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Found 8 results

  1. 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. View full article
  2. 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.
  3. By JEREMY HINES Thehines7@gmail.com Breyden Bailey has done just about everything one can do to improve in wrestling. He puts time in the weight room, works relentlessly in practice and studies the sport. He’s gotten better in all aspects of wrestling. Yet, each year, despite his improvements, his season has ended in the exact same way -- third place. Bailey, a senior at Indianapolis Cathedral, is one of the most highly decorated wrestlers in Indiana history. He’s a four time sectional champion, a four time regional champion and as of last Saturday, he’s a four-time New Castle semistate champion. Going to state is nothing new for Bailey. He’s been there four times. He’s won his Friday night match the last three years. He’s also won his first and second matches on Saturday for the last three years. The state semifinals has proven to be the death round for Bailey. He has lost in the semifinals all three years. Each time, the opponent that has beaten him, has then fallen to the eventual state champion en route to a second place finish. Bailey has went on to win the third place match all three times. “It does mean a lot to me to be a four-time state qualifier,” Bailey said. “I am proud of my placings, but I want to win it.” Wrestling is in Bailey’s blood. His father, Bryan, is a two-time state champion from Martinsville and a one-time runner-up. “Bryan has been coaching Breyden his whole life,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “He’s been able to absorb things about the sport. Wrestling really is a way of life for him.” Bailey started wrestling when he turned seven. He had instant success, placing second in the ISWA folkstyle state that year. “Wrestling really seems to have come naturally to me,” Bailey said. About the time Bailey started wrestling, he also started going to the state finals in Indianapolis to watch the high school guys reach for their goals. “I’ve been going to the state tournament since I was in second grade,” Bailey said. “My favorite memory was when Briar Runyan from Martinsville won it. I remember getting my picture taken with him. They are close family friends.” Bailey doesn’t participate in any other sport. He says his normal day is waking up early, doing a little lifting or running a few miles, then going to school. During the school day he often gets the opportunity during one of his resource classes to look at film on wrestling. After school he goes to practice, then sticks around some nights to put extra work in with his freshman brother Logan. Logan lost in the ticket round of the New Castle semistate on Saturday. McGinley says there really isn’t a weakness in Bailey’s wrestling. “He’s good from top, bottom and neutral,” McGinley said. “But the first thing I’d say about Bailey is that he’s a student of the sport. I’ve never had a kid that has so much knowledge, that’s so involved in our room. He’s constantly helping other kids and coaching. He’s on another level in terms of his knowledge of the sport.” Bailey’s leadership (he’s a three-year captain at Cathedral) is one of the big reasons the Irish are considered contenders for the team state title this year. Cathedral won the New Castle semistate and will send seven grapplers to the state meet. The Irish were especially dominant in the middle weights. Jordan Slivka won the 126 pound class, Bailey took first at 132 and Zach Melloh won the 138 pound bracket. Elliot Rodgers finished second at 145. Ben Stewart finished second for Cathedral at 195 pounds and Andy Guhl was second at 220. Caleb Oliver finished fourth at 113. “We thought the semistate team championship would be close,” McGinley said. “I really thought it was Perry Meridian’s to lose. But we always talk about how we want to get on a little bit of a roll. We know if we lose one we aren’t expected to, we need someone who isn’t expected to win to pull off the upset. “That happened when we lost at 106 with little Bailey. We turned around at 113 and got back on track.” Oliver’s advancement was a bit of a surprise, considering he had just an 18-16 record entering the semistate. For Breyden, he has learned leadership skills by watching guys that were good leaders to him. “My freshman year we won state,” Bailey said. “We had guys like Vinny Corsaro and Wesley Bernard that were great leaders. I learned a lot from their style.” Bailey will wrestle for Division I Northern Illinois University next season. His college bio page will talk about his three third place finishes. He’s hoping there is also a line that reads “2017 Indiana state champion” as well. “Right now that’s my number one goal,” Bailey said. “I want to get under those lights.”
