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  1. #MondayMatness: Curtis and Laughlin lead tough...


    By STEVE KRAH

    stvkrh905@gmail.com


    Yorktown won its third Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals Class 2A title in five years two days before Christmas in Fort Wayne.


    Among those leading the Tigers were senior Brad Laughlin and sophomore Brayden Curtis.


    Both are ranked No. 1 as individuals — Laughlin at 160 and Curtis at 106. Curtis competed at 113 for Tigers coach Trent McCormick at the IHSWCA State Duals.


    Laughlin’s career mat resume includes three trips to the IHSAA State Finals — he was a qualifier at 120 as a freshman, fifth-place finisher at 138 as a sophomore and took third place at 145 as a junior.


    Curtis wound up seventh among 106-pounders at the 2016 State Finals.


    McCormick, who is in his 29th season at Yorktown with more than 500 dual victories, 92 state qualifiers, 50 state placers and three state champions (heavyweight Ross Janney in 2010, 138-pounder Devon Jackson in 2012 and 160-pounder Rhett Hiestand in 2014), explains what makes Laughlin and Curtis special.


    For West Point-bound Laughlin, it’s his willingness to do whatever it takes to get better. He takes very little time away from the mat or weight room during the year.


    “He’s got a great work ethic,” McCormick said of Laughlin. “He’s put a lot of time in during the off-season.”


    Until this year, Laughlin and Cael McCormick (Trent’s son and the fifth-place finisher at 152 at the 2016 IHSAA State Finals) were primary drill partners for about six or seven years.


    “They sharpened each other’s edge in the practice room,” Trent McCormick said.


    Laughlin is a student of the sport and studies FloWrestling video of himself and others and incorporates it into his system.


    And this Tiger likes to pounce.


    “I love to attack,” Laughlin said. “I think that’s one of my strongest suits. I attack, get takedowns and put points up on the board.”


    Laughlin, who placed fourth in the Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C., in October, signed to wrestle at Army — fittingly — on Veterans Day.


    He chose West Point because he likes the idea of fighting with “boots on the ground.”


    “On the ground with a rifle, that’s something that appealed to me,” Laughlin, a Yorktown team captain, said.


    Having Army wrestling in his future has benefitted his high school team and his senior season.


    “He knows he’s wrestling at the next level,” Trent McCormick said. “He’s shifted his training to more of a collegiate style. That helps him now, whether it’s being aggressive or proper positioning and those kinds of things.”


    McCormick enjoyed wrestling success himself at Delta High School (at 185, he placed fourth at the State Finals as a junior for team state champions in 1985 and first as a senior to team state runners-up in 1986; he went 35-1 that final prep season) and remembers what teammate David Palmer (state champ at 167 in 1981 and 177 in 1982) always used to say: “You can either hate drilling or hate losing.”


    Yorktown practices are drill-heavy and McCormick sees Brayden Curtis as someone who’s benefitted from hard work and daily challenges from teammates.


    “You have to have good drill partners if you want to be good,” McCormick said. “Everyday he’s wrestling Josh Stepehson. Zachary Todd and sometimes his own brother (junior Xavier Curtis), Brayden will wrestle anyone in the room if you ask him to. He just wants to get better everyday.”


    Brayden has been using his older brother as a wrestling role model for years.


    “It started in eighth grade,” Brayden Curtis said. “I saw my brother have success and I just wanted to be great like him.


    “He’s a real good counter to me because he’s tall and lanky and I’m very short and stocky. I have a little bit of quickness.”


    While being ranked No. 1 might be flattering, Curtis. Laughlin and McCormick are quick not to place too much stock in it.


    “It’s not something I’m too concerned about,” Laughlin said. “I just want to go out there and compete. Rankings are made for the fans.”


    “At the end of the day, it’s just a ranking. I just want to improve from last year when I got seventh (at the IHSAA State Finals),” Brayden Curtis said. “I just want to be satisfied with what I do.”


