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2017 New Castle Semi-State Preview


Dingo Brigade
  • New Castle 2017: New blood at the top

     

    Another grind of a regular season in central Indiana is in the record books, and 224 state-hopefuls will compete for coveted Golden Tickets in the Trojan Horse Thunderdome that is Chrysler Arena. Last year's team champs, Warren Central, will almost certainly be dethroned by one of the following teams: Carmel, Cathedral or Perry Meridian, who brings a semistate-high 12 athletes to the mat on Saturday. That number is 12 and not 13 due to the gruesome injury sustained by returning state placer Sammy Fair. The Falcons are still loaded and, along with the Irish, have to be considered the front-runners. Three nationally ranked studs will lace 'em up on Saturday: 132 lb standout Breyden Bailey (Cathedral)--3X state semifinalist, 195 lb Tristen Tonte (Warren Central)--2X state runner-up and 3X state qualifier, and all-world 220 lb Mason Parris (Lawrenceburg)--defending state champ and twice a high state placer. Aside from these three big names, there are fewer state-ranked athletes than in recent years, but that doesn't mean that each weight isn't pretty loaded. With the team parity at this year's semistate, each match could potentially have championship ramifications.

106

 

Six state-ranked competitors will do battle in the opening weight, including #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The other ranked wrestler is Al Smith champ, #12 Gabe Smith of Lawrence Central. Smith will have to find a way to get past #5 Brayden Lowery of PM to punch his ticket. Perhaps even nastier is the bottom portion of the bracket, where #6 Logan Bailey of Cathedral and #2 Seth Johnson of North Montgomery should meet in the ticket round. #3 Brendan Mattingly of Carmel and #4 Andrew Black of Shenandoah have slightly less brutal potential paths to the state finals. This is one of the most loaded weights at New Castle. Legitimately, 5 or 6 different wrestlers could stand atop the podium at the end of the day.

 

Last year's champ: Keyuan Murphy, Warren Central

 

Potential matchups:

#5 Lowery vs. #12 Smith (Ticket round) – A couple of stud freshmen should vie for state advancement. Lowery beat Smith comfortably earlier in the year.

#4 Black vs. Josh Vaughn, Franklin Central(Ticket round) – Black is clearly one of the favorites at this weight, but he still must get by a tough senior and returning semistate qualifier.

#2 Johnson vs. #6 Bailey (Ticket round) – This could be one of the early matches of the day, as Johnson was unbeaten until regionals and the baby-faced assassin Bailey is peaking and looking better and better each week.

#3 Mattingly/ #5 Lowery vs. #4 Black/ #2 Johnson/ #6 Bailey (Finals) – There are several combinations of these 5 who could wind up competing for the coveted #1 seed at state. Quite obviously, the semifinals and 3rd place match will be huge for the individuals and a handful of teams.

 

1st round picks:

Mattingly over Slivka

Hadley over Lonneman

Lowery over Luhmann

Smith over Lee

Black over Harshbarger

Vaughn over Eldred

Bailey over Vredeveld

Johnson over Stewart

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Mattingly, Bailey, Lowery, Black

 

The Alpha Dog:

Brendan Mattingly

 

113

 

Five more state-ranked athletes will lace 'em up at 113. Despite the big loss of #5 Sammy Fair, this is still a very tough and deep weight. #3 Skylour Turner of Warren Central--3X state placer, #2 Alec Viduya of Roncalli--0 losses to anyone he will face going forward, and #7 Gavin Rose of Greenfield-Central--returning state qualifier, are joined by tough seniors #13 Nick Brady of Noblesville and #16 Kody Conaway of Beech Grove. Viduya appears to be improving as the season progresses, and has to be considered the favorite.

 

Last year's champ: Alec White, New Palestine

 

Feature matchups:

 

#13 Brady vs. #3 Turner (Ticket round) – Assuming Turner gets by 3X semistate qualifier Reid Hutson of Westfield, he should face a big, strong 113 lber who has been nearly flawless in the postseason thus far. While it's hard to bet against the Millers senior, it's even harder to bet against Turner booking another weekend date at Banker's Life.

