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Freeman continues to excel as a junior, takes D1 135-pound title

By: Dan Stickradt, March 5, 2016, 9:48 pm


Auburn Hills – Midway through his freshman season, Ben Freeman was withheld from a match at the Holt Invitational due to an injury default.

That counted as a loss to his record, even though he never stepped on the mat for his bout.

Regardless, it is safe to say that the Walled Lake Central junior snapped back from the rare setback. 

Freeman, now a junior competing at 135 pounds, captured his third straight individual state crown in Division 1 Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, pinning Westland John Glenn’s John Siemasz to the mat in only 1:18. That capped a second straight undefeated season with a 46-0 record. 

Freeman recorded two pins, a technical fall and a major decision at the finals to take the title, as he was rarely even challenged all season.  

“It feels great, all of the hard work paying off at the end of the season,” said Freeman, who is considered one of Michigan’s premier wrestlers regardless of division, age or weight class.

Freeman finished 43-1 as a freshman, 47-0 as a sophomore and has a sterling 136-1 career record. Staying calm, cool and collected is the recipe of success for Freeman.

“You have to stay focused, not think about what match it is,” said Freeman, who committed to Michigan back in December. “If you think too much, then that’s when you lose. 

“The mindset was to go out there and wrestle my (style),” continued Freeman. “Every match is different, every opponent is different. The thing about wrestling is you have to keep moving and you have to wrestle your way.”

Freeman’s work ethic is what separates him from many other wrestlers.

“He practices really hard and drills a lot. He does drills thousands and thousands of times, like all of the kids I coach. He’s tireless never stops working,” said coach and Ben’s father, Al Freeman. “He just loves the sport, so he’s always thinking about wrestling. It’s a big challenge for him to go out there and win all the time. He hates to lose and you can see that when you watch him wrestle. He’s strong and quick and never stops moving.”

Freeman is not looking too far ahead to next year, with club wrestling on the radar for the spring and summer. It’s always the next match approach, regardless of tournament.