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  1. Evansville Semi-State Preview

    Welcome to TripleB’s annual Evansville Semi-State Wrestling Preview Spectacular!!

    Before we get into the good stuff, let’s cover what’s important:

    Ford Arena info, provided by Markio:

    • Parking and general information about the arena can be found at www.thefordcenter.com
    • Wrestlers can enter the arena at 7:30am for weigh ins. Wrestlers and coaches will enter at the interior ticket office lobby (to the far right of the main lobby doors) to check in and head back. You will pick up your credentials here.
    • The only coolers allowed are for wrestlers and must enter at the check in table through the interior ticket lobby. NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK for anyone else is allowed inside unfortunately. Not my rules, just standard building policy.
    • Public doors open at 8:00am CST. Enter on Main Street through the main lobby. We will look to create a separate door/entrance for those that already have tickets.
    • There is NO onsite parking. Please do not have any team vehicles attempt to park in the loading dock or attached outer lot. These are reserved spots.
    • There is no public Wi-Fi.
    • Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Premium loge seats are available for purchase now and on event day. They are $40 pre-event and $30 if you show up and want them day of. They include a $15 concessions voucher.There is an ATM in the lobby if you need to get some cash out.
    • Please do not jump over the dasher walls to access the floor. They try to control access to the floor, so you need to enter from the lower level hallway under section 103. You wouldn't jump the wall at Banker's Life would you? lol
    • The hospitality room for officials, etc. will be in the Corner Club. Enter from the main lobby and hang a right at lower level hallway.
    • If you are going to set up a camera please do not have the cord running across the aisle. You will be made to unplug any cords running across an aisle.
    • We will have full concessions available throughout the day. Coffee and hot chocolate are also available all day as well. (get the bbq pork nachos, huge and awesome)
    • There is no smoking on or in the Ford Center property, this includes e-cigarettes.
    • Brackets will be updated throughout the day and posted on several of the 170 or so TVs located all over the arena. The brackets end up kind of small, but hey, they are everywhere and pretty cool.
    • Lastly,if you are a wrestler that loses please don't kick,throw,or punch Ford Center property. We had a kid break off a door handle last year.Sent the bill to the school.
    We’ll preview all 14 weights. Each weight will feature:

    The Charles Barkley “Turrible” Draws - ticket round matches that shouldn’t be happening in the ticket round!

    The Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Best first round matches!

    The Built Ford Tough Locks - Traditionally this is the most stingiest honor to earn. This year though we will name 7, yes half the weight classes, BFTL’s!

    Ford Fab 4 - After picks were gathered, points distributed, and the dust settled, we’ll have the Ford Fab 4.

    And new this year:

    The Cam Newton Dabs: Wrestlers who got points, but not enough to make the Fab 4, we’ll give them some Dab!

    Hooks Picks and All Semi-State Name Team - Hook and Half brings you a travel guide for things to do and places to eat in Evansville, along with his all name team!

    Without further ado...UNLEASH THE PREVIEW!!

    The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware Indians in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then the governor of the Indiana Territory. On Saturday should anyone surrender a late takedown, escape or back points, they will find themselves relinquishing a spot on the podium. Faltering in the first couple of rounds will likely mean a one-way ticket to palookaville - Hook and Half

    106: Last year I dubbed 106 the future stars, this year why not go with #StudShow. 4 of the top 10 ranked wrestlers in the state, including the #1 and #2 ranked guys. Wow, the south got some love in the state rankings!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - No first round matches really jump off the page. I’ll single in on Hunter Rice of Evansville Memorial and Victor Antunez of Jennings County. Both guys have double digit losses and this scrappy match should be fun to watch.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #1 vs. # 8 in the state….in THE TICKET ROUND!! Cayden Rooks, one part of the 4 horsemen of the Olympians takes on Asa Garcia of Avon. Garcia got no love from the pickers, can he #GrindItOut and #ProveUsWrong?

    The Dab - Paul Pinkham, Bloomington South. Frosh Senstation Devon Casebolt got the nod to get through. But Pinkham will be looking to get revenge from an early season loss!

    Ford Fab 4 - The Pickers didn’t like the #1 ranked Rooks (well this picker did), Returning State-Runner Up Ty Mills gets the nod.
    #1 Ty Mills, Brownsburg #2 Cayden Rooks, Columbus East #3 Clay Egli, Evansville Mater Dei #4 Devon Casebolt, Castle
    113: All 8 Semi State wrestlers here, including a whopping 6 state ranked kids makes 113 a great weight class on Saturday. Last year Nick Weaver was left as a bridesmaid in a rough ticket round draw with Paul (The Magician) Konrath. This year he hopes to join his running mate Ty Mills, and few more Bulldogs, at the top of podium.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - I got nothing, again. All 8 guys all in different first round matches, it will run status quo.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw -While no repeats of last year, the ticket round should be good. Semi-State 2 vs 7, 1 vs 5, 8 vs 3, and 4 vs 6 will make it a great round.

    The Dab - At one point Columbus East Frosh Jake Schoenegge seemed like a lock to join his Olympian teammates. Then nemesis Dalton Craig rolled into town. Now the Schonegge will have to get through a ticket round match w/ Weaver to get to the Bank. Speaking of Craig, Horty and Craig was almost too close to call. Horty got the nod, but don’t be surprised to see Craig, a ticket round shocker a year ago, punch that ticket. Bloomington South Junior Luke Stull got some love also, but a ticket round match date w/ Marscapone could be too much for the Panther junior.

    Ford Fab 4 - Look for Weaver to get a stiff match from Indian Creek Freshman Alex Mosconi, but experience will drive Weaver to the tile.
    #1 Nick Weaver Brownsburg, #2 Alex Mosconi, Indian Creek #3 Baxter Annakin, Castle #4 Seth Horty, Evansville Memorial


    120: Graham Rooks is pretty good, currently ranked 3rd in the state, took 3rd a year ago, returning Semi State champ, and not the favorite the win Saturday, wait….WHAT??!?!?! Kyle Luigs looks to bring the Wildcats their first of a few SS champs here.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Finally something we can sink our teeth into. Grab your coffee, grab me a coffee, head to section 113 and let’s go! Zak Siddiqui has been in and out of the rankings all year, Castle super frosh Neal Bealmear has been another solid young super Knight for Bob Harmon. This match should deliver! Levi Miller is a returning state qualifier, he’s had a rough adjustment at 120 and he’ll have tough Martinsville junior Keaton Fisher. Congrats to the winner, they get Graham Rooks! I love guys with double digit losses hooking horns, usually they let it all go, so watch for Edgewood’s Daniel Bradburn and Columbus North’s Isaac Peetz.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - While not Turrible draws, nobody likes to see 2 SQ’s going at it in ticket round and more than likely we’ll see Miller vs. Rooks. Also Austin Cook of Northview was a ticket rounder a year ago dropping a match to Will (another magician) Egli. This year he gets Luigs in ticket round. Bealmear and Hunt should be another fun Ticket round match.

