Ferndale’s Ben Broselle stuck to his game plan, wrestled smart, employed a new mindset and left Mat Classic XXVIII as Whatcom County’s only boys’ wrestling state champion.
Broselle last year was on the cusp of wrestling for a state title, but lost a heartbreaking semifinal matchup in large part because he overlooked an opponent he had already beat.
When Broselle found himself in a similar semifinal matchup this time around, he made the necessary changes, beating Stanwood’s Arie Vanveen with a technical fall.
That led to an 182-pound state-championship 8-4 win over Enumclaw’s Kione Gill on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Tacoma Dome.
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“It’s amazing, one of the best feelings in the world,” Broselle said. “Just seeing everybody looking at me, cheering for me. It’s awesome.”
Broselle and Gill were scoreless until the Golden Eagles junior got Gill on his back and tacked on a three-point near fall to take a 5-0 lead.
“I got my three count, and the rest of the match was a blur from there,” Broselle said. “Adrenaline got me.”
Ferndale coach Caleb Schlack knew Broselle had the potential to make another postseason run this season, but a mid-year ankle injury derailed some of his progress.
But once Broselle returned, there was no stopping him.
He pinned his two opponents Friday in a combined 5:22 before earning a semifinal technical fall.
“He came back with a roaring vengeance and just kept building and building and improving and improving,” Schlack said.