DEARBORN – Henry Ford College wrestler Jeffrey Henderson became the college’s first-ever All-American when he medaled at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships March 9 to 12 in Kissimmee, Fla.
In addition to Henderson, three other HFC wrestlers — Austin Koehler (125-pound weight class), Brad Speen (149 pounds) and Darian Holmes (285 pounds) — qualified for nationals but didn’t medal.
Henderson, of New Boston, competed in the 235-pound weight class and went 6-2, scoring 15.50 team points. All All-Americans win a watch and a medal from the NCWA, HFC Wrestling Coach Grant MacKenzie said. Henderson’s overall record for the 2015-16 season is 23-8.
“It felt so surreal being there,” Henderson said. “It took more heart than effort to become an All-American. I thought I was done at times, but I just had to dig deeper inside to do this, to become an All-American.
“The only reason I wrestle is because I like it. Always have. I just can’t give it up.”
Henderson graduated from New Boston Huron High School in 2014, where he wrestled for three years and played football for four years. Additionally, he was active in his school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. At HFC, he is studying Nursing and tentatively expects to graduate with his associate’s degree in 2017. From there, he may transfer to Adrian College or Olivet College.
“Henderson has a unique ability to mentally prepare for big matches,” MacKenzie said. “He was completely focused for each match.
“I hope he pursues wrestling at a four-year college or university. He is a talented athlete who still has four years of National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics eligibility.”