    The Dab - Nada, zero, zip, zilch. The pickers were unanimous in the Fab 4

    Ford Fab 4: I couldn’t calm the pickers, they demanded Luigi Luigs. It was tight, but he gets the nod.
    #1 Kyle Luigs, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Graham Rooks, Columbus East #3 Blake Mulkey, Brownsburg #4 Noah Hunt, Bloomington South

    126: Brock Hudkins becomes the first Built Ford Tough Lock. He’s a returning state champ and he headlines the deepest field in the Semi-State. 8, yes 8 state ranked wrestlers will go at it here. All 8 Semi-State ranked wrestlers are here and they aren’t the same as the 8 state ranked. Take out Hud the Stud and this weight will be fireworks!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - 4 first round matches that should be good, yes 4! Kicking things off are two state ranked wrestlers and a potential #4 over #1, #10 James Pritchett and #19 Dawson Combest. The pickers say the winner goes to the Bank. Next up Tony Mosconi and Nick South, Mosconi was upset by Panther Dalton Craig a year ago. This year he has Panther frosh Nick South. Does he get revenge to set up a match w/ Logan Dilbeck? Another potential #4 over #1 Mater Dei Junior Joe Happe has 11 losses, but a win over Regional champ and first round opponent Bloomington South Super Freshman Derek Blubaugh. Blubaugh has had a phenomenal second half of the season, does the Panther get revenge? The winner doesn’t get much time to celebrate as they have a date in the ticket round w/ the winner of the 2 state qualifiers, #17 Noah Franklin and #6 Isaac Gomez. Holy smokes what a bracket!

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - First round matches Combest/Pritchett and Franklin/Gomez make Sir Charles head sweat, come on man, turrible, turrible, turrible.

    The Dab - Joe Happe and James Pritchett are both #4’s looking to pull upsets, some say they will be on the podium come Saturday!

    Built Ford Tough Lock - The first of 7, returning state champ Brock Hudkins

    Ford Fab 4: While Hud is head and shoulders above this group, not physically, but yeah you get it, Dilbeck and Gomez caused an uproar, Dilbeck barely gets the nod here.
    #1 Brock Hudkins, Danville #2 Logan Dilbeck, Gibson Southern #3 Isaac Gomez, Plainfield #4 Dawson Combest, Columbus East


    132: Lots of intriguing stories here. The Return of Nick Lee at Team-State sent shock waves through the state, then he disappeared off into the Western sunset, many assumed going the way of Egli and Konrath...Chatter then started again, he’s shooting for Red, he’s coming back for Red, the day of sectional seeding meetings many sat w/ nervous anticipation. Was it happening? Nothing like this has happened in Indiana. Angel and Hump was on a collision course but ended up at different weights. Dolly/Maurer had tons of hype and lived up to it, but Red and Lee, 2 Big Ten signees going at it! Also Elliott Molloy becomes the second returning semi state champ to not be a favorite. Then the bottom half of the bracket is bananas with 5 of the 8 guys receiving votes. Finally I’ll say don’t sleep on Molloy/Lee, it has potential to be good.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Castle’s SS #6 ranked Braedon Clopton and SS #5 ranked Avon’s Nathan Conley, both received votes to be on the podium. Conley was slightly favored here and actually is deadlocked w/ #4 Floyd Central’s Tristan Sellmer, this quarter bracket should be a blast. #17 Josh Elpers is the favorite in his quarter bracket, but a tough first round match w/ upset minded Bulldog Connor Allen will be a good match.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - The only real travesty is Molloy and Lee being on the same side of the bracket. This weight will be decided before face offs.
    The Dab - The quarter bracket w/ #4, #5, #6 ranked wrestlers will deliver, so let’s throw some dab at Clopton and Conley, either of those guys can be on the podium. Also some dab thrown to Connor Allen, some people (hint he’s short) thinks Allan can punch that ticket!

    Built Ford Tough Lock - Returning state champ Nick Lee, he looks to dominate a competitive field.

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Nick Lee, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Tristan Sellmer Floyd Central #3 Elliott Molloy, Danville #4 Josh Elpers Evansville North


    138: Last year people were shocked when Nick Lee wasn’t a BFTL, some thought Brayton Lee could pull the upset. He was in fact upset in the ticket round. Well fast forward, Brayton Lee has been dominate enough to be a BFTL, but indeed some people think state ranked and returning state medalists Blake Jourdan can rain on Lee’s parade in the ticket round again. This will be match of the day. On the opposite side of the bracket Castle senior Austin Ramsey will look to slide into the finalist position and await the winner of Jourdan/Lee.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #17 (#7 in SS) ranked Blake Webb vs #5 in SS Trevor Reese, the pickers actually like unranked Reese to beat 2 state ranked grapplers and punch his ticket, but this is another quarter bracket where 3 kids got votes, wide open! Also Tristin Dowell vs. Blake Jourdan. Dowell just returned in time for state tourney is still knocking the rust off, he was a ticket rounder a year ago and dropped a close ticket round match. He can beat Jourdan is Jourdan is looking to Brayton Lee. Don’t be surprised to see Dowell spoil that match.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - 2 top 5 state ranked kids in the ticket round, really? reeeeeallly?? Turrible! Turrible! Turrible! This makes Sir Charles eat Rolaids like candy, not good at all!!!!

    The Dab - Jennings County Frosh Brooks Wathen got some love, but not enough to get a Ford Fab 4 pick. Blake Jourdan also got some love, but not enough grab a golden ticket either.

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Brayton Lee, Brownsburg #2 Austin Ramsey, Castle #3 Cale McCoy, Northview #4 Trevor Reese, Franklin

    145: Joe Lee rounds out a group of stellar wrestlers. They almost sound like a law office: Hudkins, Lee, Lee, and Lee! If they are a law firm then Austin Bethel is that pain in backside defense attorney. Little Lee has shown a propensity to give up falls in big matches, Bethel got a huge win over a Lee a year ago and collected another huge win over a Lee at sectionals. Can Bethel slam this case shut?? The jury has spoken…..and no Joe Lee joins his brother in the Built Ford Tough Lock group. The pickers like the Castle 4 to roll here.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Stephen Gibson vs Nicholas Burke has #4 over a #1 written all over it, other than that not a lot going on in the first round.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Center Grove’s Logan Coyle is ranked #12 in the state and #4 in the Semi-State, but the depth of Castle could be too much. Austin Bethel is #10 in state and #2 in SS. This match features 2 state caliber juniors w/ one going home early. #19 ranked Tyler Crowl seemed poised to break through this year, but has #9 ranked Chase Wilson from Princeton in the ticket round, another state ranked stud going home early.

    Tbe Dab - No love here if you aren’t from the deep South!

    Ford Tough Lock - Joe Lee, Evansville Mater Dei

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Joe Lee, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Austin Bethel, Mt. Vernon #3 Chase Wilson, Princeton #4 Nicholas Burke


    152: Another weight, another returning SS champ not favored. Indian Creek’s Elijah Dunn stormed on the scene last year. He had an exciting match with Isaiah Kemper at Semi State and battled to 4th place finish at State. Andrew Herrin shocked the field and grabbed a Semi State title for the Panthers of Jennings County. This year these two grapplers appear to be on a collision course in the Semi finals. Can the 5th ranked Dunn get it done or will the 7th ranked Herrin grab his second semi-state crown? Mater Dei’s Mitch Lehman will look to spoil both their parties and grab a SS championship.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Regional champ Denver Aydelott will get some Dab but he’ll have to put away Mount Vernon’s Micah Keller first. SS ranked Connor Dean will find himself in a battle with Max Hauser of Floyd Central.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - The Round Mound of Takedowns seems happy with 152, no real complaints

    The Dab - Unranked Regional Champ Denver Aydelott would like to cap his senior season with a trip to the Bank, but the pickers favor Avon junior Jacob Clark.