Kyle Holman, Carmel vs. #16 Conaway (Opening round) – Holman initially looked to face #7 Rose, and then Pike freshman KeShon Edmunds, and finally wound up with a ranked senior in Conaway. The winner of this match should be in the driver's seat in the ticket round.

#7 Rose vs. #3 Turner (Semifinal round) – These two faced off in the 3rd place match of regionals, with the senior Turner winning a squeaker 4-3.

 

1st round picks:

Owens over Williams

Rose over Surber

Brady over Condo

Turner over Hutson

Viduya over Moseley

Seymour over Sollars

Holman over Conaway

Oliver over Joya

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Viduya, Turner, Rose, Holman

 

The Alpha Dog:

Alec Viduya

 

120

 

One of the most wide open weights of the day features 4 ranked wrestlers. Only #13 Lukasz Walendzak has advanced beyond semistate among this group. #12 Sunny Nier of Perry Meridian is a hungry senior and returning ticket-rounder. Regional champ #15 Carter Noehre of Greenfield-Central has had an outstanding season and has a convincing win over likely ticket round opponent Reid Seymour of Chatard. #18 Tyce Freije is another nasty Roncalli freshman, and looks to join Viduya at BLF.

 

Last year's champ: Dylan Culp, Warren Central

 

Feature matchups:

 

#13 Walendzak vs. #12 Nier (Ticket round) – This is just one of those unfortunate matches that we see at each semistate every year. Nier majored Walendzak earlier this season. Walendzak's teammate Slivka edged Nier in the ticket round last year. Will Irish eyes be smiling at 120? Or will the Falcon reach the crest in the form of a state advancement? Tune in.

 

#15 Noehre / Dominic Pecoraro, Carmel vs. #18 Frieje / #13 Walendzak / #12 Nier (Semifinals, Finals)– There isn't a lot of consensus regarding a favorite at this weight, and any of these 5 could be competing in the finals.

 

1st round picks:

Noehre over Boggs

Seymour over Hall

Ragle over Wilkerson

Pecoraro over Pettiford

Greene over Vaughn

Freije over Walsh

Walendzak over Forbes

Nier over Taylor

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Noehre, Freije, Walendzak, Pecoraro

 

The Alpha Dog:

Carter Noehre

 

126

 

Five ranked athletes grace this weight class, including 2X state placer and 3X qualifier #5 Alec White of New Palestine, the defending semistate champion at 113. Right behind him is #6 Jordan Slivka of Cathedral, 3rd place state finisher last season and runner-up in OT to White at semistate last year. #9 Adam Jerde of Carmel has been close to breaking through, but this is his last and best shot. #17 Dylan Culp of Warren Central is a returning state placer and semistate champ, but will have to get by Slivka for a chance at returning to BLF. Lastly, #13 Dallas Pugsley of Shenandoah has had an outstanding season and comes into New Castle with a regional crown. Pugsley was a ticket-rounder last year and should have a date with former state qualifier Alexander Strueder of Fishers in the ticket round.

 

Last year's champ: Breyden Bailey, Cathedral

 

Feature matchups:

 

#6 Slivka vs. #17 Culp (Ticket round) – Two returning state placewinners should meet in the ticket round. Culp really put it all together at semistate last year, besting another state placer in Ethan Smiley in the championship match. He will need to do it again this year to get past the tough Irish sophomore, and he appears to be heating up, as he took White to OT at regionals. First things first for Culp--he has to get by returning ticket rounder Garrett Walton of South Dearborn.

 

#13 Pugsley vs. Alexander Strueder (Ticket round) – Strueder very nearly made a return trip to The Fieldhouse last year, losing in UTB to Gavin Rose in the ticket round. He'll have his work cut out for him again this year, as Pugsley has a number of big wins this season.

