IndianaMat Senior Writer
Deep in the heart of Lake County lies East Chicago Central High School and their spectacular gymnasium. The second largest gym in the world will play host after debuting last year and doing an outstanding job. Sightlines and room to stretch for the fans, a warm up location in the same area code for the wrestlers, and a hospitality room for the refs and coaches all make the new location an excellent venue.
In honor or our new President, I will be taking a political tact for this yearâ€™s preview. For each of the weight classes, I will choose:
1. Trumpâ€™s Tremendous Top Dog
2. Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle
3. Sean Spicer to Show
4. Kelly Conwayâ€™s Yellow Ribbon Rastler
Where appropriate, I will also highlight:
1. Tight Primary Challenges â€“ First round fights
2. 270 to Win â€“ Ticket round tilts.
3. Steve Bannon Death Draw â€“ A likely state qualifier with wrestlebacks.
4. Alternative Facts â€“ A possible sleeper state finalist.
Without further ado, letâ€™s start picking the matches and make Da Region Da Greatest Again.
As stated in the Google Hangout on Tuesday, the flyweight division is probably not as deep as it usual. However, as usual, it looks like the Region Regionals will dominate the placers.
1. The bitty Bobcat Giovanni Diaz from Wheeler has put together a fine 33-5 record in his rookie campaign. He has a great practice partner in his state qualifier brother but he will be tested by South Bend Riley sophomore Trevor Penrod. Penrod is a high risk wrestler and always fun to watch.
2. My other early bird special pits Ty Haskins from one of the stateâ€™s best programs (Portage) versus Jake Armstrong who hails from one of the most remote schools in the semi-state, Winamac. Haskins has wrestled a brutal schedule and lapse last week at regional put him in a tough quarterbracket.
270 to Win â€“ Blood Round Battles
1. Undefeated Frontier Falcon Colin Reagan might have the entire town of Chalmers in section AA rooting on their favorite son in his attempt to become Frontierâ€™s first state qualifier. He will battle the winner of Penrod and Gio Diaz. I think the winner of that tilt will end young Reaganâ€™s dream season.
2. The very best ticket round match up is at the bottom of the bracket where I see Portageâ€™s Ty Haskins matching up with Lowellâ€™s Shawn Hollis. Hollis is ranked 15th in the state and Haskins is ranked 16th . This should be a tightly contested and heated battle.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Ty Haskins or Shawn Hollis â€“ Both of these guys deserve a shot at the state finals.
It would not be surprising at all if either Danny Tolin of Chesterton or Eli Hickman from Rennselaer Central would sneak through their quarter bracket and earned a spot in Indy.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Hollis (Lowell)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Martin Cruz (Merrillville)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Evan Light (Penn)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Diaz (Wheeler)
This bracket features five state ranked grapplers and the grid appears to be evenly balanced. At least on top 12 wrestler will not be getting in free next week which means there should be some fireworks in the ticket round.
1. Brayden Ruiz of New Prairie and Garrett Stuckman of Wawasee have put up nearly 75 wins between them and both bring a great deal of athleticism to this round one war. The winner has to like their chances in the ticket round which will drive the intensity meter high early Saturday morning.
270 to Win â€“ Ticket Round Tilts
1. Penn wrestles one of the toughest schedules in the state and their senior 113 pounder, 4th ranked Kory Cavanaugh, has lost to only one other grappler still in the state series (Hunter Watts). He has since avenged that loss. It would seem like he should cruise in the ticket round where he is matched with a freshman with double digit losses. Not so fast my friend. That frosh has the last name is of Maldonado and is the fast improving son of Merrillville head coach David. Expect the Maldonado brain trust to have a game plan ready for the Kingsman.
2. The second ticket round tussle pits the 11th and 12th ranked wrestlers in the state. Just like at 106, it will pit a Red Devil from Lowell, Andres Moreno (12th) against 11th ranked Portage Indian Brock Peele. Peele has had Morenoâ€™s number this year but anything can happen when a trip to Indy is on the line.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Jacob Maldonado and Andres â€œThe Big Catâ€ Moreno both have big talent but might have to wait a year to be seen on the big stage.
Josh Wade of Harrison has found 47 wrestlers to beat this year so he knows how to get his hand raised. A long shot worth keeping an eye on.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Cavanaugh (Penn)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Peele (Portage)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Jose Diaz (Wheeler)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Garrett Stuckman (Wawasee)
This is hands down, the toughest weight class at East Chicago with multiple exciting first round and ticket round match ups. The top two kids, in terms of ranking, are on opposite sides and should make for a great match under the lights for the second week in a row.
1. The depth of this weight class has made for a couple of great first round matches. The first one that stands out is the battle between Logansport senior and returning state medalist, Donavon Johnson and Plymouth Rockie, Zane DeVault. Johnson is a veteran with a mean top game and DeVault will be physical and in your face for 6 minutes.
2. In another first round rumble, Pennâ€™s Tanner DeMien will face off with Harrisonâ€™s Trey McCartney. DeMien already has two state final appearances as well as a state medal on his resume. McCartney, like most of his Raider teammates, has piled up a slew of wins.
270 to Win â€“ Ticket Round Toughies
All four of the potential ticket round matches are nasty and several state worthy grapplers will be sent home unhappy.
1. Leading off in the top quarter bracket is Jeffâ€™s Jon Anderson and his likely opponent Colin Poynter of Portage. Anderson is ranked 9th and Poynter is 5th in the state.
2. Wawaseeâ€™s Braxton Alexander is unranked but not unnoticed. He should give Crown Pointâ€™s 16th ranked Kaelin Kelly everything he wants.
3. In the bottom half, Tylor Triana of Hobart is ranked 2nd in the state but might have interesting style match up with Donavan â€œI Choose Topâ€ Johnson.
4. Finally, in the last quarter bracket is the fourth great ticket round match up. Pennâ€™s 10th ranked DeMien has the more impressive resume but Hanover Centalâ€™s Alex Bautista will not be intimidated as he has wrestled Triana as tough as anyone this year.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
One could make a case for about five guys having a death draw but Jeffâ€™s Jon Anderson is the winner based on his poor fortune at last yearâ€™s semi state.
There are no real strong sleeper candidates in this bracket. There are just too many studs for any sleepers to emerge.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Triana (Hobart)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Poynter (Portage)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Bautista (Hanover Central)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Braxton Alexander (Wawasee)
The 126 class is not quite as deep as the 120 class but it is close and there should be many tough matches and potential state champion in this bracket.
My top first rounder in the 126 class involves a pair of unheralded seniors who will be battling for a place in the ticket round. West Lafayetteâ€™s Aaron Casillas has put together a fine 25-4 record for the improving Red Devil program. He will match up with Tritonâ€™s Malachi Greene (30-6). Greene has been the cornerstone of the Trojan program that has appeared in two straight team state finals.
