CARSON CITY – Carson City-Crystal senior Ken Dittenber has already done something very few Michigan wrestlers are able to do.
He’s won a pair of individual state championships.
This season he’s got a goal in mind after having already stood on the top tier of the podium at Kellogg Arena twice.
“Go for three, I guess,” he said.
Dittenber won his first title in 2011 in the 103-pound class of Division 4. He moved up to the 112-pound class in 2012 and added another state title.
“Kenneth has been a valuable asset to our team for the past three seasons,” coach Kacy Datema said. “He has been instrumental in the process of restoring Carson wrestling to the place that it belongs. He has developed young wrestlers into solid wrestlers that have become very productive for our team.”
But Dittenber hasn’t sat on his laurels in getting ready for the season.
“Just training a lot harder than I did the last three years,” he said.
Dittenber would like to end his high school career on a very high note.
“I have never been undefeated,” he said. “I want to go undefeated.”
In fact, no past Eagle wrestler has ever been a three-time state champion, Datema noted.
“It would be an incredible accomplishment for him and something that we would love to see,” Datema said. “He is fully aware of the hard work, dedication and discipline that it takes to accomplish this goal. He is a great kid to have coached and we look forward to a fun season with this team.”
Dittenber said the team looks like it will be better this season than last.
“It looks like we’re having a strong team,” he said. “We have a full lineup with everybody.”
Last year’s team had two brothers who both had season-ending knee surgery at almost the same time.
“They recovered, and now their back on the team,” Dittenber said.
The first time CC-C will take to the mat will be Saturday when they go to the Tri County Invitational.
“I just hope we come out with a gold the first one,” Dittenber said.
Dittenber has been looking around to see what college he would like to attend, but didn’t mention any specific college he was looking at.
“I’ve been looking around. I haven’t found the right one,” he said. “I’ve looked at a few.”
Dittenber may be one of the few two-time state champions who hasn’t been recruited by colleges to wrestle for their teams.
He hopes someone will give him a look if he wins his third state title.