    Getting people talking about the sport is never a bad thing, but there’s more to it than that.


    “It’s always nice to see your name in lights, a little recognition for the work you’ve put in,” McCormick said. “(Being ranked) doesn’t mean anything when you step on the mat. You’ve got to take care of business.”


    But Yorktown wrestling, which was IHSAA state runners-up in 2010 and 2013 and third in 2014, is not only about the business of wrestling.


    McCormick and his coaching staff wants their young Tigers to go on to be productive members of society.


    “We try to use wrestling to instill life skills into our kids,” McCormick said. “We talk about these things all the time — say please and thank you, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, do good things in life. don’t always make the easy choice, make the right choice. It’s all those things that kids need to hear these days.”

    • 01/02/2017
    • by Y2CJ41
  2. #WrestlingWednesday: Alara Boyd Aiming for Gold

    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com

    Alara Boyd firmly believes that she can compete with any female wrestler in the world. That confidence has Boyd, a sophomore at Yorktown High School, setting her sights on winning a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

    “I for sure feel I’m there, skill-wise, with anyone in the world,” Boyd said. “I want to be a world champion. But more than that, I want to win the Olympics in 2020. I know what I have to do to get there. I have to keep working. I have to keep practicing and I have to keep improving.”

    The idea of Boyd wrestling in the Olympics is not a far-fetched one by any means. Boyd recently earned a bronze medal at the World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her lone loss came at the hands of Japanese gold medalist Atena Kodama, who tech-falled her opponent in the gold medal match.

    “I took a few shots I shouldn’t have taken against Japan,” Boyd said. “They put me on the shot clock and I started to get a little anxious. That really hurt me.”

    Boyd bounced back to win the bronze medal, defeating Canada’s Kirti Saxena 8-1.

    “My family and friends were super excited for me,” Boyd said. “When I got back they were all telling me how proud they were of me. I thought I wrestled well, but I want to win the world championships next time.”

    Boyd is a first-year cadet. She has two more years in the division.

    Boyd began wrestling when she was 4-years-old. She fell in love with the sport right off. Her dad, Jimmy Boyd, was her coach.

    As with most female wrestlers in Indiana, the majority of Boyd’s opponents are boys. Her practice partners are all seasoned veterans. Yorktown’s Christian Hunt, Josh Stephenson and Alex Barr all take turns wrestling Boyd at practice.

    Boyd has had success against the guys. Last year, as a freshman, she posted a winning record for the Tigers. She wrestled at 132, 138 and even 145 in some meets.

    In 2015 Boyd won the ISWA Freestyle and Greco Roman state championships, wrestling against a field of all male competitors.

    “Alara is very, very physical, even by the boys’ standard,” Yorktown assistant coach Kenny O’Brien said. “She’s very strong. She’s fantastic from an underhook. Her physicality is overwhelming at times. She’s extremely good on top in freestyle and she has one of the best leg laces in the world.”

    O’Brien also attributes some of Boyd’s success to her fight. It doesn’t matter who is in front of her, she will fight for the victory.

    “Her toughness and her fight are her best attributes,” O’Brien said. “If a girl or a guy hits her, she’s hitting back. She doesn’t back down from anyone. She’ll never back down from anyone. She’ll get right in their face and hit them back if they mess with her.”

    Boyd’s trip to Tblisi, Georgia was her first endeavor outside of the United States.

    “Things were a lot different there,” she said. “The people were overall pretty friendly. They live a lot differently than we do here. They don’t have all the luxuries we have, but it was neat to experience their culture. You see what they have went through, and you see all of the hard working people over there. It was neat to experience.”

    Boyd is currently undecided on whether she will wrestle for Yorktown during the high school season or concentrate more on training for the Olympics. She said she will most likely still wrestle for the school.

    In addition to be an Olympic hopeful, Boyd also wants to wrestle in college. Although she’s undecided on what she wants to study. Currently she’s leaning toward dentistry.

