EAU CLAIRE — Decatur's Jared Checkley was named outstanding wrestler for the third straight year at the 47th annual Burton Richards Wrestling Tournament here Saturday, but the returning state placer has a lofty goal on his mind.
"I'd like to win it all at state," said Checkley, who improved to 12-0 his senior season by winning two of his three matches by pin. "That's my goal, but I realize it's easier said than done."
Checkley won the 171-pound championship by pinning Kalamazoo Central's Greg Bielby in 5:12. He was leading 5-0 when he caught Bielby in an arm bar and put him to his back with a half-Nelson. His closest match of the day was his first when he nipped Cassopolis' Gage Collins 5-2. Collins went on to take third in easy fashion.
Division 1 Kalamazoo Central easily won the 16-team field of mostly smaller schools by scoring 198 1/2 points, to outdistance surprising runner-up Buchanan (139 points), which brought just nine matmen. Decatur was third with 135.
"We only had one champ (Zach Weaver at 119) but had five out of our nine place," noted a delighted Bucks coach Andy Riggs. "We're pretty close to a full lineup, but a few of our guys were ill today. I'm absolutely pleased with our effort today. We only had two seniors in the lineup, the rest are all freshmen and sophomores."
The Maroon Giants had six champions, but took two seconds, one third and two fourths.
Other champions besides Decatur's Checkley and Buchanan's Weaver included: Gobles' Robbie Cummins (112), Cassopolis' William Westphal (130), Decatur's Romeo Lopez (140), and Lawrence's Dan Gray (152), and heavyweight Juan Villanueva, who nipped Buchanan's Matt Snodgrass 12-10 in perhaps the meet's most exciting match.
Team scores - 1. Kalamazoo Central 198 1/2, 2. Buchanan 139, 3. Decatur 135, 4. Gobles 106, 5. Lawrence 99. 6. Galesburg-Augusta 80 1/2, 7. Bronson 80. 8. Cassopolis 77, 9. Eau Claire 55, 10. Centreville 48, 11. Benton Harbor 43, 12. Hartford 39, 13. Tekonsha 30. 14. River Valley 29, 15. Berrien Springs 14, 16. Brandywine 12.
103 - Nate Horvath (KC) p. Henry Huynh (KC) 4:45; 112 - Robbie Cummins (GOB) d. Hunter Weinberg (BU) 6-4; 119 - Zach Weaver (BU) p. John Schuman (LWR) 4:39; 125 - Marc Hernandez-SiIva (KC) p. Walker Barz (BU) 3:53; 130 - William Westphal (CASS) d. Andrew Confer (DEC) 4-0; 135 - Blake Hoffman (G-A) p. Shabrea McLinton (BH) 4:47; 140 - Romeo Lopez (DEC) d. Andrew Forker (RV) 6-3;
145 - Seth Bilbrey (KC) d. Joe DeYoung (GOB) 9-3; 152 - Dan Gray (LWR) p. Rusty Noyes (G-A) 4:36; 160 - Leo Gallasso (KC) t.f Dashland Harris-Moore (BH) 18-3; 171 - Jared Checkley (DEC) p. Greg Bielby (KC) 5:12; 189 - Jeff Noore (KC) p. Cody Hatten (GOB) 0:34; 215 - Josh Boggan (KC) d. Jonny Gregory (CENT) 10-3; Hwt - Juan Villanueva (LWR) d. Matt Snodgrass (BU) 12-10
103 - Alaric Freehling (RV) p. Miragia Avery (DEC) 0:30; 112 - Ernesto Rodarte (HTF) p. Jordan Phillips (EC) 0:24; 119 - Dakota Miller (BW) p. Chris Ruiz (GOB) 1:45; 125 - Caaleb Gelder (KC) p. Braxton Nuttle (BRN) 4:20; 130 - Rod Barron (TEK) p. Frank Furst (BU) 1:45; 135 - Jesus Hurlado (DEC) d.q. Wyatt Wller (KC); 140 - Jackson Rumery (GOB) p. Jackson Starnes (BU) 1:57; 145 - Jakob Edson (LWR) m.d. Blaine Shedd (TEK) 10-0.
152 - Darian Davis (EC) d. Brian White (KC) 13-10; 160 -Erhan Conklin (G-A) p. Ray Deltoro (EC) 1:07; 171 - Gage Collins (CASS) p. Davis Powell (BH) 0:30; 189 - Nate Affriseo (CASS) d. BJ Post (BRN) 7-4; 215 - Cooper DeLeo (CENT) p. Jonathon Camarillo (DEC) 2:19; Hwt - Kenny Mann (DEC) p. Jayden Post (BRN) 0:26.