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hook and half

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hook and half last won the day on February 27 2016

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About hook and half

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    Evans Vegas
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    Blue Bolt
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    Evansville Mater Dei

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  1. SIAC Re-Cap

    I fact checked you. Actually, you picked the first 13 weight classes correctly, but you didn’t pick heavyweight. Were you scared?? I expect casebolt and Boarman to meet in the regional. I’ll stick with the 14-4 call. Egli cut tucker twice and controlled the entire match. I like Tucker’s energy and enthusiasm, but there is a wide gap between the two. i like Kiave! I would love to see him make a title run. However, when it is the second period, your chest is heaving and you have your hands on your hips—you are gassed. i, too, didn’t hear a lot of “he’s stalling” or “two”. Where were all of the Central fans?
  2. Big 8 Results

    How about a run down of finalists and scores?
  3. SIAC Re-Cap

    Thrills, chills and upsets punctuated the 62nd annual SIAC tournament. 106- There is no MOW for the SIAC; if there were, Mater Dei’s Cole Ross would have surely won it. The freshman spent less than a minute on the mat en route to the top of the podium. Wrestling fans were impressed by Central’s pink, pint-sized, pandemonium-producing pugilist, Destiny Garris. Garris is exciting and technical. She just missed third place, dropping a 4-2 overtime decision. At the conclusion of the match, I was not a big fan of the Memorial kid pushing her in the face. 113- Castle’s Devon Casebolt shook up the rhythm and tempo in his final against MD’s Blake Boarman. Boarman managed a third period escape and won, 4-3. Memorial’s freshman, Eli Wuerth, had a break-out day. Memorial fans wanted a pinfall called in his semifinal match against Casebolt…they may have had a point. Don’t let Wuerth’s 21-11 record fool you, he is dangerous. 120- Mater Dei’s Kane Egli made it a hat trick for the Wildcats in his domination of the field. 126- Castle’s Carson Willis evened this season’s series with MD’s Clay Egli with a 5-2 victory. For my money, this was the best final—two wide open wrestlers going after it. Willis’s teammates would be well-served by taking a cue from him. I look for Willis v. Egli III for a regional title. 132- Another day at the office for MD’s Eli Dickens. Lots of takedowns, cuts resulted in a second SIAC title for the sophomore. 138- Three takedowns and three cuts were enough for Mater Dei’s Matt Lee to win his second SIAC title. Castle’s runner-up, Matt Kincaid is a gamer. Don’t be surprised to see him sneak through and gain a state berth. 145- Mater Dei freshman Scott Fitts brought his brand of ground-and-pound to Paradise and found himself at the top of the podium, topping Castle’s Jacob Freeman, 6-3. 152- Castle’s Robert Deters had revenge on his mind, as he beat MD’s Macartney Parkinson, 10-2. The duo has traded losses this season. These are two of my favorite sophomores in the state. Expect to see Parkinson v. Deters III for a regional title. 160- MD’s Nolan Weidner was just about perfect, as he scored two pins and a 6-0 finals win over Reitz’s Zach Martin. 170- Upset city, baby! Not many folks outside of Coach Mike Lapadat picked Central’s third seed, McKinley Kemper, as the SIAC champ. A betting man could have made money on this one. Kemper wrestled a very smart and tight match against MD’s Blake Chandler that ended with a fall. Facing Reitz senior Noah Reich in the final, Kemper controlled the pace and forced overtime. In OT, Kemper picked his spot and scored the TD…Yahtzee! 182- Central’s Kiave Guerrier made it two in a row for the Bears with his 6-2 victory over Castle’s Will Nunn. Guerrier is very slick and thoughtful. It is not hard to imagine him on a podium in four weeks. His conditioning is a concern as he was clearly gassed in the semifinal and final. 195- Will Rolley delivered another upset for the Knights with his 10-3 win over Reitz’s Andrew Koonce. Did you see Rolley pose for a picture with his Dad? It was a nice moment. 220- Memorial’s Alex Lichlyter broke through with his 5-2 victory over MD’s Michael Boots, knocking Boots from the state’s unbeaten ranks. Expect another MD/Memorial dust-up for a regional title. 285- Mater Dei’s Roman Graves was awarded a stalling point in the second period. This broke the match open and led to his first SIAC title at the expense of Memorial’s Ryan Ohlsen. With 11 finalists, 8 titles and all 14 grapplers placing, Mater Dei cruised to a team title, scoring 72.5 more points than runner-up Castle. Musings and Random Thoughts: · As expected, Castle gave their normal outstanding performance in hosting the tournament. · The flu and an abbreviated practice schedule took its toll on the tournament. It took a couple of rounds for a lot of the kids to catch a gear. Many were definitely off a step. · I was impressed with the conditioning and pluck of the Reitz kids in their third-place performance. · It is always good visiting Backtothemat. He is a veritable data bank of wrestling information. · Mater Dei’s AD, Joe Herrmann, was not wearing shorts. What’s up with that? · Numbers are up in the SIAC—only 8 forfeits. · I like the direction of North’s program. Their coach is focused and had his team in shape. · I love watching Castle’s Bob Harmon coach. The entire gamut of human emotions is embodied in one man in a single afternoon. · There were a few good first round matches and many great semifinal matches. · Indiana State Champion and IU All-American, Matt Powless is on Memorial’s bench. He will add a lot of spice to the Tiger soup. · The crowd was down this year; even Castle and Mater Dei had many no-shows. · A shout-out to my favorite father/son coaching duo in the state—Harrison’s Mastisons. BTW- I accept your offer of a free Harrison Wrestling t-shirt.
  4. Big 8 Results

