Yarwood in elite company
Participants in the very first MBC meet back in 1961 were honored before the championships round, which turned out to have plenty of history made on its own.
Eight out of the 14 champions were multiple title winners, starting with Ellsworth's D.J. Yarwood. He faced defending champ Tyler Weyer of Baldwin-Woodville, who had a 3-1 lead on Yarwood with under a minute to go in the third period. But Yarwood struck Weyer with a fireman's carry which led to a takedown and two-point nearfall which put him ahead 5-3. Weyer got an escape but Yarwood won 5-4.
"He was pushing in a little hard than he should have and it gave me an open I took." Yarwood said.
Yarwood hadn't been in the best of health the past couple of weeks and it showed as he lost a couple of bouts. But like the team, he turned up his effort come tournament time.
"Sure, it was a concern going into today but when D.J. is healthy he's as good as anyone around." Radabaugh said.
Just before Yarwood won MBC title No. 4 Weyer's brother Zac won his fourth conference crown. He dropped down to 130 and won there. Yarwood and Weyer become the 13th and 14th four-time MBC champions.
And before their meets Amery's Chad Bartchenfeld won title No. 3 for himself at 112 and teammate Gabe Paulson won his second straight title at 145.
The Panthers' Levi Kuesel didn't have any problems winning title No. 2, pinning Somerset's Trevor Bushinger in 3:21 at 152 and Parker Hines won his second league gold in a match that may go down as one of the most exciting MBC championship matches in recent memory.
Hines and New Richmond's Chouinard went back and forth, scoring takedowns, escapes and reversals on each other all the way to an overtime period. Hines got a reversal with :10 to go to tie the match and bring the crowded Ellsworth gym to its feet. Then he scored a takedown with :46 seconds left to win.
"Conditioning has a lot to do with winning a match like that but so does pride," Radabaugh said. "There's a lot pride in our kids not to let their teammates down and it's this self-determination which can provide the edge to win."
Other multiple MBC champs were Somerset's Hayden Dvorak at 171 by a 3-2 decision over McLay; New Richmond's Joel Neumann with a :52 pinfall over Albarado. Other first time champs included Amery's Conner Friese at 119 with a 4-1 triumph over Osceola's Mitch Dulon and Somerset's Gabe Flandrick at 135 by a 3-2 score over Amery's Eddy Benitez.