 

#6 Slivka vs. #5 White (Finals) – This could be a repeat of last year's 113 championship, won by the Purdue recruit White in OT. If they each navigate the minefield in front of them to meet again, look for a tight match that could go either way.

 

1st round picks:

Slivka over Garcia

Culp over Walton

Jerde over Miles

McMillan over Negangard

Pugsley over Evans

Strueder over Long

White over Deal

Harrington over Gobeyn

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

White, Slivka, Jerde, Pugsley

 

The Alpha Dog:

Alec White

 

132

 

132 is a deep weight class, led by 6 ranked wrestlers including Cathedral's #2 Breyden Bailey (#12 nationally, 3X state 3rd place finisher). Returning state placer #5 Ethan Smiley of Beech Grove and former state qualifier and semistate champion #9 Cainan Schaefer of South Dearborn bring unbeaten records into this weekend. #10 Zak Bowling of Lebanon won a solid regional last week and seeks to finish his HS career with a bang. #14 Jack Servies of Perry Meridian is one of many Falcons with a great shot to advance to state. Servies was denied in the ticket round last year by Bailey, by a mere 3-0 decision. #15 Hayden Lohrey of Shenandoah is yet another returning state qualifier, but he has the misfortune of drawing Bailey in the ticket round. Last year's 132 competition featured All-World Chad Red, Jr. winning another semistate title, but perhaps more importantly, DJ Brookbank of Perry Meridian caught fire and upset Zach Melloh in the ticket round. Could that be an omen of upsets to come this year at 132?

 

Last year's champ: Chad Red, Jr., New Palestine

 

Feature matchups:

 

#5 Smiley vs. Azariah Ellis, Zionsville / Elijah Phillips, Centerville (Ticket round) – While Smiley is a strong favorite to advance, he gets an experienced, long and crafty Dheontae Unseld of LN in his opening match. Should he win that match, either a tough senior in Ellis or a returning semistate qualifier in Phillips awaits.

 

#10 Bowling/ Stevie Browning, Franklin County vs. Chris Loy, Hamilton Heights/ #14 Servies, Perry Meridian (Ticket round) – Bowling has had a very strong season and enters the fray as a regional champion. Bowling beat Loy in the opening round of semistate last year before dropping a ticket match to state place Joel McGhee of Warren Central by 8-4 decision. Browning was also a ticket rounder, pinning LC's Jesus Mancera before losing to Red. Loy and Servies could provide fireworks, with Servies coming in hot, losing to Smiley by a razor thin margin in OT at regionals. Bowling and Servies is likely a 50/50 match.

 

1st round picks:

Bailey over Hiatt

Lohrey over Douglass

Smiley over Unseld

Ellis over Phillips

Bowling over Browning

Servies over Loy

Schaefer over Tunstill

Wright over Avey

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Bailey, Schaefer, Smiley, Bowling

 

The Alpha Dog:

Breyden Bailey

 

138

 

Another 6 ranked athletes populate another tough bracket. Leading the charge is former 4th place state finisher #2 Zach Melloh of Cathedral. The tough Irish junior has wins this year over a relative who's who at 138. #6 Riley White also has some very impressive wins this season and has a very solid shot at advancing to state this year. #10 Brooks Davis of Perry Meridian also has some nice wins, and has been competitive with some of the best in the state at 138. #13 Kody Wagner of Zionsville was a semistate qualifier last year and is part of an impressive group of Eagles grapplers competing this weekend. #17 Jesus Mancera of Lawrence Central is as battle-tested as they come and is capable of surprising this weekend. Rounding out the ranked wrestlers is #18 Bailey Moore, Connersville champion this year and ticket rounder last year. While Melloh is a fairly prohibitive favorite, the battle for positions 2-4 should be ferocious and possibly unexpected.

