Austin Young provides late-season boost for Chippewa Hills wrestling

YOUNG: Chippewa Hills sophomore Austin Young wrestles a Lake Fenton opponent on Saturday in a Division 3 state semifinal match. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

YOUNG: Chippewa Hills sophomore Austin Young wrestles a Lake Fenton opponent on Saturday in a Division 3 state semifinal match. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REMUS — As Chippewa Hills wrestling fans reflect on the 2015-16 season when the Warriors advanced to the Division 3 state final for the first time and earned a runner-up finish, many highlights will come to mind.

A dramatic moment in the state semifinal match at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena will be among those highlights.

The Warriors were leading 22-21 with four matches left, including at 130 pounds. Sophomore Austin Young was trailing Lake Fenton’s Saben Spangler 7-3 with time winding down in their match. Young turned Spangler over with about 15 seconds to go and got the pin with one second remaining. It was a critical moment on Saturday in what would be a 31-27 victory, sending the Warriors to the final, where they fell to Dundee 40-16.

“I went out there and I knew I had to win,” Young said. “As he started beating me, I knew I had to throw him. I had to get him on his back. I knew it was getting late and someone (later) told me there was one second left. I didn’t realize it was that close when the match ended.”

Young won under similar circumstances the previous week at Caro to help the Warriors win the regional championship.

“A week ago, I was just focused on going out there and winning,” Young said. “That’s what I was out there to do this week.”

Young put the team first and opted not to wrestle in the individual district tournament. He had not wrestled since Jan. 17 because of a pinched nerve in his neck, and did not want to risk further injury before the team regional.

“He gave up individuals for team,” Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge said.

Young recalls getting to his feet against Spangler while trailing in the later stages of the match.

“I was trying to to throw my headlock,” Young said. “I’ve been working on that for awhile. He had an underhook and I had an overhook. I noticed his leg was right there. I hit a fireman (wrestling move) and that’s what got him to his back. It came to a matter of keeping him on his back and getting the pin. I knew I had to get the pin.

“I’m just going out there wrestling. When I see an opportunity to get someone to their back, I’m going to try to do it. That’s what I’ve been seeing. I saw it last week and I saw it this week, too.”

Young said he was pleased with how his season finished.

“I started the season at 135 and made the drop to 130 for the CMU dual we had here,” he said. “After that, I found out I was injured and had to take a month off. That was a low part. It got better these past couple of months.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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