    • 09/21/2016
    • by Y2CJ41
  3. 2015 Fort Wayne Semi-State Preview

    About every four years lucky ladies from around the state get to spend their Valentine’s Day nestled up in a warm gym watching some great wrestling. Gentlemen, be sure to get your cards and flowers early so you beat the lunch time rush to the nearest Wal Mart for a card and flowers. While, coaches and fans will be exchanging cards and flowers with their significant others off the mat, on the mat it is a different story. We will have numerous slobber knockers and knock’em down, drag’em out matches going on from start to finish.

    The team race is Yorktown’s to lose, but they will be pushed by three NHC teams in Carroll, East Noble, and Bellmont. They also cannot overlook a team like Elkhart Memorial who has some tough wrestlers and favorable draws. Yorktown could punch anywhere from 5-10 tickets to state. East Noble could pose the biggest challenge as they have four wrestlers who could bring back championships. Carroll has a shot if they win some early matches with the Yorkies. Bellmont, they might not use magic, but bring ten to Fort Wayne that are ready to scrap.

    Note, due to a certain team having quite a few representatives I am going to forgo any predictions on who will advance.

    106lbs
    No seniors qualified at this weight and this can be one of the most up for grabs weights on Saturday. The top quarter-bracket is the one with the most intrigue. You have regional champ JC Herring with only two losses, a freshman with on 3 losses in Austin Moore, and Wayne’s Geoffrey Davis who is having a very good season. Each of these wrestlers provide interesting match-ups and will make this quarter-bracket fun to watch.

    Going down the line, the second quarter-bracket has the favorite Christian Hunt from Yorktown. He cannot overlook his ticket round match with either Christian Mejia or Joe Just.
    On the top of the bottom bracket you will see one of the marquee ticket round matches of the day. In a battle of superb freshmen you’ll have Tanner DeMien of NorthWood battling super Starfire freshman Wyatt Miller. Both only have two losses on the season and are favorites to finish on the podium at Banker’s Life.

    On the bottom bracket you have Carroll regional champion Ben Streeter who looks primed to punch his ticket to state. He will have to battle a tough Owen Eveler of Northridge right off the bat. Payton Lechner of Western or Adams Central’s Nick Liter will battle it out in the first round.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Austin Moore- Central Noble vs. Geoffrey Davis- Wayne

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Tanner Demien- Northwood vs. Wyatt Miller- Northridge
    JC Herring- Marion vs. Moore/Davis winner

    113lbs
    Defending semistate champion Garrett Pepple leads the way here at 113lbs. While he is the favorite, he cannot overlook Blake Glogouski who gave him a great 4-2 match at regional. Glogouski has a tough draw from start to finish as he will battle a very game Mason Mendez in the first round. The winner of that match gets one loss Jack Franklin of Homestead.
    In the top bracket you have Flying Jet Anthony Mosser who is peaking at the right time after capturing sectional and regional championships. He will have a tough ticket round foe in Oak Hill’s Travis Davenport.

    In the second quarter-bracket you have the aforementioned Pepple who could meet up with NHC foe Joel Byman for the third time or Western’s Tyler Lechner.

    Jabin Wright has also been peaking at the right time as he captured the Peru regional championship last week. He will get the winner of Josh Stephenson of Yorktown and Kyle Mockensturm of Prairie Heights in the ticket round.

    In the last quarter-bracket you have the previously mentioned trio of Franklin, Mendez, and Glogouski. Franklin’s only loss on the year is to Mendez at the conference tournament and Glogouski’s only loss is to Pepple last week.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Mason Mendez- Bellmont vs. Blake Glogouski- Fairfield
    Josh Stephenson- Yorktown vs. Kyle Mockensturm- Prairie Heights

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Anthony Mosser- Adams Central vs. Travis Davenport- Oak Hill
    Jack Franklin- Homestead vs. Mendez/Glogouski winner

    120lbs
    Hey guess what? We don’t have a rematch of the 3rd place match in the ticket round at 120lbs this year! Past that, this weight should be fun to watch. All of the top competitors at this weight are fast paced and put points on the board. This weight is highlighted by #2 ranked Sawyer Miller, along with state placer Hunter Langeloh, and state qualifiers Jon Becker and Edward Loraine.
    At the top you have state qualifier Loraine, who will have to go through a tough Brock House of Delta and Goshen regional champion Marcus Mejia of Elkhart Memorial. Mejia has had a great season and his potential match with Loraine could be a doozy.