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Elijah Dunn, Indian Creek #2 Mitch Lehman, Evansville Mater Dei, #3 Andrew Herrin, Jennings County #4 Jacob Clark, Avon

    160: This weight class was almost a lock from #1 - #4, Cayden Whitaker seems to be the favorite w/ nemesis Burk Van Horn closely following. Castle junior Jacob Farmer also was unanimous, and Colton O’Neal was almost the unanimous choice for fourth but Arkee Glover from Brownsburg got some Dab to prevent that. I say don’t forget about Southridge senior Mitchell Mundy. He was hurt all year and came back just for the state tourney. He’s undefeated, can an undefeated senior be a sleeper? We shall see!!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - We’ll start at the top, Mundy vs. Glover could be a battle. 2 hungry seniors going at it! Next is Jeff Red Devil Donovan Smith, a surprise ticket rounder from a year ago and the quarter bracket favorite Colton O’Neal from Pike Central. Can Smith surprise again? Next up is the marquee matchup of the first round 160lb bracket returning state qualifier Gleason Mappes and Conor Hay of Bloomington South. This one could also be a doozy!

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - 14th ranked Cole Chandler of Jennings County has had a great year, but he draws 7th ranked Burk Van Horn in the ticket round. Both guys are ranked top 4 in the Semi-State but only one can advance. Turrible draw for the Panther!

    The Dab - Arkee Glover of Brownsburg another cog in the wheel of the state champ Bulldogs might be the surprise of the bracket!

    Built Ford Tough Lock - Cayden Whitaker, Martinsville

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Cayden Whitaker, Martinsville #2 Burk Van Horn, Franklin #3 Jacob Farmer, Castle #4 Colton O’Neal, Pike Central

    170: Another Ford Tough Lock at 170 as Brownsburg’s Nathan Walton is a clear cut favorite here. Ticket round excitement here as 3 of the 4 matches have been highlighted as matches to watch. With 6 state ranked wrestlers and all 8 semi-state ranked wrestlers accounted for the battle for second could be intense!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #17 (#6 SS) ranked Evan Dowell from Castle will have his hands full right off the bat as he battles #7 SS ranked Jake Moore of Franklin. The other highlight curtain jerker is #16 ranked Jaylon Owens of Pike Central vs #5 SS ranked Ethan Runyan from Martinsville. The Artesian looks for another 4 over 1 upset here.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - While there are no Turrible draws, there will be some exciting ticket round matches: Jacob Hendrich vs. #10 Jonah Hays, #12 Kameron Fuller vs. #17 Evan Dowell, and the winner of Runyan/Owens vs. #9 Thomas Dull of Terre Haute North

    The Dab - Jonah Hays, Evan Dowell, and Ethan Runyan all got some love but not enough to get on the podium

    Built Ford Tough Lock - Nathan Walton, Brownsburg

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Nathan Walton, Brownsburg #2 Kameron Fuller, Jeffersonville #3 Thomas Dull Terre Haute North, #4 Jacob Hendrich Northview

    182: Brownsburg Senior CJ Damler looks to put a cap on the Bulldogs semi-state championship bid here. He’s another Built Ford Tough Lock and like other weights, after the Lock the weight class will be fun to watch. 4 state ranked and 7 semi-state ranked wrestlers will go to battle here for spots at the Bank. Bristen Dial of Brown County vs. Ike Murrell of Terre Haute North and #13 Hunter Dalton vs. # 11 Jaden Sonner should provide ticket round fun.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #7 ss ranked Carson Mohler and #8 ss ranked Marcus Duregger will battle it out to see who gets Damler in the ticket round.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #2 SS Jaden Sonner vs. #3 SS Hunter Dalton will be a ticket round match of two state ranked wrestlers battling for the golden ticket. Bristen Dial’s win over Sonner last week at regionals set this party up.

    The Dab - Jaden Sonner of New Albany and Ike Murrell of Terre Haute North both look to spoil some brackets and extend their seasons by one more week.

    Built Ford Tough Lock - CJ Damler, Brownsburg

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 CJ Damler, Brownsburg #2 Jeremy McKinley Tecumseh #3 Hunter Dalton, Bloomington North #4 Bristen Dial, Brown County

    195: Kurtis Wilderman of Evansville Mater Dei has had a tremendous year, he’s undefeated in the state. Some are saying state title for the Wildcat. But the pickers say hold up, he’s not a lock in weight class featuring 5 state ranked wrestlers and all 8 semi state ranked guys.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Nothing here makes Barry pat himself….wait...a 14 loss Bam Bam Newbolt might knock off heavily favored Ty Robinson of Edgewood and throw that quarter bracket into wildness!! Yes some pickers said so!

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Jennings County Senior Christian Redmond rode the overtime train to victories last year over Isaac McCormick and Mater Dei’s Chase Anslinger all the way to the podium at Bankers Life. This year him and McCormick will hook up in the ticket round, both are state ranked. Turrible says Sir Charles, Turrible.

    The Dab - The aforementioned Redmond pulled more votes than other state qualifiers but not enough to make the Fab 4. Jeff’s Darion Newbolt also got some love, but not enough.

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Kurtis Wilderman, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Isaac McCormick, Brownsburg #3 Garrison Lee, Monrovia #4 Ty Robinson Edgewood

    220: Usually the big guys get no love. But with 11 state ranked and 15 semi state ranked big dudes in the last 2 weights we hope everybody sticks around for some big guy love! Avon’s Gunnar Larson is the last of the Ford Tough Locks. The defending semi-state champ looks to repeat but will have a stiff challenge from Martinsville’s Clayton Scroggs.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Dakota Short vs. Dristin McCubbins features 2 seniors with stellar records. This whole quarter bracket will be amazing - #18 (#7ss) Chase Dixon will hook horns with #6 ss ranked Cory Heinrichs of Center Grove. #15 (#4ss) Tristin Choate goes to battle with #8 ss ranked Nathan Long.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Dristin McCubbins is ranked #6 in the state, but the pickers went with Michael Boots of Evansville Mater Dei. Were we suffering from pickers fatigue? #18 Chase Dixon vs. #15 Tristin Choate is another match where the pickers went with the underdog. Choate is a returning State Qualifier, evidently we had too much moonshine by 220.

    The Dab - As mentioned above McCubbins and Choate are both favorites on paper, but didn’t get enough votes to get to the Fab 4.

    Built Ford Tough Lock - Gunnar Larson, Avon

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Gunnar Larson, Avon #2 Clayton Scroggs, Martinsville #3 Chase Dixon, Bloomington South #4 Michael Boots, Evansville Mater Dei

    285: Don’t head to Stoll’s Country Inn just yet (but do go afterwards, awesome food!), the big guys are bringing the bang! 7 ranked studs (6 in the top 10) and all 8 ranked semi-state grapplers will be duking it out. This one caused the pickers the most headaches!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #7 (#6ss) Brett Henson and #7 ss ranked Austin Fleck will look to do battle. This is a rematch as Fleck upended Henson 3-2 in their first meeting. This match kicks off this exciting weight class!

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #3 state ranked Wade Ripple and #5 state ranked Sean Galligar will go at it for a spot in the Fab 4. Also state ranked #4 Quinn York and state ranked #8 Brendan Sutton will do battle. They wrestled for a 3rd place last year, this year they will wrestle for a spot in the Fab 4!

    The Dab - While this weight class is loaded, the pickers were almost unanimous in the Fab 4 (not so much in the order though), the only heavy getting dab is EMD’s Austin Fleck. The unranked Wildcat will look to push through a heavily ranked field.

