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  • Date: April 14th
    Location: Brownsburg High School
    1000 S Odell St.
    Brownsburg, IN 46112
    Time: 6pm
    Tickets: Adults $10 
    Students(K-12) $5
    Under 5 Free
    Click here to purchase tickets and gear
    Indiana Lineup
    113: Jose Diaz- Wheeler
    120: Colin Poynter- Portage
    126: Ty Mills- Brownsburg
    132: Graham Rooks- Columbus East
    138: Kris Rumph- Portage
    145: Christian Hunt- Yorktown
    152: Brayton Lee- Brownsbur
    160: Jack Eiteljorge- Carmel
    170: Noah Warren- Perry Meridian
    182: Conner Graber- Northridge
    195: Lucas Davison- Chesterton
    220: Mason Parris- Lawrenceburg
    285: Brandon Streck- Merrillville
    Coaching Staff
    Darrick Snyder- Brownsburg
    Matt Schoettle- Perry Meridian
    Mark Kirchgassner- Lawrenceburg

    Honorary Head Coach
    Dick Neal aka The Ancient Elder
    USA Lineup
    113: Cevion Severado- Christian Brothers, Missouri
    120: Joey Melendez- Montini Catholic, Illinois
    126: Malik Johnson- Christian Brothers, Missouri
    132: Real Woods- Montini Catholic, Illinois
    138: Cole Matthews- Reynolds, Pennsylvania
    145: Alex Lloyd- Shakopee, Minnesota
    152: Jacori Teemer- Long Beach, New York
    160: Jared Franek- Fargo West, North Dakota
    170: Travis Wittlake- Marshfield, Oregon
    182: Jared Krattiger- Waterford, Wisconsin
    195: Tanner Sloan- Alburnett, Iowa
    220: Brandon Whitman- Dundee, Michigan
    285: Jake Levengood- Vacaville, California
    Team USA Coach
    Israel Martinez- Montini Catholic, Illinois

    Special thanks goes out to our sponsors
    Indiana State Wrestling Association
    KC Battlegear
    Invicta Wrestling Academy

  • By JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    It was the moment Cathedral’s Jordan Slivka had dreamed about his whole life. He was about to wrestle under the lights at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse with a weight-class and the team state championship on the line.
    “Earlier in the day I had told my coaches that I knew it was going to come down to me,” Slivka said. “I just had that feeling. That’s not a dig on my teammates, but I just knew it was going to come down to me. That’s what I wanted. If there was anyone in the state that I would want in that position, I’d choose me.”
    Slivka battled for six minutes with Yorktown’s undefeated senior Christian Hunt. In the end, Slivka emerged victorious in the narrowest of margins - a 1-0 victory. That win gave Slivka his first state title and also clinched the championship for Cathedral.
    The Irish outscored the field with a total of 108 points. Brownsburg finished with 100.5 followed by Columbus East with 98.5.
    “We knew the score and we knew Brownsburg had two big guns left,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “Slivka told me not to worry about it, he was going to take care of it. He said he’s going to get it done. He’s one of the most mentally tough kids I know, and at the end he pulled it out.”
    The Irish sent 10 wrestlers to the state meet. On Friday night, seven of those 10 won their match to guarantee a top eight finish.
    “I said at the beginning that our goal was to win a state championship,” McGinley said. “The only way we were going to win was by committee. We did. We brought 10 to the finals and then had a great Friday night. We had seven place winners. We battled and we won the close ones. We pulled a lot out in the last seconds and ended up on top.”
    In the tournament Cathedral won seven matches by two points or less.
    Perhaps the most pivotal match of the tournament came at 138 pounds when Cathedral’s Zach Melloh took on Brownsburg’s Blake Mulkey.
    The match went to the ultimate tie breaker, after a controversial stalling call on Mulkey. Melloh eventually won the match 3-2.
    “That was two teams going at it right there,” McGinley said. “The thing about Zach Melloh, he’s always going to give us six minutes no matter what. He pushes the pace. Sometimes you are going to get a call, and sometimes you don’t. We got the call in this one and took advantage of it and scored when we needed to.”
    Cathedral had four wrestlers reach the final. Alex Mosconi (132 pounds), Mellow (138) and Elliott Rodgers (152) all earned runner-up finishes. Slivka was the Irish’s lone champ.
    Cathedral also got a third-place finish out of 106-pounder Logan Bailey and a fourth by Lukasz Walendzak (120). Jacob Obst (285) finished seventh. Caleb Oliver (113), Andrew Wilson (126) and Anthony Mosconi (160) lost in their respective Friday night matches.
    “All year we knew we had a group of kids that are really tough to beat,” McGinley said. “We knew we would have our hands full in the finals. The guys we were taking on were all very quality guys and great wrestlers. We were able to pull one out, but for us, it was all about committee. Everyone scored points for us when we needed them.”
    Another key to Cathedral’s success, according to Slivka, was the team’s swagger.
    “My motto is ‘Learn to love it’,” Slivka said. “You have to have fun in this sport or you’ll start to hate it. That was really the main key. We went out there and had fun all day. We were confident and we had swagger. I’m not sure coach cared for it too much, but it kept us relaxed and ready to get the job done.”
    The title was Cathedral’s second in wrestling. The Irish also won the team title in 2014. Next season seven of the 10 state qualifiers will return. Only Melloh, Anthony Mosconi and Obst are seniors.
  • By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com
    When Trent McCormick became head wrestling coach at Yorktown High School, he was a teenager leading teenagers.
    Over the decades, McCormick turned the Tigers into a mat powerhouse.
    In his 30 seasons, Yorktown sent many wrestlers to the State Finals in Indianapolis. Fifty-nine times, they headed back to Delaware County as state placers.
    Six times, they were state champions — Ross Janey (285 in 2010), Devon Jackson (138 in 2012), Rhett Hiestand (160 in 2014), Brad Laughlin (160 in 2017), Brayden Curtis (106 in 2017 and 113 in 2018). McCormick, 50, has announced his retirement and he steps away as the leader of the program with a memorable last go-round at the State Finals.
    “We were a small team this year,” said McCormick Saturday, Feb. 17 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “There were a lot of studs on the team. We always like to say, ‘Steel sharpens steel.’ It’s been a long, grueling season and to have four state placers and six state qualifiers, I was very proud of them.”
    McCormick, a state champion at 185 for Delta in 1986 and an Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Famer, took his boys back to the State Finals after winning the 22nd sectional, 13th regional and eighth semistate of his career.
    At Indy, junior Brayden Curtis (40-0) bested New Castle junior Andrew Black 6-0 in the finals to become a two-time state champion on McCormick’s watch.
    “He knows how to plan and he knows how to coach us mentally and physically,” said Curtis of McCormick. “He’s a huge part of my success as well as (assistant) coach (Kenny) O’Brien.” Senior Christian Hunt (48-1) concluded his Yorktown career as a state runner-up at 145.
    “It was a great honor to go out and represent my school,” said Hunt.
    “I definitely wanted to come out with a first, but second isn’t too bad.”
    “As a senior, I wanted to send Coach McCormick out on a positive note,” said McCormick. “I did absolutely the best I could.”
    Senior Alex Barr (48-3) placed sixth at 132.
    Senior Zach Todd (42-8) came in seventh at 106.
    State qualifiers were junior Eric Hiestand (42-4) at 152 and sophomore Holden Parsons (39-6) at 285.
    The Tigers finished seventh in the team standings. During McCormick’s run, Yorktown has been state runner-up twice and won four team state duals championships.
    A lay coach for 18 years who transitioned into teaching and has been in the classroom for the past 12, McCormick said he plans to spend more time with loved ones. He also plans to travel and that means going to West Point, N.Y., to see son Cael McCormick wrestle for Army. Cael was a three-time state medalist at Yorktown.
    “I’m going to spend some more time with the family and not so much time in the gymnasium,” said McCormick.
  • By JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    In middle school Harrison Hadley weighed 60 pounds but had to wrestle in the 75 pound weight class because that was the smallest class available. Today, he’s the big man on campus at Lapel High School.
    Hadley, a junior 106-pounder for the Bulldogs, became the school’s first wrestler to ever reach the state finals when he defeated South Dearborn’s Eli Otto 13-5 in the ticket round of the New Castle semistate.
    “I definitely feel like I’m the big man on campus right now,” Hadley said. “The elementary school made this big banner for me and everyone signed it. People are going up to me in the halls and around town telling me congratulations and wishing me luck. The school recognized me for advancing. It’s pretty cool right now.”
    Lapel has been a school since before the 1870s. At first Lapel was a one-room school house, but over time the location has changed and school buildings have come and gone. The school’s history is one of the oldest in the state. To be the very first athlete to accomplish going to state is something first-year coach Jake Stilwell doesn’t believe has fully sunk in for Hadley yet.
    “This is huge for Lapel wrestling,” Stilwell said. “There have only been five semistate qualifiers in school history. For our program, this is absolutely huge. The younger kids see that state isn’t something impossible now. They see it can be done.
    “It’s never occurred here before and most people didn’t think it could happen. Now they see Harrison has done it, and it gives them hope. I don’t even know if Harrison has grasped what has happened. It will take a little time for this to all settle in.”
    After Hadley won the ticket-round match he immediately wanted to watch film on the match to see what he could have done differently. That’s what he does every match, win or lose.
    “I like to see what type of positions I exposed myself to,” Hadley said. “I look at how I could have improved. I look for things that will take me to the next level. I always critique myself, even if I tech fall or pin a kid.”
    Stilwell wanted Hadley to take a moment to take in the importance of what he had accomplished at semistate.
    “He was very excited when he won,” Stilwell said. “But when he came off the mat he likes to dive right into what just happened and look for ways to improve. We had to stop him and remind him about what he just accomplished. He was excited, but wasn’t showing that emotion. He was still just trying to think of what he could have done differently.”
    According to Harrison, the person most excited after the ticket round was his mom, Sonya.
    “She was crying and everything,” Hadley said. “She was telling me how proud she was of me. I’ve never really seen her like that. It was a great moment.”
    Hadley enters the state tournament with a record of 39 wins and only three losses. Two of those losses came last week at semistate. Hadley fell to Perry Meridian’s Alex Cottey in the semifinal round, then lost to Warren Central’s David Pierson in the consolation match.
    Hadley, who likes to race 600cc mini sprint cars in his free time, has wrestled 106 pounds his entire high school career. As a freshman he came into the season weighing just 99 pounds. He’s put on about five pounds per year, but is easily able to get down to weight for the wrestling season.
    Hadley is hoping his victory could help the team. He says it’s great to go to state, but it would be much sweeter going there with teammates also competing.
    “I see some schools take nine or 10 guys to state,” Hadley said. “I think that would be awesome. Just seeing Cathedral’s team and how well they did at semistate and the bond those guys have, it’s fun to watch.
    “Our program has struggled. We have never been that strong. But, if we can start advancing more kids it will really help build things up.”
    Last year Lapel had just eight wrestlers. This year there are 17 on the Bulldog roster.