    In the second quarter-bracket you have a first round match-up between NHC foes Ben Cauffman of Carroll and Jon Becker of Bellmont. These two did not meet this year, so the jury is out on who will come out on top. The winner of that match will most likely get Peru regional champion Chad Elmore of Taylor.

    On the top of the bottom bracket last year’s 106lbs 7th place finisher Hunter Langeloh comes in with only four losses and the heavy favorite. Don’t count out Yorkie freshman Colt Rutter as his 11 losses can be deceiving. Also in that quarter-bracket is NHC rival Kyle Davis of Dekalb who seems to be hitting stride at the right time.

    Sawyer Miller highlights the last quarter-bracket with his unblemished record. He needs to stay the course as the last time a senior from South Adams came to the coliseum undefeated he left before lunch. He will have senior Kyle Rothgeb of Heritage first round and a potential meeting with Laker Cole Long in the ticket round.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Ben Cauffman- Carroll vs. Jon Becker- Bellmont

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Marcus Meija- Elkhart Memorial vs. Eddie Loraine- Leo

    126lbs
    The big storyline at this weight is the possibility of four wrestlers from the same conference all punching their tickets to state. The Northeast Hoosier Conference(RIP) has five very fine competitors at this weight in regional champions Owen Doster of New Haven, Daniel Gunsett of Bellmont, and Nate Weimer of East Noble. Lastly Carroll’s Kobe Raypole is in the last bracket and if he navigates his first two opponents could break through to state.

    At the top of the bracket Doster will have a wrestling battle with upstart Jimmie JD Greathouse. Doster has had a superb season after being put out of the tournament due to an injury last year. Greathouse is a darkhorse that placed 5th at the Al Smith and snuck into the last rankings update.

    In the second quarter-bracket you have Gunsett on top with a tough first round opponent in Woodlan’s Nik Hoot. Hoot is an inspirational wrestler that should get a standing ovation whether he wins or loses. The winner of Hoot and Gunsett will get the winner of Devin Maggard of Marion and Logan Maynard of Goshen.

    On the bottom half you have probably the most competitive quarter bracket with Oak Hill’s Zach Gunter coming in as the top seed. The 2 vs. 3 match will be a good one with Raypole battling a tough Remington Hiestand in the first round. The Hiestand vs. Raypole winner is considered a slight favorite by many to punch their ticket to state.

    Lastly, the bottom bracket will probably feature a battle of NHC foes. Nate Weimer is looking wrestle at Banker’s Life for the second straight year, while nemesis Drake Rhoades is looking to derail those plans. Rhoades may have 13 losses, but he has the potential to beat anyone on any given day.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Kobe Raypole- Carroll vs. Remington Hiestand- Yorktown

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Owen Doster- New Haven vs. JD Greathouse- Jimtown
    Drake Rhodes- Homestead vs. Nate Weimer- East Noble

    132lbs
    One unique thing about this weight class is you have had pretty much two tough guys at each regional. This makes for solid separation of this weight and no cringe worthy draws. Two-time state placer Connor Knapp is the head of the class, but will be pushed by Sage Coy in the semi-finals. On the bottom half, Kyle Egolf and Caleb Maddox are favorites, but need to wrestle well to punch their tickets.

    The top bracket has the heavy favorite Knapp. Last year’s run to the semi-state championship included wins over three wrestlers that were semi-finalists…this year’s road is a little less bumpy. He will likely face Bulldog Ryan Shaffer in the ticket round.