    Ford Fab 4 -
    #1 Quinn York, Franklin #2 Sean Galligar, Columbus East #3 Corey Klem, Gibson Southern, #4 Brett Henson, Avon

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hook’s picks and Hook’s all semi-state name team:
    All Name Team:

    Baxter "Embrace the Dark Side" Annakin
    Hunter "Tote That" Baehl
    Dylan "Raising" Cain
    Carson "Black &" Deckard
    Conor "Washer &" Dwyer
    Asa "La Machina" Garcia
    Grant Goforth "& Prosper"
    Max "Brick" Hauser
    Cody "Nikon" Kammerer
    Tony "Willie" Mosconi
    Mitchell "Saturday Sunday" Mundy
    Ike "The Mushroom" Murrell
    Jeb "Hanky" Pankow
    Camden "Wild Irish" Rose
    Burk "Gabriel's" Van Horn

    We’ll end this article with Hook’s Picks:

    -Do not come early, or stay late, to view the Evansville Icemen, the soon-to-be-departed minor league hockey team. The Icemen had tremendous local support before owner Ron Geary produced three seasons of losing, bad hockey. The coffers have dried up and he is moving them to Owensboro. Boo!
    -Dinner- Turoni's has two Evansville locations and a microbrewery. Their pizza is special. DiLegge's is a locally-owned Italian restaurant whose food is out of this world. Visit theHilltop Inn, recently voted theManliest Bar in America. The adventurous should order a brain sandwich. Non-adventurers will be safe and happy with a bowl of Burgoo (trust me). Mrs. Hook loves their chicken livers. I am a Stromboli fiend, accordingly, I have eaten them everywhere. Nobody beats Pizza King for Stroms. Nobody. The Gerst Haus serves authentic German cuisine and has over 30 varieties of beer on tap. Get ready for a carbohydrate and protein load up!
    · Franklin Street has a vibrant night life featuring restaurants, bars, taverns and a night club. Park your car, as the city offers shuttle service for the Mardi Gras pub crawl taking place this weekend.
    · Get your ticket early. There is only one door to enter the Ford Center and it is going to be cold and windy on Saturday morning.
    · Bring money. The Ford Center is one of Indiana's premier venues; it comes at a price. They get NBA-style prices for the concessions. Methinks that the good people of Castle should take over food duties...
    · Bring a hoodie. An ice rink is beneath the mats. The place is fa-rosty.
    · 70 years ago, 130,000 Americans hit Normandy's beaches, liberated Europe and altered the course of western civilization. Many of our boys caught a ride to the shoreline on the LST, built right here in Evans-Vegas. The LST 325 is downtown and available for tours. You will not regret it.
    · John Reitz was a 19th-century lumber baron along the magnitude of a Bill Gates or Donald Trump. His son is the namesake of FJ Reitz High School and Reitz Memorial High School. The Reitz home is open for tours. The Mrs. and the kids will enjoy this.
    · The Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE) is within walking distance of the Ford Center and is a grand slam. When my three children--Hooksly, Hookticia and PowerHalf--were tikes, it was one of their favorite things to do.

    Thanks everybody! Travel safe and we’ll see you Saturday at The Ford!!!

    Dustin Bentz “TripleB”

    • 02/09/2016
    • by Y2CJ41
  2. 2015 Evansville Semi-State Preview

    Welcome to TripleB’s annual Evansville Semi-State Wrestling Preview Spectacular!!

    Before we get into the good stuff, let’s cover what’s important:

    TripleB presents the first ever Evansville Semi State Meet and Greet at The Gerst Haus, Friday night in Evansville at 8pm Evansville time. We’ll have 2 special guest as noted author and Evansville wrestling historian Hook and Half also known as John Johnson and incoming IHSWCA president Tskin himself, Tyson Skinner will be on hand to socialize with the Indiana wrestling community. This coincides with the Franklin Street Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. So come out and have a good time w/ The IndianaMat family!

    This introduction and welcome to Evansville is brought to you by "literary titan and celebrated author Hook and Half”:

    10,000 years after Paleo-Indians initially settled the "River City", wrestling fans will descend upon the Ford Center for what promises to be an outstanding day of semi state action.

    When the Delaware Indians formally relinquished the Evansville area to General William Henry Harrison in 1805, they surely did not understand the value of the grappling space of which there were ceding!

    Our 16th President grew up about 35 miles east of Evansville in Spencer County. One can ride a bicycle from his boyhood log cabin to Heritage Hills High School. Lincoln, who is honored in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, was said to have lost only one match in nearly 300 bouts. The presence of the Great Emancipator will felt this Saturday.

    Wow, thanks hook and half! How can I be expected to follow that?? We’ll preview all 14 weights. Each weight will feature:

    The Charles Barkley “Turrible” Draws - ticket round matches that shouldn’t be happening in the ticket round!

    The Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Best first round matches!

    The Built Ford Tough Locks - The Pickers of the Round Table has been assembled. There were very few, but any weight class where the pick for champion was unanimous, makes it a Ford Tough Lock. Ford Tough Locks were hard to come by this year as only 4 were given out.

    Ford Fab 4 - After picks were gathered, points distributed, and the dust settled, we’ll have the Ford Fab 4.

    Also at the end we’ll feature Hooks Picks as Mr. Johnson brings you a travel guide for things to do and places to eat in Evansville, along with some insider knowledge into the Ford Center.

    Without further ado...UNLEASH THE PREVIEW!!


    106: It’s appropriate that we start with this weight class, as it could be labeled “The Future Stars” of Evansville Semi-State. But for these guys their time is Now. 14 of the 16 wrestlers are freshmen and all 10 SS ranked wrestlers are here.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - No real matches jump off here, all the kids are solid. Trips will go with SS ranked #7 Tony Mosconi of Indian Creek vs. SS 8th ranked Dalton Craig of Jennings County. Mosconi has put together a solid Freshman season for the Braves. Craig’s 8 losses are a bit deceiving, he’s dropped multiple matches to conference Rival Graham Rooks. expect the winner here to push Levi Miller of North Posey in the the ticket round.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #1 Noah Hunt vs. #2 Mason Miranda...Whaaaaat?!? Triple B likes Miranda to win the match and the weight class Saturday! But the Pickers of the Round Table disagree.

    Ford Fab 4 - The first committee vote featured 3 different favorites, but Frosh phenom Graham Rooks was the clear leader.

    1st - Graham Rooks Columbus East, 2nd - Noah Hunt Bloomington South, 3rd - Tyler Mills Brownsburg, 4th - Levi Miller North Posey


    113: The biggest questions at 113 - “Is he healthy enough?” “Is he gonna pull a Danny Williams?” Of course “he” is #1 ranked Paul Konrath and Konrath dominates this 113 discussion. After defaulting out at Regionals, questions have been flying. The P.O.T.R.T. say...he’s defaulting out to fourth. This weight is loaded with ticket round matches full of state worthy guys including state qualifiers Jacob Skaggs and Noah Franklin meeting up, as will former state qualifiers Kyle Luigs of Evansville Mater Dei and Hunter Fox of Cascade, and the high light might be Konrath and #4 Nick Weaver of Brownsburg.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Don’t be late Saturday! Freshman Phenom Tristan Sellmer has knocked off state qualifier Noah Franklin the last 2 weekends and his reward is….returning State Runner-Up Paul Konrath. Speaking of this Konrath kid…

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - #1 Paul Konrath and #4 Nick Weaver headline a spectacular ticket round session here at 113. Weaver might punch his ticket in any other quarterfinal, but this obstacle might be too big for the Bulldog.