    Anyone?
  5. PAC results

    Can someone provide a recap?
  6. Evansville North Regional

    I’ve always been a fan of central wrestling; not a fan of their gym. It’s dark, dated and the seats are far removed from the action. whats wrong with a north sectional? Terrible decicision to move the regional.
  7. SIAC

    Boarman, 14-4
  8. Brownsburg vs. Perry Meridian at 6:30pm Tuesday

    One of the announcers has to stop with the “mister” thing. great camera work. Nick, you do a great job, as well.
  9. History of the SIAC Tournament

    Snow!
  10. By 1956, New Albany, Bloomington, Evansville Central, Reitz and Mater Dei fielded wrestling teams. The powers of the 17-member Southern Indiana Athletic Conference decided that a field of five was enough to hold a post-season tournament. Bloomington High, a perennial powerhouse and annual State Champion title threat, was coached by Indiana legend, Clifford “Two-Bit” Myers. The beastly Bloomington team captured the first two team titles. Phil Thrasher’s New Albany spoiled the party for Myers in 1958 and 1959, snatching the title from the Panthers. Thrasher, an Indiana Hall of Fame coach and still second on the State’s all-time wins list, traded wins with Myers until 1965 when Evansville Reitz managed a tie with New Albany. An expanded field of ten teams did nothing to dent the Bulldogs’ fortunes as Thrasher claimed titles through 1968. Don Henry’s Reitz Panthers broke through, claiming the SIAC title in 1969 and 1970, becoming the first Evansville school to claim an outright SIAC title. In his 16th year at the helm of Mater Dei, Joe Gossman boldly proclaimed his Wildcats would win the 1971 SIAC title. Gossman had strength in numbers, as Gossman had 60 boys on his team—in a school with a total male population of 175. Dave Macke, Tom Jankowski, Gene Scott and Jim Schroeder delivered titles as Mater Dei placed ten wrestlers and nudged second-place Evansville Harrison by 19 points. Evansville Rex Mundi was third, followed by Bosse, Memorial, Reitz, New Albany, Mt. Vernon, Central, Jasper, Tell City, Castle, Washington, North Knox, Boonville and North. Mater Dei dominated until 1975, when the Jasper Wildcats claimed their first title. The 1976 SIAC was in the third year of a new conference tourney format. The old format—a one day tournament with 19 teams—was deemed to be unwieldy. Four qualifying satellite meets were held, with the winners advancing to a championship event at Central. The satellite matchups were by blind draw; the two best wrestlers sometimes met in the first round with the loser eliminated. Gossman and Central’s Tommy Turner did not like it one bit. “All the tough teams are in one bracket,” groused Gossman. “Mater Dei, North and Central will knock each other off. Reitz (In the Castle satellite) has a shoo-in.” “Our thirds and fourths are better than Jasper’s firsts and seconds,” agreed Turner. Under the format, Reitz asserted itself, putting the Panthers back in the winner’s circle. The 1978 SIAC satellite qualifier at Mt. Vernon began on an ominous note. En route to Mt. Vernon, the Mater Dei bus, piloted by Joe Gossman, hit an icy patch and spun off the road. “No big deal,” claimed Tim Boots. “We got out and pushed.” During