  4. By JEREMY HINES Thehines7@gmail.com Breyden Bailey has done just about everything one can do to improve in wrestling. He puts time in the weight room, works relentlessly in practice and studies the sport. He’s gotten better in all aspects of wrestling. Yet, each year, despite his improvements, his season has ended in the exact same way -- third place. Bailey, a senior at Indianapolis Cathedral, is one of the most highly decorated wrestlers in Indiana history. He’s a four time sectional champion, a four time regional champion and as of last Saturday, he’s a four-time New Castle semistate champion. Going to state is nothing new for Bailey. He’s been there four times. He’s won his Friday night match the last three years. He’s also won his first and second matches on Saturday for the last three years. The state semifinals has proven to be the death round for Bailey. He has lost in the semifinals all three years. Each time, the opponent that has beaten him, has then fallen to the eventual state champion en route to a second place finish. Bailey has went on to win the third place match all three times. “It does mean a lot to me to be a four-time state qualifier,” Bailey said. “I am proud of my placings, but I want to win it.” Wrestling is in Bailey’s blood. His father, Bryan, is a two-time state champion from Martinsville and a one-time runner-up. “Bryan has been coaching Breyden his whole life,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “He’s been able to absorb things about the sport. Wrestling really is a way of life for him.” Bailey started wrestling when he turned seven. He had instant success, placing second in the ISWA folkstyle state that year. “Wrestling really seems to have come naturally to me,” Bailey said. About the time Bailey started wrestling, he also started going to the state finals in Indianapolis to watch the high school guys reach for their goals. “I’ve been going to the state tournament since I was in second grade,” Bailey said. “My favorite memory was when Briar Runyan from Martinsville won it. I remember getting my picture taken with him. They are close family friends.” Bailey doesn’t participate in any other sport. He says his normal day is waking up early, doing a little lifting or running a few miles, then going to school. During the school day he often gets the opportunity during one of his resource classes to look at film on wrestling. After school he goes to practice, then sticks around some nights to put extra work in with his freshman brother Logan. Logan lost in the ticket round of the New Castle semistate on Saturday. McGinley says there really isn’t a weakness in Bailey’s wrestling. “He’s good from top, bottom and neutral,” McGinley said. “But the first thing I’d say about Bailey is that he’s a student of the sport. I’ve never had a kid that has so much knowledge, that’s so involved in our room. He’s constantly helping other kids and coaching. He’s on another level in terms of his knowledge of the sport.” Bailey’s leadership (he’s a three-year captain at Cathedral) is one of the big reasons the Irish are considered contenders for the team state title this year. Cathedral won the New Castle semistate and will send seven grapplers to the state meet. The Irish were especially dominant in the middle weights. Jordan Slivka won the 126 pound class, Bailey took first at 132 and Zach Melloh won the 138 pound bracket. Elliot Rodgers finished second at 145. Ben Stewart finished second for Cathedral at 195 pounds and Andy Guhl was second at 220. Caleb Oliver finished fourth at 113. “We thought the semistate team championship would be close,” McGinley said. “I really thought it was Perry Meridian’s to lose. But we always talk about how we want to get on a little bit of a roll. We know if we lose one we aren’t expected to, we need someone who isn’t expected to win to pull off the upset. “That happened when we lost at 106 with little Bailey. We turned around at 113 and got back on track.” Oliver’s advancement was a bit of a surprise, considering he had just an 18-16 record entering the semistate. For Breyden, he has learned leadership skills by watching guys that were good leaders to him. “My freshman year we won state,” Bailey said. “We had guys like Vinny Corsaro and Wesley Bernard that were great leaders. I learned a lot from their style.” Bailey will wrestle for Division I Northern Illinois University next season. His college bio page will talk about his three third place finishes. He’s hoping there is also a line that reads “2017 Indiana state champion” as well. “Right now that’s my number one goal,” Bailey said. “I want to get under those lights.” Click here to view the article
  5. Brought to you by EI Sports By JEREMY HINES Thehines7@gmail.com Indianapolis Cathedral’s Blake Rypel is one of Indiana’s most dominating forces on the wrestling mat. His name is recognized by just about everyone who cares even a little bit about the sport in the Hoosier state. Rypel wants more though – he wants everyone in the country to know his name. “I want to be one of the most recognizable names in college wrestling as well,” Rypel said. “I want to be a four-year contender for the National Championship.” Rypel, a senior at Cathedral, will wrestle next season for the Indiana Hoosiers. He currently is 34-0 this season and is riding an 80-match winning streak. “Blake is the kind of wrestler that is tough to coach,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “He can do so many things that you really don’t practice. You kind of let him go on that. He’s so good on the mat, he’s teaching us in the room. He’s a very special wrestler.” Last season Rypel was the state champion at 195 pounds. This year, in order to benefit the Cathedral team, Rypel has cut down to 182 pounds. “Here’s a guy that is committed to IU,” McGinley said. “He’s a returning state champ. He’s ranked No. 1 in the state at 195 pounds. But he decides to drop weight and go down to 182 for the betterment of the team. That right there tells you what kind of kid Blake is.” Rypel’s decision to drop to 182 was for the benefit of the team, but it was also to help out his good friend Ben Stewart. “Ben is a football player,” Rypel said. “He wants to play in college and he wants to be bulking up, not cutting weight. So I said I would go down to 182 so he didn’t have to.” Stewart is currently ranked No. 2 in the state at 195. “If Blake doesn’t go down to 182, Ben doesn’t wrestle,” McGinley said. “So obviously his decision to drop has greatly helped our team.” Rypel finished seventh as a freshman at 160 pounds. He was second his sophomore season at 182 and he won last year at 195. His freshman year was one of his most trying seasons because his father passed away unexpectedly a few weeks before the start of the season. “That was terrible,” Rypel said. “I used it as motivation though. I dedicated a lot of my wins to my dad. Every once in a while I start to dwell on his death, but I try not to.” Rypel comes from a basketball family. His dad, brother and sister were all basketball standouts. Ironically, Blake was introduced to wrestling through basketball. “My basketball coach at the time, I think it was around 2005 or 2006, had a son that wrestled and he told me that I might like it,” Rypel said. “The first year I thought wrestling was OK, but in the second year I really started winning and fell in love with the sport.” Rypel is already focused on his college wrestling. He has dreamed of going to Indiana University ever since he was little, and he can’t wait to put on that Hoosier singlet. “Every college I visited was pretty cool,” Rypel said. “But I already knew everyone on IU’s team. I have been a Hoosier fan all of my life. I never thought that one day I’d be good enough to wrestle for them.” McGinley believes Rypel will have a lot of success in college because he is a dominating wrestler on top, which suits the college style. As far as finishing his high school career, he said anything less than a state championship would be a disappointment. Rypel won the Lawrence Central sectional last week, beating No. 3 ranked Cameron Jones 8-6 in the final. He hopes Cathedral can also claim the team state championship. The Irish have seven ranked wrestlers still competing: Lukasz Waldensak (No. 13, 106), Jordan Slivka (No. 12, 113), Breyden Bailey (No. 2, 126), Zach Melloh (No. 6, 132), Rypel (No. 1, 182), Stewart (No. 2, 195) and Ryan Guhl (No. 9, 220). “I really believe we have some of the strongest wrestlers in the state,” Rypel said. “As long as our guys can place, we have a real good shot at winning.”