    “Lapel is a school that has some good athletes,” Stilwell said. “The challenge is to get those kids to go out for wrestling. I really think Harrison’s success is going to help with that.”
    Hadley will take on Brownsburg freshman Kysen Montgomery (38-7) in the Friday night match.
    “For me, wrestling is an escape from everything,” Hadley said. “It’s something that helps me focus on my goals. It helps me in life situations and helps build my character. Right now my major goal is to be able to wrestle in college.”
  • We have 15 wrestlers that enter Friday without a loss on their record. However, the other 209 wrestlers have a combined 1040 losses between them. Most of the losses are to state level competitors. Here is a listing of all the losses for each wrestler at state this weekend.
    Note: If you know any of the missing or incorrect results please notify me.
    Random Stats
    Most losses to state qualifiers
    Joe Just and Joseph Walker- 11
    Ethan Hicks- 9
    Andrew Wilson, Malik Hoover, Andy Davidson- 8
    Most wins over state qualifiers
    Andres Moreno- 12
    Kysen Montgomery, Asa Garcia, Gleason Mappes- 9
    Brayden Curtis, Brayden Lowery, Colin Poynter, Conner Gimson, Jordan Slivka, Donnell Washington, Brayton Lee, Noah Warren, Zack Fattore- 8
    Undefeated Wrestlers
    113- Andres Moreno, Brayden Curtis, Brayden Lowery
    132- Graham Rooks, Manzona Bryant
    145- Christian Hunt, Tristan Sellmer
    152- Brayton Lee
    170- Zack Fattore
    182- Nathan Walton, Silas Allred
    195- Lucas Davison
    220- Mason Parris, Ryan Hammond
    285- Eli Pokorney
    *- State Qualifier
    106: Alex Cottey- Kysen Montgomery*, Logan Bailey(2)*
    106: Cole Ross- Alex Cottey*, Jacob Moran*, Kysen Montgomery*
    106: Colin Reagan- Giovanni Diaz*
    106: David Pierson- Alex Cottey(2)*, Ben Dalton, Jacob Simone(3), Logan Bailey(2)*
    106: Fernando Flores- Alex Petro*, Brendon Mark, Caleb Oliver*
    106: Gavinn Alstott- Cole Ross(2)*, Kysen Montgomery*
    106: Giovanni Diaz- Martin Cruz
    106: Harrison Hadley- Alex Cottey*, David Pierson*, Logan Bailey*
    106: Jace Alexander- Colin Reagan*, Fernando Flores*, Jacob Moran*, Preston Teusch
    106: Jacob Moran- Giovanni Diaz*, Jacob Decatur
    106: Kysen Montgomery- Brayden Lowery*, Carson Eldred*, Steven Garty
    106: Logan Bailey- Jacob Moran*, Martin Cruz
    106: Noah Gardner- Ben Dalton(2), Cole Ross*, Gavinn Alstott(2)*
    106: Trey Sturgill- Andrew Sinkovics, Antonio Jefferson, Brandon Mark, Devonte Henson, Fernando Flores*, Jett Boots, Wyatt Miller*, Zachary Todd*
    106: Wyatt Miller- Fernando Flores*
    106: Zachary Todd- Alex Cottey*, Devin Casebolt, Fernando Flores*, Logan Bailey*, Owen Chandler, Wyatt Miller*
    113: Alex Petro- Andres Moreno*, Brayden Lowery*, Devon Casebolt*, Jevian Ross, Kysen Montgomery*, Tyler Conley*
    113: Andrew Black- Brayden Curtis*, Brayden Lowery*, Grant Stapleton
    113: Blake Boarman- Devon Casebolt*
    113: Brayden Shearer- Andres Moreno*, Brayden Curtis*
    113: Caleb Oliver- Andrew Black*, Brayden Lowery*, Brayden Shearer*, Carson Eldred*, Evan Light, Jevian Ross, Karsten Harshbarger, Tyler Conley*
    113: Carson Eldred- Brayden Curtis*, Brayden Lowery*, Kysen Montgomery*
    113: Danny Tolin- Alex Petro*, Andres Moreno(2)*, Brayden Shearer*, Dane Durlacher , Ian Nelson, Jacob Moran*, Jose Diaz*, Ricky Hegedus*
    113: Devon Casebolt- Blake Boarman(3)*, Brayden Lowery*, Kysen Montgomery*
    113: Joe Just- Alex Petro*, Antonio Jefferson, Blake Boarman*, Brayden Curtis*, Brayden Lowery*, Brayden Shearer(3)*, Caleb Oliver*, Carson Eldred*, Danny Tolin*, Josh Smith-Goheen, Kade Zadylak*
    113: Jose Diaz- Andres Moreno(3)*
    113: Kade Zadylak- Andres Moreno*, Brayden Curtis*, Brayden Shearer(2)*, Seth Anderson
    113: Ricky Hegedus- Andres Moreno*, Andrew Perelka, Andrew Wilson*, Blake Boarman*, Caleb Oliver*, Danny Tolin*, Jacob Moon, Kysen Montgomery*, Raymond Rioux*
    113: Tyler Conley- Alex Petro*, Blake Boarman*, Brayden Lowery*, Carson Eldred*, Gavin Ritter, Jacob Moran*, Jevian Ross, Jimmy Balazy, Kysen Montgomery(2)*
    120: Alex Bautista- Andres Moreno*, Brock Peele*, Sam Fair*, Tylor Triana*
    120: Brendan Mattingly- Logan Wagner*, Lukasz Walendzak*
    120: Brock Peele- Andres Moreno*, Hassan Johnson, Jedidiah Marlow, Lukasz Walendzak*, Micah Desseau, Tylor Triana(2)*
    120: Drake Campbell- Benyamin Kamali, Brock Peele*, Logan Boe(2)*, Raymond Rioux*, Sam Fair(2)*
    120: Hunter Watts- Christian Mejia*
    120: Ian Heath- Brayden Curtis*, Chase Wilkerson, Hunter Watts*, Logan Mosser*, Zane Standridge*
    120: Logan Boe- Drake Campbell*, Evan Lawhead, Raymond Rioux*, Seth Johnson
    120: Logan Mosser- Brayden Curtis(2)*, Chris Schuller, Ian Heath*, Kyle Lawson*
    120: Logan Wagner- Asa Garcia*, Benyamin Kamali, Brendan Mattingly*, Lukasz Walendzak*, Nick Winland, Raymond Rioux*, Sam Fair*, Tylor Triana*
    120: Lukasz Walendzak- Gavin Rose(2), Sam Fair*, Tylor Triana*
    120: Raymond Rioux- Brock Peele*, Drake Campbell(2)*, Jedidiah Marlow, Logan Boe(3)*, Lukasz Walendzak*, Nolan Ray
    120: Sam Fair- Carson Willis
    120: Tyler Fuqua- Sam Fair*, Drake Campbell(2)*, Kane Egli, Raymond Rioux(2)*
    120: Tylor Triana- Andres Moreno*, Brock Peele*, Hunter Watts*
    120: Vince Sparrow- Alex Bautista(2)*, Andrew Wertman, Benyamin Kamali, Brock Peele*, Hunter Watts*, Hunter Whitman, Logan Hunt, Logan Wagner*, Malachi Walteres, Ryan Franco, Seth Anderson, Trevor Penrod, Zane Standridge*
    120: Zane Standridge- Gabriel Smith, Hunter Watts*, Logan Mosser*, Trevor Ragle
    126: Alec Viduya- Asa Garcia*, Bryer Hall*, Ethan Smiley*, Logan Wagner*
    126: Andrew Wilson- Alec Viduya(2)*, Asa Garcia*, Aundre Beatty, Colin Poynter*, Ethan Smiley*, Kaellin Kelly*, Kaleb Nickels, Kobey Bronaugh, Reece Luhmann, Skyler Gomez*, Tanner DeMien*, Tommy Oskina, Xayvier Curtis
    126: Asa Garcia- Cayden Rooks*, Jordan Decatur, Ty Mills(2)*
    126: Brycen Denny- Asa Garcia(2)*, Carson Willis, Ethan Smiley*, Ty Mills*
    126: Bryer Hall- Ethan Smiley*, Tylan Tucker
    126: Cayden Rooks- Asa Garcia*
    126: Christian Mejia- Cayden Rooks*
    126: Colin Poynter- Asa Garcia*, Clay Egli, David Massey, Gio Disabato, Mick Burnett
    126: Ethan Smiley- Alec Viduya(3)*
    126: Kaellin Kelly- Colin Poynter(4)*, Ethan Smiley*, Joel Vamdevere, Skyler Gomez*, Tylor Triana*
    126: Kyle Lawson- Adam Ledesma, Alex Mosconi*, Asa Garcia*, Braxton Alexander, Isaac Hegwood, Jarred Rowlett*, Josh Zahl, Ricky Haught*, Sam Richard, Scottie Saylor, Skyler Gomez*, Tanner Schoeff*
    126: Payne Blackburn- ???, Brycen Denny*, Christian Mejia*, Juron Franklin, Kyle Lawson(2)*, Scottie Saylor, Trevor Ragle
    126: Skyler Gomez- Braxton Alexander, Kaellin Kelly(3)*, Tanner DeMien(3)*
    126: Tanner DeMien- Austin Franco, Carson Willis, Cayden Rooks*, Christian Mejia*, Colin Poynter(2)*, Dominick Lomazzo, Hunter Watts*
    126: Tanner Schoeff- Blake Hoyer, Christian Mejia(2)*
    126: Ty Mills- Alec Viduya*, Asa Garcia*, Cayden Rooks*, Colin Poynter*, Michael Mars
    132: Alex Barr- Chris Wilkerson*
    132: Alex Mosconi- Deuce Brown, Graham Rooks*
    132: Carter Noehre- Alex Mosconi*
    132: Chris Wilkerson- ???(4), Carter Noehre(2)*, Reis Schrock, Ricky Haught*
    132: Cody Betourne- Geremia Brooks*, Logan Hill*
    132: Drew Kreitzer- Graham Rooks(2)*, Issac Lefler, Sam Glassco
    132: Eli Dickens- Drew Kreitzer*, Graham Rooks*, LJ Burdon*
    132: Geremia Brooks- Gabe Weeks, Manzona Bryant(3)*
    132: Hunter Cottingham- Jarred Rowlett*, Justin Sparks, Matt Gimson*
    132: Jarred Rowlett- Alex Mosconi(2)*, Carter Noehre(2)*, Chris Wilkerson*, Dalton Craig, Jaden Reynolds(2)
    132: LJ Burdon- Drew Kreitzer(2)*, Evan lawhead, Graham Rooks*, Jaden Reynolds(2), Nate West
    132: Logan Hill- Gabe Weeks(3), Geremia Brooks*, Manzona Bryant(2)*, Matt Gimson(2)*, Raul Martinez(2), Ricky Haught*, Stone Moscovic
    132: Matt Gimson- Alex Barr*, Alex Mosconi*
    132: Ricky Haught- Alex Barr*, Braxton Alexander, Elijah Bauer(2), Gavyn Warren, Hunter Cottingham(2)*, Stone Moscovic
    138: Adam Davis- Kris Rumph*, Preston Risner*
    138: Alexander Strueder- ???, Bailey Moore*, Blake Mulkey*, Brian Keeney, Dallas Pugsley, Hunter Cottingham*, Jacob Burford, Mason Miranda, Noah Robinson, Zach Melloh*
    138: Austin Moore- Bryton Goering*, Conner Gimson*, Joe Leazier
    138: Bailey Moore- Brailen Harrington*, Jack Servies, Jesus Mancera
    138: Blake Mulkey- Dawson Combest*, Kevon Davenport
    138: Brailen Harrington- Gary Kitko, Jordan Slivka*, Mason Miranda, Zach Melloh(3)*
    138: Bryton Goering- Austin Moore*, Conner Gimson(3)*, Jesus Mancera, Preton Risner
    138: Conner Gimson- Bryton Goering*, Jesus Mancera, Zach Melloh*
    138: Dawson Combest- Blake Mulkey*, Zach Melloh*
    138: Dylan Goudy-  Austin Moore*, Brailen Harrington*, Brice Coleman, Conner Gimson*, Donald Campbell, Drew Linder, Gary Kitko(2), Torion'ja Forrest, Tytus Morrisett
    138: Ian Dembowski- Bailey Moore*, Adam Davis*, Gary Kitko, Kris Rumph(2)*, Preston Risner*
    138: Kris Rumph- Blake Mulkey*, Hunter Yackee, Lamonte Chapman, Zach Melloh*
    138: Matt Lee- Blake Mulkey*, Dawson Combest*, Kris Rumph*, Saul ervin
    138: Noah Hunt- Dawson Combest*, Jesus Mancera, Matt Lee(2)*, Preston Risner*