the meet, the weather continued to deteriorate, rendering roads impassable. As a result, the teams from Mater Dei, Castle, Harrison and Central—along with 75 fans—spent the evening at Mt. Vernon High School. “We thought it was going to be a great night,” claimed John Schroeder. “There were a number of cheerleaders and mat maids for the other schools that had to stay. Sure enough, they put all of the girls on lock down. There was no way to get to them.” “The only action we had was Goebel’s (Mike Goebel, the head wrestling coach at Castle) boys throwing buckets of snowball at us,” said Tim Boots. Record snowfall made the Saturday final impossible. The will to complete the meet was irresistible, therefore, the SIAC coaches decided to hold the final on a Wednesday following the regional. To add additional spice, the finals were wrestled before the third place matches. As Mater Dei held a 3.5 point lead over Reitz, after the final, the consolation matches held special importance. The Wildcats held serve and claimed a 7.5 point win over their arch-rivals. Another blizzard hit Evansville in 1980. The 1979 meet left a bad taste in the mouths of many, so the coaches decided to scrub the 1980 affair. In 1981, following a mass exodus of SIAC schools, the event returned to a single-day event held at Castle. Riding titles by Chris Wildeman, Jeff Parkinson, Joe Bassemier and Matt Crowe, Mike Goebel’s Wildcats claimed a 37.5 win over the second-place Reitz Panthers. Winning the SIAC tournament from 1980-1993, the incumbent Wildcats faced a serious challenge it 1994. The SIAC meet was regarded as the toughest ever, featuring second-ranked Mater Dei, fourth-ranked Central and the sixth-ranked Castle Knights. “Close, but no cigar” came to an end as Grodie Crick’s Central Bears ended Mater Dei’s hammerlock on the SIAC, edging the ‘Cats 205.5 to 204.5. “This is a tremendous boost for our program,” said Crick, in his first-ever win over Mater Dei. The Bears accomplished the victory in the most dramatic fashion. Trailing Mater Dei in the team score, Central’s Josh Crick took the mat against Castle’s undefeated Patrick Mayes. Shaking off two previous losses to Mayes, Crick dominated, winning 8-3 and locking up the team title for Central. Mater Dei won the title back in 1995 and set a new mark for SIAC tournament performance in 2003, winning 13 weight classes. Claiming 13 champs and a third, the Wildcats lost one match on the day. An extremely tough field entered the 2010 SIAC meet, with Reitz finding itself with a fifth-state ranking while Mater Dei was regarded as sixth and Castle was seventh. Reitz coach Scott Ferguson was riding high going into the meet. Ferguson, a former Castle wrestler, had claimed a January dual meet victory over Mater Dei—his first as a wrestler or coach. Reitz’s depth won the day, as all fourteen wrestlers placed while Bryan Kuhn, Trevor Moody, Derek Dowdy and Blake Rueger claimed titles. On the eve of its 62nd annual meet, the SIAC championships are alive and well. Expect upsets, fiery coaches, long-standing rivalries, surprise domination—and highly partisan fan bases. SIAC Titles: Mater Dei- 41, New Albany- 8, Reitz- 5, Bloomington High- 5, Central- 1, Jasper- 1.
  11. SIAC Preview