270 to Win
The most intriguing ticket round battle looks to be located in the bottom quarter bracket where Harrisonâ€™s regional champ ,Cody Betourne will try to punch his ticket versus the vicious Viking from Valpo, Ian Dembowski. Betourne has nearly 50 wins and is ranked 19th where Dembowski is ranked 11th and has given Michael Delapena some great matches this season.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
The dubious honor goes to Harrisonâ€™s Cody Betourne. Bringing a 49-2 record and a regional championship to semi-state would seem like a good road to Indy. However, when you draw into the same quarter bracket with Ian Dembowski your chances go down immediately. Many would argue that Dembowski is a top 8 guy at state.
Digging deep into this bracket, I see a potential sleeper in Wawaseeâ€™s Geremia Brooks. The transfer from Whiteland has would have to pull of a big upset over Merrillvilleâ€™s Michael Delapena but crazier things have happened.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Colton Cummings (Lowell)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Ian Dembowski (Valparaiso)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Delapena (Merrillville)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Adam Davis (Culver Military)
Two division one wrestling recruits and a third that will likely join them at the D-1 level highlight the 132 class at East Chicago. A balanced bracket should set up for excellent semifinal matches.
The best first round battle might have some effect on the team race as two grapplers from powerhouse programs go at it. Pennâ€™s Preston Risner will face off against Merrillvilleâ€™s Ahzsur Ursery. This should be an evenly matched tilt where Risner will be looking to avenge a 4-2 loss at the Al Smith.
270 to Win
1. I like the potential in top half of the bracket as it could produce two outstanding ticket round slugfests. At the top, Jack Tolin, ranked 13th and from Chesterton might meet up with the unranked Ursery of Merrillville. Tolin has the D-1 offer from Northwestern and an early season win over his Pirate rival but Ursery might just conjure up some Maldonado magic when a trip to Indy is on the line.
2. The second quarter bracket potentially pits 12th ranked Portage Indian, Miguel Prado against Delphi junior and regional champ Ty Watson. Delphi is the one school from the Logansport regional that has consistently been able to qualify wrestlers to Indy over the past 10 year. Watson will be ready.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
I have to go with Watson drawing the short straw. Prado is tough as nails and would be a regional champ in many regionals but he happens to be in the same regional with an absolute hammer in Jeremiah Reitz. If Watson doesnâ€™t pull the upset, at least he has next year.
Merrillvilleâ€™s Ahzsur Ursery has little statewide street cred but the boys in the region know he is right there with some of the best 132 pounders in the north.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Jeremiah Reitz (Griffith)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Miguel Prado (Portage)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Manzona Bryant (Culver Military)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Jack Tolin (Chesterton)
This bracket has excitement written all over with two of the best kids in the state renewing their rivalry as well as two of the best freshmen in the state. Several state worthy grapplers will be paying for their ticket at Bankerâ€™s Life next week.
1. A Duneland Conference rivalry match will take place in the first round between Merrillvilleâ€™s Aaron Griggs and Crown Pointâ€™s Jacob Burford. Both are tough customers but Griggs got the best of Burford at the conference meet and I like him here on Saturday morning
2. A second opening round tilt that promises some fireworks is the match between South Bend St. Josephâ€™s Jared Kazmierczak and North Whiteâ€™s regional champ, Jake Quasebarth. Kaz placed forth in a loaded Rochester regional and should give the one loss Quasebarth a great match.
270 to Win
1. Three tough as nails ticket round tilts highlight the 138 pound bracket. Starting right at the top, Kris Rumph of Portage will have to defeat a game senior from Penn, Trace Manspeaker. Rumph is ranked 3rd and Manspeaker is ranked 7th in the state.
2. The second quarter bracket will pit the winner of Griggs/Burford match against one of the toughest freshmen in the state, Jacob LaPlace of Mishawaka. Donâ€™t expect the young Caveman to be intimidated as he has been around and has plenty of coaches that have been there and done that.
3. The best ticket round match might just be at the bottom of the bracket where Munster veteran, Cody Crary will try to topple Plymouth Rockie rookie, Graham Calhoun for a second time this season. This is a match up between the 15th and 16 ranked kids in the state. Indiana Mudflap gives this match up 4 Golden Eagles!!!
Steve Bannon Death Draw
7th ranked Trace Manspeaker most definitely got the toughest draw in bracket. Expect this Kingsman to battle his tail off in an effort to secure that elusive state berth. Kris Rumph is a tough draw. Honorable mention goes to the loser of Calhoun/Crary battle.
The winner of the Griggs/Burford match is probably the best candidate to be a sleeper that advances to Indy.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Brendan Black (Hobart)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Kris Rumph (Portage)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Graham Calhoun (Plymouth)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Aaron Griggs (Merrillville)
The studs in the 145 pound bracket at East Chicago looks to be evenly distributed across the quarter brackets. Four wrestler are ranked and one ranked kid is in each of the quarter brackets.
One match stands above all the rest in this weight class and that is the Mario Traficanti/Malik Hoover battle. This is another in the long line of rivalry matches between Crown Point and Merrillville. Traficanti looks to have a small edge at this point.
270 to Win
The best ticket round match looks like it might be a battle between Hobartâ€™s 12th ranked Dante Colza and small school regional champ, Leevin Ball of North White. I would love to see a Devildog product at state but canâ€™t bet against Colza.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
A balanced bracket does not set up for bad draws and this line up looks like it will hold chalk with the four ranked kids punching their ticket.
Itâ€™s tough to label a Penn kid as a sleeper, only because they are one of the most high profile programs in the state. However, Pennâ€™s Haden Hensley is largely unknown but brings an outstanding 20-3 record into East Chicago. A ticket round match up versus Munsterâ€™s Jason Crary is not insurmountable.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Kasper McIntosh (Portage)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Jason Crary (Munster)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Mario Traficanti (Crown Point)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Dante Colza (Hobart)
The middleweights at 152 promise to put on a great show for the fans as 5 ranked kids will battle the rest of the field. A lot of high energy, explosive and just plain fun kids to watch dot this bracket.
The Crown Point regional was loaded this year so itâ€™s third place finisher, Vince Liggin of Hanover Central is no slouch. He has a first round match with Kassius Breathitt of South Bend Riley that could be a good one. Riley wrestles a good schedule and Breathitt is 30-3 this year.
270 to Win
1. With 5 ranked wrestlers and a couple of other tough cookies from strong programs thrown in the mix there promises to be some great blood round battles. 10th ranked Clay Jones of Jeff is a returning state qualifier with only one blemish on his record. I love his funky style but his probable opponent in the round to go will probably want to brawl with Jones. Valparaisoâ€™s 14th ranked Greg Lichtenberger has navigated the Duneland wars with an outstanding 35-5 record.
2. A second great match in the ticket round pits 8th ranked Kassius Breathitt against Portageâ€™s unranked Zach Nugent. Portage will be gunning for a semi state title and a win here would be huge for the Indians.
