Walled Lake Central wrestler dominates on way to state title
Published March 6, 2014
WALLED LAKE — It’s one down, three more to go for Walled Lake Central freshman Ben Freeman.
The 103-pounder won an individual Division 1 wrestling state championship March 1 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
He said he set a goal of being a four-time state champion even before starting high school.
“It feels amazing. I’ve been dreaming about this forever,” he said. “It’s a lot of relief. The first one always seems like the hardest, so I feel really relieved.”
Coach Al Freeman, Ben’s dad, said he encourages all of his wrestlers to set high standards.
“I want them to dream and set big goals. That way, any single event like this isn’t the end of the world because they have bigger goals, so it kind of takes the pressure off of them,” the coach said.
Ben Freeman, 43-1 overall, won his title in dominating fashion.
The grappler gained all four of his victories at the tournament by technical fall, which ends the match after accumulating a 15-point lead against the opponent.
With some near falls thrown in, worth two and three points, Freeman’s recipe included taking his opponent down to score two, letting him up and giving up a point, and then proceeding to take him down again for another two, then repeating the process until the point margin was reached.
In the final, he beat a Monroe High opponent 20-5 with more than half the third period remaining.
“He practices really hard and drills a lot,” Al Freeman said. “He just loves the sport, so he’s always thinking about it. It’s a big, fun challenge for him.”
The thinking part, Ben Freeman said, was the toughest challenge during the tournament, which lasted three days.
“It’s not a lot of matches over a long period of time, so there’s a lot of waiting around. It’s more mental than physical. That’s the tough part. You have to keep your mind focused throughout the whole thing,” he said. “I feel like everyone in this bracket expected to win it — I just ended up on top.”