    It’s that time, kids! Load up the station wagon and point her towards Paradise; the post season is here. 106- Any other year, Harrison’s Kaliq Boyd is good enough to top the podium at the SIAC meet. Unfortunately for him, Mater Dei’s Cole Ross has piled up a 21-2 record against statewide competition and looks prepared to take home a conference title. 113- Castle’s Devon Casebolt brings a lot of fire power to the mat. However, so does Mater Dei freshman, Blake Boarman. Boarman is undefeated and is wrestling outer-worldly. Look for Boarman to go 2-0 against Casebolt. 120- Give the edge to MD’s Kane Egli over Castle’s first-year starter, junior Logan Hunt. Hunt is tough, but cannot look past his semifinal match against Central’s Cameron Amento. 126- This is a two-horse race between Castle’s Carson Willis and Mater Dei’s Clay Egli. Egli won the first match-up; the second one should be a doozy. Whoa, Nelly! 132- Mater Dei’s Eli Dickens is the clear favorite. However, anyone who has watched Central’s Brayden Bethe knows the truth: the 18-2 Bethe is extremely dangerous. 138- Question: How many Lees can Mater Dei produce? Answer: Three. The sophomore, Matt, should fake, snap and shoot his way to the top of the award stand. 145- Don’t let the baby face of Mater Dei freshman Scott Fitts fool you. Behind the apple cheeks is a solid and steady wrestler. Look for Castle’s Jacob Freeman to challenge him in the final. 152- Castle’s Robert Deters is a sophomore who makes few mistakes and capitalizes on those of his opponent. Mater Dei’s Macartney Parkinson is a sophomore who makes few mistakes and capitalizes on those of his opponent. See a pattern? This rivalry dates back to middle school and is one of the top match-ups in Southern Indiana. 160- Mater Dei’s Nolan Weidner gets the nod for the top slot, while Castle’s Ian Hartz and Reitz’s Zach Martin will slug it out in the bottom of the bracket for the right to meet Weidner at the center mat. 170- This is a wide-open weight class. While Reitz’s Noah Reich should cruise to the final, Central’s McKinley Kemper and MD’s Blake Chandler will battle in the semifinal. Shuffle these three cards and see who comes out on top. 182- Who can stop Central’s Kiave Guerrier? So far, no one. The Bear is an eye-popping 20-0. One of the top semifinal matches of the day will occur in the bottom half of the bracket when North’s Tyler Tasa meets Castle’s Will Nunn. 195- Like 170, 195 is up for grabs. Reitz’s Andrew Koonce headlines, while Mater Dei’s Robbie Helfrich and Castle’s Will Rolley will battle for the right to square off with Koonce. Which of the three is fired-up, injury free and has avoided the flu? Not sure—but you will be able to identify him by his blue neck ribbon. 220- Mater Dei’s Michael Boots is one of three undefeated wrestlers in the field. Memorial fans are still steaming over a last second takedown awarded to Boots in his win over Alex Lichlyter. Look for Boots/Lichlyter II this weekend. 285- Mater Dei’s Roman Graves gets the top seed over Memorial’s Ryan Ohlsen. Their first match came down to a coin toss as Graves won in triple overtime. I would not be surprised to see a replay. Hook’s Musings: · My Castle Peeps will be out in force. BlueBolt will be spinning more insane conspiracy theories than Oliver Stone, Todd Foxxx will be keeping stats like it’s his job, BacktotheMat will have a dazzling array of probability and actuarial tables while the Castle parents will do their always-outstanding job of hosting in the most gracious manner. · The concession stand will feature face-sized pieces of pizza and baked taters “as big as your head.” · Central’s Mike Lapadat will come out of his chair at least once. · Castle’s Bob Harmon will don a pressed shirt, statement-making tie and photos of his grandchildren on his person. · From the Mater Dei crowd, at least once, you will hear “TWOOOOO!” · Hook will be enjoying the action with his daughter, Hookticia, in addition to a Memorial fan and a North fan. It’s going to look like a committee from the United Nations. · RIP, Keith Jackson. “He had never seen a corn dog, much less tasted one. It took him three quarters to eat one, and then he ate three.” · Hook is already in a bad mood about the regional being moved from Castle to North. You may see a meltdown.
  12. SIAC

    I have reitz at third, central, memorial, north harrison and bosse. I look for MD to have 7-10 champs. When are the brackets released?
  13. Reitz vs Mater Dei, Thursday Night at 6pm

    MD faces, even at a youth level, high levels of hostility wherever it completes. Virtually every MD parent has a host of stories of offensive enlightenment by a total stranger. There is a certain bunker mentality.
  14. Reitz vs Mater Dei, Thursday Night at 6pm