 

Last year's champ: Evan Eldred, Westfield

 

Feature matchups:

 

#13 Wagner vs. #10 Davis (Ticket round) – Wagner's reward for winning his regional is a ticket round match with Davis. Zionsville wrestles a very tough schedule, but it's unlikely that any team in central Indiana has had a more difficult schedule than Perry. Davis is the slight favorite, but Wagners at Zionsville have had a lot of success in past postseasons.

#18 Moore vs. #17 Mancera (Ticket round) – Mancera owns a win over Moore this season, but this one is anyone's match. The winner has a solid shot at a 2 seed at state.

Ryan Surguy, Shenandoah vs. #6 White (Ticket round) – While White is a solid favorite on paper, Surguy is a strong sleeper pick at this weight and in this potential match. The Shenandoah senior is a returning semistate qualifier, and White is a returning ticket rounder.

 

1st round picks:

Wagner over Gardfrey

Davis over Redd

Melloh over Lowe

Humbert over Noehre

Moore over Otto

Mancera over Estes

Surguy over Keener

White over Ball

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Melloh, Surguy, Wagner, Mancera

 

The Alpha Dog:

Zach Melloh

 

145

 

This is another relatively wide open weight class, lacking a consensus favorite. #4 Clayton Cowan of Hamilton Heights, a returning state qualifier, faces a particularly nasty potential ticket match. Waiting for him is #9 Kain Rust of Perry Meridian, a semistate qualifier last year. Rust has had a particularly impressive senior campaign thus far, with numerous wins against 'name' opponents. #13 Antwaun Graves of Warren Central beat Rust in the regional finals, avenging an earlier loss to the Falcons' 145. He's a sly pick to win this weight. Rounding out the ranked competitors is returning state qualifier and undefeated regional champion #15 Boone Welliever of Southmont.

 

Last year's champ: Jordan Vaughn, Franklin Central

 

Feature matchups:

 

Mike Humbert, Franklin County vs. Darian Padgett, North Central / Beau Wilbrandt, Fishers (Ticket round) – Humbert, a returning semistate qualifier, could have his hands full with Chad Rothwell of Southport, a semistate qualifier last year at 160!, in his opening round match. If he gets by Rothwell, the winner of Wilbrandt and Padgett awaits. Both are seniors with 10 losses, but each is dangerous and capable of advancing. Wilbrandt is also a returning semistate qualifier.

 

#4 Cowan vs. #9 Rust (Ticket round) – Certainly one of the rougher ticket matches of the day, each senior will be ready to brawl when the whistle blows. This could be one of the best matches of the day and could greatly impact the team race.

 

#13 Graves vs. #4 Cowan / #9 Rust or #15 Welliever (Finals) – While Graves appears to have a slightly less treacherous path to the finals, the survivor of Cowan/Rust/Welliever may be pretty tired upon reaching the finals. This is a hard one to handicap.

 

1st round picks:

Humbert over Rothwell

Padgett over Wilbrandt

Graves over Wills

Rodgers over Sauder

Cowan over Williamson

Rust over Roth

Welliever over Lane

Gosnell over Fletcher

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Welliever, Graves, Rust, Padgett

 

The Alpha Dog:

Boone Welliever, Southmont

 

152

 

Returning 7th place state finisher #2 Noah Warren of Perry Meridian leads a solid group at 152. #7 Jack Eiteljorge of Carmel is a returning ticket rounder and has just one loss all season, to 160 lb Gleason Mappes of Center Grove. He can go with the big boys. #11 Andrew Negangard of East Central was a ticket rounder last year as well. This year, he's a one-loss senior with a favorable draw. #18 Cody Klettheimer of Frankton and #19 Tucker Coffman of Union County meet in one of the roughest opening round matches of the day. The winner likely faces Eiteljorge. There are no free lunches at semistate, unless you're allowed in the hospitality room. Last year, regional runner-up Trent Pruitt parlayed a hot day at semistate into a state title the following weekend.

