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Page 6/The Sun and News, Saturday, April 10, 2021

TK puts four on D2 medal stand

Brett Bremer
Sports Editor
A week spent focusing on
mental preparedness for the
highs and heartbreak of a
one-day state championship
tournament paid off for the
Trojans Friday.
The Thornapple Kellogg
varsity wrestling team sent
five grapplers to the Division
2 Individual State Finals and
four earned all-state medals
for their top eight finishes,
including junior Ashton
Corson who placed third at
119 pounds and senior
heavyweight Carter West
who was fourth in his first
appearance at the state finals.
TK also had 130-pound
sophomore Kyron Zoet and
sophomore 125-pounder
Zach Gibson place seventh.
It is the second all-state
performance in two years for
Corson and Gibson. Both
were seventh at their weight
class at the 2020 finals.
Corson took the long way
to his third-place finish, fall-
ing in his first match of the
day and then bouncing back
to win four in a row. He did
get a bit of a reprieve thanks
to a bye in the first round of
consolation due to another
wrestler being unable to
compete. He defeated
Lowell‘s Ramsy Mutschler
in the 119-pound consolation
final, a wrestler who defeat-
ed him in the district round
of the state tournament this
year and every other time
they’ve ever met on the var-

sity or club level.
In a typical season, five
matches would be the limit
in a single day for a Michigan
high school wrestler. This
regular season grapplers
were limited to three match-
es at the most in a single day.
Corson said the long day was
tough, but he made it tougher
on himself by not wrestling
at his peak in that opening
round match.
Each of the Trojan medal-
ists wrestled five times.
West, like Corson, was in

line for six matches but a bye
in the second round of con-
solation [the blood round]
kept him from that and also
guaranteed him a state medal.
Thornapple Kellogg head
coach Dayne Fletke was
pleased with how all of his
guys wrestled, including
sophomore 140-pounder
Andrew Middleton who was
the lone TK state qualifier to
come up short of a medal.
“Definitely, the back half
of the year he turned it on,”
Fletke said of Corson. “In the

middle of the season he
struggled with some losses,
some close loses. The back
half of the year he set a goal
for himself and went after
“He started working hard-
er in practice, had that fire,
and didn’t like where maybe
he was going. He said, I’ve
got to make a change,’ and
he took it upon himself to
find a little bit bigger partner
in the room. We switched to
a little bit bigger [practice]
partner and it seemed to help
Corson’s tournament run
began with a 10-5 loss to
Mason’s Tayden Miller, who
went on to finish second to
Spring Lake’s Jack Parker at
119 pounds.
“We talk about being
aggressive and making sure
your mind is in the right spot,
and if he wrestles his match
he is a hard kid to beat,”
Fletke said. “He has all the
skills, it is just believing in
himself to pull the trigger
and go out there and wrestle
Corson had a 6-0 lead in
his blood round match when

his foe, Eli Beasley from
Fremont, had to bow out
with an injury in the second
period. From there, it was
wrestling to finisher higher
on the medal stand than in
2020 for Corson.
“Last year I wasn’t satis-
fied,” Corson said. “I was
happy I placed, but I wasn’t
satisfied with seventh. I
wanted to train all summer
and work really hard and I
wanted to place top three this
year. That was my goal.”
“I just focused on getting
to my stuff quicker,” he
added, “getting to legs and
scoring and not basing my
match off what the other kid
does and just working on my
Corson scored a quick pin
of Bay City John Glenn’s
Lane Huizar in the third

round of consolation and
then defeated Melvindale’s
Musa Yahi 7-2 in the conso-
lation semifinals to earn the
shot at Mutschler in the
match for third. He led the
match with Mutschler
throughout after scoring a
first period take down.
Corson managed to trip up
Mutschler in the second peri-
od for a 5-0 lead and went on
to a 5-1 win.
“I wasn’t as nervous as my
first time wrestling
[Mutschler at districts],”
Corson said. “I have never
beat him before, and I just
didn’t really focus on win-
ning or losing [this time], I
just focused on wrestling. It
didn’t matter what the out-
come was.”
West was displeased with
the outcome of his final var-

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Thornapple Kellogg’s Ashton Corson holds Fremont’s Eli Beasley on his back
during the first round of their blood round match Friday during the Division 2 Individual
State Finals hosted by Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Corson won four consecutive
bouts to finish third in the 119-pound weight class. (Photo by Brett Bremer)

Thornapple Kellogg senior heavyweight Carter West
tries to trip up Pennfield’s Dawson Ransom in their
consolation semifinal match at the Division 2 Individual
State Finals Friday in Grand Rapids. West took a 3-1 win
and went on to finish fourth in the 285-pound weight
class, earning his first all-state medal. (Photo by Brett
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