    A few short years ago, Reitz was a perrenial top ten team. Two great matches at 182 and 195 last night, but MD wins an otherwise straightforward affair, 64-6.
  15. The annual Reitz/Mater Dei football game has been recognized as the greatest rivalry among Indiana high schools. West-siders will tell you the Panthers and Wildcats also enjoy the best wrestling rivalry the Hoosier state has to offer. Ask any wrestler who has donned the Red & Gold or Blue & Grey and he will tell you about his greatest glory—or nadir of agony—and how it related to the annual Reitz/Mater Dei meet. For nearly three-quarters of a century, young wrestlers on the west side have grown up with the dream of wearing his school colors and having his hand raised, signifying a win over his arch-rival. For the series history, Mater Dei has beaten Reitz 69 times, lost eight times and tied once. Seldom short on excitement, and never short on fan interest, for more than 60 years, the Mater Dei/Reitz dual continues to attract the largest crowds of any high school meet in Indiana. Fans and coaches circle this date on the calendar with a red pen. For the coaches and spectators, there are only two outcomes: euphoria or misery. For the combatants, the evening always carries special importance. A lot of the boys are neighbors and friends off the mat, the conviviality ends when the grapplers toe the line. This is the night to perform. For many of the athletes, this will be the biggest stage on which they will ever compete. Any wrestler, who grows up on the wrestling-mad west side, has daydreamed about delivering his team to victory in front of a packed, raucous house. At stake is a lifetime of bragging rights. This is the night for dreams to come true. A brief history... One-year-old Mater Dei got a head start on the Panthers, fielding its first team in 1950. Three years later, Reitz followed suit. Mater Dei hosted Reitz on January 15, 1953, in what would be the first wrestling dual of the series. The Wildcats were led by volunteer coach and ex-Chicago Bear, Gus Peters. Reitz legend Allan Horn coached the Panthers. Both would later be elected to the Indiana High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. “The Mater Dei and Reitz rivalry was in full swing,” said Bob Drone, Mater Dei class of 1953. “There were about 150 fans showed up for it. No one knew much about wrestling, but they cheered for their team.” “Reitz had some big-name football players on the wrestling team,” said Tom Scheller, Mater Dei class of 1954. “But, we were so fired up, it didn’t matter. This was wrestling, not football. Everyone was very determined.” The pre-match tension was palpable. The match was nearly underway when Coach Peters discovered that Don “Ape” Scheller was missing. “Where’s Scheller,” barked Peters. “He was just here, Coach,” replied the boys. “Go find him,” ordered Peters. The search party quickly found Scheller in the locker room smoking a Lucky Strike cigarette. “I’m really nervous,” Scheller declared. “This will help calm me down.” Cigarettes aside, the Wildcats’ experience and pluck proved to be too much for their Westside opponents. The Panthers succumbed, 51-2. Reitz’s coach, Allan Horn, became very frustrated during the match. “He was mad because we were beating them so bad,” said Ed Bergwitz. “He said to Ape, ‘Scheller, if you didn’t smoke so much you’d be a helluva wrestler.’ That made Gus Peters mad. So Gus said, ‘He beat anybody that you had, didn’t he?’” The Wildcats’ experience and pluck proved to be too much for the Panthers and Allan Horn’s grapplers succumbed, 51-2. By the mid-1960s, wrestling had taken a firm foothold in Evansville and was spreading to neighboring counties. Harrison, North, Bosse, Central, Reitz and Mater Dei had full, or nearly full, varsity, junior varsity and freshman rosters. Reitz and Mater Dei had established themselves as local powerhouses and players in the State wrestling scene. Mater Dei claimed two State Champions, Fred Happe and Bill Trainer, while both schools boasted several State Placers. The rivalry entered its golden era. Fan interest was sky-high for January 23, 1966 dust up. Reitz coach Don Henry tapped Reitz’s pool of athletes to field a physical and tough team. 13 years into its program, Reitz, an owner of only two wins and a draw against the Wildcats, had made enormous strides. The Hilltoppers felt that this could be the team to defeat the ‘Cats. Henry put the match into perspective. “If a person who doesn’t know a thing about wrestling can go out and sit through a Reitz/Mater Dei match without getting excited, he’s just not a competitor,” he said. On the heels of pins by 95 pound Larry Barchet and 103 pound Steve Jarboe, Reitz jumped out to a 10-0 lead. The Wildcats clawed their way back in and took a 21-16 lead when Bill Hausmann turned in a pin at 154 pounds. Reitz’s Larry Merritt and Bill Hape claimed back-to-back decision victories to post the Panthers a one-point lead. The meet came down to the heavyweights. Mater Dei’s Bill Pfister took