3. At the bottom of the bracket, Crown Points 12th ranked Noah Lamore looks to be the strong favorite but Hobart senior Matt Burns will not go down without a fight.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Valparaisoâ€™s Greg Lichtenberger earns the death draw label at 152. He is certainly capable of beating Jones. It will probably come down to who imposes their will when it comes to the style of the match. I just feel Jones has too many tools in his bag of tricks.
Hanover Centralâ€™s Vince Liggin looks like an interesting sleeper pick. Beating Breathitt in the first round is a tall order but not impossible. He then would likely match up with an eleven loss Zach Nugent of Portage.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Kyle Hatch (Warsaw)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Kassius Breathitt (South Bend Riley)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Clay Jones (Lafayette Jeff)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Noah Lamore (Crown Point)
160 is another bracket where the four ranked wrestlers are spread across the four quarter brackets. Although it is certainly possible for upsets to happen, I feel the first two rounds will hold chalk.
1. Two first round matches stand out in the 160 pound bracket that need to be highlighted. The first involves two underclassmen with high ceilings. Brandon Lucero is a sophomore from Merrillville and he will take on the talented Jacob Adkins of South Bend Riley. Looks like a true toss up.
2. Two juniors will face off in another evenly matched first round tilt. Portage will send 27 match winner Drake Guerro out to face Culver Militaryâ€™s Michael Boland. Guerro has plenty of experience but Boland is strong and tough to score on. Should be a good one.
270 to Win
1. The top ticket round bout looks like a Highway 30 battle between Plymouthâ€™s once beaten senior Micah Calhoun and Valpoâ€™s Mike Lichtenberger. Calhoun comes in with a #17 state ranking and has been able to cruise through the sectional and regional. Lichtenberger, on the other hand, has given top ten wrestlers in the region fits all year.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Hobartâ€™s Angelo Guarnero earned the wrath of the bracket gods this week by drawing into the same quarter bracket as Pennâ€™s grinder Rockne Hurley and Crown Pointâ€™s top ten stud Oszkar Kasch. No rewards for Angelo after winning the Calumet Regional.
A potential long shot sleeper pick is Freshman Jacob Adkins of South Bend Riley. After watching him frustrate veteran wrestlers last week with his take down defense, I have a hunch that he might just make a run this Saturday. If not, this youngster is one to keep an eye on in the future.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Diego Lemley (Chesterton)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Micah Calhoun (Plymouth)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Oszkar Kasch (Crown Point)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Myles Krintz (Harrison)
A Division One recruit, an Al Smith finalist and a wide open quarter bracket high light the 170 class at East Chicago. There might not be a state champ in this group but it still should be an exciting and competitive day.
1. At the top of the bracket one of the top first round matches of the day will take place between 30-5 Plymouth Rockie Colton Schuler and Cade Girgenti of Chesterton. Girgenti is a Duneland Conference runner-up and Schuler had a monster regional to get through.
2. The bottom quarter bracket has two interesting first round matches just because there is no clear favorite in the quartet. Lafayette Jeffâ€™s Garrett Fair and River Forest Ingot Bradley Groover have similar records and both are juniors. This looks like a toss up. The other first rounder pits South Bend Clayâ€™s Amere Dozier versus LaPorteâ€™s young Noah Perez. Perez is improving fast but is a tier below his Duneland rivals while Dozier has only wrestled half a season. Another toss up?
270 to Win
1. Zach Fattore (Hobart) vs. Tavonte Malone (South Bend Adams) â€“ Both of these studs are ranked top 10 in the state and one will be going home with out a ticket to Indy.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
See above. Itâ€™s a shame that there are no wrestle backs.
My sleeper pick for this weight class is none other than Hammond Gavit Gladiator Jamari Washington. Washington has put together a great regular and post season. Inside sources say he will have something ready for Saturdayâ€™s ticket round match.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Jarod Swank (Penn)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Zach Fattore (Hobart)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Ishmael Cornejo (Portage)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Amere Dozier (South Bend Clay)
The 182 bracket introduces us to the first of the two Davison brothers. I expect both brothers to make their presence felt with authority both this weekend and next.
Seth Jones of Lafayette Jeff has regional crown on his resume but the last time he ventured to the region he was beaten by his first round opponent, Jacob Bohling of LaPorte. Jones is riding a wave of momentum but will it be enough to avenge his early season loss.
270 to Win
1. The aforementioned Bohling from Laporte should be matched up with conference rival Tyjohn Lockett of Merrillville. Bohling got the Pirate by a point during their conference 3rd place match a couple of weeks ago.
2. Another quality ticket round battle should be between Mishawakaâ€™s Austin Faulkner and Kankakee Valleyâ€™s Logan Nowak. Two solidly built athletes with excellent records should make for an excellent match when a trip to Indy is on the line.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Logan Nowak only lost one match in the regular season but his loss to Lucas Davison of Chesterton at regional put him at risk of drawing into Austin Faulkner and that is exactly what happened. Faulkner is wrestling awesome right now and it will take a monster effort out of Nowak to topple the Caveman.
If you like playing the long odds when picking your state qualifiers, I give you Tyjohn Lockett of Merrillville. Sure he has double digit losses, but he made a run to the semi finals at the Al Smith, he is in the most winnable quarter bracket, and he has the Merrillville staff in his corner. Longshot Lockett might make some magic.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Lucas Davison (Chesterton)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Austin Faulkner (Mishawaka)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Jeremy Torres (Portage)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Tyjohn Lockett (Merrillville)
Michigan recruit Andrew Davison highlights this bracket. He should not be challenged and the race will be for second place. This bracket is loaded with four ranked wrestlers in the bottom half of the bracket which means some talented kids will not qualify for state.
1. Walker Brummett (Lake Central) vs. Bryson Ford (Benton Central) â€“ This could be a four over a one. Brummett is battle tested and has some nice wins on the season
2. Nick Schoonveld (Kankakee Valley) vs. Nate LaFree â€“ Two physical in your face wrestlers will face off here. Not for the faint of heart.
270 to Win
1. Tyler Moser (Bremen) vs. AJ Fowler (Calumet) â€“ Two ranked studs should battle for a free trip to Indy. Moser beat Fowler earlier in the year but it was a closely contested battle.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Aron Corralez of Merrillville definitely drew the short straw and will have the tall task of defeating Andrew Davison to punch his state ticket. Not likely.
The previously mentioned Walker Brummett of Lake Central has the talent, coaching and draw to make a run to the semi finals despite his double digit losses.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Andrew Davison (Chesterton)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Anthony Maceo (Portage)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Tyler Moser (Bremen)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Bryson Ford (Benton Central)
Another example of where the ranked wrestlers are split up and spread across the bracket. Three top ten grapplers highlight this group which should make for some nice semi finals and final matches.
1. The best looking first round match up is down at the bottom of the bracket where Merrillvilleâ€™s 20th ranked Andrew Vander Woude will face off against Plymouth fireplug Sam Stayton. Vander Woude is the favorite but Stayton brings a physical style that will be tough to deal with.
