Performance: Lowell's Austin Boone

March 5, 2020

Austin Boone
Lowell senior – Wrestling

Together with his teammates, Boone continued to contribute to a historic streak Saturday by helping the Red Arrows to their record seventh-straight MHSAA Team Finals championship, posting a pin and two major decisions to earn the MHSAA “Performance of the Week.” He also put himself on the cusp of another legendary achievement – this weekend at Ford Field, Boone can become the 27th in Michigan high school history to win four Individual Finals championships, and join Davison great Brent Metcalf as the only wrestlers to win four individual titles and be part of four team titles as well.

Lowell defeated Croswell-Lexington in Friday’s Quarterfinal, 63-10, then Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 58-9 in the Saturday morning Semifinal and Gaylord 53-4 in the afternoon championship match – another dominant run, especially impressive considering the Red Arrows lost a ranked wrestler to a knee injury and saw another wrestle through a slightly lesser one. In the finale, Boone scored an 11-3 decision at 145 pounds over two-time individual champion Chayse LaJoie, who entered the match unbeaten. Boone will bring a 37-0 record into Friday’s first round, and he’s 152-8 over his career with his previous championships coming at 135, 145 and 152 pounds.

Boone – who also played football his first three years of high school – has signed to continue his academic and wrestling careers at national powerhouse Penn State, which has won eight of the last nine NCAA Division I championships. Boone’s father is a dentist, and Austin intends to eventually study dentistry as well and follow his dad into the family practices.    

Coach R.J. Boudro said: “First of all, it’s always nice when you send somebody out and you’re pretty sure they’re going win, every time, and probably get you bonus points. So within wrestling, that’s a luxury that we’re sure going to miss. And as far as him in the practice room … I don’t know that Austin’s ever missed a wrestling practice. (Boone confirmed he missed one this season for a college visit.) And within that wrestling practice, there’s guys that you’re in practice and you have to go sit out or whatever because you’re hurt. I don’t know that Austin’s ever taken a second off of a practice. So his toughness, I think this year, has been really contagious. I think we’ve been able to use that as an example and kinda show kids what toughness is. Because it’s hard to do that when you don’t have it; when you have it, you’ve got to make an example of it, and Austin definitely has that. I don’t think he’s every come close to missing weight. I don’t think he’s ever just missed a match. He’s just the most dependable kid I think I’ve ever had, and dependable for a lot of reasons. Over the course of four years he’s grown up a lot, and I think this year has been easily his best year – not just performance-wise, but just helping our team, being another coach in our room.”

Performance Point: “I just think that the team performed really well. We went into that kinda motivating guys to put up as many team points as you could, especially if the person knew they were supposed to win,” Boone said of Saturday’s victory over Gaylord. “We started out with Nick Korhorn; he was kinda on edge a little bit, and we told him to just go and get as many bonus points as he could and he started off good, he put up five team points and we just fed off that. Will Link had a big win; we felt like that was another turning point. We (took) it up another gear. I feel like everyone wrestled better after we got to see those guys win some big matches. … I really didn’t think about (the magnitude of my match) all that much. I try not to think about it at all. The more you think about your opponent, the less you focus on yourself.”

Four for four, and seven in a row: “It’s been fantastic. Honestly, it’s weird to think about. You almost want to say that you think it’s going to happen, but there’s so much work that goes into each title. You almost forget about it. Every year you come back and you think it’s going to happen again, and you put in so much work over and over and over again, and then it’s over and you have to start again.”

Tournament tested: “(This weekend is) just another match. Honestly, I’m more worried about what I’m eating for dinner tonight than I am for this weekend. … (I’ve) just wrestled in so many big matches over the years, it’s all the same.”

Memories made: “It’s just the experience of high school. You get to know what it’s like to be part of a team. Fortunately for me, I got to be part of a really good team. I got to wrestle some really good matches against other really good teams. It was just a good experience to have before I head off to college. It’s different than wrestling with either yourself, or I’ve wrestled with my brothers over the summer – it’s not really a team. So I like (high school).”

Full house: “I have five siblings – four younger brothers and a younger sister. The household’s fairly loud. We’ve learned to live with each other. It’s not as hectic as it used to be. And then weekends, we just spend at wrestling tournaments. … They’re all wrestlers. I’ve tried to show them just the occasional goofy move. But they’ve got to figure it out for themselves, and I think that’s better for them. One of my younger brothers actually just showed me a new move last week, and then he showed it to the team because it was just goofy – it was fun.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Past honorees

Feb. 27: Aaron Grzelak, Marquette skiing - Report
Feb. 20:
Kailee Davis, Detroit Renaissance basketball - Report
Feb. 13:
Jamison Ward, Carson City-Crystal wrestling - Report
Feb. 6:
Elena Vargo, Farmington United gymnastics - Report
Jan. 31:
Michael Wolsek, Trenton swimming - Report
Jan. 24:
Kensington Holland, Utica Ford bowling - Report
Jan. 17:
Claycee West, White Pigeon basketball - Report
Jan. 10: 
Seth Lause, Livonia Stevenson hockey - Report
Dec. 5: Mareyohn Hrabowski, River Rouge football - Report
Nov. 28:
Kathryn Ackerman, Grand Haven swimming - Report
Nov. 21:
Emily Van Dyke, Southfield Christian volleyball - Report
Nov. 14:
Taylor Wegener, Ida volleyball - Report
Nov. 7:
Carter Solomon, Plymouth cross country - Report
Oct. 31: 
Jameson Goorman, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Oct. 24:
Austin Plotkin, Brimley cross country
- Report
Oct. 17:
Jack Spamer, Brighton cross country - Report
Oct. 10:
Kaylee Maat, Hudsonville volleyball - Report
Oct. 3:
Emily Paupore, Negaunee cross country - Report
Sept. 26: 
Josh Mason, South Lyon soccer - Report
Sept. 19: Ariel Chang, Utica Eisenhower golf - Report
Sept. 12: Jordyn Shipps, DeWitt swimming - Report

PHOTOS: (Top) Lowell's Austin Boone works toward a win over Gaylord's Chayse LaJoie during Saturday's Division 2 Team Final at Wings Event Center. (Middle) Boone's arm is raised in victory during Friday's Quarterfinal against Croswell-Lexington. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)