the mat to face Reitz’s Dan Labhart. To the screams of 1,100 rabid fans, Pfister wasted no time, going after Labhart and getting the fall at the 3:04 mark. Big Ten referee Bill Bruce officiated the match. “You know,” he said. “I’ve never seen as big a wrestling crowd as this anywhere in Indiana. Not even in the sectional or regional.” Final score: Mater Dei- 26, Reitz- 22. The following season, Reitz and Mater Dei, both undefeated in City play, met on January 19, 1967. Don Henry was bullish about his team’s prospects. “This is one of the best teams we have had in eight or nine years,” he declared. Reitz hit Mater Dei hard, early and often, opening the match with wins by Larry Barchet, Steve Jarboe, Tony Trammel, Randy Hahn, Bill Majors and Dick Metz. Only Mater Dei’s Gary Martin stopped the Panthers from claiming all of the first seven bouts. The Wildcats won some matches in the upper weights, but the damage was done as the Panthers turned in a dominating, 26-13 victory in front of 1,000 delirious Panther fans in Reitz’s gym. The defeat marked the first City loss for Mater Dei since 1959 and earned Reitz the City title. In 1968, Harrison dominated the local wrestling scene. Although Harrison had already clinched the City title, interest was extremely high for the Reitz/Mater Dei dual. On January 25, 1,500 fans filed into Mater Dei’s gym to witness a classic. Reitz jumped on Mater Dei early, getting pins from Bill Steiner and Larry Barchet to grab a 10-0 lead. Mater Dei dominated the middle weights, getting wins from Greg Kempf, Art Happe, and Tom Schapker. Reitz answered with their own run, posting wins by Randy Hahn, Bill Bish and Dick Metz. With three bouts remaining and a 22-13 lead, one more win by the Panthers would guarantee a win. Mater Dei narrowed Reitz’s lead when Mike Forche beat Reitz’s Bill Hewig, 6-4. At 180 pounds, the Wildcats’ Steve Pfister got a first period takedown and never trailed, holding on for a nail biting, 4-2 win. With Reitz clinging to a 22-19 lead, the dual would be decided by the heavyweights. Frank Buerger immediately attacked Walter Carr and scored a first period fall, sending the Mater Dei Nation into hysterics. Final score: Mater Dei- 24, Reitz- 22. “These guys have overcome a lot of adversity,” praised Mater Dei boss Joe Gossman. “To come in here and win a match like this, well, it just means a lot.” In 1969, 2000 fans, a new attendance record, gathered in Reitz’s gym on January 30 to witness the annual donnybrook. The Panthers came out on fire, opening with six wins in the first seven weight classes. The strong start ignited Reitz’s fans making the Wildcats task even more desperate in hostile territory. Despite winning matches in the upper weights, the deficit was too large to overcome and the Panthers prevailed, 26-16. “To those who understand wrestling,” said Don Henry, “It would be the winning in our lower weight classes, because we’re weaker in the heavier divisions. If we hadn’t won those at first, we could have been in trouble.” A frustrated Joe Gossman agreed. “You can’t come out and lose like we did in the beginning and expect to win,” he said. Reitz’s Gil Barchet, Larry Barchet, Bill Steiner, Craig Deig and Charlie Cook all turned in wins to maintain their unblemished records. Mater Dei’s Art Happe and John Cartwright also kept their unbeaten seasons intact. The see-saw series continued, with Reitz grabbing a 23-15, 1970 verdict. Mater Dei returned the favor with a 34-8 victory over the Panthers in 1971 and claimed victories, by comfortable margins in 1972 and 1973. Reitz claimed a hard-fought and bitter win in 1974, beating the Wildcats and spoiling their undefeated season. Winning the match 36-18, it was, and remains the largest margin of victory over the 'Cats. In the 1974-75 season, Joe Gossman knew his Wildcats would be hard-pressed to win the Thursday night dual. The ‘Cats entered the affair with a 2-0 record; the Panthers were 5-0. Joe Dewig and Tom Mayer were standouts for the ‘Cats. The Panthers were led by Marlon Fleming. Fleming, a 350 pound giant would win the State shot put title in the spring and later star on the gridiron at Indiana University. Fans on both sides of Division Street had done the math; this match was going to be close. 2,000 fans were on hand in Reitz’s gym to see it. The hostilities began before the wrestlers took the mat. “Somebody was setting the videotape up when Latham came over to me and said we couldn’t do it,” said Gossman. “I had gotten permission, so I told our people to go ahead and plug it in. Then Reitz’s principal turned off the power. They said the only place we could videotape was from way up in the crow’s next. We moved everything up there.” At 5:45 PM, Marlon Fleming was not in the house. “The Reitz coaches were climbing the walls,” said Jerry “Buddy” Parkinson. “The weigh-in was over at six. ‘Papa Joe’ (Gossman) was sitting in a chair, against the wall, peeling an orange with an exacto knife. He had his chin down and didn’t say a word to anyone. Just peeling that orange, chomping down on his cigar and glancing up at that clock.” 