270 to Win
1. The top ticket round bout will likely occur between Merrillvilleâ€™s Vander Woude and big Donnie Crider of Harrison. Crider is ranked 6th in the state and is a match up nightmare as he stands about 6 â€˜8â€.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Munsterâ€™s Caleb Thomas was the regional champ at Calumet and he got rewarded by drawing the 5th ranked wrestler in the state for a berth to the state finals. It will be a tall order to topple the Al Smith champion, Eli Pokorney.
Chester Swopes of Portage is my sleeper pick for this weight class based on his excellent practice partners and excellent coaching. He would have to upset 18th ranked Will Vakalahi in order to make that magical run to state.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Eli Pokorney (Chesterton)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Donnie Crider (Harrison)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Jeremy Akers (Crown Point)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Will Vakalahi (Penn)
Two wrestlers appear to have separated themselves from the field and seem like strong candidates to meet in the finals. The real story is who will be in the third and fourth place slots.
1. Alex Faulkner (Mishawaka) vs Alex Cartwright (LaVille) â€“ The Alex War should will pit the Cavemanâ€™s savvy versus the Lancerâ€™s brute strength.
2. Michael Foster (Crown Point) vs Dan â€œTruckâ€ Clark (Rochester) â€“ The Truck is tough to score on and frustrates his opponents. He has been outstanding this post season.
270 to Win
1. Clark vs. Keion Williams (Lafayette Jeff) â€“ This bout would be a rematch from earlier in the season where Williams squeaked by the big Zebra.
2. Aron Ceglarek (Kankakee Valley) vs. Gio Murillo (Portage) â€“ Murillo is a returning state qualifier who can keep it close with just about anyone. Geglarek is a big thick kid who moves well.
Steve Bannon Death Draw
Ceglarek, the regional champ, drew into the one ticket round foe he probably would least like to see in Gio Murillo. The Portage warpath will going strong and that momentum might be difficult to deal with.
The big man with the best chance of shocking the semi state is Michael Foster of Crown Point. Both his first round and potential ticket round matches are very winnable for this unheralded Bulldog.
Trumps Top Dog â€“ Isiah â€œBusâ€ McWilliams (South Bend Washington)
Penceâ€™s Second Fiddle â€“ Brendan Streck (Merrillville)
Sean Spicer to Show â€“ Gio Murillo (Portage)
Yellow Ribbon Rastler â€“ Dan â€œTruckâ€ Clark (Rochester)
- by Y2CJ41
Welcome to TripleBâ€™s annual Evansville Semi-State Wrestling Preview Spectacular!!
Before we get into the good stuff, letâ€™s cover whatâ€™s important:
The following PSA is brought to you by Markio:
Ford Arena info:
- 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.
Our next celebrity is Evansville owns HookandHalf and his better half Hookticia:
Republic Aviation built the P-47 Thunderboltâ€”terror of Americaâ€™s enemiesâ€”in Evansville, Indiana to support the alliesâ€™ WWII effort. 224 Thunderbolts will find their way to the mats at the Ford Center, this Saturdayâ€¦
Friday night- Hit historic Franklin Street; this one is a no-brainer. Tie on the feed bag at the Gerst Haus and enjoy 50 beers on tap. Smittyâ€™s is an authentic Italian steakhouse. Sportsmanâ€™s Billiards is a 1920â€™s style pool hall with great bar food. The Tinman, Lamasco, Leroyâ€™sâ€¦.the list goes on and on.
Saturday morning- Go to Rosieâ€™s Diner! You will not be impressed with the neighborhood; you will be impressed with the wait staff and food.
Saturday night- Angeloâ€™s is two blocks from the Ford Center. You can thank me later. Enjoy Chicago-style pizza at Franklin Street Pizza.
And, as always, when attending ANYTHING at the Ford Centerâ€”bring your wallet. You will need it.
Hookâ€™s Dirty South All-Name Team
Logan â€œSportâ€ Stephenson, Owen â€œWilsonâ€ Sego, Sam â€œI amâ€ Sego,
Camden â€œOops, I Did It Againâ€ Spears, Will â€œPurpleâ€ Hays, Drake â€œSoupâ€ Campbell
Ray â€œDe Janieroâ€ Rioux, Dayton â€œDeerâ€ Hunter, Devon â€œLightningâ€ Casebolt
Logan Boe â€œA Constrictorâ€, â€œCaptainâ€ Morgan Smith , Noah â€œThe Vegetableâ€ Gardner
Asa â€œAndyâ€ Garcia, Brooks â€œAchy Breakyâ€ Hartz, Joey â€œFlashâ€ Gordon, Jay â€œBirdâ€ Orman
Kane â€œScrambledâ€ Egli, Aaron Adkins â€œDietâ€, Jake â€œThe Snakeâ€ Wilson,
Camden Rose â€œHas Its Thornâ€, Victor â€œGoes the Spoilsâ€ Antunez, Alex â€œHigh Octaneâ€ Petro
Seth â€œRogenâ€ Rohrbach, Keandre â€œElementaryâ€ Watson, Evan â€œBreakinâ€™ Theâ€ Lawhead
Seth Horty â€œHears a Whoâ€
â€œRâ€ Cayden Rooks, Brycen â€œGrand Slamâ€ Denny, Hunter â€œUncle Benâ€ Rice, Ty â€œSugarâ€ Mills
Justin â€œTimeâ€ Ruddick, Neal â€œThe Real Dealâ€ Bealmear, Zane â€œEâ€ Sullivan,
Eric â€œHarpen Yesâ€ Harpeneau, Steven â€œDuckâ€ Weddle, Trenton â€œRichieâ€ Cunningham
Eli â€œWhitneyâ€ Dickens, Justice â€œLeagueâ€ Cash, Lane â€œWishingâ€ Wells, Alex â€œWillieâ€ Mosconi
â€œWelcomeâ€ Matt Lee, Zach â€œTurningâ€ Lane, Gabe â€œArmâ€ Pitzulo, Dalton â€œ007â€ Craig
