(02/25/13) - The New Lothrop Hornets have plenty to look forward to this week. Believe it or not, 11 of their wrestlers are heading off to compete for individual state championships.
"It really is special. It makes it a whole new experience. It wouldn't even be half as fun if it was just you. Some other schools have one or two qualifiers. To have 11 is just crazy," said Taylor Krupp, New Lothrop High School wrestler.
"Just thinking about how many hotels we have to pay for, that's a lot. It's a lot. That's a big number for sure. There's only 14 possible, so to get 11 of your guys through, it's something that's pretty rare," said Jeff Campbell, New Lothrop High School wrestling coach.
The most exciting part of all this is the anticipation of wrestling at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
"You're in the backroom warming up and then you walk out of the tunnel where the Pistons walk out, that's kind of cool, and then you see fans all across the place just screaming at you. It's pretty intense," Krupp said.
The tournament begins Thursday, and it's New Lothrop's chance to bounce back from a tough loss in the team semi-finals.
"To me, it means 100 times more just because we didn't really get what we wanted to accomplish down in Battle Creek, so this is really special," Krupp said.
Speaking of special, the Hornets have been blown away by how much people around town have been rallying behind them.
"The community support has been really great. The numbers have been great. You have family and friends coming out to watch you," said Aaron Bauman, New Lothrop High School wrestler.
"We had a great crowd in Battle Creek, and we hope to have one at the Palace, and we know we will," said Jake Perrin, New Lothrop High School wrestler.
The Hornets' coach hopes to pay back those supporters Saturday night in the best way possible.
"Usually I won't make guarantees, but I'll guarantee 11 state championships," Campbell said.
Davison High School also has 11 wrestlers heading to the Palace.
The individual state wrestling finals run Thursday-Saturday.
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