RICHMOND How do you follow up on a historic season?
You simply hope to do it all over again. The Richmond High School wrestling program has been one of the state’s best for years. Each and every season the Blue Devils are the class of the Blue Water Area and also one of the best teams in the state.
Coming off the school’s seventh state title and the fourth in the past six years, Richmond is back on the ground hoping to claim yet another Division 3 state championship.
“We are working hard to have a good season,” Colton McKiernan said. “Even though we are young, I think we can very well perform good as a team. We have a lot of good underclassmen that are working hard every day. We have a lot of good upperclassmen that are working with the younger teammates to get them better and ready for the big events like team states.”
As with every season, the road will be difficult for the Blue Devils. They enter the season ranked as the No. 2 team in Division 3 and will be the focus of their competition as one of the top teams in the state. But that hasn’t deterred them from going after their goals.
“This year is pretty much state title or bust like every year,” Richmond wrestler Graham Barton said. “As a team we’re taking the mentality of just out working everybody and we’ve all embraced that. I’m putting 100 percent into training everyday.”
“Our goal every season is to send our kids to college and to win the state for our school and community,” coach Brandon Day added.
In addition to its team success, Richmond also hopes its wrestlers enjoy individual accomplishments as well. They will have several athletes that will be gunning for individual titles.
That includes Aaron Kilburn, who placed second at the Division 3 meet at 119 pounds.
“Our goal at Richmond is to win a team state championship,” Kilburn said. “My personal goals is to keep getting better and to be at the top of the podium at the Palace (of Auburn Hills). We are training hard and are going to wrestle some of the best competition in the nation.
“I believe wrestling tough competition and training hard everyday will help the team and myself get ready for the postseason.”
Last year, Richmond steam-rolled through the Blue Water Area Conference. This year the conference appears more balanced than ever before.
Richmond will be challenged by the likes of Capac, Algonac, Armada and Croswell-Lexington.
“Our league is very tough for wrestling,” Cros-Lex coach Joe Lilly said. “Richmond was state champions and will be very strong again. Capac and Yale are also very strong. It will be a dogfight just like the past years. Hopefully, we will end up in the top half.”
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