BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Chase Nidiffer made a statement when he finished his wrestling season last year at the MYWAY Youth Wrestling State Championship – he was going to be back and he was going to place.
The Bailey Lake Elementary Kindergartner fulfilled his goal this season by finishing in second place in the 46-pound weight class at states, March 31-April 1.
“It was good,” he smiled about the accomplishment. “I reached my goal.”
“I was very proud of him,” said mom, Beth.
“He has worked hard,” added dad, Mike. “He worked hard all summer, fall and winter to get there. We are very proud of him.”
Chase said he knew he was going to place in the top eight after the first day because he finished 3-0.
His favorite part about the championships was the semifinal match.
“It was probably the best he wrestled all year,” Mike said. “He wrestled a really good kid and won pretty convincingly.”
Another highlight from the event was the second round match. Chase was losing 4-0 and came back to win 12-8.
“He kept wrestling and didn’t stop,” Mike said. “He never got worried he was losing, and then he won it in the last 30 seconds.”
Chase explained he was focused on getting the job done and his coach said to keep wrestling.
Chase went 4-1 for the weekend putting his overall record to 43-13 which included winning the Northeast Regional tournament, winning five individual tournaments, and placing second in six other tournaments.
“He wrestled the best kids in the state,” said Mike. “We were all over the state looking for those good kids. Wrestling them earlier in the year when he lost to some helped prepare him for the state meet even more so than the tournaments he had won.”
Chase practices three days a week in Davison with Team Donahoe and is in his second year wrestling.
He just completed his folk style season and is now in freestyle wrestling which goes until the end of May. He began the sport because Mike wrestled his whole life and even coached in Woodhaven before the family moved to Clarkston.
Chase admitted it does help dad wrestled and coached.
“He’s very competitive,” Mike added. “He is already asking, ‘Dad, did you know how to do this move when you were 6-years-old? Dad, how many tournaments did you win?’ He is motivated to do better than I did.”
“I am more than halfway to beating him with medals,” Chase smiled, adding he likes wrestling because it’s a fun sport. “You learn how to stop other moves and work hard.”
When he isn’t wrestling he enjoys playing catch with his dad. He might try flag football in the fall.