    Sage Coy is making the most of his first state series after some bad luck the previous two years. He will have to battle one of two freshmen, Carroll’s Joel Arney or Eastbrook’s Christian Bratcher in the ticket round. Coy is a physical wrestler that has a wide array of attack from throws to shots to defense.

    Going down the line, you get one of the more intriguing first round matches between relatively unknown Jamal Scott and well known Jacob Stephenson. The winner will get a tough Kyle Egolf in the ticket round. This is probably the toughest to predict quarter-bracket at 132lbs.

    Lastly you have the senior who has paid his dues in Caleb Maddox and the fantastic freshman Fernando Luevano of West Noble. Along with the contrasting experience, Maddox is a tall and lanky lad, while Luevano is short and stocky. Look for this to be a very good match in the ticket round.


    Early Slobber Knockers
    Jacob Stephenson- Yorktown vs. Jamal Scott- Elkhart Central

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Fernando Luevano- West Noble vs. Caleb Maddox- Western
    Kyle Egolf- Columbia City vs. Scott/Stephenson winner

    138lbs
    This weight is highlighted by two returning state qualifiers in mighty Squire Clayton Moore and the tough Tiger Brad Laughlin. Along with those two you have an undefeated Isaac Eicher and a state ranked Jay Franko also in the mix. This weight class will be one of the better ones to watch from the semi-finals on.

    Early on you will see returning state qualifier Moore battle one of two tough juniors in the ticket round. Nathaniel Smith of Columbia City has the tools to give the top wrestlers a great match. He will have to get past Exuse(pronounced Zues) Brown of Muncie Central in the first round.

    The jumpin' Jimmie Jay Franko looks to be the favorite in his quarter-bracket. However, the senior will have to fend off either Busco Bad Boy Chase Downing or the pink haired Robert Ford of Monroe Central. Both Ford and Downing come in with very few losses and have the potential to give Franko a run for his money.

    Probably the most solid quarter-final lock would be Yorktown's Brad Laughlin. He is having a stellar sophomore campaign and will likely face Fremont junior Hunter Leskowyak in the ticket round.

    The last quarter-bracket will see an undefeated Isaac Eicher of Leo as the early favorite. His biggest competition could be from Goshen's battle tested Joel Byler. Shane Curtis of Oak Hill cannot be overlooked as he has had a solid senior season.
    Early Slobber Knockers
    Exuse Brown- Muncie Central vs. Nathaniel Smith- Columbia City
    Robert Ford- Monroe Central vs. Chase Downing- Churubusco

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Clayton Moore- Manchester vs. Brown/Smith winner

    145lbs
    With the way this weight was spread out in the semi-state, we knew there would be some good early matches. The Goshen regional boasts four solid grapplers that cannot be overlooked. Throw in two-time placer Cael McCormick and two-time ticket rounder Tanner Shipley, some good wrestlers will be buying a ticket at Banker’s Life next week.

    In the top quarter-bracket you have two coaches sons battling in out in Cael McCormick and Logan Williams. McCormick has two state medals, but this could be his toughest ticket round match. Williams is a good wrestler that is very fundamentally sound. Look for a very good match here.

    The second quarter-bracket is a toss-up with Prairie Heights standout Doug Levitz as the early favorite. He will need to go through two-loss Brody Hardcastle of Oak Hill to punch his first ticket to state.

    The third quarter-bracket is going to be fun to watch. Tanner Shipley has been in the ticket round twice and comes in as the regional champ. He will have a very tough Nathan Housholder in the first round, with the winner facing Hunter Bates who is having an outstanding season. Bates defeated Shipley in a close match early in the season and Shipley defeated Housholder earlier in the season also.