 

Last year's champ: Trent Pruitt, Warren Central

 

Feature matchups:

 

#18 Klettheimer vs. #19 Coffman (Opening round) – Each is a returning semistate qualifier and precocious sophomore. As mentioned earlier, the winner must get through Eiteljorge to advance.

#11 Negangard vs. Walter Ballinger, Beech Grove (Ticket round) – Negangard comes in as a solid favorite, but Ballinger won't be a pushover. Negangard must also get by senior Alex Johnson of Pendleton Heights to advance to a potential match with the game senior Ballinger.

David Kitko, Noblesville vs. Sam Gobeyn, Zionsville (Ticket round) – While the win/loss record of each wrestler doesn't jump off the page, the reality is that one of the two will likely advance to BLF. Kitko, like many Noblesville wrestlers under Coach Knotts, is formidable with Greco throws. Gobeyn, like his fellow Eagles, has been through the gauntlet all season.

#7 Eiteljorge vs. #2 Warren (Semifinals round) – Both should punch a golden ticket, but each has designs on a top seed at state, which means this match takes on extreme importance individually, as well as for the team race. Warren is the favorite, but Coaches Pendowski and Geter will have a solid gameplan at the ready for Eye-tul-hor-hay.

#2 Warren / #7 Eiteljorge vs. #11 Negangard (Finals) – Each member of this trio is capable of a tough run at Banker's Life. Warren is the favorite, but Negangard could be a fly in the Perry ointment.

 

1st round picks:

Warren over Bischoff

Despain over Hines

Eiteljorge over Rebein

Coffman over Klettheimer

Negangard over Johnson

Ballinger over Wagner

Kitko over Webster

Gobeyn over Smith

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Warren, Negangard, Eiteljorge, Gobeyn

 

The Alpha Dog:

Noah Warren

 

160

 

This stacked weight is led by 2X state placer #2 Alston Bane of Richmond, an undefeated senior. However, he's far from alone at the top, as #3 Laine Frazee of Fountain Central, an 8th place finisher last year, #4 Christian Warren of Perry, another undefeated senior, and #9 Dru Berkebile of Frankton, a 2X state qualifier and former 5th place state finisher, lead the field. #19 Elijah Mahan of Roncalli is one of three sophomores in the bracket, and has been impressive all season long. Expect a tight match between Mahan and Bane if Mahan can get by the gritty Sam Hauke of North Central in his opening match. There are 4 grapplers here with a legit shot at the strap on Saturday.

 

Last year's champ: Noah Warren, Perry Meridian

 

Feature matchups:

 

#4 Warren vs. #3 Frazee (Ticket round) – Just brutal. Frazee was upset by Westfield's Justin Miller in UTB at regionals, which led to this draw of death. Warren has done nothing but win in this, his final season. Frazee's only loss at semistate last year was a one point decision to Bane. This is essentially a pick 'em, and the winner is fully capable of winning the weight.

 

#9 Berkebile vs. Justin Miller, Westfield (Ticket round) – Ignore Miller's record, as he has shown throughout his career that he has the ability to elevate his game when necessary. Berkebile is a proven commodity, but he could have his hands full with Miller, who is solid in all aspects and positions. Berkebile had better not overlook Southport's senior Brett Wright in his opening match.

 

#2 Bane vs. #19 Mahan (Ticket round) – It's tough to bet against the highly proven Bane, unless the opponent is Batman. Mahan will be a force the next two years, and he could give the senior all he wants.

 

Matthew Wertz, Zionsville / Ryan Mitts, East Central vs. JT Lazzara, Guerin / Drake Tackett, Mount Vernon (Ticket round) – No rankings to speak of among this group, but Wertz comes in with momentum as the regional champ. All 4 are seniors and will be fighting tooth and nail.

