PROVIDENCE -- St. John’s Prep standout wrestier Ian Butterbrodt completed a perfect season and won the 220-pound title at the 50th New England Championships Saturday.
Butterbrodt, who improved to a stunning 64-0, breezed into the finals with a pair of pins and an 8-0 major decision. But he had a war with Carl Neff of Exeter West (R.I.) High in the finals.
The St. John’s Prep junior took an early 4-0 lead, but a reversal and near fall that was very nearly a pin gave Neff a 5-4 lead heading into the second period. Butterbrodt rode him throughout the second period, then got a third-period takedown and held on for a 6-5 decision.
“I wanted to get out to a good lead and I might have taken too much of a risk with my tilts (in the first period),” said Butterbrodt, who flashed a rare smile after the victory. “Then I just fought to stay off my back.
“I knew that kid would be tough. I’m happy to win it.”