    The last quarter-bracket has returning state qualifier Tony Vaughn that is most people’s favorite to qualify. However, he cannot overlook either of his opponents. Kyle Leland has been wrestling very well as of late and he could push Vaughn in the first round. Joe Becker of Bellmont…well he’s from Bellmont, never count out a Brave in the ticket round.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Tanner Shipley- Huntington North vs. Nathan Housholder- East Noble
    Tony Vaughn- Elkhart Memorial vs. Kyle Leland- Homestead

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Cael McCormick- Yorktown vs. Logan Williams- DeKalb
    Shipley/Housholder winner vs. Hunter Bates- Adams Central

    152lbs
    As we move up in weight the competition will get stiffer. At 152lbs you have #3 ranked Josh Garman leading the way with an unblemished 40-0 record. He will come in as the favorite, but will need to navigate some tough wrestlers like Peru’s Peyton Sturgrill and red hot Jimmie Marquis Schieber to bring the semi-state championship back to Huntertown.

    At the top you have Garman as the favorite in his quarter bracket. He could meet up with Garrett Griffen of Northwood whom he pinned in the finals of the Wild Bill Invite. Griffin will have to get past three-loss sophomore Quentin Moore in the first round, while Garman has Tyler Leonard of Jay County.

    The second quarter bracket has a good mixture of youth and experience. Dru Berkebile of Yorktown comes in with only five losses and is ONLY a freshman. He will face the winner of two three loss seniors that will battle it out in the first round. Taylor Grim of West Noble will face fellow senior Breighton Mullinix of Oak Hill who dropped to 152 late in the season.

    On the bottom half, you have Marquis Schieber who has been on fire as of late. He won a very good sectional and regional after having a disappointing regular season. He will face the winner of small school studs Tate Burns of Eastside and TC Perry of Southern Wells.

    The last quarter bracket is going to be another one that is an absolute toss-up. First round you have a rematch of the 3rd place match at the Al Smith when regional champion Peyton Sturgill battles Ronnie Longbreak. The other early match will have NHC rivals on the mat when Cross Dietrich takes on Tony Busse. Busse won a 9-6 match at the conference tournament just a few weeks ago. On top of all of that, Sturgill defeated Busse 1-0 at the Al Smith.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Quentin Moore- Manchester vs. Garrett Griffin- Northwood
    Taylor Grim- West Noble vs. Breighton Mullinix- Oak Hill
    Peyton Sturgill- Peru vs. Ronnie Longbreake- Elkhart Memorial
    Tony Busse- Bellmont vs. Thaddeus-Cross Dietrich- Columbia City

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Grim/Mullinix winner vs. Dru Berkebile- Yorktown
    Sturgill/Longbrake winner vs. Busse/Dietrich winner

    160lbs
    With the potential of two state ranked wrestlers meeting in the ticket round many people are thanking the bracket gods for separating the top wrestlers here. Jake Weimer, Jacob Grey, and #800lbGorilla Bryce Baumgartner all come in with high expectations and high state rankings.

    On the top you have Weimer as the favorite. He was a state qualifier as a sophomore, but was upended last year in the ticket round. The added size has made him an even more dangerous wrestler. He will have the winner of Logan Snyder and DeShawn Barbary in the ticket round.

    Weimer could meet up with undefeated Jacob Grey if everything goes as “planned.” Gray had a mild upset over Baumgartner at regional in a very close match. His potential ticket round match will feature either Eastside’s Gage Delong or Eastbrook’s Chris Wickline.

    Nick Potter drew the tough task of being a regional champion and running into a returning state qualifier. Potter and Baumgartner are very familiar with eachother as Baumgartner owns two wins over him this year.

    The last quarter bracket will once again provide a great storyline. Will the upstart freshmen come out on top or will the senior play spoiler? In the first round you have Luke Liter of Adams Central battling Prairie Heights’ Jed Levitz in a rematch from the 1A state finals. Liter won by pin, but don’t count out the Panther freshman. Lurking after that will be super Tiger freshman Jordan Rader. Peru wrestles a competitive schedule so his five losses are legit.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Luke Liter- Adams Central vs. Jed Levitz- Prairie Heights

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Liter/Levitz winner vs. Jordan Rader- Peru

    170lbs
    The main story-line here is the unknowns vs. the knowns. State 3rd place finisher Dillion Jackson leads the way, along with two-time state streeter Kaine Luginbill. Past those two though it is going to be interesting to watch.