Noah â€œRabbitâ€ Hunt, Cameron â€œBassâ€ Fisher, Jonathan â€œStraightnenâ€ Kervin
Peyton â€œManningâ€ Pruett, Austin â€œFryâ€ Cook, â€œPeterâ€ Parker McNeely, â€œTeddyâ€ Graham Rooks
Carson â€œWhatchu Talkin Boutâ€ Willis
â€œSweetâ€ Kyle Luigs, Noah â€œJimâ€ Morrison, Carson â€œBlack &â€ Deckard, Mason Miranda â€œRightsâ€
David Teague â€œOf Their Ownâ€, Ethan â€œRoosterâ€ Hensley, Brett â€œMichaelsâ€ Smith, LJ â€œHeavyâ€ Burdon
Matt â€œJohnnyâ€ Kincaid, Noah â€œBenâ€ Franklin, Donald â€œDuckâ€ Campbell, Tristen Dowell â€œRodâ€
Derek â€œRed Ballâ€ Blubaugh, Nolan â€œDoubleâ€ Weidner, Jake â€œArnoldâ€ Schoenegge,
Levi â€œStraussâ€ Miller, Drew â€œNâ€ Dearing, Brandon â€œPencil &â€ Penegar, Ryan â€œBam Bamâ€ Bigelow
Tristan â€œBuy Lessâ€ Sellmer, Dexter â€œLabâ€ Grubb, Colten â€œBananasâ€ Foster, Adam â€œSappleâ€ Anderson
Robert â€œThe Jewelerâ€ Deters
Curtis â€œTomâ€ Collins, Brayton â€œBruceâ€ Lee, Austin â€œTexasâ€ Heckman, Corban â€œBernsonâ€ Pollitt
Tony â€œBolognaâ€ Mosconi, Luke â€œWhat Theâ€ Fleck, Harley â€œRaceâ€ Gorman,
Joe â€œDonâ€™t Worry Bâ€ Happe, Ethan â€œHair Beginningâ€ Wigand, Sam â€œOh Noâ€ Osho
Brooks â€œTroutâ€ Wathen, Blake â€œSpiderâ€ Webb, Evan â€œNoâ€ Bullock, Logan â€œSpringâ€ Coyle
Josh â€œAndersonâ€ Cooper, Timmy â€œ& Lassieâ€ Burton, Zach â€œMichaelâ€ Myers,
Austin Bethel â€œI Hear You Callinâ€, Tucker â€œShawâ€ Schank, Zach â€œFigâ€ Newton,
Clay â€œAlmond Joyâ€ McNutt, â€œNottaâ€ Trace Thomas, Kye â€œCabinetâ€ Fehrenbacher
Wyatt â€œEarpâ€ Dalton, Andy â€œHarleyâ€ Davidson, Denver â€œColoradoâ€ Aydelott
Zane â€œMeinekeâ€ Beineke, Shawn â€œP Diddyâ€ Coane, Ethan â€œBeefâ€ Stock
â€œCarâ€ Chase Wilson, Carson â€œMasterâ€ Brewer, Elliston Ross â€œGellerâ€
â€œJackieâ€ Gleason Mappes, â€œUmbilicalâ€ Korde Weber, Macartney â€œBand on the Runâ€ Parkinson
Devon â€œYikesâ€ Stikes, DeShawn â€œWalking Tallâ€ Buford, â€œBlueâ€ Jaylen Adkins
Jesse â€œJamesâ€ Hunter, Jacob â€œOld MacDonaldâ€ Farmer
Conner â€œMorenoâ€ Brown, Anthony â€œFusilliâ€ Cicciarelli, Andrew â€œDiceâ€ Chapman
â€œI Likeâ€ Ike Murrell, Burk â€œEnstockâ€ Vanhorn, Wyatt â€œField Marshall Bernardâ€ Montgomery
Joe â€œFoldedâ€ Creasey, Chris â€œTipperâ€ Spiller, Carson â€œCougarâ€ Mohler â€œCampâ€
Jonah â€œAnd The Whaleâ€ Hays, Kameron Fuller â€œHouseâ€, Eli Stock â€œMarketâ€
Micah â€œRockâ€ Keller
Jeremy â€œMountâ€ McKinley, Sam â€œHungry Like Theâ€ Woolf, Eyan â€œSmolderingâ€ Coldren
Jake â€œGimme Someâ€ Moore, Jaden â€œHere Comes Theâ€ Sonner, Andrew â€œDeanâ€ Koonce
Camryn â€œWas in Egyptâ€™s Landâ€ Smith, Jacob â€œJimiâ€ Hendrich, Thomas â€œSharpieâ€ Dull
Danny â€œZukoâ€ Reams, Will â€œPriestlyâ€ Nunn, Brigham â€œYoungâ€ Kleinhenz
Nathan â€œBillâ€ Walton, â€œTailâ€ Gunner Williams, Karl â€œShedâ€ Hauser
Kiave Guerrier â€œ& Ivesâ€
Jack â€œRussellâ€ Michel, Luke â€œIâ€™m Your Fatherâ€ Smith, Grant Goforth â€œ& Prosperâ€,
Will â€œRockinâ€ Rolley, Bradley â€œEmpty Panâ€ Philpot, Destin â€œFloridaâ€ Hardy
Holden â€œOnâ€ Abshier, Ryan â€œGreen Eggs &â€ Hammond
Kurtis â€œCall Of Theâ€ Widerman, William â€œIphoneâ€ Seri, Greg â€œBradyâ€ Brown
Aaron Breivogel â€œElectricâ€, Deion â€œSandersâ€ Cooper, Chris Barclay â€œCenterâ€
Abel â€œGeraldoâ€ Rivera, Clayton â€œFlat &â€ Scroggs, Dalton â€œPencil Groundâ€ Pinaire
Brennan â€œStorminâ€ Norman, Gunnar â€œBayonetâ€ Larson, Aaron â€œAmsterdamâ€ Hollen
Payton â€œPlaceâ€ Halbig, Josh â€œWineâ€ McCorkle, Michael Boots â€œAre Made For Walkinâ€
Tyler â€œItâ€™sâ€ Allgood, Austin â€œPowersâ€ Scheckles, Tanner â€œHideâ€ Christenberry
Isaac â€œSpiceâ€ McCormick
Harley â€œVonâ€ Hillenburg, Cory â€œReefâ€ Heinrichs, Alex â€œTrebeckâ€ Lichlyter, â€œMaiâ€ Ty Sorg
Jordan Headdy â€œLamarâ€, Silas Goff â€œClubâ€, Rickie â€œYouâ€™re So Fine You Blow My Mindâ€ Clark
Bryce â€œIs Rightâ€ Biddle, Brycen â€œTigerâ€ Woods, Dylan â€œDeanâ€ Cain, â€œHipâ€ Wade â€œRâ€ Ripple
Brett â€œGusâ€ Henson, Nathan Long â€œJumpâ€,Kody â€œLove Shackâ€ Moshak
Wow, thanks HookandHalf and Hookticia
How can I be expected to follow that?? Weâ€™ll preview all 14 weights. Each weight will feature:
The Charles Barkley â€œTurribleâ€ Draws - ticket round matches that shouldnâ€™t be happening in the ticket round!
The Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkerss - Best first round matches!
Ford Fab 4 - I assemble a regional rep from each regional, myself, and this year a special guest voter (BacktotheMat) and they make their picks and I tally up the votes to assemble our Ford Fab 4.
[The Built Ford Tough Locks - The rare of the rare, a Ford Tough Lock is a wrestler who garners first place votes from all 6 voters. This year we had an amazing and record setting 7 Ford Tough Locks, and was just a few votes away from having 9.
The Cam Newton Dabs: Wrestlers who got points, but not enough to make the Fab 4, weâ€™ll give them some Dab!
Without further ado...UNLEASH THE PREVIEW!!
Edit - I just got done with this and I realized that this year is the year of the semi-finals, holy smokes there will be some doozies! This will set up some murderâ€™s row matches next Friday night in Indy!
