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GR Catholic Central takes team title at Kent County Wrestling Championships

Wrestling   | Jeff Chaney

State Champs! Sports Network

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Winning wasn't enough Saturday for Kole Krauss.

The Catholic Central junior 135-pounder wanted to set a tone for his season with a big day at the inaugural Kent County Wrestling Championships at Davenport University Saturday.

Krauss did just that, winning one of his matches by technical fall and the other two by pin, including one in the finals over Kent City's Ryan Bockheim.

For his impressive day, Krauss was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler from weight classes 103-140.

Rockford's Caleb Childers earned that honor in weight classes 145-285. Childers, the No. 3 seed at 171 pounds, won four matches, including pins over the first and second seeded wrestlers in the weight class.

“I went in today, not just wanting to win the tournament, I wanted to destroy,” Krauss said. “I did what I wanted to do – it was a good day.”

Krauss' Catholic Central teammates also made a sold statement, winning the team championship with 206 points, 36 points better than runner-up Rockford. Forest Hills Central was third with 167 points, followed by Byron Center with 128.5.

“This is a nice start for the first tournament of the year,” Catholic Central coach B.J. Schroder said. “We brought 11 kids here, and all 11 placed.

“It is an honor to win the first Kent County Championships, but more importantly, we were able to see a lot of things we need to work on. We will enjoy this for the moment, and then get back after it on Monday.”

Joining Krauss on the top of the medal stand were fellow Cougars Devin Schroder at 119 pounds, Nate Limmex at 140, Foster Karmon at 145 and Grand Tennihill at 215.

Devin Schroder, a two-time state champion, had a challenging finals, beating Rockford's Jared Bennett 7-0.

“It's early in the season, but it is nice to get a team win at an individual tournament,” Devin Schroder said. “This is my first tournament at 119 pounds, and it was good to go against Jared. He is a good friend, but a very good wrestler. We work out a lot in the offseason.”

Other champions crowned on the day were: East Kentwood's Austin Wieczorek (103), Cedar Springs' Jordan Ringler (112) and Patrick DePiazza (285), Middleville's Chris Poland (125) and Chris Kaboos (130), Rockford's Nick Guerra (152), Byron Center's Jaxon Smith (160) and Kent City's Shane Rodenburg (189).

All the champions, and the top six placers, were honored at the medal presentation ceremonies, when Penn State three-time NCAA champion and Olympic hopeful Ed Ruth handed out medals.

Ruth was in town this weekend to run a clinic Sunday at Davenport.

He was thrilled to be part of the first Kent County Championships.

“It was a while ago that I wrestled in a tournament like this, but it was nice to come here and be part of it,” Ruth said. “I wouldn't say I'm giving back to the sport, but more like paying it forward. Some day I would love to see one of these kids do what I did. That only makes the sport better.”