    At the top you have Jackson leading the way. He should be unchallenged to clinch his second trip to Banker’s Life.
    Going down you have one of the unknowns in Concordia’s undefeated Zach Davis. He will have to get through five loss Colton Guy in the first round. Past that it will be a battle of two wrestlers with 10+ losses.

    On the bottom bracket you have Luginbill as the favorite, but he will have to fend off two loss Luke Elliott in the ticket round. As with any match, Luginbill will make it interesting whether he wins or loses.

    The last bracket will provide the most uncertainty. Regional champion Nick Ritchie comes in the slight favorite, but will be tested in the ticket round. That match will feature the winner of Brett Baker of Bellmont and Turtletown’s own Caleb Partin. The Baker name is synonymous with wrestling in Decatur so never look past him.
    Early Slobber Knockers
    Brett Baker- Bellmont vs. Caleb Partin- Churubusco

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Nick Ritchie- Elkhart Memorial vs. Baker/Partin winner

    182lbs
    Returning state 3rd place finisher Corey Hinkle made a late drop to this weight after wrestling 195lbs most of the season. Look for him to be the favorite, but past him it will be anyone’s guess as to who will punch their tickets to Banker’s Life.

    At the top you have upstart Wyatt Clem of Homestead who comes in as the regional champion. He will have to fend off not only Jay County’s Andy Kohler, but also his coach’s impeccable beard.

    Next you will have regional champion David Eli coming in as the favorite. He will be pushed early by Snider’s Russell Davies. After that he could face off with Daleville’s Corbin Maddox.

    The bottom bracket will feature an interesting match between two teams vying for the semi-state title. Yorktown’s Hunter Hiestand will most likely battle Carroll’s Kayne Duncan in a great ticket round match.

    Lastly, you have Mr. Hinkle who comes in with a zero in the loss column. He will however, be pushed in the ticket round by West Noble’s Oscar Reyes. Reyes got a late start to the season, but that could be in his advantage.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    David Eli- Elkhart Memorial vs. Russell Davies- Snider

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Wyatt Clem- Homestead vs. Andy Kohler- Jay County
    Hunter Hiestand- Yorktown vs. Kayne Duncan- Carroll
    Corey Hinkle- Western vs. Oscar Reyes- West Noble

    195lbs
    This is another weight class where the bracket gods separated the better wrestlers. The three returning state qualifiers all were separated from each other and that could make for an interesting day at the coliseum.

    At the top you have returning state qualifier Tristin Anglin coming in as a four seed. He will have a tough match with Michael Leonard of Northwood who is no slouch. The winner of that match will get a tough Eagle junior in Scottie Evans. This top bracket is very hard to predict how it will come out.

    Next we have the great unknown in Carroll’s Eric Dunten. He comes in without a blemish on his record in his first year on the varsity squad. He has three wins over both Anglin and Davis along with a win over #11 Sam Hipple. He will have a familiar foe in Bellmont’s Carter Friedt in the ticket round.

    On the bottom half you will have returning state qualifier Bo Davis looking to make it to state once again. He will have to battle the winner of Mykal Taylor of Muncie Central and Lane Eckrote of North Miami.
    Lastly, you have the heavy favorite Myron Howard of Yorktown. Howard was a 4th place finisher last year at 182lbs and is looking to add another medal this year.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Michael Leonard- Northwood vs. Tristin Anglin- Columbia City
    Lane Eckrote- North Miami vs. Mykal Taylor- Muncie Central

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Scottie Evans- Delta vs. Leonard/Anglin winner
    Bo Davis- Garrett vs. Eckrote/Taylor winner

    220lbs
    For being an upper weight, this one provides a great mixture of youth and experience. Leading the way is last year’s 6th place finisher and 2nd ranked Eliseo Guerra of Elkhart Central. He has had a tough sectional and regional, which in turn will make his path to clinching another state berth “easier.” Each of the quarter-brackets will provide some intriguing match-ups.

