubly’s Shane Osantowski’s in 4:40. He became the Hornets’ 69th all-time individual state champion.
“There’s nothing like it here,” Orr said. “It’s just awesome to be out at Ford Field; all these fans and all the hard work you put in the season — it all pays off here.”
After Rodriguez’s title win to effectively kick off the state championship matches, there was a bit of a title drought from the other area wrestlers — of which there were eight total competing for first place.
Byron’s Zack Hall lost the Division 4 119 championship to Bronson’s Ben Modert on a 9-4 decision. Durand’s Brock Holek, who came into the day undefeated and ranked No. 1 at 130 pounds by Michigan Grappler, lost his first match of the season to Dundee’s Austin Fietz on a 5-3 decision.
Holek (45-1) had led going into the third period.
Owosso’s sole representative and highly-ranked Colton Blaha lost his championship bout after leading by a point going into the third period. Eaton Rapids’ Caleb Fish was able to tie the Division 2 160 championship match at 1 in the third before claiming a 2-1 decision victory in overtime.
Even New Lothrop — which sent four of its 10 wrestlers to title matches — faced an up-and-down day in Division 4.
Andrew Krupp lost at 125 on a 6-2 decision and Bryce Cheney lost 5-1 at 152. Justin Carnahan — who entered the finals with just one loss this season — also came up a little short, losing 6-4
New Lothrop coach Jeff Campbell, however, was overall pleased with the team’s effort on the day.
“There’s always matches you wished you would have won, there’s always things that didn’t go exactly how you wanted them to but in the long run they’re going to be successful,” Campbell said. “Winning the state championship is a hard thing to do.”
MHSAA State Individual Wrestling Finals
(Ford Field, Detroit)
160: Caleb Fish (Eaton Rapids) def.Colton Blaha (Owosso), 2-1
112: Jordan Rodriguez (Chesaning) def. Hunter Keller (Richmond), 7-1
130: Austin Fietz (Dundee) def. Brock Holek (Durand), 5-3
119: Ben Modert (Bronson) def. Zack Hall (Byron), 9-4
125: Jaron Johnson (Carson City-Crystal) def. Andrew Krupp (New Lothrop), 6-2
152: Thomas Potter (Springport) def. Bryce Cheney (New Lothrop), 5-1
189: Logan Badge (Clinton) def. Justin Carnahan (New Lothrop), 6-4
215: Cam Orr (New Lothrop) p. Shane Osantowski (Ubly), 4:40.