  6. Brought to you by EI Sports By JEREMY HINES Thehines7@gmail.com Indianapolis Cathedral’s Blake Rypel is one of Indiana’s most dominating forces on the wrestling mat. His name is recognized by just about everyone who cares even a little bit about the sport in the Hoosier state. Rypel wants more though – he wants everyone in the country to know his name. “I want to be one of the most recognizable names in college wrestling as well,” Rypel said. “I want to be a four-year contender for the National Championship.” Rypel, a senior at Cathedral, will wrestle next season for the Indiana Hoosiers. He currently is 34-0 this season and is riding an 80-match winning streak. “Blake is the kind of wrestler that is tough to coach,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “He can do so many things that you really don’t practice. You kind of let him go on that. He’s so good on the mat, he’s teaching us in the room. He’s a very special wrestler.” Last season Rypel was the state champion at 195 pounds. This year, in order to benefit the Cathedral team, Rypel has cut down to 182 pounds. “Here’s a guy that is committed to IU,” McGinley said. “He’s a returning state champ. He’s ranked No. 1 in the state at 195 pounds. But he decides to drop weight and go down to 182 for the betterment of the team. That right there tells you what kind of kid Blake is.” Rypel’s decision to drop to 182 was for the benefit of the team, but it was also to help out his good friend Ben Stewart. “Ben is a football player,” Rypel said. “He wants to play in college and he wants to be bulking up, not cutting weight. So I said I would go down to 182 so he didn’t have to.” Stewart is currently ranked No. 2 in the state at 195. “If Blake doesn’t go down to 182, Ben doesn’t wrestle,” McGinley said. “So obviously his decision to drop has greatly helped our team.” Rypel finished seventh as a freshman at 160 pounds. He was second his sophomore season at 182 and he won last year at 195. His freshman year was one of his most trying seasons because his father passed away unexpectedly a few weeks before the start of the season. “That was terrible,” Rypel said. “I used it as motivation though. I dedicated a lot of my wins to my dad. Every once in a while I start to dwell on his death, but I try not to.” Rypel comes from a basketball family. His dad, brother and sister were all basketball standouts. Ironically, Blake was introduced to wrestling through basketball. “My basketball coach at the time, I think it was around 2005 or 2006, had a son that wrestled and he told me that I might like it,” Rypel said. “The first year I thought wrestling was OK, but in the second year I really started winning and fell in love with the sport.” Rypel is already focused on his college wrestling. He has dreamed of going to Indiana University ever since he was little, and he can’t wait to put on that Hoosier singlet. “Every college I visited was pretty cool,” Rypel said. “But I already knew everyone on IU’s team. I have been a Hoosier fan all of my life. I never thought that one day I’d be good enough to wrestle for them.” McGinley believes Rypel will have a lot of success in college because he is a dominating wrestler on top, which suits the college style. As far as finishing his high school career, he said anything less than a state championship would be a disappointment. Rypel won the Lawrence Central sectional last week, beating No. 3 ranked Cameron Jones 8-6 in the final. He hopes Cathedral can also claim the team state championship. The Irish have seven ranked wrestlers still competing: Lukasz Waldensak (No. 13, 106), Jordan Slivka (No. 12, 113), Breyden Bailey (No. 2, 126), Zach Melloh (No. 6, 132), Rypel (No. 1, 182), Stewart (No. 2, 195) and Ryan Guhl (No. 9, 220). “I really believe we have some of the strongest wrestlers in the state,” Rypel said. “As long as our guys can place, we have a real good shot at winning.” Click here to view the article
  7. Y2CJ41

    2015 State Finals Preview

    Chad Hollenbaugh IndianaMat Senior Writer Cathedral Looks to Repeat, Red to Three-Peat A number of great storylines accompany this weekend’s festivities in Indianapolis at the 2015 IHSAA State Wrestling finals. The incredibly deep 120 weight class should have outstanding matches starting early Friday evening and contains this year’s most compelling in season rivalry between Jeremiah Reitz of Griffith and Brendan Black of Hobart. The 170 pound class is wide open with five to six wrestlers that can legitimately make a run for the top of the podium and the heavyweight bracket contains three Division One athletes at the top of the rankings. Although all three of these stories will quite compelling, two other stories have a special appeal. The team race currently has Penn High School in the pole position but last year’s champ, Indianapolis Cathedral, has the pieces in place to repeat should Penn falter. Other teams that should be in contention include Perry Meridian, Warren Central, Yorktown, and Avon. The second major story will be the Chad Red show. Unbeaten in his first two seasons of high school, Red is a heavy favorite to continue his dominance and win a third straight state championship. If anyone was unsure of just how great Red is, Cael Sanderson’s recent visit to New Palestine should remove any doubts. In his junior season, Red is currently ranked first in the country by Flo Wrestling and number three by Intermat. Much like Stevan Micic last year and Jason Tsirtsis before him, Red appears to be that type of wrestler that seems to be destined to be a factor at the next level. BREAKING IT DOWN 106 This year’s crop of flyweights contain the usual high number of new faces (9 freshmen) that look to make their bones on the Banker’s Life floor. Columbus East semi-state champ Graham Rooks, Hobart’s Tylor Triana and Avon’s Mason Miranda are the frosh poised to make the deepest run in this bracket. POLE POSITION (FAVORITE) COLTON CUMMINGS – LOWELL (41-1). Cummings will look to erase his Friday night memory of last year where he was pinned by Columbia City’s Hunter Langeloh in fifty nine seconds. Cummings has been nothing short of dominant (He has a win over Rooks) this year with his only loss coming while wrestling two weight classes up against Perry Meridian’s David Clayton. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER (RELATIVE UNKNOWN) JON ANDERSON – LAFAYETTE JEFF (47-2) and CAINAN SCHAEFER – SOUTH DEARBORN (45-2). Anderson was a surprise runner up at Merrillville where he looked very solid against competition with more press clippings. Schaefer wrestles in the southeast corner of the state and gets very little press but he had a break out performance at the New Castle semi state where he pinned highly regarded Klayton Anderson of Hamilton Southeastern. These two hard chargers may meet Saturday morning with a trip to the semis on the line. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL (BEST FRIDAY NIGHT MATCH UP) TYLOR TRIANA – HOBART (37-4) VS. MASON MIRANDA (20-5) – The winner here has a great opportunity to make a run to the finals. Triana is the higher ranked wrestler (5th vs 9th) but Miranda is wrestling very well and his team is in the hunt for state hardware. DRINKING THE MILK – Cummings. 113 East Noble’s Garrett Pepple has established himself as a force in this weight class but there is also outstanding depth here. Pepple season started with an All-American run at the pre-season Super 32 (4th) and has not been seriously tested. He currently holds top ten rankings nationally by both Flo and Intermat. Last year’s state runner up at 106, Paul Konrath of Mount Vernon seems to be wrestling with a bum leg but dominated the field at the Evansville semi state. Others looking to rain on Pepple’s parade include Hamilton Southeastern’s Austin Holmes, Penn’s undefeated Drew Hildebrandt and Fairfield’s Blake Glogouski (who has only lost to Pepple). POLE POSITION GARRETT PEPPLE – EAST NOBLE (42-0). All the pieces seem to be in place for the Indiana recruit. Pepple has experience (two runner-up finishes), training (teammate Conner Knapp and coach Andy Uhl), and confidence. If anyone were to topple Pepple, it would be considered a fairly substantial upset. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER BLAKE GLOGOUSKI – FAIRFIELD (49-2). Glogouski was knocked out in the ticket round last year but don’t be surprised if he has an outstanding weekend. The Falcon does have a brutal draw which might include Paul Konrath and Drew Hildebrandt to go along with Friday night’s tussle with New Pal’s Alec White. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ALEC WHITE – NEW PALESTINE (40-4) VS. BLAKE GLOGOUSKI. White was one of the favorites to win the New Castle semi state but was pinned by Cathedral’s Skylour Turner in the semis. This set up the Friday night fight with Glogouski who finished second at Fort Wayne to Pepple. DRINKING THE MILK – Pepple. 120 This insanely deep class will be one of the best to watch starting on Friday night. Nearly a half dozen different wrestlers have a legitimate shot at taking the crown. Top ranked Breyden Bailey of Cathedral is undefeated and has won a couple of close matches with contender Cornelious Elliot of Perry Meridian. The state’s best in season rivalry between Brendan Black of Hobart and Jeremiah Reitz of Griffith could be played out one more time under the lights. POLE POSITION BREYDEN BAILEY – CATHEDRAL (43-0). Bailey has run the table this season and Cathedral’s schedule is no joke. Hobart’s Black is as hot as any wrestler in the state right now. No easy draws in this bracket. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TYLER FERGUSON – EVANSVILLE REITZ (10-2). Ferguson has a fifth place medal from last year and started the year ranked first. He has been out of action for most of the season and many thought a comeback was not in the cards. This Panther certainly has the skills to sound that siren. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BRENDAN BLACK – HOBART (30-3) VS. WILL EGLI – MATER DEI (29-4). Two medalists match up on Friday night in this battle. Other Friday night matches between returning medalists include Elliot vs. Langeloh and Ferguson vs. Reitz. Wow! DRINKING THE MILK – Bailey. 126 Whereas there was no front runner at 120, the 126 class is about as sure bet as any class this weekend. Chad Red of New Palestine has shown no weaknesses in his game. On his feet, Red dominates. On the mat, Red dominates. He is the complete package. The drama here is who will Red meet in the finals. Portage’s Gaige Torres, Perry Meridian’s Ngun Uk, East Noble’s Nathan Weimer and Cathedral frosh Zach Melloh all could be under the lights. POLE POSITION – CHAD RED – NEW PALESTINE (43-0). Red….’Nuff said. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER ZACH MELLOH – CATHEDRAL (36-7). Don’t call him Melloh Yellow, this Irish freshman has flown under the radar but has wrestled tough all season and run to the semi-finals is not out of the question. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BRANDON TRUVER – LAKE CENTRAL (29-10) VS. DANIEL GUNSETT –BELMONT (32-9). Nineteen losses between these two does not mean either caught a break or were lucky in some way to qualify. These are two high quality kids that can beat anyone in the bracket not named Red. DRINKING THE MILK – Red. 132 Handicapping this bracket is much like the 126 bracket. All you have to do is substitute Mater Dei’s Nick Lee for Chad Red. Lee has been every bit as dominating as Red. The only difference is that Lee ran into the top wrestler in the country at 126 last year in Stevan Micic and finished third. The other side of the bracket offers up a few potential finalists in East Noble’s Conner Knapp, and Griffin Schermer of Bloomington South. POLE POSITION NICK LEE – MATER DEI (31-0). Lee is currently ranked 4th and 6th in country by Intermat and Flo. He had to spend less than six minutes on the mat last Saturday in winning his second semi state crown. He should not be seriously tested this weekend. He IS that good. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER SAGE COY – DELTA (39-1). Coy has had a series of unfortunate events during his first two high school seasons and his move from the closed down Muncie South to Delta has brought better luck. Coy brings a high energy attack that should be highly entertaining to watch this weekend. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL CONNER KNAPP – EAST NOBLE (41-2) VS. AUSTIN BETHAL – MT. VERNON (37-4). Bethal shocked the state with his stunning pin of super frosh and second ranked Brayton Lee of Brownsburg. Standing in his path on Friday night is veteran stud Conner Knapp of East Noble. Knapp already has two state medals on his resume. Honorable mention goes to Westfield’s Evan Eldred vs. Merrillville semi state champ, Austen Laughlin of South Bend Riley. DRINKING THE MILK – Lee. 138 A third straight class where one wrestler stands above the field. Amazingly, that wrestler is not returning state champion Tommy Cash but it is Perry Meridian’s Brandon James. James has three top-5 medals to his name and national rankings of 9th and 12th. You can’t count out returning champ Cash even though he has been beaten a couple of times by James. Out of the south is freshman Joe Lee, who has taken down James earlier in the season during his only loss. Clarence Johnson of Merrillville is wrestling awesome right now and Maldonado Magic always seems to strike during the state finals weekend. POLE POSITION BRANDON JAMES – PERRY MERIDIAN (41-0). James has been a formidable force in the Falcon line up and a threat to win a state title since his freshman season. The stars seem to be aligned for Coach Tonte’s star grappler this season. He will be relaxed, focused and motivated to win his first title on Saturday night. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER KYLE TODRANK – GIBSON SOUTHERN (43-3). Todrank is largely unknown but has progressed tremendously the past couple of years. He has wrestled Mater Dei super frosh Joe Lee tough the last couple of weeks. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL KASPER McINTOSH – PORTAGE (29-9) VS. CLAYTON MOORE – MANCHESTER (35-1). A four over one potential upset lurks here. Both are big and physical 138s who will mix it up. McIntosh is a freshman who wrestles one of the toughest schedules in the state. Moore is a returning qualifier from a small school where he rarely is tested. DRINKING THE MILK – James. 145 We finally have a weight class where there is real drama involved. A nice Duneland conference rivalry has developed between returning runner up Jacob Covaciu of Merrillville and returning medalist Steven “Bam” Lawrence of Portage. Covaciu has a win over New Castle champ Trenton Pruitt of Warren Central on his resume. It’s strange to say but Yorktown’s Cael McCormick has kept a fairly low profile despite a dominating season where he often wrestled up a class. It would not be a huge upset if he were to topple Covaciu in the semi-finals. POLE POSITION JACOB COVACIU – MERRILLVILLE (40-1). Despite his loss in the semi state championship match, Covaciu still has to be considered the front-runner in this class. Lawrence and McCormick are not that far back. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER ANDREW HERRIN – JENNINGS COUNTY (46-2) – Herrin wrestled awesome last weekend at semi state. He avenged one of his regular season losses with a win over Castles Patrick Schnell. Along the way he put the hammer to Mater Dei’s Blake Jourdan. A deep state run would not be out of the question. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL EVAN SMILEY – BEECH GROVE (39-5) VS. ANTHONY VAUGHN – ELKHART MEMORIAL (40-3). Two stud seniors will face off on Friday night. Both have been previous state qualifiers and appear to be evenly matched. Expect a very tight match here. DRINKING THE MILK – McCormick. 152 Tommy Forte of Mishawaka is the wrestler to beat at 152. He has not been tested this season and I would be surprised if anyone gives him much resistance this weekend. Tommy’s knee is a little dinged up but it doesn’t show and he cruised to the semi state title last weekend. The other side of the bracket holds a few potential finalists in Yorktown’s Dru Berkebile, Lebanon’s Kellen VanCamp, and Forte’s conference rival Jarod Swank of Penn. Evansville Central’s Isiah Kemper deserves mention as he is a three time state qualifier. POLE POSITION TOMMY FORTE – MISHAWAKA (33-0). Forte is ranked 9th and 15th respectively by Intermat and Flo. He is wrestling next year for Buffalo and former coach Bryce Hasseman. It would be a huge upset if anyone were to beat Forte this year. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER MARQUIS SCHIEBER – JIMTOWN (30-8). I saw Schieber wrestle during a couple of mid-season tournaments and frankly was quite disappointed. He looked disinterested and ready for it to end. After watching him at his conference meet, I saw a rebirth. Athletic and skilled this Jimmie is a difficult match up for anyone and has great momentum going into the state meet. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ELIJAH DUNN – INDIAN CREEK (42-2) VS. JAROD SWANK – PENN (32-5). A contrast of styles between the funky Dunn and the controlled, methodical Swank should prove interesting. It will likely come down to who can impose their will on the other. DRINKING THE MILK – Forte. 160 Another weight class where the state’s top ranked wrestler also has national credentials and rankings on his resume. Lowell’s Drew Hughes is a favorite to become Lowell’s second state champ in 2015, joining Colton Cummings. He wrestled under the lights as a frosh and got spladled by Ty Fleenor last year on Saturday morning. Experience and motivation along with an unparalled ability to turn guys on top make Hughes a tough package to deal with. POLE POSITION HUGHES – LOWELL (40-0). A clear front runner but must face Edgewood’s Gabe Koontz in the quarter finals and possible Delta’s Jacob Gray, Avon’s Brandon Helm or local rival Darden Schurg from Crown Point in the finals. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TRISTAN GOERING – SOUTH BEND RILEY (37-11). Goering got an absolute great draw for a fourth place finisher and has a good chance to reach the semi-finals for coach Bill Flatt and the Wildcats. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ADAM DODSON – JOHN GLENN (36-2) VS. ETHAN BRIGGEMAN – CARDINAL RITTER (36-4). Two evenly matched senior studs from lesser known programs make this an interesting matchup. Each will be fighting to get on that podium and wrestle on day two. DRINKING THE MILK – Hughes. 