    138: Preston Risner- Blaze Lowery(2), Bryton Goering*, Conner Gimson(3)*, Dawson Combest*, Kris Rumph*, Matt Kincaid
    138: Zach Melloh- Alex Isbrandt, Colt Rutter
    145: Antwaun Graves- Jordan Slivka*
    145: Brock Ellis- Jacob LaPlace(3)*, Jon Ruble*, Jorden Douglass*, Kasper McIntosh(2)*, Peyton Pruett(2), Tristan Ruhlman
    145: Dakota Ball- Antwaun Graves*
    145: Eliseus Young- Christian Hunt(2)*, Hayden Lohrey*, Jon ruble(2)*, Zach Mounsey
    145: Giran Kunkel- Christian Hunt*, Isaiah Levitz, Levi Miller, Logan Macklin
    145: Hayden Lohrey- Dakota Ball*, Jordan Slivka*
    145: Jacob LaPlace- Jake Schoenegge*, Jordan Slivka*, Kasper McIntosh(2)*
    145: Jake Schoenegge- Christopher Donathan, Joel Arney*, Jordan Slivka*, Tristan Sellmer(2)*
    145: Jon Ruble- Antwaun Graves*, Christian Hunt*, Cody Snook, Elliot Rodgers*, Giran Kunkel*, Jacob LaPlace*, Jordan Slivka*
    145: Jordan Slivka- Antwaun Graves*, Christian Hunt*, Christopher Donathan
    145: Jorden Douglass- Jarin Glass, Kasper McIntosh*
    145: Kasper McIntosh- Victor Voinovich
    145: Nathan Conley- Brayton Lee(3)*, Donnell Washington*, Nick South*, Sandro Ramirez, Tristan Sellmer*, William Schmidt
    145: Scott Fitts- ???, Garret Bass, Jack Servies, Jake Schoenegge(2)*, Kasper McIntosh*, Nathan Conley*
    152: Aiden Warren- Christian Hunt*, Brayton Lee(2)*, Dheontae Unseld, Donnell Washington*, Jake Schoenegge*, Jordan Slivka*, Kody Wagner*, Robert Deters*
    152: Corban Pollitt- Brayton Lee*, Derek Blubaugh*, Jacob Schrader, Joseph Walker*, Josh Foster, Macartney Parkinson, Robert Deters*, Xander Stroud*
    152: Derek Blubaugh- Brayton Lee*, Robert Deters*
    152: Donnell Washington- Connor Brady, Jordan Slivka*, Noah Lamore*, Oszkar Kasch*
    152: Elliot Rodgers- Dheontae Unseld, Jack Servies, Kody Wagner*, Nathan Conley*, Xander Stroud*
    152: Eric Hiestand- Clayton Fielden, Elliot Rodgers*, Konner Bender
    152: Graham Calhoun- Donnell Washington*
    152: Jackson Pettigrew- ???(5), Boston Dubuocq, Carlos Lopez, Garrett Hetzner, JD McNett, Joel Arney(3)*, Kade wagley, Noah Perez, Xander Stroud*
    152: Joel Arney- Derek Blubaugh*, Dheontae Unseld, Eric Hiestand*, Xander Stroud*
    152: Joseph Walker- Derek Blubaugh(2)*, Donnell Washington(2)*, Elliot Rodgers*, Graham Calhoun(3)*, Logan Macklin, Noah Lamore(2)*, Xander Stroud*
    152: Kody Wagner- Derek Blubaugh*, Elliot Rodgers*, Gleason Mappes*, Nathan Conley*
    152: Noah Lamore- Aaron Griggs, Donnell Washington*
    152: Robert Deters- Brayton Lee*, Christian Hunt(2)*, Corban Pollitt*
    152: Stevie Browning- ???, Aiden Warren*, Andrew Roberts, Elliot Rodgers*, Noah Lamore*
    152: Xander Stroud- Eric Hiestand*, Isiah Levitz, Joseph Walker*, Mason Winner*
    160: Anthony Mosconi- Brooks Davis*, Elijah Mahan*, James Despain, Kama Adewumi, Sam Hauke, Traveon Booker, Tucker Coffman*, Zack Fattore*
    160: Ben Kensinger- Colin Wilson, Dante Colza, David Sheley, Diego Lemley(2)*, Donya Harris, Johnny Parker, Kevin Hooley, Oszkar Kasch*, Zach Nugent
    160: Brooks Davis- Anthony Mosconi*, Jack Eiteljorge*, Kamal Adewumi, Lucas Carrillo, Nick South*
    160: Chandler Woenker- Brandon Kocks, Hunter Reed*, Mason Winner*
    160: Diego Lemley- Donnell Washington*, Gleason Mappes(2)*, Oszkar Kasch*
    160: Ethan Hicks- Bryton Goering*, Chandler Woenker(2)*, Dante Colza, Hunter Reed(2)*, Mason Winner*, Nick South(2)*, Xander Stroud*
    160: Gleason Mappes- Nick South*
    160: Hunter Reed- Mason Winner*
    160: Jack Eiteljorge- Gleason Mappes(2)*
    160: Malik Hoover- Ben Kensinger*, Brock Ellis*, Dante Colza(2), Diego Lemley*, Ethan Hicks*, Gleason Mappes*, Isaiah Watts, Joseph Houston, Kasper McIntosh*, Oszkar Kasch(2)*
    160: Mason Winner- Drake Baker, Jack Eiteljorge*
    160: Nick South- Gleason Mappes*
    160: Oszkar Kasch- Diego Lemley*, Donnell Washington*, Jack Eiteljorge*
    160: Tucker Coffman- Brad Lowe(2)*, Jack Eiteljorge*, Jalen Morgan*, Mason Winner*, Oszkar Kasch*
    160: Tucker Schank- Nick South(2)*
    160: Wade Presson- Ben Kensinger*, Brooks Davis*, Cameron Smith, Clay Singleton, David Sheley, Diego Lemely, Diego Lemley*, Gleason Mappes(2)*, Jacob Schrader, Josh Craig, Nolan Weidner, Tucker Schank(2)*
    170: Andy Davidson- Brad Lowe*, Brady Wyro*, Brigham Kleinhenz(2)*, Devon Stikes, Eric Vermillion, Evan Bates(2), Kameron Fuller(3)*, Noah Warren*, Samuel Osho, Zane Beineke(3)
    170: Brad Lowe- Eric Vermillion, Noah Warren(3)*
    170: Brady Wyro- Delton Moore*, Jake Lone*, Jordan Rader*
    170: Brigham Kleinhenz- Aaron Mosley*, Andy Davidson*, Caleb Owens, Carson Brewer*, Daniel Below*, Kameron Fuller*, Zane Beineke
    170: Carson Brewer- Ashton Eyler(2)
    170: Cody Crary- Jordan Rader, Zack Fattore(2)*
    170: Cody Klettheimer- KJ Roudebush, Noah Warren*
    170: Delton Moore- ???(2), Jake Lone*, Jordan Rader(3)*
    170: Drake Guerrero- Anthony Mosconi*, Cody Crary(2)*, Domenic DiPietro, Evan Bates, Mario Traficanti(2)*, Noah Perez, Paul Gliva, Sean-Michael James, Zack Fattore*
    170: Elijah Mahan- Brad Lowe*, Cody Klettheimer*, Nathan Walton*, Noah Warren(2)*, Silas Allred*
    170: Jake Lone- Delton Moore(2)*, Jordan Rader*, Zack Fattore(1)*
    170: Jordan Rader- Zack Fattore*
    170: Kameron Fuller- Carson Brewer*, Daniel Below*, Noah Warren*
    170: Mario Traficanti- Anthony Mosconi*, Brad Lowe*, Diego Lemley*, Drake Guerrero*, Evan Bates, Noah Perez, Trey Buehler(2), Zack Fattore(2)*
    170: Noah Warren- Nathan Walton(1)*
    182: Aaron Mosley- Nathan Walton*
    182: Brenden Moore- ???(6), Aaron Mosley*, Chase Taylor, Cole Calvert, Deacon Parker, Kiave Guerrier(2)*, Kyle Hagedorn, Luke McGennis, Tyler Tasa, Will Nunn
    182: Cade Girgenti- Alex Cramer
    182: Conner Graber- Noah Cressell*
    182: Daniel Below- Elijah Mahan*, Jalen Morgan(2)*, Nathan Walton*, Sam Gobeyn*, Will Nunn
    182: Jalen Morgan- ???(2), Jonyvan Johnson(2)*, KJ Roudebush, Silas Allred*
    182: Jamari Washington- ???(5), Jeremy Torres*, Tyjonn Lockett
    182: Jeremy Torres- Cade Girgenti*, Carson Brewer*, Daniel Below*, David McCullough, Ethan Potosky(2), Jacob Meek, Nathan Walton*, Tyjonn Lockett(2)
    182: Jonyvan Johnson- Conner Graber*, Noah Cressell*
    182: Kiave Guerrier- Nathan Walton*
    182: Kyler Funk- ???(3), Bryce Baker, Conner Graber*, Jaylen Moran, Jonyvan Johnson*, Noah Cressel, Sam Smith
    182: Max Chaffee- Cade Girgenti*, Jamari Washington*, Sam Gobeyn*
    182: Noah Cressell- Conner Graber*
    182: Sam Gobeyn- Cade Girgenti*, Elijah Mahan*, Kevin Mochen, Nathan Walton*, Silas Allred*
    195: Arthur Fowler- Bryson Ford*, Ewan Donovan, Jacob Bondon, Rockne Hurley*, Thomas Penola*
    195: Bryson Ford- Lucas Davison*, Sam Hansen*
    195: Dan Wickersham- ???(2), Alex Lucius, Brandon Powell, Damien Rodriguez(2), Draven Rasler(2)*, Isaac Walters, Jaxson Savieo*, Justin Samons, Victor Lee*
    195: Draven Rasler- Jaxson Savieo*, Levi Leffers*
    195: Grant Goforth- ???, Conner Graber*, Jaden Sonner*, Jonyvan Johnson*
    195: Jaden Sonner- Grant Goforth*
    195: Jaxson Savieo- Tremor Bynum*
    195: Luke Smith- Aaron Moseley(2), Chris Spiller, Grant Goforth*, Jaden Sonner(2)*, Will Rolley
    195: Michael Bohman- Grant Goforth*, Luke Utterback, Sam Hansen*, Thomas Penola*, Tremor Bynum*
    195: Rockne Hurley- Brendin Yatooma, Charlie Agnew, Lucas Davison*, Shane Stits*, Thomas Penola(1)*
    195: Sam Hansen- Thomas Penola(2)*
    195: Shane Stits- Andrwe Glaze, Arthur Fowler(2)*, Cameron Bacon, Dakari Kenny, Deon Pettiford, Grant Goforth*, Griffin Stine, Jaden Sonner*, Luke Smith*, Sam Hansen*, Thomas Penola*
    195: Thomas Penola- Lucas Davison(2)*
    195: Tremor Bynum- Charlie Agnew, David Garcia(2), Noah Lawson, Sam Hansen*
    195: Victor Lee- Aaron Sedwick, Blaine Pierce, Draven Rasler*, Noah Cressell*, Stewart Mossholder(2)
    220: Brandon Streck- Lucas Davison*
    220: Chandler Schumm- Isaiah Baumgartner*, Levi Leffers(2)*, Ty Stevenson
    220: Gaven Hare- Cameron Smith, Hunster Lester, Isaiah Baumgartner(2)*, Jacob McClaine*, Keegan Miller, Thomas Coleman
    220: Isaiah Baumgartner- Chandler Schumm(3)*, David Delph, Gaven Hare*, Levi Leffers*, Silas Allred*
    220: Jacob Bolte- Adam Berta, Caleb Thomas, Daniel Kimbell(2), Frank Hammond, Hubmerto Pulido, Hunter Gulden, Michael Boots*
    220: Jacob McClaine- Mason Parris*, Thomas Penola*
    220: Jacob Sisk- Jacob Bolte*, Macray Robinson(2), Ryan Hammond*, Will Stewart
    220: Joey Kidwell- Brandon Streck*, Braydon Erb, Dalton Clouse, Tristen Hoffman
    220: Kyle Cornwell- Jaxson Savieo*, Mason Parris*
    220: Kyle Simpkins- Caleb Thomas, Chester Swopes(2), Dennis Weston, Jacob Jeeninga, Jarron Gerwig, Joe Kuhl, Joey Kidwell*, Lucas Davison*, Michael Foster, Nate LaFree*, Tory Deetz, Will Crider
    220: Landan Burton- Jacob McClaine*, Kyle Cornwell*, Michael Boots*
    220: Levi Leffers- Cameron Smith, Gaven Hare*
    220: Michael Boots- Alex Lichliter, Ryan Hammond*
    220: Nate Lafree- Brandon Streck(2)*, Caleb Thomas, Draven Rasler*
    285: Dakota Ault- Holden Parsons*, Nick Conner*
    285: Donnie Crider- Eli Pokorney*, Nick Dlay, River Henry
    285: Elisha Tipping- Alex Cartwright(2), Chase Leeper, Donnie Crider*, Isaiah McWilliams(2)*
    285: Gabe Watkins- ???, Chase Leeper, Donnie Crider*, Elisha Tipping*, Holden Parsons*, Lane Eubank, Nate Dunn, Thomas Schwieterman