 

1st round picks:

Warren over Booker

Frazee over Gee

Berkebile over Wright

Miller over Massey

Bane over Davis

Mahan over Hauke

Wertz over Mitts

Lazzara over Tackett

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Bane, Warren, Berkebile, Wertz

 

The Alpha Dog:

Alston Bane

 

170

 

While just four ranked wrestlers will be competing at 170 on Saturday, among them are a returning state placer, a former state qualifier, an Al Smith champ and a freshman wunderkind. #2 Tanner Webster of North Montgomery was a 6th place finisher at state last season, but was defeated at regional by #3 Thomas Penola of Zionsville, an impressive Al Smith champ earlier this season. Snake-bitten #9 Jake Ruberg of Lawrenceburg impressed the state with a state qualification as a freshman, but has battled injuries and tough semistate draws since then. The freshman everyone is buzzing about is #4 Silas Allred, the undefeated stud from Shenandoah. Some folks think he's going to keep a clean sheet through semistate, but nothing will come easy for him or any of the other favorites.

 

Last year's champ: Ricky Samuels, Lawrence North

 

Feature matchups:

 

#4 Allred vs. Joe Mazero, HSE / Cameron Amos, Perry Meridian (Ticket round) – Allred's first real test at semistate should come in his ticket match. Mazero is perpetually underrated and was a ticket rounder last year. He's wrestled a high level of competition. The same is true of Amos.

#3 Penola vs. #9 Ruberg (Ticket round) – This is another of the ticket round matches that screams for wrestlebacks. Tough draw for both--the loser could easily place at state. Penola has been on the roll of all rolls this season. He has wins over #2, #5, #6 and #7 this year, among many more game opponents.

#2 Webster / #4 Allred vs. #3 Penola / #9 Ruberg (Finals) – There are a lot of different ways this could play out. Will Webster avenge his loss to Penola after besting the stout freshman in the semis? Will the stout freshman show the rest of the state that he is a legitimate state title threat by knocking off the #2 and #3 wrestlers in the state? Will Penola continue his unearthly momentum and head to BLF as a top seed? Or will the unlucky senior Ruberg spoil Penola's plans en route to a finals matchup with Webster or Allred?

 

1st round picks:

Murry over Simmons

Webster over Acevedo

Allred over Todd

Mazero over Amos

Penola over Willis

Ruberg over Najem

Lowe over Hart

Miller over Orschell

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Webster, Penola, Allred, Lowe

 

The Alpha Dog:

Tanner Webster

 

182

 

With just 3 ranked wrestlers, this is probably the most wide open weight class at New Castle. Leading the way is former state qualifier #6 Evan Stambaugh of Lebanon, who comes in with just one loss all year. #9 Alec Jessop of HSE brings an impressive 20-2 record into the mix. #10 Cameron Simmons of Lawrence Central was a semistate qualifier last year. There are plenty of sleepers in the group, including Josue Hill of Zionsville, Jalen Allen of Perry Meridian, Sam Hansen of Roncalli and Jonah Rolfes of Lawrenceburg.

 

Last year's champ: Blake Rypel, Cathedral

 

Feature matchups:

 

#10 Simmons vs. Josue Hill, Zionsville (Ticket round) – Both grapplers were semistate qualifiers last year and, despite the ranking difference, there probably isn't much of a separation between these two battle-tested seniors. If Zionsville is going to figure in the team race, they need to win matches like this one.

#9 Jessop vs. Jalen Allen, Perry Meridian (Ticket round) – Allen is unranked despite a 34-4 senior campaign, and Jessop is a big, strong 182 generating a lot of buzz from knowledgeable spectators. Consider this one of the big team scoring matches of the ticket round.

#6 Stambaugh vs. Sam Hansen, Roncalli (Ticket round) – Like Allen, Hansen has an oustanding record at 37-4. Stambaugh was upended last year in the ticket round and had better not overlook the tough Rebels' junior.

Jonah Rolfes, Lawrenceburg vs. Bryce Sharp, Carmel (Opening round) – Sharp's 21-7 record isn't as spectacular as Rolfes' 41-4 record, but Carmel's schedule is much, much tougher. This is a 50/50 match.

