Young state champion, Beardsley 2nd
By Ben Murphy
Clare’s Amante Young wins 125 state championships
Clare junior Amante Young stood atop the mountain Saturday. Young, competing in the division three individual wrestling state finals over the weekend, won all four of his matches to win the crown of the best in the state in the 125 weight class. This marks the first state champion in program history.
“I can’t even begin to describe how it felt afterwards,” Young, who also placed third in the 103 weight class last year said. “It took awhile to get it to register in my mind that I was actually a state champion. It was definitely a great feeling.”
While it may have been hard for Young to believe, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to his head coach Tim Packard.
Farwell senior Glenn Beardsley has his hand raised after a win during last weekend’s individual wrestling state finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
“We believed early into the season that Amante had all the tools to earn a state championship this year,” he said. “He is an in your face type of wrestler. If you wrestle him and stop wrestling even for a second, he will make you pay. He is the fastest wrestler that I have ever coached and he comes at you from every angle.”
Young (53-4) opened up the tournament run on Thursday with a second period pin over Tanner Astrauskas of Howard City-Tri County. His quarterfinal match he pinned Eric Spidle of Flint Powers late in the second round and in the semi-finals he earned an early second period pin over Blain Wood of Caro.
“I think I was able to get my wins because of God and a lot of praying,” Young said. “On top of all of that, I just went in with the mindset that I had to dominate all of my opponents, which is exactly what I did.”
In the championship bout he faced Hunter Corcoran of Linden-Lake Fenton. Though Young didn’t get a pin in this one he still dominated the match, earning an 11-6 decision victory to give him the state’s highest honor.
“That match was a little nerve-wrecking, just the fact that I was in the finals,” Young said. “I had watched him wrestle before so I knew how good he was so I just went out and wrestled the way I always do. I tried to stay aggressive and stay off the bottom, I really tried to stay neutral with him.
“I’m looking forward to next year already,” he added. “I’m hoping to get back to the Palace and to win back-to-back state titles.”
Kyle Schaaf finishes third
Clare sophomore Kyle Schaaf also brought home some hardware, as he lost just one match and took third place honors in 119.
“Kyle had a great weekend, his only loss coming in overtime,” Packard said. “He beat a lot of good wrestlers and working his way back after a disappointing loss in the semi-finals to take third shows his maturity. He is a 4.0 student and shows that on the mat, he is a very smart wrestler. I expect that he will do all the work necessary to make sure he is at the top of the podium next year.”
In his first bout, Schaaf (52-3) won a 3-1 decision over Macintryre Breece of Birch Run. He followed that up with a quarterfinal win over Christian Killion of Dundee in a narrow 8-7 decision.
He lost his semi-final bout in a 3-1 sudden victory to Hemlock’s Stuart Massa, but rebounded in the third place bout with a 4-2 decision win over Killion.
“Both Amante and Kyle are the type of wrestlers every program wants,” Packard said. “They have great work ethic and confidence. When they step on the mat they make sure that they are prepared and wrestle to their full ability.”
Farwell’s Glenn Beardsley takes runner up in 145
Clare’s Amante Young raises his arm as state champion at the division three state finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Young dominated the 125 weight class by pinning his first three opponents and topped Hunter Corcoran of Linden-Lake Fenton in the championship bout in an 11-6 decision. Hunter Corcoran (Linden-Lake Fenton) 56-3 (Dec 11-6)
Farwell senior Glenn Beardsley came up just short of his ultimate goal, but still, finishing runner-up in the 145 weight class in all of division three is a pretty big deal.
“While I would have liked to have placed first, I am proud of my runner-up finish after coming back an entire season out last year due to a shoulder injury,” Beardsley said. “The state finals was the hardest competition that I’ve had all year and I feel like I performed very well.”
Beardsley (32-1) began his quest on Thursday with a first period pin over Roy Solis of Constantine. He followed that with a 4-1 decision victory of Sage Gonzales of Alma and then narrowly edged Brady Payne of Millington in an 8-7 decision.
In the first place bout, Beardsley came up short, getting pinned in the third round by Tylor Orrison of Dundee.
“I am proud of what I have accomplished during my high school wrestling career,” Beardsley said. “I placed all-state each year I attended, finishing thirrd during my freshman (in 112) and sophomore year (in 130). For the team aspect, winning districts three years in a row was huge and I was happy to have shared that with some of my best friends. Wrestling has taught me leadership, accountability and respect over all the years. It has given me so many opportunities to travel and wrestle with some of the best in the country. I have been surrounded by the best coaches that have provided me with the guidance and knowledge to help me with everything that I’ve needed over the years, even beyond the wrestling mat.”
Farwell’s Jay Thrush goes 1-2
Jay Thrush won his first match at the state finals but followed that with back-to-back losses, ending his season with a 33-13 record.
Thrush began the tournament with a 5-3 decision win over Mitchell Ward of Belding. He followed that with an 18-2 technical fall to Hunter Gasper of Chesaning and then lost a close 3-2 decision to Robert Granberry of Chippewa Hills.
“Jay won his first match against an opponent that had previously beaten him,” Farwell head coach Tyler Lentovich said. “The he went on to lose to a returning state champion and lost a tough 3-2 decision in the round of 12 to fall short of placing. He had a good year and we’re proud of him and his progress after moving up to division three this year.”