    285: Garrett Curtis- Jack Williams, Jalen Comer*, Manny Cheam(2), Riley McCubbins(2)*
    285: Harley Hillenburg- Aidian Rea, Alex Faulkner, Braiden Shaw, Garrett Curtis*, Wyatt Kramer
    285: Holden Parsons- Darrione Gregory, Jacob Obst*, Marcus Stone(2)*, Riley McCubbins*
    285: Isaiah McWilliams- Eli Pokorney*
    285: Jacob Obst- Alex Faulkner, Braiden Shaw, Tyler Majors*
    285: Jalen Comer- ???(2), Brian Fuller, Harley Hillenburg*, Holden Parsons*, Riley McCubbins(2)*
    285: Jamichael Watts- ???, Jacob Obst(3)*, Marcus Stone*, Tyler Majors*
    285: Marcus Stone- Manny Cheam, Bryce Adams, Jamichael Watts*, Logan Shaffer
    285: Nick Conner- Alex Faulkner, Eli Pokorney*, Gabe Watkins*, Isaiah McWilliams, Michael Conery, Vince Yoder, Yehzquel DeVault
    285: Riley McCubbins- Garrett Curtis*, Jalen Comer(3)*
    285: Tyler Majors- Alex Roberts, Brian Fuller, Darrion Gregory, Darrione Gregory, Harley Hillenburg*, Holden Parsons*, Jack Williams, Jacob Obst(2)*, Jamichael Watts*, Manny Cheam, Marcus Stone(2)*, Wyatt Kramer
  • Overall
    Rankings are always a heated debate amongst wrestling fans. Over the years we have always locked our rankings before sectional and let them ride throughout the state series. Every year we lose kids due to unforseen circumstances and even the death draws at semi-state. However, they always prove to be quite accurate. This year we had the most ranked wrestlers in 179 or just under 80% in our final rankings. Here is a breakdown by weight and highlight matches to watch on Friday night.
    2018- 179
    2017- 169
    2016- 175
    2015- 172
    2014- 171
    2013- 171
    2012- 170
    2011- 157
    2010- 159
    2009- 143
    106lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Trey Sturgill - Peru
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Jacob Moran- Portage vs. #7 Wyatt Miller- South Adams
    #10 Gavinn Alstott- Floyd Central vs. #5 Alex Cottey- Perry Meridian
    #13 Zachary Todd- Yorktown vs. #11 Colin Reagan- Frontier
    #17 David Pierson- Warren Central vs. #6 Cole Ross- Evansville Mater Dei
    #3 Logan Bailey- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #16 Noah Gardner- Edgewood
    #4 Kysen Montgomery- Brownsburg vs. #18 Harrison Hadley- Lapel
    #9 Fernando Flores- Goshen vs. #20 Jace Alexander- Wawasee
    113lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Joe Just - Carroll (Fort Wayne)
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Brayden Curtis- Yorktown vs. #13 Caleb Oliver- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #11 Tyler Conley- Avon vs. #2 Jose Diaz- Wheeler
    #15 Kade Zadylak- Norwell vs. #10 Carson Eldred- Westfield
    #16 Danny Tolin- Chesterton vs. #5 Blake Boarman- Evansville Mater Dei
    #4 Andrew Black- New Castle vs. #8 Brayden Shearer- Garrett
    #6 Andres Moreno- Lowell vs. #12 Alex Petro- Center Grove
    #9 Devon Casebolt- Castle vs. #14 Ricky Hegedus- Portage
    120lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Alex Bautista - Hanover Central
    Logan Mosser - Adams Central
    Logan Wagner - Zionsville
    Tyler Fuqua - Franklin Community
    Vince Sparrow - Penn
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #12 Logan Boe- Danville vs. #13 Zane Standridge- Carroll (Fort Wayne)
    #6 Brock Peele- Portage vs. #3 Brendan Mattingly- Carmel
    #9 Raymond Rioux- Avon vs. #19 Ian Heath- Leo
    126lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Andrew Wilson - Indianapolis Cathedral
    Kyle Lawson - Bellmont
    Payne Blackburn - Delta
    Skyler Gomez - LaPorte
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Cayden Rooks- Columbus East vs. #19 Kaellin Kelly- Crown Point
    #3 Alec Viduya- Roncalli vs. #14 Tanner Schoeff- Central Noble
    #4 Colin Poynter- Portage vs. #12 Brycen Denny- Monrovia
    #6 Ty Mills- Brownsburg vs. #11 Tanner DeMien- Penn
    132lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Chris Wilkerson - Mount Vernon (Fortville)
    LJ Burdon - Plainfield
    Logan Hill - Penn
    Ricky Haught - Huntington North
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Graham Rooks- Columbus East vs. #10 Cody Betourne- Harrison (wl)
    #12 Hunter Cottingham- Western vs. #7 Carter Noehre- Greenfield-Central
    #18 Alex Barr- Yorktown vs. #11 Jarred Rowlett- Warren Central
    #2 Manzona Bryant- Culver Academies vs. #5 Eli Dickens- Evansville Mater Dei
    138lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Dylan Goudy - Western
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Blake Mulkey- Brownsburg vs. #11 Alexander Strueder- Fishers
    #4 Zach Melloh- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #18 Noah Hunt- Bloomington South
    #6 Matt Lee- Evansville Mater Dei vs. #15 Brailen Harrington- North Central (Indianapolis)
    #7 Bailey Moore- Beech Grove vs. #3 Dawson Combest- Columbus East
    #8 Conner Gimson- Jimtown vs. #9 Ian Dembowski- Valparaiso
    #10 Austin Moore- Central Noble vs. #13 Adam Davis- Culver Academies
    #19 Preston Risner- Penn vs. #20 Bryton Goering- Elkhart Memorial
    145lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jorden Douglass - Attica
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Kasper McIntosh- Portage vs. #18 Scott Fitts- Evansville Mater Dei
    #10 Dakota Ball- Southmont vs. #15 Giran Kunkel- Central Noble
    #17 Jon Ruble- Bellmont vs. #3 Jordan Slivka- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #2 Christian Hunt- Yorktown vs. #8 Hayden Lohrey- Shenandoah
    #4 Tristan Sellmer- Floyd Central vs. #20 Brock Ellis- Chesterton
    #5 Antwaun Graves- Warren Central vs. #19 Eliseus Young- Muncie Central
    #7 Jacob LaPlace- Mishawaka vs. #11 Nathan Conley- Avon
    152lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Corban Pollitt - Columbus East
    Jackson Pettigrew - Columbia City
    Stevie Browning - Franklin County
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #12 Joel Arney- Carroll (Fort Wayne) vs. #4 Derek Blubaugh- Bloomington South
    #16 Robert Deters- Castle vs. #6 Xander Stroud- Elkhart Central
    #19 Aiden Warren- Perry Meridian vs. #3 Donnell Washington Jr.- Portage
    #2 Graham Calhoun- Plymouth vs. #5 Kody Wagner- Zionsville
    #7 Elliot Rodgers- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #10 Joseph Walker- Mishawaka
    160lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Anthony Mosconi - Indianapolis Cathedral
    Ben Kensinger - Mishawaka
    Wade Presson - Bloomington South
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #15 Tucker Schank- Southridge vs. #16 Chandler Woenker- F.w. Bishop Luers
    #2 Jack Eiteljorge- Carmel vs. #20 Malik Hoover- Merrillville
    #3 Diego Lemley- Chesterton vs. #12 Brooks Davis- Perry Meridian
    #5 Nick South- Columbus East vs. #14 Ethan Hicks- Carroll (Fort Wayne)
    #6 Hunter Reed- Columbia City vs. #1 Gleason Mappes- Center Grove
    170lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Andy Davidson - Columbus East
    Drake Guerrero - Portage
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Noah Warren- Perry Meridian vs. #14 Brigham Kleinhenz- Columbus North
    #15 Delton Moore- Manchester vs. #18 Cody Crary- Munster
    #2 Zack Fattore- Hobart vs. #12 Brady Wyro- Homestead
    #3 Carson Brewer- Avon vs. #11 Elijah Mahan- Roncalli
    #4 Jordan Rader- Peru vs. #19 Mario Traficanti- Crown Point
    #6 Cody Klettheimer- Frankton vs. #5 Kameron Fuller- Jeffersonville
    182lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Brenden Moore - South Spencer
    Jamari Washington - Hammond Gavit
    Kyler Funk - Mississinewa
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Nathan Walton- Brownsburg vs. #16 Daniel Below- Perry Meridian
    #10 Sam Gobeyn- Zionsville vs. #5 Kiave Guerrier- Evansville Central
    #4 Conner Graber- Northridge vs. #11 Max Chaffee- Penn
    #6 Aaron Mosley- New Albany vs. #18 Jalen Morgan- Elwood
    #7 Jonyvan Johnson- New Haven vs. #17 Jeremy Torres- Portage
    195lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Dan Wickersham - Northridge
    Michael Bohman - Franklin County
    Shane Stits - Center Grove
    Victor Lee - Marion
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #15 Rockne Hurley- Penn vs. #6 Sam Hansen- Roncalli
    #19 Luke Smith- Jeffersonville vs. #4 Draven Rasler- West Noble
    #3 Thomas Penola- Zionsville vs. #11 Arthur Fowler- Calumet
    #9 Tremor Bynum- Pendleton Heights vs. #10 Bryson Ford- Benton Central
    220lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 9
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Chandler Schumm - Adams Central
    Isaiah Baumgartner - South Adams
    Jacob Bolte - Columbus East
    Jacob Sisk - Pike Central
    Joey Kidwell - West Lafayette
    Kyle Simpkins - LaPorte
    Nate LaFree - Plymouth
    Gabe Watkins - Marion
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #3 Jacob McClaine- Lebanon vs. #5 Michael Boots- Evansville Mater Dei
    #6 Ryan Hammond- Whiteland vs. #7 Landan Burton- New Palestine
    First round match-ups of unranked wrestlers:
    Chandler Schumm- Adams Central vs. Nate LaFree- Plymouth
    285lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 10
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Harley Hillenburg - Bloomington South
