When Ferndale’s Ben Broselle battled Yelm’s Jeremy Smith for the Class 3A 195-pound title at Mat Classic on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, they left everything on the mat, each knowing it was his final high school match.
Medical timeouts peppered every round between the state’s top two ranked wrestlers at 195, as intensity led to a series of minor cuts to both and a bloody nose for Broselle.
Broselle outlasted Smith 7-4 to claim his second consecutive state championship.
“It’s amazing. I wouldn’t have been happy if I didn’t win today, but looking back it’s amazing to have won twice,” Broselle said. “When I started, I had no clue I’d get this far, but sophomore year I decided I really wanted to be good at this.”
Fifteen seconds into the match, Broselle recorded a takedown, but Smith eventually stood up out of it and the first round ended 2-1. Broselle started down in round two and escaped to go up 3-1, but Smith did the same to start the third, and the match stayed tight until a late flurry in both directions before time expired.
Broselle admitted the injury timeouts worked to his advantage.
“They helped a little bit,” he said. “I was wearing out faster than he was. Look at the guy, he’s a tank.”
Broselle had seen Smith before and talked to him at various tournaments, but the two had never wrestled.
“I tried to find people who had wrestled him before to get a scouting report,” he said. “They all told me he was going to be good, and he was.”