170 The furious five (Stevenson, Lydy, Jackson, Harvey, Mammolenti) became the splendid six after watching the Google Hangout with state’s ‘experts’. I am convinced that Lawrence North’s Cameron Jones has the goods to challenge for a title as well. It did appear that returning state champ Jacob Stevenson might have seriously injured his leg at semi-state. Let’s all hope he can end his high school career on the mat. POLE POSITION DYLAN LYDY – BEN DAVIS (42-0). Lydy has wins over Stevenson, Jones and Dillon Jackson of Yorktown. This is just enough to edge Ben Harvey of Cathedral as the pre meet favorite. The top tier here is incredibly close and this should be one of the marquee weights to watch because just about any results are possible. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER CAMERON JONES – LAWRENCE NORTH (38-6) – If things fall right for Jones, he could find himself wrestling under the lights. However it shakes out, Jones has clearly put himself in position to be a serious state title threat as a senior next year. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ISHMAEL CORNEJO – PORTAGE (29-7) VS. JACOB STEVENSON (34-6). Keep an eye on this match to see how last year’s state champ Jacob Stevenson is wrestling on his injured leg. He can’t expect any sympathy from Portage’s Cornejo. DRINKING THE MILK – Lydy. 182 Penn’s Chase Osborn is a returning state runner up and has been ranked #1 all season. That should make him the favorite to take home title but I have seen probably more variety of picks in this weight class than any other. Western’s Corey Hinkle, Chesterton’s Andrew Davison, Avon’s Evan Elmore and Lawrenceburg’s Mason Parris are all receiving some love as potential state champions. Osborn and Hinkle have the most experience, Elmore is coming in hot, and both Davison and Parris represent the future will be filled with great upper weight wrestling. POLE POSITION CHASE OSBORN – PENN (35-0). As mentioned before, Osborn has experience under the lights and an unblemished record this year. This adds up to a number 1 ranking and front runner status. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER GAGE GARPOW – WINAMAC (37-3). Garpow was one of the big surprises of the Merrillville semi state. He had Osborn on the ropes in their match up and dominated state ranked Jake Kliemola of Lake Central. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL CONNER JAMES – RONCALLI (44-1) VS. ANDREW DAVISON – CHESTERTON (38-2). An absolutely brutal Friday night matchup between two wrestlers with three losses between them. The winner will get the honor of facing Western’s undefeated Corey Hinkle. A nasty quarter bracket. DRINKING THE MILK – Davison. 195 This is one of the few brackets that should hold chalk through the semi-finals with all four semi state champs winning. That does not mean that the winner is in much question at this weight class. Cathedral’s junior Blake Rypel season has been every bit as dominating as Chad Red or Nick Lee. He is just too explosive for anyone to handle in the state of Indiana. Mooresville’s Randy Scott, Perry Meridian’s Tristan Tonte and Yorktown’s Myron Howard will battle it out for the chance to meet Rypel under the lights. POLE POSITION BLAKE RYPEL – CATHEDRAL (43-0). Rypel has the skills to lap the field here. Ranked seventh by Flo and tenth by Intermat, no one should challenge Rypel this weekend. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TANNER BRADLEY – MISHAWAKA (26-4). Much like Sampson, there is much power in the hair of Tanner Bradley. Don’t get mesmerized by the mullet, Bradley is an athletic freak who can put you on your back at any time. A run to the finals is not out of the question for this Caveman. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL TRISTON TONTE – PERRY MERIDIAN (40-2) VS. MATT HEDRICK – PORTAGE (29-7). Tonte is a very exciting sophomore who will wrestle with no fear of the big stage. Hedrick wrestled smart tactical matches at semi state to earn his bid to Indy. DRINKING THE MILK – Rypel 220 The 220 class is led by preseason top ranked Kobe Woods of Penn. Woods has maintained that ranking by fashioning a perfect 40-0 record. In fact, Woods has even cracked the national rankings at #19 by Flo. This class is by no means a slam dunk (sorry) as several challengers could step up if Woods were to falter. Conference rival and returning state placer, Eliseo Guerra of Elkhart Central has had two tight matches with Woods. Warren Central Courvoisier Morrow was narrowly defeated by Woods at the Al Smith tournament. POLE POSITION KOBE WOODS – PENN (40-0). The Penn big man has gone wire to wire and has the experience, skill and coaching to bring home the gold. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER EVAN ELLIS – EASTERN (44-2). Ellis was a ticket round causality last year and wrestling at small school Eastern has kept him off many people’s radar. He is a talented wrestler that could make a run deep in this bracket. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BLAKE DAVIS – GARRETT (47-4) VS. MORGAN KRAL – CROWN POINT (36-2). Davis has been largely over shadowed by his higher ranked older brother but one could argue that Blake has had a slightly better season than his brother Bo. He will face Kral, who is looking for his first state medal and has a state champion older brother in Tyler Kral. DRINKING THE MILK - Woods 285 It looks like a two horse race for the big boys between nationally ranked top ten wrestlers Shawn Streck of Merrillville and Norman Oglesby of Ben Davis. There looks to be lots of purple under the lights on Saturday night. Both big men have state medals and lots of experience wrestling on Banker’s Life floor. Oglesby, a senior, has already accepted a football scholarship to Cincinnati while Streck is a junior who will likely have his pick of offers in both football and wrestling. POLE POSITION SHAWN STRECK – MERRILLVILLE (42-0). The bracket gods were kind to wrestling fans by putting Streck and Oglesby on opposite sides of this bracket. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER BRYCE BIDDLE – PLAINFIELD (30-3). Plainfield’s promising sophomore Bryce Biddle has had one of the toughest roads to qualify for state going clear back to his sectional. He got a nice draw and could parlay this to a semi-final trip in his sophomore campaign. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL QUINN YORK – FRANKLIN (40-4) VS. JASION BROGAN – WARREN CENTRAL (38-5). These two juniors are just a shade under the top tier heavyweights and will battle Friday night for state hardware. DRINKING THE MILK – Streck.