    Jamichael Watts - North Central (Indianapolis)
    Marcus Stone - Elwood
    Nick Conner - Elkhart Central
    Tyler Majors - Lawrence North
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #18 Holden Parsons- Yorktown vs. #16 Elisha Tipping- Wawasee
    #2 Eli Pokorney- Chesterton vs. #3 Dakota Ault- F.w. North Side
    #8 Jacob Obst- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #6 Riley McCubbins- Monrovia
    First round match-ups of unranked wrestlers:
    Marcus Stone- Elwood vs. Harley Hillenburg- Bloomington South
  • By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com
    “We have two from the Patriots of Jay County!” 
    Gaven Hare and Mason Winner are back for their second appearance in the IHSAA State Finals “Parade of Champions.”
    Once the pre-meet pageantry is over at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis Friday night, it’s time to get down to business for 220-pound senior Hare and 160-pounder Winner.
    There’s no more “just happy to be here.”
    Hare was a state qualifier at 220 as a junior. Winner placed seventh at 145 as a freshman.
    This year, Hare’s postseason path has included runner-up finishes at the sectional and regional tournaments — both held at Jay County — and a championship at the Fort Wayne Semistate.
    “This year, I know not to go in there content,” says Hare, who is 38-7 for 2017-18 and 120-44 for his prep career. “I have to stay hungry. “I’ve already lost two title matches (at sectional and regional). I know how bad it feels to lose. I’m not trying to have that feeling anymore.”
    It was Hare’s first semistate title and Winner’s second straight (the sophomore also won sectional and regional in 2018).
    Other Jay County semistate champions include Glenn Glogas (1982), Greg Garringer (1982), Eric Lemaster (1987), Geoff Glogas (1987), Larry Brown (1988), Casey Kenney (2008 and 2009), Drake Meska (2011) and Eric Hemmelgarn (2013 and 2014).
    When Hare earned his semistate title, he impressed a number of people in the Memorial Coliseum crowd.
    “I was getting feedback on both sides of the coin,” says fourth-year Patriots head coach Eric Myers. “I had at least 10 people come up to me afterward and say that he was one of their favorite wrestlers to watch.”
    It’s obvious to his coach by the smile on his face that Hare is enjoying the challenges of wrestling.
    “He likes to compete and have a good time,” says Myers. “Gaven is great for the sport. He makes it exciting out there.” Myers, a former Adams Central wrestler and South Adams head coach, is a seventh grade teacher and he first encountered Hare as a junior high student. It was in that seventh grade year that Andy Schmidt recruited the young man to the mats.
    “He was really raw at first,” says Myers. “But he had this athleticism and this innate sense to compete and to win.”
    As a freshman, Hare set his sights high and he won a challenge match to take a sport in the varsity lineup.
    “He’s always set goals,” says Myers. “ I’m going to be here by such and such time and usually he’s achieved those goals.”
    Myers has watched Hare experience some ups and downs in his senior season. He took two losses and narrowly avoided a third at the Carroll Super Dual and suffered setbacks against South Adams senior Isaiah Baumgartner in the sectional final and Adams Central senior Chandler Schumm in the regional championship match.
    Those only served to re-focus him.
    “He’s been pushing himself just a little harder than he did before,” says Myers. “He was banged up going into state tournament series so he backed off and that showed in his results.”
    At semistate, Hare edged Baumgartner 5-4 in the semifinals and pinned Central Noble junior Levi Leffers in 1:58 in the finals.
    A three-sport athlete, Hare is also a two-way lineman in football and right-handed pitcher in baseball. He has worked as an umpire and would like to explore coaching, something he has discussed with his Jay County head coaches — Myers in wrestling, Tim Millspaugh in football and Lea Selvey in baseball.
    When he’s not playing school sports, he is likely competing with friends or family in basketball, wiffleball, bowling or something else.
    “I’m a sports fanatic,” says Hare.
    Between all his other sports, Hare has found time to make it to off-season open rooms and works out in practice with assistant coaches like Bryce Baumgartner, who placed seventh at 182 as a Bellmont senior in 2017.
    “These older guys give me a good pounding,” says Hare. “They show me more technique and the moves that will get me through the tough matches.”
    Myers has two paid assistants in Jeff Heller and Bruce Wood and three volunteers in Baugmgartner, Jon Winner and Chad Chowning. Bellmont graduate Heller was a Myers assistant at South Adams and is also his brother-in-law. Wood and Chowning are Jay Country graduates. Jon Winner is a former Monroe Central wrestler and the father of Mason.
    The son of Molly Robbins and Zack Hare and middle sibling between Destiny Hare and Corbin Hare, Portland resident Gaven says he would like to pursue one or more sports in college.
    As self-described academic slacker his first few years of high school, Hare pulled a 4.0 and 3.8 in the first two grading periods this school year.
    “I’m trying to catch up,” says Hare, who has drawn some interest from college wrestling programs and will wait to see what unfolds this spring on the baseball diamond.
    Winner, who is 44-2 on the season and 83-6 for his career, has been around wrestling almost non-stop since he was a second grader. He has traveled extensively with the Indiana Outlaws and trained with the best at CIA and Pride centers and attended Jeff Jordan’s camps.
    “He’s a year-round grinder,” says Myers of Winner. “He immerses himself in the sport and so does his family.”
    Winner, who topped Fort Wayne Bishop Luers senior Chandler Woenker 3-0 in the semistate finals, is always looking to make himself better.
    That’s why he started running cross country in sixth grade.
    “It’s whether you want to push yourself or not,” says Winner. “They say that wrestling is 90 percent mental. It’s whether you want do to it or not. You have to push yourself — in running or wrestling.”
    Winner has a way of pushing himself and his opponent.
    “He’s an in-your-face wrestler that will keep coming at you,” says Myers. “He’s got a quality that is hard to implant in kids. He’ll keep going until he gets what he wants. He’s hard-nosed and mentally tough.
    “He has the confidence to keep going after it.” Mason also draws inspiration from his family. Jon and Kimberly Winner have three children — Mason, Mitchell and Mallory. Mitchell is a
    freshman and also runs cross country. Fifth grader Mallory competes with the Jay County Wrestling Club and also plays softball.
    The Winners are Ridgeville area farmers and have about 50 head of Charolais cattle between their property and that of Bill and Sandra Winner — Jon’s parents.
    Both of Mason’s paternal grandparents were too ill to attend semistate.
    “I’m wrestling with so much more emotion,” says Mason. “My grandpa has Alzheimer’s (disease). He’s my hero.
    “It would mean so much to me to win a state title for him.”
    Two Patriots — Geoff Glogas (98) and David Ferguson (105) — reached the top of the State Finals podium in 1987.
    Jay County’s state placers:
    • Glenn Glogas (second at 112 in 1981; second at 119 in 1982).
    • Greg Garringer (fifth at 155 in 1982).
    • Kurt VanSkyock (third at 145 in 1984; third at 155 in 1985)
    • Larry Wilson (fourth at 167 in 1985).
    • Geoff Glogas (state champion at 98 in 1987; fifth at 103 in 1988).
    • David Ferguson (state champion at 105 in 1987).
    • Shawn Jordan (sixth at 152 in 1997).
    • James Myers (seventh at 125 in 1997).
    • James Brewster (seventh at 215 in 1999).
    • Casey Kenney (second at 103 in 2008).
    • Eric Hemmelgarn (third at 285 in 2012; fifth at 285 in 2013; fourth
    at 285 in 2014).
    • Kyle Garringer (sixth at 195 in 2013).
    • Andy Kohler (sixth at 182 in 2016).
  • State Finals Hashtag: #INStateFinals18
    Brackets
    TrackWrestling.com
    IndianaMat with rankings
    Pick'em Contest
    State Finals Pick'em Top 8
    Mat Burns Pick the Champions
    Featured Articles
    State Finals by the Numbers
    State #WAYL2
    IHSAA State Preview with fast facts
    IHSAA State Finals Records Book
    Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis | Website
    Security: All people as well as their bags, purses, and coolers (athletes only) entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be subject to a security inspection. A full list of prohibited items can be found in the Fieldhouse Fan Guide at the following link: http://www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com/arena-information/fan-guide/ 
    Additionally, misconduct, mistreatment of Fieldhouse staff, or other prohibited behavior will be addressed promptly and violators are subject to ejection from the premises or arrest. The code of conduct is found in the Fan Guide again at the following link:http://www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com/arena-information/fan-guide/ 
    Admission: $8 per session or $20 both days. Children 24 months old and younger admitted free of charge. 