6:00 PM came and went; Fleming missed the weigh-in. Eventually, Fleming arrived. Much to the consternation of Reitz coach Jerry Latham, Fleming had “Missed his ride.” Roger Wathen and Dave Buckman got the ‘Cats started right, offering decision victories at 98 and 105 pounds. Reitz won at 112 pounds to tighten the score. Ron Mayer, in his varsity debut, came up huge beating Reitz’s Jolly, 6-4. Reitz’s Alvey stopped the slide, beating Jeff Helfrich at 126. Bob Barnes scored an escape that held up for a 1-0 win over Dickinson that initiated a four-match run by the Wildcats. Mike Schmitt, Dave Cartwright and Joe Dewig offered decision victories that put the ‘Cats in the driver’s seat. The Panthers, however, had ideas of their own and scored a hat trick of decisions over Mike Vessels, Keith Hartz and Tim Fisher. With Mater Dei on top, 21-20, the heavyweights would decide the match. Mike Rupprecht, Mater Dei’s undersized heavyweight toed the line across from Rick Baylor. In a nip-and-tuck affair, Rupprecht fought Baylor to a draw. Final Score: Mater Dei- 23, Reitz- 22. “It was a dandy match, and I’m happy as a lark,” Gossman chirped. “I thought the key matches were at 105 pounds and 119. I knew we had to win at 105 to have a chance. Marlon came walking over to me, looking like King Kong and said ‘Why did you not let me wrestle?’ I told him we were just following the rules and hoped that he wasn’t too mad. He could have eaten me alive.” “Joe was very calm speaking to Marlon,” recalled John Schroeder. “Very polite and using all of his Dale Carnegie skills.” Rupprecht would have had his hands full with the behemoth Fleming. A miserable Jerry Latham reckoned that the miscue likely cost his Panthers the match. “He could have rented a Greyhound bus, and I would have paid for it,” he lamented. For Mater Dei fans, the night was a smashing success. And the impromptu videotape? “We got the best pictures we ever had,” said Gossman. Reitz won the 1976/76 match which ended a decade with 5 wins for the Wildcats and 5 for the Panthers. Nine of the ten contests between 1966 and 1976 were the highest-attended wrestling meets in Indiana. The November 29, 1979 featured unexpected heroes, bombastic coaches, a boisterous crowd, lead changes and superstar wrestlers. The 38th meeting of Reitz and Mater Dei is considered the greatest-ever dual between the Westside powers. Jerry Latham, a future Hall of Fame coach, was in his 11th season as the Reitz skipper. Latham, Reitz’s golf coach, leveraged a strong staff of assistant coaches and Reitz’s reservoir of athletes to field successful teams. Latham’s teams were known for their physical and punishing wrestling style. “(Reitz assistant coach) ‘Porky’ Nau was tough,” said Reitz alumnae Joe Schweizer. “He hated it when the guy on bottom wouldn’t move. If you were lying around during practice, Porky would jump on you and rub his beard scruff on you. It hurt. Porky would say ‘See there? You can get out.’ He made us mean.” Any great conflict requires a villain; Jerry Latham was Mater Dei’s perfect foil. Quotable and outspoken, Latham gave the Wildcats plenty of bulletin board material. His distaste for Mater Dei was palpable. The situation came to a head in the 1977 SIAC qualifier when Latham got into an ugly confrontation with graduated Mater Dei wrestler and referee Mark Schnur. The near-donnybrook led to Latham’s ejection, accusations, finger-pointing, and denials. Young Mike Goebel was in his second year at the helm of Mater Dei. Short on years and long on intensity, Goebel had no intention of ceding anything to the Reitz Panthers. Outsized firepower dotted both line-ups. For Mater Dei, Tim Boots would win a State Title in 1980, while Chris Wildeman would win in 1981. Future State Qualifiers, Larry Boots, Jeff Parkinson, Tom Zenthoefer, Dan Burch and Joe Bassemier rounded out the line-up. Reitz was led by Jeff Harp. Harp is considered to be the greatest wrestler ever produced by Reitz, as he won back-to-back State Titles. Roger Reisz was a two-time State Runner-up, losing the title both times to Delta’s David Palmer, an Indiana wrestling legend. Tony Morrow completed his career with a fourth-place showing at the State Meet. The 1,200 gathered in Mater Dei’s gym that Thursday evening knew it was going to be a tight match. Although Mater Dei owned a 30-8 series advantage, recent meetings had been close. Mater Dei eked out a one-point victory in 1977 and lost to Reitz in 1976. Young Mike Goebel, in his second year at the reins of Mater Dei, knew that the going would be rough. “It’s going to be a very tough meet,” he commented. “I think our kids are ready.” “I’d rather beat Mater Dei than eat,” said Jerry Latham. “Having been a psychology major, I don’t want to say anything to fire Mater Dei up, but I do know they’re going to have to wrestle hard to beat us,” “Tom-Tom” Zenthoefer opened the match and limited the damage, losing to Jeff Harp, 11-2. Tony Morrow followed with