    At the top the mighty Railroader Blake Davis comes in as the regional champion. However, he will have to battle mighty Redskin Derek Paz for a state berth. Paz defeated Davis at the Al Smith 5-1, so this could be a very interesting match to watch.

    In the next quarter-bracket, super Sophomore Evan Ellis looks to be the favorite. He will have a tough Goshen regional foe in Elkhart Memorial’s Kaleb Summers in the ticket round. Both are tough wrestlers and it is hard to give a confident nod to either grappler.

    Guerra is the highlight of his quarter bracket. He could be pushed by Woodlan’s Edwin Barberena in the ticket round.

    Lastly, the final quarter-bracket is probably the most mysterious with no clear cut favorites. Winchester’s Dustyn Hangen comes in with only one loss and on paper looks to be the favorite. He will have to battle the early round winner of Huntington North’s Lane Emery and Peru’s Erik Hobbs.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Layne Emery- Huntington North vs. Erik Hobbs- Peru

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Blake Davis- Garrett vs. Derek Paz- Goshen
    Evan Ellis- Eastern- Greentown vs. Kaleb Summers- Elkhart Memorial
    Dustyn Hangen- Winchester vs. Emery/Hobbs winner

    285lbs
    This weight is the definition of toss-up. Whoever comes into the coliseum wrestling well could be the champion or qualify for state. In looking at each quarter bracket, there is one where there is a favorite. The other three it will be easier to pick a champion from flipping a coin than analyzing wins and losses.

    Matt Swartz of Snider looks to be the easiest pick to make it to the semi-finals, however he cannot overlook his first match with Mason Morningstar. He will face the winner of Jimmie sophomore Nick Mammolenti and Marion’s De’Andre Hodge.

    The second quarter bracket is about as crazy as it can me. Returning state qualifier Owen Perkins is the “headliner” of the group, however he cannot overlook anyone. Last year he defeated Dax Hiestand in the first round of semi-state, so he has an edge there. Brock Bergman of Lakeland is a big guy and will pose trouble for Perkins in the first round. Hiestand also cannot overlook the young buck from Carroll first round.

    The third quarter-bracket comes with as much uncertainty as Indiana weather. Issac Barrios of Elkhart Central is solid, but drew a red hot Evan Beech of North Miami. In a battle of quick and athletic big guys, Daemon Williams of Bishop Luers will battle Kiaser Phillips of Monroe Central. Again, all these match-ups are toss-ups as any of these four guys can punch their ticket to Banker’s Life.

    Lastly, the bottom quarter-bracket has just as many storylines. At team state Braxton Amos of Prairie Heights defeated Isiah Bollenbacher 2-0, however each needs to get past their first opponents. Amos will have Dante Graham of Western who has given guys like Perkins tough matches. Bollenbacher will have a game Drew Cummings of Columbia City who has some good wins this year.

    Throw the rankings and past results out the window for this weight class as the only thing that will matter is who comes to wrestle on Saturday.

    Early Slobber Knockers
    Brock Bergman- Lakeland vs. Owen Perkins- Oak Hill
    Evan Beech- North Miami vs. Issac Barrios- Elkhart Central
    Daemen Williams- Bishop Luers vs. Kiaser Phillips- Monroe Central
    Isiah Bollenbacher- Adams Central vs. Drew Cummings- Columbia City

    Ticket Round Tussles
    Dax Hiestand- Yorktown vs. Bergman/Owens winner
    Beech/Barrios winner vs. Williams/Phillips winner
    Braxton Amos- Prairie Heights vs.Bollenbacher/Cummings winner

    • 02/13/2015
    • by Y2CJ41