    Ford Fab 4 - The only thing of note here is that Konrath’s injury leaves the Pickers unsettled and because of that he is the first of five returning Semi-State champs to not get enough votes to be a Ford Tough Lock.

    1st - Kyle Luigs Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Logan Dilbeck Gibson Southern, 3rd Jacob Skaggs Avon, 4th Paul Konrath Mt. Vernon


    120: This weight class features dual winner for Curtain Jerker and Turrible Draw, 2 state qualifiers locking up first round does not make Sir Charles happy! Also of note, 120 features the second weight class where a returning semi state champ is not a Lock!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker/Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Ben Davis Junior James Pritchett was a surprise state qualifier a year ago for the Giants. This year he will have his work cut out for him as he will have returning 5th place finisher Tyler Ferguson of Evansville Reitz. Zoinks….that’s a bad draw!

    Ford Fab 4: I had to double check the registry….Brock Hudkins is not a FTL?!?!? Unrest in the South after Will Egli’s big win over Ferguson last week has cause some to convert!

    1st - Brock Hudkins Danville, 2nd - Tyler Ferguson Reitz, 3rd - Will Egli Evansville Mater Dei, 4th Isaac Gomez Plainfield

    126: 2 returning state qualifiers Elliott Molloy and Alex Johnson will hook up in one semi, while the other side will look to benefit from having those 2 on the other side. 126 will also feature the first tie as the Round Table couldn’t come to an agreement over Braedon Clopton of Castle and David Lewis of Terre Haute South.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Trevor Reese of Franklin might have something to say about the Clopton/Lewis match as he looks to crash that party when him and Clopton go at it in the first round. Consider Reese a dark horse here and could punch his ticket also.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Chayce Young of Madison and Brody Boles of Mooresville are both returning Semi State Qualifiers. It looked like Boles was possibly gonna punch his ticket a year ago before getting caught on his back late in his first round match and dropping a tough 8-6 decision to eventual SQ Austin Bethel. Young jumped out to an early 5-0 lead over Molloy in the ticket round before Molloy turned on his takedown machine and went to work. 2 questionable calls late in the match (I’m biased) cost Young his chance as he dropped a 10-8 OT decision. Now both seniors should put on the fireworks in their ticket round match...Charles can only shake his head….

    Ford Fab 4: This was close on who wins Molloy/Johnson, but Molloy just pulled it out at the Table. Which could set up a nice revenge match in the finals w/ Young.

    1st - Elliott Molloy Danville, 2nd Chayce Young Madison, 3rd Alex Johnson Evansville Mater Dei, 4th Winner of Clopton/Lewis.

    132: Many people would expect this to be our first Ford Tough Lock….but stop the presses...Not So! You’ll have to skip ahead one weight class to see a Lee has our first FTL. The Hobbit from the North beLEEves in a Lee, but not the Wildcat. No he think’s Brayton Lee will shake Evansville to the core on Saturday.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Keep an eye on Tristin Dowell and Josh Elpers. Dowell has been a popular name on Indianamat this year, did New Albany just get the internet installed? Elpers has 13 losses, but wrestles in a tough area and could be ready to pull off a #4 over #1 come Saturday. Also Jaylen Lee vs. Cale McCoy. McCoy is a pick to get be Ford Fab 4 but Lee only has 3 losses and Ben Davis does not wrestle slouches. Could Jaylen Lee be this year’s James Pritchett?

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #2 Brayton Lee vs. #4 Austin Bethel, Freshman vs. State Qualifier. #1 Nick Lee vs. #5 Mitch Anderson. Bad draw’s abound here, all 4 of these guys are worthy of being SQ’s.

    Ford Fab 4 - Once again the biggest shock is the Nick Lee is not a Ford Tough Lock, but we’ll see what happens come Saturday. Lee vs. Lee!!

    1st - Nick Lee Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Brayton Lee Brownsburg, 3rd - Griffin Schermer Bloomington South, 4th - Cale McCoy Northview


    138: It took 6 weight classes, but 138 gives us our first Ford Tough Lock - Evansville Mater Dei Freshman Joe Lee. There are some nice first round matches but overall it looks like the Castle Regional will reign supreme as projected top 3 all come from The Castle

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - 2 matches both highlight the opening ceremonies at 138. Returning state qualifier Quinn Harris and Castle junior Austin Ramsey will both be looking to get to Bankers but first thing’s first… Also Franklin’s Shane Wilkerson and Gibson Southern’s Kyle Todrank will go at it. Wilkerson has been wrestling good as of late but is it enough to upend Todrank who is wanting a third match at Joe Lee

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - No complaints here, all looks good!

    Ford Tough Lock - Our first one, Joe Lee Evansville Mater Dei. Todrank has kept it close, but expect the same result this weekend.

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st Joe Lee Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Kyle Todrank Gibson Southern, 3rd - Austin Ramsey Castle, 4th - Nick Weddle Ben Davis
    145: This weight features our second Ford Tough Lock, and he’s also a Wildcat, Blake Jourdan joins teammate Joe Lee as being a Ford Tough Lock. The Pickers also project 2 upsets, in terms of SS rankings, at this weight as Ethan Herrin (#5) is favored over Thomas Dull (#2) and Brennan Barlow (#8) is favored over returning state qualifier Bryant Haynes (#4)

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Potential #4 over #1 Madison’s Trenton Dempler and Mooresville’s Christian Warren look to go. Expect this match to be all go and Dempler’s matches never seem to be boring.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Herrin and Dull features a match where 2 kids that have been at the top all year is going home. Herrin’s come from behind win last week at regionals and Barlow finally catching Dull both show how close this match was from not happening, anything falls different and we are looking at different match ups here.

    Ford Tough Lock - Blake Jourdan, Evansville Mater Dei

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Blake Jourdan Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Patrick Schnell - Castle, Ethan Herrin Jennings County, Brennan Barlow Bloomington South


    152: 3 weight classes in a row with a Ford Tough Lock. This one is also from Evansville but not from Mater Dei! Central’s Isaiah Kemper looks to bring the Bears another Semi-State Champ. The Mooresville Regional will have some chances to take some cracks at Kemper as 1 loss junior Elijah Dunn and 4 loss junior Cayden Whitaker look to punch their tickets

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Nothing really jumps off the page. Look for some seniors to give favorites tough first round matches. Heritage Hills’ Cordell Miller will battle Whitaker and Brownsburg senior Brandon Gay, who is relatively new to 152, might frustrate Kemper.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - #5 Tre Lynch finds himself in a tough spot after dropping some tough losses at Sectionals and Regionals, he now finds himself against #2 ranked Dunn in the ticket round. Does the Bulldog senior have what it takes?

    Ford Tough Lock - Isaiah Kemper Evansville Central

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Isaiah Kemper Evansville Central, 2nd - Cayden Whitaker Martinsville, 3rd Elijah Dunn Indian Creek, 4th - Jacob Farmer Castle


    160: 160 features returning Semi-State Champ Gabe Koontz, but is he a lock, not according to the Round Table. Brendon Helm has an off season win over Koontz and some think he will win again come Saturday. Trips went against the grain and took Turner Lockyear in the upset, but he was voted down at the Table!

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #8 Nick Buedel of Evansville Mater Dei is described as a high intense wrestler and his first round opponent, Wes Ferguson of Jennings County has worked his way into the Panthers line up and has a stellar 21-2 record. Neither senior wants their season to end in the first round!