a 7-0 win over Mater Dei’s Lindsey Kempf. Dan Burch got the ‘Cats on the scoreboard, scoring a first period takedown and defeating Joe Schweizer, 2-0. The Panthers made it three of four when Bruce Backes pinned Dave Morris in the third period. The Wildcats seized the momentum by winning the next two bouts. Larry Boots pinned Mike Rippy at 126, followed by a tight, 4-2 decision by Tony Head over Ken Camp. Reitz’s Mike Barchet returned the favor, beating Dave Weaver, 4-2. Trailing 16-12, Chris Wildeman gave Mater Dei its first lead of the evening, pinning Mark Schweizer in the first period. Roger Reisz initiated the second lead change, beating Jeff Parkinson, 6-4. Parkinson gave Reisz all that he wanted. With a few seconds left on the clock and the scored knotted at four, Parkinson tried an escape that resulted in a near fall for Reisz, accounting for the final margin. Dan Lomax and Stan Gerard battled to a tie, freezing the match differential. Enter sophomore Joe Bassemier at 177 pounds. Bassemier, starting his varsity first match for the ‘Cats, had no small task. Reitz senior Joe Shrode was a standout athlete, excelling on the football field and wrestling mat. Particularly galling to the Mater Dei Nation was the fact that Shrode had grown up in the Mater Dei feeder league. Bassemier gave up the opening takedown to Shrode but scratched his way back into the match in the second period, to knot the score. Both wrestlers began to tire and were penalized for stalling. Bassemier grabbed his first lead of the match with an early, third period reversal and was on his way to the win when Shrode scored a reversal, with 20 ticks remaining, to tie the score. The match was poised to go to overtime when Referee Jim Shannon raised his fist a moment before the buzzer, calling Shrode for another stalling penalty. Reitz Coach Jerry Latham went ballistic, stormed the scorer’s table and demanded that Shannon reverse the call. The cocksure Shannon had nothing to do with it; the decision stood. When Bassemier’s hand was raised, bedlam ensued, as Mater Dei fans clapped, screamed and jumped. 189-pound Tim Boots took the mat and pinned John McCullough to put the Panthers away. Dan Winiger’s win over Mater Dei’s Ted Boarman was academic. Final Score: Mater Dei- 29, Reitz- 27. After the match, Latham was still fuming. “That (The Bassemier/Shrode match) was the turning point,” said Latham. “A ref can take it away from you. He (Shannon) came over to my practice Monday and visited Mater Dei this week, too. He told us what he was going to do. He said he was going to call stalling, he told me I’d better sit down and he was going to watch for unsportsmanlike conduct. The rules all cover that and we know it. It was not ethical of him and we did notify the assistant commissioner of the IHSAA.” “I was not expecting a penalty point at the end,” said Mike Goebel. “When you are on top you can’t just lay there, you have to go for the fall. Shrode did not. He (Bassemier) was scared to death before the match,” said Goebel. “Give him credit for his guts. That was the turning point.” “I guess I had a few butterflies in my stomach,” Bassemier conceded. “Everybody figured I was the underdog. But the guys had faith in me and I knew we needed it.” The 1980 match was also a thriller; it ended in a tie. Although the match was deadlocked, Latham saw victory in the dust-up claiming “They tied us, we didn’t tie them.” 1980 was the last time Latham got close. In his career, Latham beat Mater Dei twice. For the following 28 years, Mater Dei dominated, averaging 55 points per contest while holding Reitz to 9. In 2010, the Panthers broke through, beating the Wildcats, 36-21 in front of 2000 fans in Mater Dei's gym. It marked Mater Dei’s first loss to a City team in 34 years. The win was especially significant as this was the first Reitz class to win a state football title and defeat Mater Dei in wrestling. It was a huge win for Reitz's Scott Ferguson--This represented the first time as an athlete, assistant or head coach that his team had defeated the Wildcats. Two weeks later, the hits kept coming as fifth-ranked Reitz defeated Mater Dei for the SIAC title, Reitz's first since 1976. Third-year coach Greg Schaefer had plenty of stomach acid leading to the sectional as it seemed inevitable that Mater Dei's 34-year of sectional dominance would end on his watch. However, Reitz's dream of a Team State appearance ground to a halt in the semifinals as the Wildcats picked up steam and the Panthers faltered. John Sims summed up the day: “Being the first team to lose to Reitz in 35 years hurt,” he said. “Our main concern today was just to win. We’d been losing close matches, which just isn’t like Mater Dei. We really stressed being more aggressive, really trying to pile up extra points. This was our little payback.” Neil Hammelman put an exclamation mark on the day, pinning his Reitz foe for the sectional title. It was Hammelman's first victory over him in four tries.
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