#9 Jessop / Allen vs. #10 Simmons / Hill (Semifinals) – On paper, this should be Jessop vs. Simmons, but it's far from a lead pipe lock. All 4 seniors are hungry and capable. The winner of this nasty pool should face Stambaugh for the semistate title.

 

1st round picks:

Simmons over Sterrett

Hill over Bohman

Allen over Mills

Jessop over Thorp

Stambaugh over Mitts

Hansen over Morgan

Rolfes over Sharp

Baker over Keesee

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Jessop, Stambaugh, Simmons, Rolfes

 

The Alpha Dog:

Alec Jessop

 

195

 

This weight has to qualify as New Castle's main event. Warren Central's #1 in the state and 2X state runner-up Tristen Tonte (#17 in the USA per Intermat) and #2 Ben Stewart of Cathedral will almost certainly do battle, yet again, this time in the finals. This could be a preview of the state finals the following weekend. Stewart and Tonte were both beaten by decision by eventual state champ Jake Kleimola. Tonte is a 3X qualifier, and had a hand in Stewart's status of 1X state qualifier, as they met in the ticket round as freshmen (Stewart got Mason Parris in the ticket round the following year). Tonte got him again in the finals of last year's semistate, winning 1-0. Stewart is absolutely gigantic this season. Tonte is long and as slick as the day is long. This should be an incredible finals matchup. Joining the elite two as ranked competitors are #10 Liam Jagow of Westfield, who has had an incredible season, #11 Cole Slavens of North Montgomery, who has the misfortune of drawing Stewart in the ticket round (for the 2nd year in a row!), #12 Drew Williamson of Zionsville, who has just 3 losses and a regional title under his belt, and #14 John Owensby, who finished 4th at regionals, setting up a dynamic first round match with Williamson. Additionally, unranked David Delph of Frankton is 37-2 on the season and has some excellent upper weight practice partners in the Eagles' room.

 

Last year's champ: Tristen Tonte, Warren Central

 

Feature matchups:

 

#12 Williamson vs. #14 Owensby (Opening round) – Williamson got a big win over Jagow at regionals, giving him great momentum heading into his first match of the day. The Franklin Central senior had a rough regional experience, but was a semistate qualifier last year at 220, so he will be plenty dangerous. The winner will face the winner of Delp and John Rorig of Milan, both of whom have impressive records.

 

#2 Stewart vs. #11 Slavens (Ticket round) – This is one of those strange phenomena that happens at New Castle. For the 2nd year in a row, Slavens must beat Stewart to advance, which is a tall order for anyone. Stewart, who will attend Boston College on a football scholarship, absolutely manhandled his regional opponents. This is man-strength on display.

 

#1 Tonte vs. #2 Stewart (Finals) – The loser will likely get another crack at the victor next weekend at BLF. To this point, Tonte has a significant edge in the head-to-head series, but Stewart looks primed to execute a crackback. They don't come much bigger and better than this matchup.

 

1st round picks:

Williamson over Owensby

Delph over Rohrig

Tonte over Pigg

Sturm over Bynum

Stewart over Snipes

Slavens over Kenney

Tibbetts over Snyder

Jagow over Ruhana

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Tonte, Stewart, Jagow, Williamson

 

The Alpha Dog:

Tristen Tonte

 

220

 

Four ranked athletes, none of whom are seniors, will compete at 220 on Saturday. Leading the way is returning state champ and #1 Mason Parris of Lawrenceburg, a 2X state semifinalist and #3 in the country per Intermat. Parris is the biggest lock of the semistate, and might be the biggest lock at state as well. He's a unique, rare talent, as evidenced by his tremendous accomplishments in multiple sports. Joining Parris in the rankings are: #7 Jacob McClaine of Lebanon, who hasn't been beaten this year after falling in the ticket round last year, #10 Kyle Cornwell of Elwood, who has just one loss on the season and was also a ticket rounder last year, and #19 Landon Burton of New Palestine, who was a semistate qualifier at 195 last year. Watch out for sleepers Rilee Miller of Perry, Ryan Leslie of Noblesville, Darrione Gregory of LC, Joe Myren of HSE, Andy Guhl of Cathedral and Blake Ripperger of Franklin County. Yes, that's nearly the entire bracket.

