WILLIAMSTON – Progression was the only focus for Cash Thompson this past offseason.
The Lakewood High School junior, along with wrestling teammates Lane Allen and Luke Tromp, traveled throughout the summer with his wrestling club, Rampage, in hopes of reaching new heights by the end of the high school season.
And a year after winning his first district wrestling championship, Thompson put his growth on display by picking up his first-ever regional title during Saturday’s Division 3 individual regional tournament at Williamston High School.
The 171-pounder, who was one of four Vikings to qualify for the state tournament, was the only Lakewood wrestler to be crowned champion.
“It was very intense practices,” Thompson said of his time with Rampage. “We learned some stuff and tried to implement it into our own room to make sure our guys get better.
“I’m going to do way more this summer than I did last summer because, obviously, it shows.”
Leslie senior Kanen Storr captured his fourth consecutive regional title with a decision victory over Lakewood’s Allen at 145 pounds. The Iowa State signee also broke his school’s all-time wins record (220) – a record that had been held by his brother Zehlin.
Storr was the only Blackhawk to qualify for the state tournament, and he wants to go out on top for both his legacy and his coach, Todd Stern, who announced he would be retiring after 28 years at the helm.
“He’s (Stern) been a great mentor – kind of like a dad to me, in a way,” said Storr, who will be looking to become a three-time state champion. “He’s traveled with me to a lot of national stuff. He’s been with me for a long time.”
Perry sent four wrestlers through to the state tournament while having regional champions in Mike Gramza (215) and Anthony Gallagher (103).
Ithaca’s Derek Teed (152) qualified for states with a third-place finish, and Olivet’s Parker Smith (160) qualified with a fourth-place finish.
Devin Miller was one of three Portland wrestlers to advance. Miller’s path to the state tournament took a detour, as the sophomore lost a match early Saturday. But he was able to battle his way to a top-four finish through the loser’s bracket.
“It makes it tense, going into the blood round,” Miller said of losing early in regionals. “It feels great to come back through the loser’s bracket and win your way through.”
Both Williamston and Corunna had three wrestlers make it through. The Hornets’ Maddox Maki got his 150th career win before losing in the 285-pound final. The Cavaliers’ David Dumond grabbed his first regional title while simultaneously picking up his 100th career win in the 160-pound title bout.
“I knew coming in that I was three wins away from 100, so I had my mindset on winning this (tournament),” Dumond, a junior, said. “I came in, stayed aggressive the entire time and came out with the W in the end.”
Alma sophomore Alex Rosas qualified with a third-place finish in the 125-pound bracket. Ovid-Elsie sophomore Zachary Morris placed second in the 189-pound division.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.