    Tickets may be purchased at Bankers Life Fieldhouse or you may order a single session mobile ticket via Tik-A-Tap below:
    Session 1 (Friday First Round)
    Session 2 (Saturday Quarterfinals, Semifinals)
    Session 3 (Saturday Championships, Consolations)
    Television: Saturday's state championship bouts in each weight class will air live on Fox Sports Indiana. Hosted by Mark Jaynes (play-by-play), Mike Goebel (analyst), Blake Maurer (analyst) and Greg Rakestraw (mat interviews).
    Link to TV providers covering the championship matches.
    Webstream: Friday's first round and Saturday's quarterfinals, semifinals and consolation matches may be viewed via live stream for a subscription fee at TrackWrestling.com. For Saturday night's championship round, viewers outside of the Fox Sports Indiana coverage area, a live stream will be available at IHSAAtv.org. For those within the FSI coverage area, the stream will be available only on delayed basis following the conclusion of the telecast.
    State Finals Pairings Show
    The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org beginning at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT on Sunday, February 11, 2018. Greg Rakestraw and Hall of Fame coach Mike Goebel will serve as hosts.
    Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
    Parade of champions | 5:45 pm ET
    First Round | 6 pm ET (Gates open at 4:30 pm ET)
    Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018
    Quarterfinals | 9:30 am ET with semifinals to follow (Gates open at 8 am ET)
    Consolations | 5 pm ET (Gates open at 4 pm ET)
    Finals | 7:30 pm ET
  • By JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    There’s cool, and then there’s Jack Eiteljorge cool.
    The Carmel senior wrestler may even be too cool.
    “Jack’s the guy I want to do my heart surgery because he’s as cool as a cucumber,” Greyhound coach Ed Pendoski said. “He doesn’t get rattled by anything. But, that’s one of the things we are trying to work on this year. I want him having emotion. We’ve talked to him about how sometimes you have to have emotion, whether it be positive or negative.”
    Just how cool is Eiteljorge?
    “He’s so cool that you could sit him down and tell him that someone just walked into his house and killed his dog, Bacon. His reply would be, ‘Oh, OK.’,” Pendoski said. “You could tell him that Taylor Swift is in the hot tub and wants to make out with him, and he’d say ‘Oh, OK’.”
    Eiteljorge is currently ranked No. 2 in the state at 160 pounds. He is a three times sectional and regional champion, but he has never punched his ticket to state. Pendoski thinks opening up and getting a little emotional may be the edge that Eiteljorge needs to finally get to state - and possibly win.
    “Going into this year, after the Super 32, we had just had two pretty bad losses,” Pendoski said. “We really started dialing in on our mental part. He’s done a good job reacting to that. The phrase we use a lot is that mental toughness is the ability to manage the thoughts in your head. We went back to that simple platform. We talked to him about getting excited. We said let’s get angry. Let’s be happy. Show something.”
    The plan has worked. Eiteljorge is 33-2. He has pinned or tech falled all of his opponents in the state tournament except for one, and that match he won 18-8.
    “I’ve been trying to show emotion,” Eiteljorge said. “Coach wants me to, and he has a lot of muscle so I listen to him. He feels that sometimes I’m like a robot on the mat. He wants me to just start having fun.
    I’ve really been working on that part. It’s a big change from past years. Making myself be less methodical is the key. I have to go out there and make the matches fun.”
    Eiteljorge isn’t one of the kids that found immediate success in the sport of wrestling. When he was young and just started going to CIA, Pendoski’s wrestling academy, he was the guy getting beat up on.
    “Jack was in a group with some very, very good wrestlers,” Pendoski said. “He was the beginner. The partners he was with had been around for years and were winning championships. I think Jack went two or three months before he even scored a point. But, he was the guy that would stick around after practice and do pull-ups or pushups.”
    Eventually he won his first club level state tournament. Pendoski says that was a turning point for him.
    “That’s the day I knew this little ankle-biter would be OK one day,” Pendoski said. “It was nice to see a guy that started from the beginning, worked his tail off and then started to see the results.”
    Eiteljorge lost in the first round of semistate his freshman year. As a sophomore and a junior he lost in the ticket round.
    “This year my goal is to win state,” Eiteljorge said. “My goal is not just to get to state. But, I still know there will be a pressure on me to get past the ticket round. If I win that match, I’ll certainly feel a weight has been lifted.”
    Eiteljorge isn’t one to talk about personal successes, he’s too cool to brag. But, he’s more than willing to gush about his teammates.
    “I have really good teammates,” he said. “They are awesome. I love hanging out with them. Carmel’s team chemistry is what helps us be a top program. We are always improving. We have a casual, playful environment. We have fun. But when it’s time to get serious we focus and get the job done.”
    Next season Eiteljorge will wrestle for the University of Indianapolis.
    “The University of Indianapolis is going to be real happy with the product they are getting with Jack,” Pendoski said.
  • By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com
    A quiet leader continues to make noise for the Goshen High School wrestling program.
    By scoring three first-period pins and earning a second straight Goshen Regional title GHS 106-pounder senior Fernando Flores heads to the Fort Wayne Semistate with a 2017-18 season record of 39-3.
    At 145-26, “Nando” is No. 2 on Goshen’s all-time victory list.
    Program No. 1 Andrew Yoder, who went 40-4 and placed fourth at the state meet as a senior in 1998, finished his prep mat career at 156-36.
    “I like going out there and competing and having a good show for the fans,” says two-time Elkhart Sectional champion Flores when asked about his favorite part about wrestling. “I try to score as fast as I can.”
    Fernando is one of Goshen’s captains. But his leadership style is not a vocal one.
    “He’s a quiet kid,” says RedHawks head coach Jim Pickard. “But he leads by example. It’s his work ethic and what he produces. 
    “He does speak up when he needs to, but he’s really that example: ’Let’s do what Nando’s doing.’ You go and you work hard all the time.”
    With its physicality, wrestling can be a grueling sport and pain is inevitable.
    Flores pushes past it with plenty of support from his family, teammates and coaches.
    Shawn Haley and Marquita Flores have four boys — Victor, Hector, Fernando and Ricky. Victor, a 152-pounder, was a Goshen senior in 2015, 126-pound Hector in 2016. Ricky, a 120-pounder, is younger than Fernando and was on the RedHawks team last season.
    Fernando started his mat career as a sixth grader and chose wrestling over basketball when he got to high school. He was a semistate qualifier as a sophomore and a state qualifier as a junior.
    Where has he improved most since last season?
    “I’ve gotten better at getting off the bottom,” says Flores. “I’ve worked a lot on that. Last year, I had some trouble with it.
    “I’ve also gotten more confident.”
    That confidence has been helped by his coaches, including Jim Pickard and assistants Matt Katzer, Troy Pickard, Travis Pickard, Josh Abbs, Carl Creech, Gerardo Quiroz, Ben Schrock and Miguel Navarro, telling him that he could do well in the state tournament series if he performed to his capabilities.
    “It was a whole experience for me,” says Flores of going to the State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “I just want to go down there again.
    What will it take to get back there?
    “A lot of hard work and just putting in the time over the summer,” says Flores. “That’s a big difference for a lot of guys. Working over the summer, you get so much better coming into the next season.”
    Some of Fernando’s favorite wrestlers are Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder and NCAA champion Nathan Tomasello — both at Ohio State University — and world and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs. 
    “I try to shoot a high crotch,” says Flores. “Tomasello is really good at those. I went to one of his camps. He showed us a whole bunch of set-ups and uses.”
    Pickard has encouraged Flores to open up his offense in recent weeks.
    “We don’t want to just do the same moves,” says Pickard, who is in his 25th season at Goshen. “Sooner or later, someone is going to shut down some of those moves. We’ve worked a little bit on some stuff he hasn’t done that much.
    “You’ve got to have that second, third, fourth move.”
    Pickard says moves must be practiced over and over again until they become muscle memory.
    “We drill everyday and we drill multiple moves,” says Pickard. “We don’t just drill your favorite moves. 
    “You’ve got to be able to switch off. I tell kids all the time that by the time you think I should do this, it’s too late. You just have to do it.”
    Pickard says Flores is beginning to get to the point where he can make the necessary on-the-fly changes.
    “He’s getting there,” says Pickard. “It’s one-week-at-a-time, but I think he has what it takes to get where he wants to be in two weeks.
    “He’s more committed than most. And he’s put in the time needed. He’s believing in himself. He’s focused and determined.”
    While Flores has been a 106-pounder at state tournament time the past four seasons, he has competed at 113 and 120 this season. 
    Flores is still contemplating his future plans. He says he is considering college or joining the U.S. Air Force.
  • BY JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    If it were all about heart, Bloomington South’s Noah Hunt would likely be a multiple time state champion. But, in life and on the wrestling mat, sometimes heart isn’t enough.
    Hunt grew up around wrestling. He was naturally gifted in the sport and he spent many nights fine tuning his craft. But, in sixth grade, he decided he had enough. The love just wasn’t there like it used to be.
    “I was burned out,” Hunt said. “I quit.”
    Soon Hunt realized that quitting wasn’t part of his character. Being away from the sport showed him how much he actually loved it. Midway through the seventh grade season he returned to wrestling.
    “I came back with a new mentality,” Hunt said. “I was ready to go. I was ready to get better than ever.”
    Hunt pushed his body to the limits for the sport. His sophomore year that hard work started to pay dividends. He won sectional and regional and advanced to the Evansville semistate at 120 pounds. That’s when Hunt’s journey of pain, frustration and a quest for redemption began.
    In the first round of the semistate Hunt hurt his knee. He was nine seconds into his match with Eastern’s Robbie Stein. Hunt shot in and grabbed Stein’s leg. As he was lifting it in the air to secure the single, he stepped wrong and twisted his knee. He knew he was in pain, but he continued to compete.
    Hunt ended up winning that match in dominating fashion, 9-1. His knee did not feel right, and he knew it - but he had put too much work in to give up. If he was going to get to state, he had to wrestle through the pain and win the next match.
    Hunt punched his ticket to state the next round, beating Center Grove’s Zak Siddiqui 12-1.
    Hunt ended up finishing fourth at the semistate, winning two matches with a severely injured knee. He couldn’t wait to wrestle at state the next week. It was a dream come true for him - at least that’s what he thought.
    The knee injury ended up being worse than Hunt expected. Doctors did an MRI and determined he had completely torn his ACL in his left knee. As much as he begged and pleaded to be able to wrestle at state, the doctors would not release him.
    “It was a terrible feeling,” Hunt said. “I knew I could wrestle on it, and win. But I wasn’t allowed to.”
    For Hunt, the road to recovery was a long, painful one. It took six months for him to be fully back to wrestling condition. He missed the entire summer of workouts. He knew while his competition was working on improving - he was working on getting back to the level he was previously.
