Mar 09, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
All the way through this 2007-08 season, Morrisville-Eaton wrestler Ryan LeBlanc has been aiming to match the state title run achieved by his brother, Paul, a short three years ago.
That dream came true Sunday night, in the state championship meet at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, where LeBlanc, a junior, completed a dominating run through the 160-pound Division II bracket and took his own state championship.
It all came down to Sunday night’s championship match involving LeBlanc and Ryan Black, a senior from Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton, a Section IV school.
Each point was difficult to attain — but once LeBlanc took the lead, he allowed nothing more than a single escape from Black. When six minutes were done, LeBlanc had prevailed, 4-1, had moved his season mark to 46-2, and had earned the third individual state title in M-E wrestling history.
Aside from Paul LeBlanc, Jody Avery was the other previous Warrior wrestler to go to the top of the podium. Avery did this in 1997 at 112 pounds at the War Memorial in Syracuse, when one champion was still awarded in each weight class (They split into two division in 2004).
Up to that point, everything LeBlanc had done in the tournament suggested that this would be his year.
Already 39-2 going into the state meet, LeBlanc ran the win total to 40 in Saturday’s opening round, methodically beating Alex Neris (Riverdale Kingsbridge) in a 15-0 technical fall.
This moved LeBlanc to the semifinals on Saturday afternoon, where he took on Nick Joy, from Locust Valley (Section VII), and piled up point until he had a pin of Joy with just 48 seconds to go in their contest.
Even in Sunday morning’s semifinals, LeBlanc kept up the torrid pace, not taking too long to earn a 17-2 technical fall over Will Carter, from Gouverneur (Section X), to earn his place against Black with the state championship on the line.
LeBlanc is, of course, the latest in a string of family success on the mat under the direction of head coach Duane LeBlanc, which includes Paul and his older brother, Treavor, who reached the state meet three times, his highest finish a fourth in 2004.