106: Donâ€™t be late, be sure to get to Stollâ€™s Country Inn early Saturday morning and leave yourself plenty of time to get settled in. â€œTheâ€ Drake Campbell and â€œThereâ€™s something aboutâ€ Ray Rioux have waged war this year, with Rioux finally grabbing a win last week. Can Devon Casebolt bring drop a lightning bolt on this rivalry or do we see the next battle this weekend? Owen Sego spent a big chunk of the year at 113, heâ€™s been behind Rioux and Campbell, can the Indian Creek Frosh take a big step this weekend?
This weight features 4 state ranked wrestlers and 2 great Barry Horowitz Curtain Jerkers!!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Regionals isnâ€™t the best time to have an off day and Mater Dei senior Kaleb Hinderliter might see the light close on his career if heâ€™s not ready right off the bat Saturday. Hinderliter and Rioux will mix it up right off the bat, the team race will also start to develop here as well. Unranked, Contender trained Logan Boe looks to go big early as he takes on Castle Knight Devon Casebolt. Boe has flown under radar this year, can he pull off the first early upset?
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Nothing here really sticks out outside of the aforementioned Hinderliter/Rioux first round matchup.
The Dab - Terre Haute Senior Logan Stephenson got some love but not enough to get out, but matches happen on the mat, not on the internet!
Ford Fab 4 - Campbell, Rioux, and Casebolt all got first place votesâ€¦ but when the dust settled:
1st - Drake Campbell, Brownsburg. 2nd - Devon Casebolt, Castle. 3rd - Ray Rioux, Avon. 4th - Owen Sego, Indian Creek.
113: Itâ€™s Asaâ€™s world at 113, and everybody else is just squirrels! Defending State Champ and Avonâ€™s Asa Garcia is our first Ford Tough Lock and heâ€™s repping #TheCounty and #AvonYoungGunz. After Garcia 4 other state ranked wrestlers fill the brackets at 113. That means at least 1 state ranked wrestler isnâ€™t getting out, and the voters think another isnâ€™t getting out either
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - This is turrrrible first round draw and definitely deserves a Baker BOOOOO!! Two state ranked wrestlers, two top four ranked SS kids will be going at it right off the bat; Evansville Memorial senior Seth Horty and Brownsburg Sophomore Evan Lawhead wonâ€™t waste time in bringing the fun to the Ford Center. The loser goes home, the winner more than likely punches his ticket to the finals.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Not a terrible draw on paper, but #19 (#4 SS) Victor Antunez has had a marvelous season, but the voters like Center Groveâ€™s Alex Petro. The votes were razor thin, this match could be a great one!
The Dab - See above, donâ€™t be surprised if Antunez is in the finals.
Built Ford Tough Lock: Asa Garcia, Avon, #TheCounty #AvonYoungGunz
Ford Fab 4 -
1 - Asa Garcia Avon. 2 - Seth Horty, Evansville Memorial. 3 - Kane Egli, Evansville Mater Dei. 4 - Alex Petro, Center Grove.
120: Letâ€™s get this out of the way, no Lock at 120, okay letâ€™s proceed. Team Dark Horses have to be the Columbus East Olympians. Injuries and bad first rd draws could cancel out some Wildcats, Bulldogs, and Orioles. Does that mean Columbus East Hammers can slip through to a very surprising team title? If so Cayden Rooks will need to get the ball rolling at 120. Brownsburg Sophomore Ty Mills has spent 2 years ranked #1 and is returning SS Champ, he hopes to squash Olympic hopes early as him and #3 ranked Rooks should lock up in the semis. This weight class looks lights out on paper w/ 4 ranked and predicted podium placers in the brackets, but also our first true Turrrrrrible Draw!!!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - There are 2 quarter brackets in the whole semi state w/ no SS ranked wrestlers and 120 features one of those brackets. 3 of the four kids got votes and this quarter bracket should be a doozy, just hungry kids getting after it. Sullivan/Harpenau and Weddle/Cunningham start things off.
Also 2 Freshman Phenoms that are more like grizzled veterans will engage right off the bat. SS #3 and state #4 Eli Dickens and SS #7 Justice Cash will battle for the right to compete in a (see below)
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Two top 8 ranked kids going at it in the blood round?!?!?!?! Cash Me On the Mah, HowBow Dah??? Should Mater Deiâ€™s Dickens survive some tough Justice in the first round, then he will get to dance w/ Indian Creekâ€™s Alex Mascarpone Mosconi. Sir Charles is def not a fan of thisâ€¦.
The Dab - Mosconi, and the whole unranked quarter bracket all got some Dab, but not enough land in the Ford Fab 4
Ford Fab 4:
1st - Ty Mills, Brownsburg. 2nd - Eli Dickens, Evansville Mater Dei. 3rd - Cayden Rooks, Columbus East. 4th - Trenton Cunnigham, New Albany.
126: Blake Mulkey pulled a big semi state upset a year ago when he knocked off Graham Rooks, he then followed that up by showing everybody it wasnâ€™t an upset when he beat him again in the third place match at state. 2 more wins in the off season has Mulkey now 4-0 against Rooks. They are now ranked 1st and 2nd in the state, can Mulkey pull out 5 and 6 over the next two weeks? The voters were split and we had to go to a tiebreaker to determine a winner. 126 features 3 former state qualifiers and some kid from Evansville named Lee, not really familiar w/ that name but here heâ€™s okay.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - No SS ranked opponents square off, grab some drink, stretch your legs, and get ready for some Turrrrible draws.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Another Panther, another Turrible draw, Dalton Craig is a returning state qualifier whoâ€™s battled tested from his matches against Rooks and Schoenegge a year ago. Mater Deiâ€™s freshman Matt Lee has gotten better and better as the season as progressed. Now they meet for a shot at Bankers Life. Also SS #3 Carson Willis got nipped last weekend by Lee, and for that he gets Rooks in the ticket round. Rooks has been money in ticket round matches, but coach Bob Harmon will have his Castle Knight ready!
The Dab - Dalton Craig, and Center Groveâ€™s Peyton Pruett both got some love.
Ford Fab 4:
1st - Graham Rooks, Columbus East. 2nd - Matt Lee, Evansville Mater Dei. 3rd - Blake Mulkey, Brownsburg. 4th - Noah Hunt, Bloomington South.
132: Our second Lock comes in at 132, Evansvilleâ€™s own Kyle Luigs is undefeated and ranked #3 in the state. Outside of Luigs, this weight features 6 other state ranked kids and is one of the deepest weights at the Ford Center. #7 and returning state medalist Dawson Combest, #11 Mason Miranda, #16 The California Kid Brett Smith, #17 Donald Campbell, #19 Noah Franklin, and #20 Caleb Craig all highlight this field.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Well luckily the 7 guys are spread out, no real Curtain jerkers here, Barry can rest. However, that does lead to someâ€¦...
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - I mean if there are 7 ranked kids, is there really a terrible draw? Well Combest and Luigs on same side is turrrrrrible but this has been and will be a recurring theme throughout the brackets. I guess if I had to pick one it would be Luigs and Miranda, both are returning qualifiers and only one will be punching their ticket to BLF.
