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Storr of Leslie ends career as three-time champion

By: Jeff Chaney, March 8, 2016, 9:40 am

Auburn Hills – With many of his friends and fellow state champions falling on the mats the results of upsets this past weekend at the individual wrestling finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Kanen Storr needed to focus, more so than ever, so that he wasn’t part of this trend.

Storr, a senior from Leslie who signed with Iowa State, had a large bullseye on his back as a two-time state champion.

Storr left little doubt that his last high school match was not going to be a surprise, as he whipped Remus Chippewa Hills’ Jaycob Sharp by technical fall, 17-2.

"I had the mindset, if I was in position to end this, end it, don’t make any mistakes, and I did it," Storr said.

With that win over Sharp, Storr, a three-time state champion, ended the season with a 58-0 record.

The one true blemish came when he was a sophomore when he lost to Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Devin Schroder.

Storr says that loss defined him more than all his wins, and was instrumental in him becoming a dominant wrestler.

"I would have loved to go undefeated all four years and win four titles," Storr said. "But not going through those bumpy moments, I may not have pushed myself as hard as I did. I used those kind of moments to make myself better."

He showed that this past weekend.

Storr had a bye the first round because of an injury to his opponent, then pinned his next opponent, Connor Barker of Belding, in the quarterfinals 5:13 into the match.

Storr’s next win came by technical fall, 24-9, over Ben Behrenwald of Howard City Tri-County in the semifinals.

Then came one of the more dominant matches in all of the finals, the win over Sharp.

Storr will now wrestle for Michigan native and Cyclones coach Kevin Jackson.

"I’m extremely happy with my career," Storr said. "There are world class athletes and world class coaches there, and their goal is to make us not just great wrestlers, but great men."

Storr already got a little bit of that wrestling for long-time Leslie coach Todd Stern, who admits to getting just as much from Storr and his brother Zehlin Storr, who was also a multiple state champion.

"Both of them, it’s been a pleasure to be with them," Stern said. "They both taught me a lot. There wasn’t much I could teach them. They taught our younger kids in the room, the youth kids and high school kids, and they will definitely leave their foot print in our room."

After Storr’s win on Saturday, Stern announced that he was retiring from coaching after 32 years, 28 as head coach. He finishes with 410 wins and eight individual state champions. 

"Thirty-two years is a long time, and there is no good time to quit," Stern said. "This is hard, no matter when you pick."