 

Last year's champ: Mason Parris, Lawrenceburg

 

Feature matchups:

 

#10 Cornwell vs. Joe Myren, HSE (Ticket round) – Cornwell was impressive at regionals and already has two wins over Myren this year. That said, semistate produces upsets and Myren is very dangerous.

 

#19 Burton vs. Andy Guhl, Cathedral (Opening round) – It was a different Guhl last year that stormed through the semistate to take 2nd, but the similarities are obvious. The elder and younger Guhl are both large, athletic 220s and are as battle-tested as they come. The winner likely gets regional runner-up Blake Ripperger of Franklin County, a semistate qualifier last season.

 

1st round picks:

McClaine over Thomas

Miller over Leslie

Parris over Boleman

Gregory over Greene

Cornwell over Laws

Myren over Dick

Burton over Guhl

Ripperger over Mata

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Parris, Cornwell, McClaine, Burton

 

The Alpha Dog:

Mason Parris

 

285

 

Three ranked wrestlers, as well as a former state qualifier, lead the field at heavyweight in New Castle. Defending state runner-up #9 Robert Samuels of Lawrence North was a semistate champion last year and a state qualifier the year before. He is one of the smallest, most physically vascular and ripped heavyweights you will ever see. Strangely, he has struggled somewhat this year, dropping 5 matches and losing at regionals. Still, he was a two seed last year as well, and it worked out pretty well for him. He is still a strong candidate to finish high at state. #10 Elijah Bailey of North Central has had a phenomenal season, which includes a couple of impressive wins over Samuels. Look for them to lock horns yet again, this time in the semistate finals. #17 Peyton Wuerch of Mount Vernon faces returning state qualifier Austin Dollens of Westfield in the opening round for the 2nd year in a row. Dollens got him 3-0 last year and rolled all the way to state. Wuerch will be looking for payback. Unfortunately for each, the winner gets Samuels in the ticket round. Clark Minges of East Central is a former three time ticket rounder for Union County.

 

Last year's champ: Robert Samuels, Lawrence North

 

Feature matchups:

 

#17 Wuerch vs. Austin Dollens, Westfield (Opening round) – Dollens used his large frame and nimble feet to win a lot of close matches last year. He'll be seeking to repeat his performance from last year against Wuerch, and it will be interesting to see if Dollens holds an advantage with the big win last year, or if Wuerch is hungry and looking for payback. Again, it's slightly moot, as the winner gets Samuels to advance to BLF.

 

Jaden Powell, Speedway vs. Juggernaut Williams, Carmel (Opening round) – Both were semistate qualifiers last season, with Powell making it to the ticket round. Powell has the superior record, while Williams has the superior schedule.

 

Clark Minges, East Central / Marcus Stone, Elwood vs. Connor Bettis, Rockville / Steve Woolbright, Perry Meridian (Ticket round) – Minges, Bettis and Woolbright are all seniors with strong records and Stone is a big, agile heavyweight who could surprise. Look for Minges or Woolbright to lock up for a ticket.

 

#9 Samuels vs. #10 Bailey (Finals) – They met at sectionals and regionals, as well as during the regular season. They are both on the smaller, more agile side, although neither seems to be overpowered during matches against larger opponents. Each is capable of a strong state run, but each is also capable of getting knocked off by a beefier opponent on Friday night as well.

 

1st round picks:

Dollens over Wuerch

Samuels over Robinson

Powell over Williams

Selm over Obst

Minges over Stone

Woolbright over Bettis

Bailey over Wisner

Kunkelman over Roland

 

Dingo's picks to advance, in order:

Samuels, Bailey, Powell, Woolbright

 

The Alpha Dog:

Robert Samuels



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