Bedford sent 4 wrestlers to the State Tourney that took place at Ford Field on March 2nd and 3rd. Two of the wrestlers were first time qualifiers - Sophomore Colin Jagielski at 171 lbs and Junior Blake Wingate at 215 lbs. Returning to the tourney for the second time was Senior Captain Austin Emerson at 285 lbs and Senior Captain Neil Antrassian at 152 lbs,
Austin Emerson took home the state title with a commanding 5-1 win in the finals against DCC's Steven Kolcheff. This win was extra special given that he lost in last year's finals to the returning state champ that was also from DCC. Austin was dominate in his two matches leading up to the finals with a DQ win for excessive stalling in the quarter finals and a pin in 50 seconds in the semifinals. Austin will now join Team Relentless for Greco-Freestyle and start the training for a win at Fargo. Austin will then be wrestling at Eastern Michigan University next season.
Junior Blake Wingate was named the "Darkhorse Award" winner in Division 1 for his incredible tournament performance that ended in the finals. Blake was down in the third period 2-1 after a questionable penalty call for hands to the eye (wrestler never reacted to the hand in the eye but the ref called it anyway) and was forced to try and push to make something happen. Unfortunately in doing so, Blake got caught in a cradle and was pinned with 30 seconds left in the match. He had 2 overtime victories and a 4-2 decision in the semifinals leading up to his 2nd place finish. Blake will also wrestle for Team Relentless this off-season.
Senior Captain Neil Antrassian fought for a 5th place finish in his second appearance at the tournament (first was freshman year). Neil also had a dominating performance in the 5th place match and got a pin on his Oxford opponent in the second period after being up 10-0. Neil lost in the quarterfinals to the same wrestler 10-9 in the third overtime. Neil started with a pin in the first round, fought for a 7-6 win in the blood round, pinned in the next match, and fought for a 5-3 OT win to advance to the 5th place match. Neil will be wrestling for Team Relentless this off season and will be attending University of Pennsylvania next fall.
Sophomore Colin Jagielski came up short in his bid to be a state placer. He started the day off great with a 3rd period pin of a senior from Warren De La Salle (eventual 8th place finisher) but faced the eventual runner-up in the second round and lost 3-7. His opponent in the blood round was a familiar foe from Monroe that he had beaten at the SECs and District tournaments, but came up short in overtime with a 1-3 defeat. Colin will also join Team Relentless in preparation for his first trip to Fargo and to start his quest for a state title next year.
Overall it was a very go year for the young Mules. A lot of the success was due to the outstanding leadership provided by the captains above plus senior captains Hunter Gandee and Vito Lucarelli - they will all be hard to replace. Now it is time for all the wrestlers to get involved with Team Relentless and other off-season wrestling in order to take the program to the next level. Go MULES!