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #3 Tristan McDaniel vs #5 Ethan Runyan - Runyan is battle tested as he’s had a tough path through the state tourney, will the battle tested Runyan be able to knock off the Tecumseh senior? #2 Brendon Helm vs. #4 Turner Lockyear - these guys have a total of 5 losses between them. Both started the season at 170 and dropped to 160 midway through. Both are seniors...Who wins?!?!?!?

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Gabe Koontz Edgewood, 2nd - Tristan McDaniel Tecumseh, 3rd - Brendon Helm Avon, 4th - Kody Caudle Danville

    170: A returning state champ, and not the favorite, Franklins Jacob Stevenson has ran into rough competition w/ a bullseye. He took a loss last weekend to Ben Davis’ Dylan Lydy. Stevenson also got a late start and could still be feeling the effects of a football injury. With all of those factors the Pickers had to go with Lydy here.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #3 Nathan Walton vs. #4 Noah Huelsing, Cra-Cra…. The freshman from Brownsburg has been in behind Lydy and Stevenson...now that pays off with #4 Huelsing in a great opening round match. This will definitely be better than Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 28 (worst curtain jerker ever).

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - See above, the winner probably punches their ticket, but it’s a shame one of these guys are going home early.

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Dylan Lydy Ben Davis, 2nd - Jacob Stevenson Franklin Community, 3rd Nathan Walton Brownsburg, 4th - Blake Jeffress Castle

    182: Undefeated Super Sophomore Kyle Shaffer from South Putnam seemed like sure lock, but not this year. However it does seem like we’ll see another round of Shaffer vs. Elmore. Can the senior from Avon finally knock off Shaffer? Super sleeper, 2 loss frosh Ryan Hammond from Whiteland got some love from the Pickers, not enough to get into the Fab 4 but enough to take notice.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - 8th ranked Peyton Shepherd of Jennings County vs. the aforementioned Hammond. The winner will look to spoil Hunter Dalton’s ticket round.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #2 Evan Elmore vs. #3 Sam Bassemeier. Why wasn’t Shaffer a lock you ask? Some believe that Bassemeier will crash the North’s party and skate out of the Ford Center as Semi State Champ. Bassemeier’s one loss was a 5-2 decision to Elmore at the Mater Dei Classic. Turrible says Charles….just Turrible

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Kyle Shaffer South Putnam, 2nd - Evan Elmore Avon, 3rd - Matt Hayes Providence, 4th - Hunter Dalton Bloomington North

    195: Randy Scott...need we say more? Well yes we do b/c Scott was not another victim of one of the pickers thinking he’s ripe for the upset this weekend. Scott had a big ticket round last year knocking off Dakota Thacker and rode that win to Semi-State runner up and 3rd place finish at state. Will Scott be the victim this year as he’ll likely face #2 Adam Lytle from Tecumseh in the ticket round.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - None of these first round matches really made Barry give himself a pat on the back. He wound up going w/ #7 Chase Thompson of Jeffersonville vs. #4 Garrison Lee of Monrovia. Sometimes styles clash, can Thompson keep the Red Devils state streak going?

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #1 vs. #2, #3 vs. #4….all in the ticket round. What’s up with that??? Jasper’s #3 Ian Songer vs. #4 Lee...The Table likes the upset here. #1 Scott vs. #2 Lytle Scott got the votes and was unanimous here. Sir Charles said that this weight was worse bad, just bad. He asked about going best of 7??

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Randy Scott Mooresville, 2nd - Chase Anslinger Evansville Mater Dei, 3rd - Garrison Lee Monrovia, 4th - Quade Greiwe Columbus East

    220: 220 was a mess at The Table. Pickers chose everybody, I think DJ Radnovich even got a vote. 8 different wrestlers got votes, the most by any weight class by far. At one point there were 2 ties, we had look for hanging chads and almost drew straws. The consensus was the winner of Gunnar Lason and Corey Klem is the favorite to win state.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #9 Brady Shepherd vs. #7 Kurtis Wilderman Evansville Mater Dei. 2 young, athletic big boys are gonna get after it. I don’t think this match will go 6 minutes. The winner here hopes to knock off the senior state qualifier from Ben Davis, Kasha Wilder.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Another #1 vs. #2 here as Gibson Southern’s Corey Klem was upended last weekend by La’Terrance Kyles, setting up this ticket round battle. The P.O.T.R.T. went with Larson here in a close one, however both guys were picked to win in all ballots. Another close one on the ballots was Kyles vs. #4 Martinsville Sophomore Clayton Scroggs. Trips likes Scroggs, but votes were close as Kyles ending getting the nod.

    Ford Fab 4 - Due to the rare nature of Larson and Klem splitting votes, Larson ended up tying with Kasha Wilder. BBB gives Larson the nod and breaks the tie.

    1st - Gunnar Larson Avon, 2nd - Kasha Wilder Ben Davis, 3rd - La’Terrance Kyles Evansville Harrison, 4th - winner of Tristin Choate and Dakota Short

    285: The last of the weights features the last lock of the preview, Stormin’ Norman Ogelsby will look the gridiron in the fall with the Cincinatti Bearcats but hopes to finish up his season with a 3rd Semi-State title and push for a state title. This only the only weight that featured 4 locked picks as everybody agreed on the Ford Fab 4 here, but there were some disagreements on order.

    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #3 Bryce Biddle, Plainfield vs. 3 loss senior Colten Dossett of Tecumseh. Tough first round match, with the winner jumping right into a Turrible Draw match. #6 Adrian Butler Evansville Mater Dei vs. #8 Brett Henson Avon is another great first round match. Avon and EMD always bring their best stuff to the Ford Center, this one should be no different.

    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Biddle vs. #2 Nathan Hayes Greensburg. Hayes hasn’t had the best of tournament runs and if the Pirate wants to finish his career in the Bank, he’ll need to knock off a game Biddle.

    Ford Tough Lock - 3x Semi State champs are rare, and even rarer at HWT, but Norman Ogelsby should do just that Saturday in Evansville

    Ford Fab 4 - 1st - Norman Ogelsby Ben Davis, 2nd - Quinn York Franklin Community, 3rd - Adrian Butler Evansville Mater Dei, 4th - Bryce Biddle Plainfield



    We’ll end this article with Hook’s Picks:

    · Dinner- Turoni's has two Evansville locations and a microbrewery. Their pizza is special. DiLegge's is a locally-owned Italian restaurant whose food is out of this world. Visit theHilltop Inn, recently voted the Manliest Bar in America. The adventurous should order a brain sandwich. Non-adventurers will be safe and happy with a bowl of Burgoo (trust me). Mrs. Hook loves their chicken livers. I am a Stromboli fiend, accordingly, I have eaten them everywhere. Nobody beats Pizza King for Stroms. Nobody. The Gerst Haus serves authentic German cuisine and has over 30 varieties of beer on tap. Get ready for a carbohydrate and protein load up!
    · Franklin Street has a vibrant night life featuring restaurants, bars, taverns and a night club. Park your car, as the city offers shuttle service for the Mardi Gras pub crawl taking place this weekend.
    · Get your ticket early. There is only one door to enter the Ford Center and it is going to be cold and windy on Saturday morning.
    · Bring money. The Ford Center is one of Indiana's premier venues; it comes at a price. They get NBA-style prices for the concessions. Methinks that the good people of Castle should take over food duties...
    · Bring a hoodie. An ice rink is beneath the mats. The place is fa-rosty.
    · 70 years ago, 130,000 Americans hit Normandy's beaches, liberated Europe and altered the course of western civilization. Many of our boys caught a ride to the shoreline on the LST, built right here in Evans-Vegas. The LST 325 is downtown and available for tours. You will not regret it.
    · John Reitz was a 19th-century lumber baron along the magnitude of a Bill Gates or Donald Trump. His son is the namesake of FJ Reitz High School and Reitz Memorial High School. The Reitz home is open for tours. The Mrs. and the kids will enjoy this.
    · The Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE) is within walking distance of the Ford Center and is a grand slam. When my three children--Hooksly, Hookticia and PowerHalf--were tikes, it was one of their favorite things to do.