    Still, Hunt had a goal to return better than ever - and he did just that.
    As a junior Hunt had more regular season losses than he did his sophomore year - but by tournament time he was clicking on all cylinders. He won the sectional and regional at 126 pounds. Then, at semistate, he defeated North Posey’s Cameron Fisher, Center Grove’s Peyton Pruett and Evansville Mater Dei’s Matt Lee in succession. He lost the semistate championship to Graham Rooks, 8-3.
    Hunt won his Friday night match at state, guaranteeing him a placement in the top 8. He beat Ft. Wayne Carroll’s Joel Byman in that Friday night round, but then lost back-to-back matches to Michael DeLaPena and Jordan Slivka.
    The only thing left for Hunt to wrestle for was seventh or eighth place. There was only one problem - he had hurt his right knee in the previous match. He recognized the feeling, it was almost the same as he had the year before.
    He decided to wrestle anyway, knowing the pain he was in. This time around, Matt Lee won the match 6-3 - giving Hunt 8th place in the state.
    A few days later he got the news that he had feared - he had torn his ACL. Six more months of recovery. Six more months of watching everyone else get better. Six more months off the mat.
    “I just had to focus on what my ultimate goal was,” Hunt said. “I couldn’t feel sorry for myself. I knew I had to work in order to make the most of my senior year.”
    Hunt’s mom, Melissa, didn’t want him wrestling again. She thought it wasn’t worth it.
    “She was worried about me hurting myself again,” Hunt said. “I told her I’m sorry, but I have to do it. She wasn’t super thrilled, but she knew this was something I just had to do.”
    This season Hunt is ranked No. 18 at 138 pounds. He is 32-3 and coming off a dominating sectional performance where he won the championship by eight points.
    “A state title is pretty much his goal,” Bloomington South coach Mike Runyon said. “We set that goal early on in his career and despite everything he’s went through, that’s still his goal.”
    Hunt has spent a full year of his high school life recovering from knee injuries. He said the hardest part of returning to the sport was getting his mat awareness back. Once he did that, he feels he’s ready to get the job done.
    “I never had the thought that this isn’t worth it,” Hunt said. “All I see is wrestling, wrestling, wrestling. I’ve been pushing it as hard as I can. I’ve lost a few. But, if that’s what it takes to make my goals happen, then so be it. I’m there mentally and physically now. If I beat the kids ranked higher than me, some might think it’s an upset - but I won’t. I think I can wrestle with anyone and win.”
    Bloomington South is a school rich in wrestling tradition. Pictures of past state champions line the wrestling room - a constant reminder of those that have claimed the state’s ultimate prize. Hunt says he looks at those pictures every day, and every day dreams his will be there as well. If so, perhaps no other wrestler in school history has had to overcome as much as he has to get that prize.
  • By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com
    The Diaz family was on the ground floor in building the wrestling program at Wheeler High School.
    Now, two Diaz siblings are reaching for the heights during the 2017-18 IHSAA state tournament series.
    At the Jan. 27 Crown Point Sectional, senior Jose Diaz Jr. placed second at 113 pounds and sophomore Giovanni Diaz finished first at 106. They both move on to the Feb. 3 Crown Point Regional. 
    “He’s very intelligent,” says third-year Wheeler head coach Robin Haddox of Jose Jr. “He knows the sport very well. He’s extremely fast. He’s strong. He’s got the whole package.”
    A 106-pound Jose Jr. became Wheeler’s first State Finals qualifier in 2016. He placed eighth at 113 in 2017. Giovanni was an East Chicago Semistate qualifier at 106 in 2017.
    Jose Jr. explains why he enjoys wrestling.
    “It’s you and another person,” says Jose Jr. “You go out and show who you really are. It’s what you decide to put on the mat.
    “Winning feels great. Every time I get my hand raised, it feels great and motivates me to keep going.”
    Giovanni likes to be pushed to his limit — something that he gets with wrestling.
    “I like everything about it,” says Giovanni. “Most days, we try to push ourselves even when it’s supposed to be a light day.
    “You’ve got to have a certain mindset. If you want to achieve your goals, you’re going to have some toughness and think you’re going to break.”
    While they sometimes drill with other wrestlers in practice, Jose Jr. and Giovanni often trade moves.
    “It’s always close when we wrestle,” says Jose Jr. “It’s always fun.”
    Says Giovanni, “sometimes it get a little rough, but we keep it under control.”
    The Wheeler Bearcats officially hit the mats six years ago. Jose Jr. was a seventh grader. Giovanni was a fifth grader. Father Jose Sr. introduced the boys to the sport soon after they were born.
    Jose Sr. wrestled at Taft High School in Chicago, placing fourth in the city championships — just one win from the Illinois State Finals — as a senior in 1999. 
    “I loved it,” says Jose Sr. of the sport. “Wrestling helped me stay out of trouble. That’s what it does for a lot of Chicago Public Schools kids.”
    The elder Diaz and wife Patty moved their family to unincorporated Valparaiso near uncle Luis Del Valle.
    “It was one of the best decisions we made,” says Jose Sr. “It’s a better than the life I lived.
    “There have been a lot of opportunities for all of my kids (Jose Jr., Giovanni, third grader Aidan and second grader Emma).”
    Jose Sr. knew he wanted his boys to wrestle and they began training at home, but he waited for them to commit to competition. When Jose Jr. was in third grade and Giovanni first grade, they joined the Boone Grove Wrestling Club as athletes and their father as a coach.
    Then came the Wheeler Wrestling Club and the high school squad. Steadily the numbers have grown. This winter, the Bearcats filled nearly every weight class in most duals. The club has swelled to more than 40 wrestlers and the middle school team competed for its second season.
    “Wheeler is not a dominant program yet, but we have guys who go down-state,” says Jose Sr., a construction contractor.
    Jose Jr. likes the idea of leaving a legacy.
    “I want to be remembered at this school as a good wrestler,” says Jose Jr. “When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a role model. I was always shy. (Success in wrestling) helps me understand that I can be. It helped me with my confidence.”
    Jose Jr. stays after high school practice each day to help younger club grapplers and is proud of what Bearcats wrestling has become.
    “I love coaching the little kids and giving back to the community,” says Jose Jr. “With our numbers. our program has started getting 10 times better. Being part of this program means a lot to me.”
    The Diaz boys will also leave their mark at Wheeler for his academic achievements. 
    Jose Jr. carries a 4.089 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and is on his way to making the Wheeler Academic Hall of Fame. Giovanni has a 4.105 GPA.
    “Wheeler is great for academics,” says Jose Jr. “Teachers are always there for you.”
    With about 500 students, the teacher-to-student ratio allows for one-on-one attention.
    Jose Jr., a National Honor Society member, has been accepted at educationally-prestigious Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., where he will compete in NCAA Division I wrestling. He plans to study health science with the aim of becoming a physical therapist.
    “It’s a perfect fit for Jose,” says Jose Sr., of Franklin & Marshall, where Mike Rogers in head wrestling coach. “It’s a small private school. The student-to-staff ratio is 9-to-1. The school has history. It’s like an Ivy League school. A degree from there opens up a lot of doors. You go to Franklin & Marshall for academics, not for wrestling.
    “I get a good feeling, handing over my son. Jose has been coached by me. I’ve been his dad and his coach. It’s a big step. I wanted to make sure Jose goes into a program that fits him.”
    Jose Jr. knows it will be transition.
    “I’m nervous to not have (my father) in my corner,” says Jose Jr. “He’s been there since Day 1. He sees what I don’t see. He tells it straight on.
    “I’m not always happy about it, but it helps me tremendously.”
    The student half of student-athlete is important throughout the Wheeler wrestling program.
    “This is the highest grade-point average team I’ve ever been involved with,” says Haddox, an industrial construction manager. “The majority of our kids are 3.0 or better. We have not had to worry about grades at all with any of our wrestlers.”
    Haddox wrestled at Chesterton High School, where he graduated in 1981, and the University of Tennessee. After a time in Texas, he moved back to northwest Indiana and began helping with the Portage High School wrestling program before Wheeler came calling.
    Besides Haddox and Jose Diaz Sr., the Bearcats are coached by Alex Bravo (former Valparaiso High School wrestler) and Yusef Mohmed (who has a background in mixed martial arts).
  • By JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    Kiave Guerrier isn’t your typical elite-level wrestler. He never went to camps growing up, or clinics. He didn’t wrestle in elementary school or middle school. He hates practicing. Yet going into sectionals he’s undefeated and ranked No. 5 in the state at 182 pounds.
    “He’s basically self-made,” Guerrier’s Evansville Central coach Mike Lapadat said. “He’s really just a part-time wrestler.”
    Guerrier’s wrestling story began four years ago when he was sitting in the school’s cafeteria eating lunch. Guerrier asked coach Lapadat how the wrestling team was going to be that season, and about an upcoming meet.
    “I was telling him that we were going to have to forfeit at 195 pounds,” Lapadat said. “He asked me why we would forfeit, and I explained to him that we didn’t have anyone at that weight. He told me he could wrestle it. I told him that would be great, but he was going to have to start putting on weight.”
    At the time, Guerrier weighed 170 pounds.
    Guerrier’s very first match that freshman year came in a dual against one of the top programs in Kentucky --  Union County High School.
    The match went several overtimes. Guerrier didn’t even know the rules of overtime. He ended up winning the match in sudden death.
    “After that match I looked at our assistant coach and said that if Kiave doesn’t go to state in his career, we should be fired. I knew right then that this kid was special.”
    Guerrier’s first love is football. He has verbally committed to the University of Indianapolis. He went out for wrestling just thinking it would help him with football. But, after that first match - he fell in love with the sport.
    “That match got me hooked,” Guerrier said. “It was a lot of fun and that feeling just really stuck with me. I really liked the sport and wanted to continue with it. I started out not knowing much about it - but I’ve tried to learn quickly.”
    For Guerrier, one of the hardest parts of wrestling is just making himself get up and go to practice each day.
    “It was always a big struggle, especially early on,” Guerrier said. “The hardest part was getting to practice. But, once I made myself get there, it became easy.”
    Despite his premium athletic ability, Guerrier didn’t see himself as a good wrestler early in his career.
    “I thought I’d be average and it could help me with football,” he said. “Then I started to push myself in practice. I’d do extra work on weekends and sometimes even after meets. Still, I would have never guessed that going into sectionals I would be a No. 1 seed and undefeated.”
    Now Guerrier’s goals are more lofty. He wants a state championship and feels he is completely capable of getting it.
    “That’s the goal,” he said. “If I keep working, I know I can win.”
    Last season Guerrier lost in the ticket round of the Evansville semistate to No. 1 ranked Nathan Walton. The score was 1-0.
    “Kiave has a very high wrestling IQ,” Lapadat said. “He can watch a move on video and then bring it to the mat. He picks up things very quickly. He studies teh sport. He knows everyone he is going to wrestle and he watches matches on them to study them.”
    Before wrestling, Guerrier had never competed in an individual sport.
