2011-03-10 / Front Page

Moment of Victory

Ostman Brings Home 1st State Wrestling Title for U.P.
By David Latva


Joe Ostman is cheered on by the St. Ignace crowd after capturing the state wrestling championship at The Palace of Auburn Hills. This was the first state title for a wrestler from the Upper Peninsula. He is from LaSalle High School in St. Ignace. (Photograph by Angie Asam courtesy of Presque Isle Newspapers) Joe Ostman is cheered on by the St. Ignace crowd after capturing the state wrestling championship at The Palace of Auburn Hills. This was the first state title for a wrestler from the Upper Peninsula. He is from LaSalle High School in St. Ignace. (Photograph by Angie Asam courtesy of Presque Isle Newspapers) Trailing 10-2 in the third period, Joe Ostman of the St. Ignace Saints turned his wrestling match around with a dramatic pin over the defending state champion, Matt Smith of the Hudson Tigers, Saturday, March 5, at The Palace of Auburn Hills, capturing the first individual state championship in the history of LaSalle High School and the Upper Peninsula. The victory came with 39 seconds remaining in the 189-pound match. Also wrestling for the Saints, Galloway Thurston placed second in his division at the finals.

Ostman trailed 4-1 after the first period, 6-2 at the end of the second period, and fell behind by eight points before making a move that proved to make the difference. Smith had Ostman in a cradle hold, but the Saints grappler kicked to turn the Hudson wrestler over and recorded a pin during the closing 40 seconds.


Galloway Thurston finished in second place at the state finals. He has registered 108 career victories in two seasons. (Photograph by Marilyn Thurston) Galloway Thurston finished in second place at the state finals. He has registered 108 career victories in two seasons. (Photograph by Marilyn Thurston) “I needed to make a desperate move and, after he had me in the cradle hold, I needed to kick out and I flipped him over,” said Ostman.

Wrestling in Division 4, Galloway Thurston finished second in the 171-pound class and Louie Radecki, at 145, placed eighth during the finals for the Saints.

“This was a great weekend for LaSalle High School wrestling and for Joe to become the first wrestler from St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula to win a state title,” said Saints Coach Harvey Bentley. “When Joe pinned the Hudson wrestler, the crowd went crazy, especially the fans from St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula fans.”


Louie Radecki (right) in competition at the state finals. He completed the season with a 46-8 record. (Photograph by Marilyn Thurston) Louie Radecki (right) in competition at the state finals. He completed the season with a 46-8 record. (Photograph by Marilyn Thurston) Three wrestlers, John Evashevski of St. Ignace, Ryan Gauthier of Iron Mountain, and Joel Vallier of Gladstone, finished second last year and were the top wrestlers to place during the four years of competition for Upper Peninsula athletes.

Ostman, 4-0 during the weekend, beat Lance Miller of the Dansville Aggies in a 6-4 decision during the semifinals, pinned Nathan Luce of the Bloomingdale Cardinals Friday, March 4, and pinned Mike Milligan of the Cass City Red Hawks for his 100th career victory Thursday, March 3. The sophomore’s record of 57-1 ties the school record for wins during the season. He has registered 102 victories in two years.


At right: Joe Ostman with Saints Head Coach Harvey Bentley (right) and Assistant Coach Stefan Saffian after the LaSalle High School sophomore won the individual state championship in the 189-pound class in Division 4. Coaches must wear a coat and tie during the title contests. (Photograph by Angie Ostman) At right: Joe Ostman with Saints Head Coach Harvey Bentley (right) and Assistant Coach Stefan Saffian after the LaSalle High School sophomore won the individual state championship in the 189-pound class in Division 4. Coaches must wear a coat and tie during the title contests. (Photograph by Angie Ostman) “This is a great moment and I am proud to represent the school and community,” added Ostman.

Thurston, 3-1 at the finals, lost 6- 2 to Austin Severn of the New Lothrop Hornets in the championship match, beat Juan Aburto of the Covert Bulldogs 3-1 in the semifinals, took James Herron of the Hudson Tigers 4-0 Friday, March 4, and pinned Dominick Rogers of the Constantine Falcons Thursday, March 3. The second-year wrestler completed the season with a 55-3 record and has registered 108 career victories in two seasons.

Louie Radecki, who tallied 2-3 at the tournament, completed the season with a 46-8 record. He lost to Chanler Carmer of the Leslie Black Hawks in his final match, lost 5-4 to John Tullos of the White Pigeon Chiefs in overtime, and won by default to Rass Pederson of the Martin Crusaders Thursday, March 3. He beat Lee Siersema of the Hesperia Panthers 8-6 and was pinned by Wade Erhardt of the New Lothrop Hornets Friday, March 4.

Billy Bentgen, in the 103-pound division, went 1-2 at the finals and Richard Bentley, at 119, was 0-1, but was unable to continue after suffering a leg injury.

The five wrestlers who represented the St. Ignace Saints at the finals are all underclassmen. Radecki is a junior and Thurston, Ostman, Bentley, and Bentgen are sophomores.

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