The Dab - Trips likes both Caleb Craig and Noah Franklin to punch tickets, but I was way, and I mean waaaaaay in the minority.
Ford Tough Lock - Sweet Kyle Luigs is our next lock, the Wildcat has punched his ticket twice and has one medal to show. He hopes to break through a tough weight class this year to finish as a state champ.
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Kyle Luigs, Evansville Mater Dei. 2nd - Brett Smith, Bloomington North. 3rd - Dawson Combest, Columbus East. 4th - Donald Campbell
138: This weight class could be dubbed the Revenge of the Wrestlers. 3 of the 4 favored wrestlers left Evansville last year with sour tastes in their mouths. Tristan Sellmer leads this group off, heâ€™s now a 3 time regional champ but was a victim of the worse draw ever 2 years ago and was upset last year. This year Sellmer will look to get through the blood round. Jake Schoenegge (officially pronounced Shun-uhh-gee) suffered a tough loss at last year's regionals to nemesis Dalton Craig and got to watch Craig advance. 2 year's ago Levi Miller of North Posey tasted greatness by making it to Bankers Life, but last year he was sent packing early. All 3 will look to join Nathan Conley from Avon on the podium Saturday.
Iâ€™ll also go on record to say that one of those top 3 kids will ruin the Rumph/Black feud. I think we see Schoenegge and Sellmer under the lights next week in Indianapolis.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Nolan Weidner has been a name thatâ€™s bounced around the Mater Dei line up now for a few years. Can the Wildcat play spoiler to Regional champ Derek Blubaugh?!?!?!?
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - #19 Ryan Bigelow vs. Levi Miller. Letâ€™s just say this, Levi Miller should be ranked. Heâ€™s certainly flown under the radar and with former Wildcat Cody Moll as his coach, heâ€™ll be game. Ryan Bigelow has had a phenomenal year for Derrick Snyderâ€™s Bulldogs, are the 8 losses deceiving? Not the worse of draws, but this should be a great ticket round match on Saturday. Also Derek Blubaugh vs. Jake Schoenegge, Blubaugh is solid, donâ€™t discount him on sneaking one past Schoenegge.
The Dab - Ryan Bigelow got some votes and is state ranked, but Levi Miller slides by in a tight one.
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Tristen Sellmer, Floyd Central. 2nd - Jake Shun-uhh-gee, Columbus East. 3rd - Nathan Conley, Avon. 4th - Levi Miller, North Posey.
145: Brayton Lee has been involved in one of the most exciting matches in Evansville Semi-State history and one of the most hyped matches in Evansville Semi-State history, what does he do to top that? Become a Ford Tough Lock and absolutely dominate the field at 145. After Lee, this weight class is literally wide open, expect great matches, upsets and our picks to be waaaay off as 7 other wrestlers garnered votes after Lee.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Both guys were ticket rounders a year ago, this year one of them will be done after round 1. Indian Creekâ€™s Tony Mosconi took 4th in a tough Mooresville Regional last weekend, Columbus Eastâ€™s Corbin Pollitt showed the magic that heâ€™s starting to get a name for by knocking off season long rival Brooks Wathen. Now they meet for the right to just get to the ticket round!! Insane!!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Bloominton Southâ€™s Blake Webb has had a great senior season, w/ 36 wins and only 4 losses. This regional champ is #14 in the state and will probably have a ticket round match w/ #8 Logan Coyle who has also had a stellar senior year. These guys probably punch their tickets in any other bracket minus Brayton Lees. Unfortunately one will go home Saturday.
The Dab - Arms will get tired w/ all The Dabs being given out here - Blake Webb, Joe Happe, Sam Osho Foâ€™Sho, and Tony Mosconi all got votes to get through and will be looking to crash some brackets.
Ford Tough Lock - Brayton Lee, Browsnburg, no drama, no excitement, the Bulldog will take care of business.
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Brayton Lee, Brownsburg. 2nd - Logan Coyle, Center Grove. 3rd - Brooks Wathen, Jennings County. 4th - Corban Pollitt, Columbus East.
152: Our next Lock is a familiar name in the Evansville area Joe Lee, the only question at this weight is will this be the last time we Joe Lee at Semi-State, say it ainâ€™t so Joe! The exciting part of this weight is the last quarter bracket w/ no ranked wrestlers. Keep an eye out for the 2nd quarter bracket featuring Tucker Schank, Zach Newton, Clay McNutt, and Trace Thomas. I say FIREWORKS!!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Outside of the FIREWORK bracket, look out for Josh Foster of Floyd Central and #16 Denver Aydelott of Edgewood, the winner gets Lee, but this should be a great first round match.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Josh Cooper of Jeffersonville congrats on your Regional title, you get â€¦â€¦ Austin Bethel in the ticket round!!! Booooooooooooâ€¦..
The Dab - Tucker Schank, Zach Newton, and Clay McNutt take some dab, bc the voters like Trace Thomas
Ford Tough Lock - Joe Leeâ€¦ Please donâ€™t go!!!
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Joe Lee, Evansville Mater Dei. 2nd - Austin Bethel, Mt. Vernon. 3rd - Jacob Clark, Avon. 4th - Trace Thomas, Greencastle
160: Our next Lock is at 160, Center Grove Junior Gleason Mappes brings a 35-1 record into Evansville. This weight features 4 other state ranked grapplers who hope to break this lock; Monroviaâ€™s Ethan Stock, Princetonâ€™s Chase Wilson, Avonâ€™s Carson Brewer, and Castleâ€™s Jacob Farmer will be in line looking for a SS title.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Jaylen Adkins is a 3x SSQ, his last two trips heâ€™s ran into eventual SS champs. Thatâ€™s either a really good sign for DeShawn Buford, or a real bad sign for Buford. This has us on a 4 over 1 upset alert.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Chase Wilson appeared to be on his way to State a year ago when his ticket round match went south at the hands of Floyd Centralâ€™s Tyler Crowl. Wilson lost and exciting 12-8 match. This year he will have Carson Brewer, 5 losses between the 2. Does Wilson, coached by former Madison Cub Mike Duckworth (cheap plug) use that loss to get him over the top or does Brewerâ€™s year's of experience propel him? Regardless Charles is none too happyâ€¦ Turrrrriiibbbllleeee
The Dab - Chase Wilson, get some dab son, you got some votes but just not enough
Ford Tough Lock - Gleason Mappes continues this middleweight run of LOCKS!!