    “Wrestling was the first sport that if I messed up, it was only because of me,” he said. “It’s one-on-one and there are no excuses. On the mat I know what I need to do, and how I want to do it.”
    Outside of wrestling Guerrier enjoys nature and working in the communities challenger baseball and track programs.
    “I have a lot of fun working with the kids in the challenger sports,” he said. “Some people aren’t as blessed as others, and I really love helping them out and making them laugh and watching them have fun. It’s very rewarding.”
    Guerrier wants to study engineering in college. He does not plan on wrestling past high school.
    “Knowing my career is almost over is sad,” Guerrier said. “I fell in love with the sport. Wrestling is tough to like, but once you fall in love with it, you’re hooked for life.”
  • By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com
     
    Cousins Conner Graber and Owen Eveler were born into a wrestling family.
    Every time the Northridge High School seniors step on the mat, they have a small army of relatives clad in green and gold enthusiastically cheering them on.
    “It’s a huge factor,” says Owen of the family appreciation for the sport. “It’s been bred in us since we were young.
    “You can definitely pick out the Northridge crowd.”
    Such is also the case for sophomore Oliver Eveler, junior Adam Hooley and freshman Logan Hooley. They also part of the second generation in a clan that loves its wrestling.
    “They are the loudest fans,” says Northridge head coach Eric Highley. “But they’re not malicious or inappropriate. They’re always encouraging. They’re a great family.”
    In the Raider rooting section, there’s first-generation mat mavens Scott Graber (NHS Class of 1982) and his brothers Jeff (NHS Class of 1984) and Ted (Class of 1986) and sister Tonya (Graber) Eveler (NHS Class of 1988). 
    Tonya is married to Mark Eveler (Goshen Class of ’85) and they are parents to Owen, Oliver and seventh-grade grappler Sydney.
    Scott, Jeff and Ted were all semistate qualifiers as Raiders. Pull out the 1982 Shield yearbook, turn to page 56 and there’s a photo of Scott Graber pinning an opponent.
    Jared Graber (NHS Class of 2007) and Drew Graber (NHS of 2009) are Scott’s sons. Drew was a three-time State Finals qualifier and finished second twice (171 in 2008 and 182 in 2009) while winning 117 career matches. He is now Northridge assistant coach.
    Ted and Rolonda (Hooley) Graber (NHS Class of 1989) are parents to Conner. Rolonda’s brothers Brad Hooley (NHS Class of 1982) and Allen Hooley (NHS Class of 1985) were also wrestlers. 
    Adam Hooley is the son of Brad and Logan the offspring of Allen.
    “It helps me to compete, trying to be one of the best in my family,” says Adam Hooley, who remembers watching cousin Drew Graber’s drive on video. “We talk about future matches and previous matches (at family gatherings) and how we can get better.”
    Logan Hooley has soaked up a lot of knowledge from his cousins.
    “I’ve learned a lot by watching them,” says Logan, who began wrestling as a seventh grader. “It helped me understand it more.”
    Oliver Eveler has also felt the love.
    “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, at the end of the day you always have your family behind you,” says Oliver. 
    At those family outings, there’s plenty of friendly smack talk, especially among the second generation. 
    And at some point, it becomes more than talk.
    “There always seems to be a wrestling match until something gets broken and then we’ve got to shut it down,” says Ted Graber, who has a wrestling mat in his basement as does Mark Eveler.
    Heading into the Elkhart Sectional, 182-pounder Conner Graber is 34-1 on the 2017-18 season and 132-21 for his career. Only Steve Zimmerman (NHS Class of 1995) with 138 and Ross Powell (NHS Class of 1997) with 133 rank ahead of him on Northridge’s all-time wrestling victory list.
    Conner won a single-season school record 44 matches and placed seventh at the IHSAA State Finals at 182 in 2016-17.
    Conner Graber’s secret sauce?
    “It’s just a good work ethic,” says Conner, the 2018 Northern Lakes Conference champion at 182. “Weightlifting is a big part of it and working all my moves in practice and building up my endurance.”
    In matches, Conner heeds his coach’s advice to have a plan, be fast and work the angles. He grappled at 160 as a freshman, moved to 182 as a sophomore and has been in that class ever since, though he has bumped up to 195 a few times this season to see better competition.
    Drew Graber came back to the program knowing he would get a chance to help his cousins and that includes Conner Graber.
    “Every year he’s had more drive to open and wants to learn more and get better,” says Drew of Conner. “With success came some confidence and some open-mindedness with some moves. This year, he’s a completely different wrestler than last year. He’s scoring more points.
    “Seniors are often very set in their ways. But Conner has been very flexible with technique and trying stuff.
    “As a coaching staff, we model that continued growth with all of our wrestlers.”
    Two of his notable victories were 4-2 decisions against New Haven senior Jonyvan Johnson and Indiana Creek senior Grant Goforth. His lone loss is a 5-4 decision against Wabash senior Noah Cressell.
    Owen Eveler (145) goes into the sectional at 33-4 this season and 116-29 in his career.
    “I’ve improved my mat skills this season — top and bottom,” says Owen, who placed third in the NLC at 145. “My neutral’s always been there.”
    Ted Graber credits Mark Eveler for getting the Raider Wrestling Club going about a decade ago. 
    “He’s been very instrumental,” says Ted of Mark. “He has touch a lot of lives.”
    Conner Graber has seen the fruits of the Raider Wrestling Club’s labor.
    “That helped a ton,” says Conner. “We expanded on everything we had already talked about and done in a limited capacity at Fairfield.”
    When Conner Graber and Owen Eveler were kindergartners and before Northridge had its own club, they went to Fairfield High School to participate in the Talon Wrestling Club run by Dan Glogouski and Jesse Espinoza.
    Ron Kratzer was head coach for the Raiders from 1975-88 and coached Scott, Jeff and Ted Graber. Kratzer was followed by Tom Fudge, Mark Hofer, Mike Wickersham, Scott Giddens, Joe Solis and Shawn Puckett.
    Since 2013, Highley has headed the program. His current assistants beside Drew Graber are Puckett, Jeff Howe and Mike Price.
    “Northridge is blessed in many ways with their coaching,” says Ted Graber. “The parents are very appreciative.”
    Highley is grateful for the support shown not only by the Grabers, Evelers and Hooleys, but all the dads and moms.
    “We’ve got all these parents that have been involved with it for a long time.  They understand what’s going on. They understand the sacrifices their sons have to make.”
    There is a big banner in the Northridge practice room that reads: You Get What You Earn.
    “If they are willing to go in and put in all that sacrifice, all that time and all that hard work, then they are earning their chance to achieve what they want to achieve,” says Highley. “They are going to see the results.
    “If you want to be lazy, that’s fine. But you’re probably not going to go as far as you want to go.”
  • By JEREMY HINES
    thehines7@gmail.com
    There are times when things get so heated in the wrestling room at Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville that brothers Chase and Chris Wilkerson have to be seperated. Like most brothers, they hate to lose to each other. When they practice together, things can start to get a little testy.
    Those moments certainly aren’t the norm. Chase, a junior and Chris, a sophomore are each other’s biggest fans. They practice together, condition together and talk strategy together. When one brother is struggling, the other is there to pick him up.
    “They really have a neat dynamic,” Marauder coach Chad Masters said. “Every big match, they are both on the sidelines coaching each other. They are both the first one there to congratulate each other. They console each other after tough losses. They are two of the best kids I’ve ever met. They are the type of people you want in the room and you know they’ll be successful in whatever they do.”
    This year Chase is ranked No. 11 in the state at 120 pounds and is ranked fourth in the New Castle semistate. Chris is not state ranked, but is No. 6 in the New Castle semistate at 132 pounds.
    Before his last middle school season started, Chris weighed 170 pounds. He had always wrestled the bigger guys due to his size. But, when he started really focusing on improving, he started to get in better shape as well. He wrestled at 145 pounds by the end of his eighth grade season. Then, in high school, he got down to 132 pounds and he maintained that weight all summer long. This is his second season at that weight class.
    Last season ended in trying fashion for Chris. He was the No. 2 seed in the Warren Central sectional. He won his first two matches then ran into senior Tim Wright. During that match Wright’s head slammed into Chris’s face. The force from the blow knocked a tooth out of Chris’s mouth, and caused other damage. He had to injury default out of the tournament and go to the hospital immediately. That injury ended his freshman campaign.
    “That was the worst feeling in my life,” Chris said. “Just hearing that I couldn’t continue. It was the first time I had cried in years. It was awful knowing that all the hard work I had put in, and nobody was going to see that pay off.”
    That’s when Chase stepped in.
    “Chase helped me to cope with knowing I was out,” Chris said. “He was telling me to bounce back harder. He told me to work harder. And, he did the same. Seeing him work as hard as he did started pushing me to get better as well.”
    Chase lost to New Castle’s Trevor Ragle in the first round of semistate 4-1. Ragle went on to advance to the state tournament. Before the Ragle match, Chase had fallen short against other ranked guys as well.
    “This year started out the same way,” Masters said. “He wrestled Zane Standridge and lost in the last 20 seconds. He knew he could wrestle the ranked guys, but he wasn’t sure he was able to beat them. It seemed like every time something would go wrong and he’d lost the match at the end.”
    The turning point for Chase came 14 days after the Standridge match. Chase was wrestling a familiar foe, Greenfield’s Gavin Rose. The two were once practice partners at Mt. Vernon, but Rose left for the neighboring Greenfield school. He had defeated Wilkerson in the past, but this time was different.
    Chase scored four points on two reversals to beat Rose 4-2. That match showed Chase he could win the big match.
    “That was a big turning point with Chase,” Masters said. “It showed Chase that he could not only wrestle with these guys, he could beat them. It showed he could beat anyone.”
    The two wrestled again Saturday in the championship of the Hoosier Heritage Conference tournament. The match went to triple overtime before Rose pulled off the 2-0 victory.
    Chris also had a big match in the HHC tournament. He was taking on Yorktown’s Alex Barr, the No. 1 seed in the 132 pound weight class. With 10 seconds left in the match Barr had a 1-0 lead and was on top of Chris. That’s when Chris made his move, he scored an escape point and Barr fell toward the out of bounds line. When Chris saw Barr down, he dove at his legs and was awarded the takedown to go up 3-2 with three seconds left. On the restart he let Barr up to secure the 3-2 win.
    “I couldn’t contain my emotions,” Chris said. “I had to let it out. That was such a crazy match and I was just so excited to win it.”
    The brothers have very different styles on the mat. Chase likes to go for the takedowns and be aggressive offensively. Chris is a patient wrestler who minimizes his mistakes.
    Both brothers have a goal to reach the state tournament.
    “I definitely think I should go to state this year,” Chase said. “It’s going to be rough for sure, but I feel like I can make it.”
    One of the keys to getting to state might just be having a sibling to push you. It’s working for the Wilkerson brothers right now.
    “Having a brother is definitely an advantage,” Chase said. “You grow up beating the crap out of each other. But, whenever you need someone to work with - we are there for each other and we want each other to succeed. When he does well, I feel as good as if I had done well myself.”
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