OWOSSO HIGH WRESTLER COLTON BLAHA was named AAU All-American during the AAU Disney Nationals in Orlando. Blaha is shown on Wednesday, June 26 after a weight lifting session at the high school. He lifts weights twice daily.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

   Hundreds of the best young wrestlers from around the nation recently met in Orlando, FL for the AAU Disney Nationals and Owosso’s Colton Blaha, now a senior, was one of them. Blaha was part of Team Michigan Blue, finishing 6-4 and placing 11th out of the 34 participating teams. Blaha was named an AAU All-American after finishing 8-2 – an accomplishment he hopes will inspire other wrestlers and athletes, including his younger siblings.

   “It was a good time. It really opened my eyes because it helped me to step out of the box a little bit. I’m use to beating good Michigan wrestlers, but beating state champs from other states, helped me realize I can be really good, too,” shared Blaha. Blaha had participated as an alternate last year, but was focused on making the starting team in 2019. “It was a really big goal of mine,” he said.

   Blaha, who has always lived in Owosso and attended Owosso schools, began to wrestle in 6th-grade. “My step-brother wrestled, and he was like three years older than me. We had basement wrestling tournaments and I always lost and I didn’t like it. I’m competitive. It went from there.”

   While wrestling is obviously Blaha’s favorite sport, he also enjoys playing football, as a running back and line backer, and also baseball. As for his high school wrestling accomplishments, in districts, Blaha was second his freshmen year, won it his sophomore year and took second again his junior year. In regionals, he placed fourth his freshmen year, 3rd his sophomore year and second his junior year. He has made it to states all three years of high school, placing his freshmen and junior years. He is grateful to the coaching staff for their continued support, sharing that he is pleased he has a wonderful support system, including his family.

   Coach Ryan Clevenger and Blaha’s friend, Christian Keyes, who was an alternate, went with him on the Florida trip. As for his wrestling strategy, Blaha shared, “I like to learn new moves to add to my arsenal, but I usually stick to two or three moves that really work for me.”

    Having just returned from Florida, Blaha was already back in the high school weight lifting room. “I didn’t lift during Florida, so coming back now, the weights feel a little heavier,” he said. Blaha lifts two times daily – every day.

   As to his future, he is hoping for scholarships, with the goal of wrestling in mind. His two ideal college choices at this time would either be Central Michigan University or Michigan State University, because Blaha would really like to go on and become a coach and high school gym teacher. His little brother is a wrestler in 7th-grade, and he thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to coach the middle school wrestling team recently. “It was fun teaching them,” he stated. “I think it is important to find what you love to do and keep at it. Do everything you can do toward that. It takes awhile to find what you are really passionate about, but keep at it.”

Young Owosso Wrestler is an Athletic Inspiration was last modified: July 1st, 2019 by Karen Elford