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Gleason Mappes, Center Grove. 2nd - Ethan Stock, Monrovia. 3rd - Carson Brewer, Avon. 4th Jacob â€œHasnâ€™t he been around foreverâ€ Farmer
170: Loaded, 7 ranked studs here. Burk Vanhorn, returning state runner up was on a tear and seemed destined to be a lock then he ran into a Stock. Eli Stock put Indiana 170lbers on notice at Sectionals when he defeated Vanhorn. Last week at regionals Vanhorn pulled a victory out in OT and now heâ€™s been named a LOCK in a field full of ranked wrestlers.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #18 Stock vs. #20 Micah Keller will get this weight class going early. They have 4 losses between them and the winner probably gets Greco Cityâ€™s Kameron Fuller. Man that sounds like a
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Kameron Fuller and Aaron Mosley has had a great series this year and with them both being juniors hopefully for us we will get to see them go at it for another year, unfortunately both are victims of some terrible draws. Mosley will get Vanhorn and Fuller will get Stock. Mosley could be the true odd man out here as his loss last week had New Albany fans in an uproar. This draw wonâ€™t help calm them down at all.
The Dab - Kameron Fuller, Conner Brown, and Joe Creasy will be looking to prove the voters wrong as they all received votes to advance to Bankers Life.
Ford Tough Lock - Burk Vanhorn of Franklin will look to navigate a tough field and bring Bob Hassemanâ€™s Franklin squad another SS championship
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Burk Vanhorn, Franklin. 2nd - Jonah Hays, Center Grove. 3rd - Eli Stock, Monrovia. 4th - Tony â€œNickâ€™s kidâ€ Cicciarelli
182: Brownsburgâ€™s Nathan Walton is ranked #1 in the state, defending SS champ, and a 2 time state medalists. He certainly has the credentials to be a lock, but NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! In a match dubbed - The ChinWhip vs. The HeadLock on the IndianaMat hangout this rematch of last yearâ€™s SS semi final match ( won by Walton 3-0) has some saying Terre Hauteâ€™s Thomas Dull could get the win. This bracket is another great one with 7 (including the #1, #2, and #5 ranked wrestlers) ranked grapplers vying for 4 tickets to Indianapolis!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Keep an eye out for Camryn Smith vs. #12 Jacob Hendrich. Also Floyd Centralâ€™s Karl Hauser and #11 Kiave Guerrier of Evansville Central should be a great match.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Both Tecumsehâ€™s Jeremy McKinley and Franklinâ€™s Jake Moore has had great seasons, but only one can advance come Saturday. Also #12 and returning state qualifer will take on New Albanyâ€™s #5 Jaden Sonner. Sonner was a victim of turrrrrible draw a year ago, can the Bulldog punch that ticket or will Hendrichâ€™s experience in ticket round matches be enough for the Northview Knight?
The Dab: While Hendrich and McKinley have the tools to advance, the voters settled on their opponents.
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Nathan Walton, Brownsburg. 2nd - Jaden Sonner, New Albany. 3rd - Thomas Dull, Terre Haute North. 4th - Jake Moore, Franklin.
195: In the following 3 weights the Mooresville Regional will attempt to apply a strangle hold and advance all 12 wrestlers. Will any other wrestler be able to rep their schools and regionals? 4 returning state qualifiers shine at 195 and all are ranked 5-8th in the state. Can Evansvilleâ€™s own Kurtis Wilderman break up the Mooresville Regionals dominance?
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Whitelandâ€™s Ryan Hammond was a rare upper weight Freshman state qualifier 2 years ago, he sat out last year with an injury. Evansville Memorialâ€™s Holden Abshier has quietly put together a solid year. They will meet first round in hopes of becoming a state qualifier.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Floyd Centralâ€™s Brady Philpott will by far have the best mustache at Evansville, but heâ€™s a victim of 2 years worth of turrrible draws. This year he will have Ryan Hammond, can the Highlander shake the bad draws off and advance? Also Southridge Senior Jack Michel has put together a stellar season at 44-2 and his reward is returning state qualifier Indian Creekâ€™s Grant Goforth, not fair says Charles!
The Dab - Brady Philpott, this HHC fan will be rooting for you, but according to the voters Hammond gets the nod
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Kurtis Wilderman, Evansville Mater Dei. 2nd - Ryan Hammond, Whiteland. 3rd - Kyle Shaffer, South Putnam. 4th - Grant Goforth, Indian Creek
220: Avonâ€™s Gunnar Larson has put together a stellar career. Heâ€™s currently a 3 State Qualifier w/ 2 medals and a 2x SS champ. The Oriole is our last Lock of the year as he looks to add a third SS championship to his impressive career. Mooresville Regional was pretty crazy at this weight and they will look to send all 4 to state.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - How about winning regionals as a senior with hopes of going to state and then see your draw is the #3 wrestler in the state. Awful. Terre Haute Southâ€™s Abel Rivera and #3 Clayton Scroggs of Martinsville will lock up in rd 1. Thatâ€™s a turrrrrrrrrrilbe draw!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Monroviaâ€™s Garrison Lee and Evansville Mater Deiâ€™s Michael Boots both lost heart breakers last year in the ticket round. This year they have each other. While itâ€™s the best draw either could have gotten, itâ€™s still a turrrible draw!
The Dab - Regional Champ Austin Sheckles of Columbus East and Lee will look to punch their tickets Saturday but neither got great draws, best of luck!
Ford Tough Lock - #TheCounty will get to see Gunnar Larson ride off to Indy with one last SS championship!
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Gunnar Larson, Avon. 2nd - Michael Boots, Evansville Mater Dei. 3rd - Clayton Scroggs, Martinsville. 4th Isaac McCormick, Brownsburg.
285: Whatâ€™s TripleBâ€™s favorite weight?!?!? I canâ€™t hear you?!?!?!?! The big boys, 2-8-5! Donâ€™t you dare leave early! Like The New Days says â€œSHAMEâ€ if you cut out! Watch the top quarter bracket as 3 of the 4 wrestlers got votes, there will also be some great ticket round matches here also!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Hereâ€™s a great idea, letâ€™s have the #3 and #4 state ranked guys go at it in the first round, said no one ever! Why?!?!? Avonâ€™s Brett Henson appears banged up and he gets Mt. Vernonâ€™s Wade Ripple. I guess Hensonâ€™s injury could have a Ripple effect on the entire weight class and team race? Bad joke?!?!?
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - See above, really?!?!? Also Regional champ Harley Hillenburg from Bloomington South getâ€™s a former state qualifier in Jennings Countyâ€™s Brendan Sutton. The winner gets returning Center Grove grappler Cory Henrichs. Ouch.
The Dab - Floyd Centralâ€™s Ty Sorg (TripleB picked you btw), Center Groveâ€™s Cory Heinrichs (another TripleB pick) and Evansville Memorialâ€™s Alex Lichlyter all got votes.
Ford Fab 4 -
1st - Wade Ripple, Mt. Vernon. 2nd - Rickie â€œJuicy Lucyâ€ Clark, Brownsburg. 3rd - Bryce Biddle (TripleBâ€™s pick to win), Plainfield. 4th - Brendan Sutton, Jennings County.
Annnnnnnd thatâ€™s a wrap folks! Enjoy Evansville! As of now Trips will be missing is first semi-state in over 10 years!! But Iâ€™ll be at Bankers Life next week, feel free to buy me a cold one, or give me a sweet suite ticket. I take bribes!!!
- by Y2CJ41