    • 02/13/2015
    • by TripleB
  3. Castle Regional Preview

    In the Evansville and Central sectionals, the big names rolled, while several upstarts made their presence known. The Castle regional--traditionally one of the toughest in the state--will feature a host of nail-biting first-round matches, semifinals and championship bouts.
    106- Castle's Baxter Annakin bounded to a sectional title and is the favorite for a regional championship. In semifinal action, North Posey's Levi Miller will see the winner of the Harley Gorman (Mt. Vernon) and Kyler McKinney (Princeton) bout.
    113- Southern Indiana wrestling fans breathed a sigh of relief when Mt. Vernon's Paul Konrath returned to action after a potential season-ending injury at the Big 8 championship. Konrath should see Mater Dei's Kyle Luigs in the semifinal. Logan Dilbeck of Gibson Southern will likely fill the other slot in the final. The trio also holds the top three rankings in the Evansville semi state. Don't be surprised to see them go at it again at the Ford Center.
    120- After a two-month injury recovery, Reitz's Tyler Ferguson returned to action on Saturday. With only one match under his belt, Ferguson was sharp and mopped up the field. Mater Dei sophomore Will Egli has produced another stellar season and hopes to improve upon his fifth-place finish from the 2014 state tournament. Expect the duo to butt heads on the center mat.
    126- Mater Dei's Alex Johnson looks to capture his third regional title. In order to do so, he will need to get past the winner of the Caleb Craig (Reitz) and Michael Polen (Gibson Southern) match. Craig and Polen are both very solid and will produce an interesting dust-up. The other side of the bracket will also be competitive, as Castle's 32-7 Braedon Clopton and North's 34-4 Nick Burke will meet for a title shot opportunity.
    132- In his last six matches, Mater Dei's Nick Lee has spent less than six minutes on the mat. Ranked number-one in the state, expect Lee's rampage to continue. Mt. Vernon's Austin Bethel and Princeton's Chase Wilson should meet for a rematch of their Big 8 championship bout. The winner will meet Lee for the title.
    138- A couple of weeks ago, southern Indiana 138-pounders began to re-think their weight class choice. There are five, top-shelf grapplers here; only four will advance. Gibson Southern's fifth-ranked Kyle Todrank will see Memorial's Johny Wargel in the first round. Both are seniors; one of them will see their high school career end here. Mater Dei's third-ranked freshman, Joe Lee, will likely meet Reitz's AJ Dixon in one semifinal. The Todrank/Wargel winner will meet Castle's ninth-ranked sectional champ, Austin Ramsey, in the other semifinal. Do not miss a match at 138!
    145- Fifth-ranked Blake Jourdan of Mater Dei and Castle's tenth-ranked Patrick Schnell headline this very competitive weight class. Both are dynamic. Expect another exciting match. Memorial's Chance Williams, Central's Hunter McCormick and Mt. Vernon's Peyton Whoberry will fight it out to earn a semistate berth.
    152- With a title this Saturday, Central's Isaiah Kemper will have earned three consecutive regional championships. Ranked second, Kemper will likely realize the accomplishment. On the other side of the bracket, Pike Central's Colton O'Neal and Castle's Jacob Farmer will meet. The winner gets Kemper in the final. Heritage Hills' Cordell Miller and Mater Dei's Mitch Lehman will also be in the medal hunt.
    160- Populated by wrestlers who are defined by action, this class give the fans something for which to cheer. Castle's veteran senior Turner Lockyear has put up 37 wins on the season, in addition to SIAC and sectional titles. Lockyear's Warrick county rival, Tecumseh's Tristan McDaniel, scorched the field at Central. A senior, McDaniel looks poised for a post-season run. Do not overlook Tell City's Elliot Brown or Mater Dei's Nick Buedel, as both are capable of big wins and upsets.
    170- 170 is a very balanced class, possessing three individuals with the potential to win. The toughest road belongs to Mater Dei's Ashton Forzley and Memorial's Noah Huelsing, as they will meet in the semifinal. Forzley, with a pair of state qualifications, is a big-match wrestler. Huelsing counters with a sizable gas tank and an early-season win over Forzley. Castle's Blake Jeffress, who finished second to Forzley at the SIAC meet, will inhabit the other slot in the final.
    182- Mater Dei's 182-pound senior, Sam Bassemier, has wrestled a brutal schedule en route to a 26-1 record and continues to slide in the rankings, ending the season at 14th. On Saturday afternoon, expect to see him on the center mat. After this coming weekend, Tecumseh's Jeremy McKinley will no longer be off the radar. Expect him to give Mt. Vernon's Tyler DeKemper a very tough match. The winner earns a ticket to the final.
    195- Beginning in the first round, when Central's Gabe Patterson meets the sectional champion, Jake LaMar of Castle, you will find many competitive matches at 195 pounds. Patterson, with his never-say-die attitude is likely the best fourth-place finisher in the field. Marcus Gahagen of Memorial will meet Tecumseh's Adam Lytle in another huge first round match. Gahagen has accumulated 21 wins against the backdrop of a tough schedule. Lytle suffered his first loss of the season at the Central sectional and will look for redemption. On the other side of the bracket, South Spencer's Keith Barclay will put his 38 wins against Vincennes Lincoln's Nic Dellion, the owner of 35 wins. The Barclay/Dellion winner will meet Mater Dei's Chase Anslinger in the semifinal. Try to pick 1-2-3-4!
    220- If you have not seen Gibson Southern's Cory Klem, after Saturday, you will understand his sixth-ranking. Klem is up-tempo, strong and slick. He will be in the face off. Harrison's LaTerrance Kyles and Mater Dei's Kurtis Wilderman will dance in the bottom half of the bracket, in a rematch of their SIAC final. Mt. Vernon's Tristan Choate is formidable. He has spoiler potential and will look to maximize his regional performance.
    285- Like 195, 285 has a number of potential champions. Mt. Vernon's Wade Ripple will square off with Tecumseh's Colton Dossett in the opening round. The duo has accounted for 53 wins against 12 losses. Pike Central's 24-2 Bryce Manning will meet Memorial's 27-11 Will Page, in another first-round barn burner. As sectional champs, Mater Dei's Adrian Butler and South Spencer's 42-7 RJ Shaw will also be in the hunt for a title.
    Hook's Random Comments:
    · Watch the Tecumseh fans. They are loud, rowdy and highly partisan. This tiny school provides the model of what wrestling fans should be!
    · Hook's daugther, Hookticia, pointed out that Castle not only has huge slices of pizza, but offers baked potatoes "as big as your head."
    · I love the intensity of Central's head coach, Mike Lapadat. How many calories does Lap burn on a typical Saturday? He is to coaching wrestling what James Brown was to show business.
    · North Posey's coaches, Cody Moll and Sam Goebel, look lean and mean. I will wager, that with a week to cut, both could make weight.
    I have been criticized for the fact that my previews are light on predictions. Since this is my last one of the year, I will go out on a limb.
    These predictions are guaranteed.
    · Mt Vernon's head coach, Tim Alcorn, will get very excited.
    · At least once, in unison, the Mater Dei crowd will yell, "Two!"
    · Castle will do an outstanding job of hosting.
    · The Castle regional will produce a number of state placers...maybe a couple of champs.
    · A Castle sectional vs. Central sectional post will be started on Indiana Mat.

    "Your" welcome.

    • 02/02/2015
    • by hook and half
  4. SIAC Preview: "Fun Year" in Store for S...

    By John Johnson

    "There are a lot of good teams in the SIAC this year," proclaimed Central's Head Coach, Mike Lapadat. "There are also very good individuals. It should be a fun year."

    "Mater Dei is obviously the favorite, but every team has at least one or two kids that can go a long way," concurred Harrison's Mark Mastison.

    "A lot of weight classes are wide-open," agreed North's DG Asay. "The league is very competitive."

    Mater Dei returns nine starters to its lineup. Three of them, sophomores Nick Lee and Will Egli along with senior Alex Johnson, possess a medal from the 2014 state meet. The trio is complemented by state qualifiers Ashton Forzley and Blake Jourdan. Freshman Joe Lee enters the season ranked fifth while senior Sam Bassemier and junior Seth Orth are both ranked twelfth.

    The Wildcats are the top-ranked team in Indiana and ranked 30th in the United States. The football team's playoff run has created a challenge for coach Greg Schaefer.

    "We don't yet have a full room," said Schaefer. "But, practices are good and the guys are working hard."

    The bottom half of Mater Dei's lineup will have a short turn around, once the football season ends. The Wildcats travel to Peoria, Illinois on December 6 to face Oak Park River Forest (Second, nationally) and Marist (28th, nationally).

    "The opportunity came up to wrestle them and it was hard to pass up," said Schaefer. "It's a great chance to learn where you are."

    The Wildcats will host the 31st edition of the Holiday Classic, followed by the Team State Duals and a trip to St. Louis for the "Gateway to the Best" before the post-season begins.

    Castle returns significant talent to Bob Harmon's club as four semi state qualifiers--seniors, Patrick Schnell, Turner Lockyear and Evan Dowell along with junior Austin Ramsey--anchor the roster. Seniors Jake Lamar and Blake Jeffress will also help the Knights' cause.

    "It's still early," said Harmon, in his 31st season as Castle's skipper. "We have not yet had a wrestle-off. I'm looking for my seniors to step up and do a good job. We also have a number of good freshmen on the team. It will be interesting for them to step on the mat and see what they can do."

    Castle competes in the Bloomington North Invitational on December 20 and the Mooresville Holiday Tournament the following weekend.

    "The Bloomington tournament is really good," said Harmon. "Mooresville has upgraded their tournament and added some very good teams. We will have a better idea of where we are after it."

    Memorial returns 14 lettermen to Larry Mattingly's 2014 Castle sectional championship team. Mattingly, in his 28th season with the Tigers, has solid leadership from his upper classmen.

    "Chance Williams and Noah Huelsing were selected as the captains," said Mattingly. "Williams and Huelsing both advanced to the semi state. Additionally, we have seniors Johny Wargel, Will Page, Marcus Gahagen and Henri Garcia. (Junior) Chris Voegel will also be in the mix."

    Can Memorial repeat as the sectional champions?

    "We graduated five really good kids from last year; there are definitely holes to fill. We also have a lot of guys in the middle weights," commented Mattingly. "I have told the kids that our lineup will probably not be the same at the end of the year as it is now.

    Memorial will get a stiff early-season test at the 16-team Westfield Duals in Indianapolis, followed by the Mater Dei Holiday Classic and the IHSWCA State Duals.

    Central will be led by 2x state qualifier, senior Isaiah Kemper. A 160-pounder, Kemper is currently ranked second.

    "Kemper is healthy," said Mike Lapadat, now in his fifth year at the helm of Central. "He should be in the mix."

    The Bears' line-up will be bolstered by the eighth-ranked, 126-pound sophomore, Connor Willis. Nine additional lettermen, including seniors Hunter McCormick, Caleb Hart, Kameron Edmonds, James Libby and Gabe Patterson, are also expected to be impact players for Lapadat. Freshman Carson Willis enters his freshman year ranked 16th.

    "We are in the Mooresville Holiday Tournament," said Lapadat. "Yorktown, Indianapolis Cathedral, Castle and other top teams will be there. It will be a good test for us."

    Reitz's Tyler Ferguson tops the marquee on The Hill. Rolling up 110 wins against three losses in the past two seasons, Ferguson is eager to improve over his 2014 fifth-place showing at the state championship. Ferguson enters the season ranked fourth.

    Coach Scott Ferguson will look for leadership from seniors Chris Tuck, Kelsey Smith, Trent Owens, AJ Dixon and Adam Auten.

    In his 14th season at the controls, Ferguson has a very busy December planned for his Panthers.

    "We host the Hill Classic on December 6," said Ferguson. "The following weekend, we go to Zionsville, then, the Harrison 10-way. Over Christmas break, we are going to a new tournament, Woodford County (Kentucky). They have the Georgia state champions and some other good teams coming."

    North's top returners, sophomore Dawson Matherly along with juniors Nick Burke and Josh Elpers, will provide the Huskies a one, two, three punch at 113, 120 and 126 pounds.

    "I expect them to compete very well," said DG Asay, in his fifth year at North.

    Although Asay graduated five starters from last year's team, seniors Sam Dugan, Ty Winchell, Cody Smith, Buddy Waelde and Kory Hurt will step into the breach.

    Asay anticipates that the Huskies will learn its character in the early-going.

    "We get our 'defining moments' in the first two weeks of the season," chuckled Asay. "We wrestle Yorktown and New Palestine in the Turkey Classic. Right after that, we get Memorial and Mater Dei. All of them are top twenty teams."

    Harrison's returning semi-state qualifier, junior LaTerrance Kyles, will begin the season at heavyweight, but plans to compete in the post season at 220 pounds. Kyles completed the 2013/14 campaign with a 56-10 record and begins this year ranked 11th.

    Harrison's lone senior, Billy Procicina, had last year's season cut short by injury. He is expected to start at 145 pounds.

    The Warriors graduated six starters, however Harrison has reloaded as twelve freshmen populate this year's roster.

    "They come to every practice and are working hard," said Mark Mastison, in his seventh year at Harrison. "We should able to fill out our lineup. Our feeder program is going well; last year, we had four city champs and a folk style national champ."

    Bosse returns seven letterman to a team dominated by youth; the Bulldogs have no seniors on the roster.

    "We are very excited about this group," said Craig Shoobridge, who acts as the co-head coach along with Matt Happe. "It is a really good group of kids. They are in the room every day working hard."

    The Bulldogs were the first SIAC team out of the gate, participating in the November 22 Wood Memorial Open.

    "Nigel Buchanan and Raymond Garnett both went 3-0," said Shoobridge. "Nigel had a big win; he beat a kid that beat him twice last year."

    Corey Schmitt, Christian Davis, Brandon Fark, Warrick Robinson and Jackson Nunning round out the returning starters.

    • 12/01/2014
    • by Y2CJ41