  8. Chad Hollenbaugh IndianaMat Senior Writer Cathedral Looks to Repeat, Red to Three-Peat A number of great storylines accompany this weekend’s festivities in Indianapolis at the 2015 IHSAA State Wrestling finals. The incredibly deep 120 weight class should have outstanding matches starting early Friday evening and contains this year’s most compelling in season rivalry between Jeremiah Reitz of Griffith and Brendan Black of Hobart. The 170 pound class is wide open with five to six wrestlers that can legitimately make a run for the top of the podium and the heavyweight bracket contains three Division One athletes at the top of the rankings. Although all three of these stories will quite compelling, two other stories have a special appeal. The team race currently has Penn High School in the pole position but last year’s champ, Indianapolis Cathedral, has the pieces in place to repeat should Penn falter. Other teams that should be in contention include Perry Meridian, Warren Central, Yorktown, and Avon. The second major story will be the Chad Red show. Unbeaten in his first two seasons of high school, Red is a heavy favorite to continue his dominance and win a third straight state championship. If anyone was unsure of just how great Red is, Cael Sanderson’s recent visit to New Palestine should remove any doubts. In his junior season, Red is currently ranked first in the country by Flo Wrestling and number three by Intermat. Much like Stevan Micic last year and Jason Tsirtsis before him, Red appears to be that type of wrestler that seems to be destined to be a factor at the next level. BREAKING IT DOWN 106 This year’s crop of flyweights contain the usual high number of new faces (9 freshmen) that look to make their bones on the Banker’s Life floor. Columbus East semi-state champ Graham Rooks, Hobart’s Tylor Triana and Avon’s Mason Miranda are the frosh poised to make the deepest run in this bracket. POLE POSITION (FAVORITE) COLTON CUMMINGS – LOWELL (41-1). Cummings will look to erase his Friday night memory of last year where he was pinned by Columbia City’s Hunter Langeloh in fifty nine seconds. Cummings has been nothing short of dominant (He has a win over Rooks) this year with his only loss coming while wrestling two weight classes up against Perry Meridian’s David Clayton. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER (RELATIVE UNKNOWN) JON ANDERSON – LAFAYETTE JEFF (47-2) and CAINAN SCHAEFER – SOUTH DEARBORN (45-2). Anderson was a surprise runner up at Merrillville where he looked very solid against competition with more press clippings. Schaefer wrestles in the southeast corner of the state and gets very little press but he had a break out performance at the New Castle semi state where he pinned highly regarded Klayton Anderson of Hamilton Southeastern. These two hard chargers may meet Saturday morning with a trip to the semis on the line. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL (BEST FRIDAY NIGHT MATCH UP) TYLOR TRIANA – HOBART (37-4) VS. MASON MIRANDA (20-5) – The winner here has a great opportunity to make a run to the finals. Triana is the higher ranked wrestler (5th vs 9th) but Miranda is wrestling very well and his team is in the hunt for state hardware. DRINKING THE MILK – Cummings. 113 East Noble’s Garrett Pepple has established himself as a force in this weight class but there is also outstanding depth here. Pepple season started with an All-American run at the pre-season Super 32 (4th) and has not been seriously tested. He currently holds top ten rankings nationally by both Flo and Intermat. Last year’s state runner up at 106, Paul Konrath of Mount Vernon seems to be wrestling with a bum leg but dominated the field at the Evansville semi state. Others looking to rain on Pepple’s parade include Hamilton Southeastern’s Austin Holmes, Penn’s undefeated Drew Hildebrandt and Fairfield’s Blake Glogouski (who has only lost to Pepple). POLE POSITION GARRETT PEPPLE – EAST NOBLE (42-0). All the pieces seem to be in place for the Indiana recruit. Pepple has experience (two runner-up finishes), training (teammate Conner Knapp and coach Andy Uhl), and confidence. If anyone were to topple Pepple, it would be considered a fairly substantial upset. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER BLAKE GLOGOUSKI – FAIRFIELD (49-2). Glogouski was knocked out in the ticket round last year but don’t be surprised if he has an outstanding weekend. The Falcon does have a brutal draw which might include Paul Konrath and Drew Hildebrandt to go along with Friday night’s tussle with New Pal’s Alec White. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ALEC WHITE – NEW PALESTINE (40-4) VS. BLAKE GLOGOUSKI. White was one of the favorites to win the New Castle semi state but was pinned by Cathedral’s Skylour Turner in the semis. This set up the Friday night fight with Glogouski who finished second at Fort Wayne to Pepple. DRINKING THE MILK – Pepple. 120 This insanely deep class will be one of the best to watch starting on Friday night. Nearly a half dozen different wrestlers have a legitimate shot at taking the crown. Top ranked Breyden Bailey of Cathedral is undefeated and has won a couple of close matches with contender Cornelious Elliot of Perry Meridian. The state’s best in season rivalry between Brendan Black of Hobart and Jeremiah Reitz of Griffith could be played out one more time under the lights. POLE POSITION BREYDEN BAILEY – CATHEDRAL (43-0). Bailey has run the table this season and Cathedral’s schedule is no joke. Hobart’s Black is as hot as any wrestler in the state right now. No easy draws in this bracket. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TYLER FERGUSON – EVANSVILLE REITZ (10-2). Ferguson has a fifth place medal from last year and started the year ranked first. He has been out of action for most of the season and many thought a comeback was not in the cards. This Panther certainly has the skills to sound that siren. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BRENDAN BLACK – HOBART (30-3) VS. WILL EGLI – MATER DEI (29-4). Two medalists match up on Friday night in this battle. Other Friday night matches between returning medalists include Elliot vs. Langeloh and Ferguson vs. Reitz. Wow! DRINKING THE MILK – Bailey. 126 Whereas there was no front runner at 120, the 126 class is about as sure bet as any class this weekend. Chad Red of New Palestine has shown no weaknesses in his game. On his feet, Red dominates. On the mat, Red dominates. He is the complete package. The drama here is who will Red meet in the finals. Portage’s Gaige Torres, Perry Meridian’s Ngun Uk, East Noble’s Nathan Weimer and Cathedral frosh Zach Melloh all could be under the lights. POLE POSITION – CHAD RED – NEW PALESTINE (43-0). Red….’Nuff said. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER ZACH MELLOH – CATHEDRAL (36-7). Don’t call him Melloh Yellow, this Irish freshman has flown under the radar but has wrestled tough all season and run to the semi-finals is not out of the question. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BRANDON TRUVER – LAKE CENTRAL (29-10) VS. DANIEL GUNSETT –BELMONT (32-9). Nineteen losses between these two does not mean either caught a break or were lucky in some way to qualify. These are two high quality kids that can beat anyone in the bracket not named Red. DRINKING THE MILK – Red. 132 Handicapping this bracket is much like the 126 bracket. All you have to do is substitute Mater Dei’s Nick Lee for Chad Red. Lee has been every bit as dominating as Red. The only difference is that Lee ran into the top wrestler in the country at 126 last year in Stevan Micic and finished third. The other side of the bracket offers up a few potential finalists in East Noble’s Conner Knapp, and Griffin Schermer of Bloomington South. POLE POSITION NICK LEE – MATER DEI (31-0). Lee is currently ranked 4th and 6th in country by Intermat and Flo. He had to spend less than six minutes on the mat last Saturday in winning his second semi state crown. He should not be seriously tested this weekend. He IS that good. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER SAGE COY – DELTA (39-1). Coy has had a series of unfortunate events during his first two high school seasons and his move from the closed down Muncie South to Delta has brought better luck. Coy brings a high energy attack that should be highly entertaining to watch this weekend. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL CONNER KNAPP – EAST NOBLE (41-2) VS. AUSTIN BETHAL – MT. VERNON (37-4). Bethal shocked the state with his stunning pin of super frosh and second ranked Brayton Lee of Brownsburg. Standing in his path on Friday night is veteran stud Conner Knapp of East Noble. Knapp already has two state medals on his resume. Honorable mention goes to Westfield’s Evan Eldred vs. Merrillville semi state champ, Austen Laughlin of South Bend Riley. DRINKING THE MILK – Lee. 138 A third straight class where one wrestler stands above the field. Amazingly, that wrestler is not returning state champion Tommy Cash but it is Perry Meridian’s Brandon James. James has three top-5 medals to his name and national rankings of 9th and 12th. You can’t count out returning champ Cash even though he has been beaten a couple of times by James. Out of the south is freshman Joe Lee, who has taken down James earlier in the season during his only loss. Clarence Johnson of Merrillville is wrestling awesome right now and Maldonado Magic always seems to strike during the state finals weekend. POLE POSITION BRANDON JAMES – PERRY MERIDIAN (41-0). James has been a formidable force in the Falcon line up and a threat to win a state title since his freshman season. The stars seem to be aligned for Coach Tonte’s star grappler this season. He will be relaxed, focused and motivated to win his first title on Saturday night. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER KYLE TODRANK – GIBSON SOUTHERN (43-3). Todrank is largely unknown but has progressed tremendously the past couple of years. He has wrestled Mater Dei super frosh Joe Lee tough the last couple of weeks. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL KASPER McINTOSH – PORTAGE (29-9) VS. CLAYTON MOORE – MANCHESTER (35-1). A four over one potential upset lurks here. Both are big and physical 138s who will mix it up. McIntosh is a freshman who wrestles one of the toughest schedules in the state. Moore is a returning qualifier from a small school where he rarely is tested. DRINKING THE MILK – James. 145 We finally have a weight class where there is real drama involved. A nice Duneland conference rivalry has developed between returning runner up Jacob Covaciu of Merrillville and returning medalist Steven “Bam” Lawrence of Portage. Covaciu has a win over New Castle champ Trenton Pruitt of Warren Central on his resume. It’s strange to say but Yorktown’s Cael McCormick has kept a fairly low profile despite a dominating season where he often wrestled up a class. It would not be a huge upset if he were to topple Covaciu in the semi-finals. POLE POSITION JACOB COVACIU – MERRILLVILLE (40-1). Despite his loss in the semi state championship match, Covaciu still has to be considered the front-runner in this class. Lawrence and McCormick are not that far back. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER ANDREW HERRIN – JENNINGS COUNTY (46-2) – Herrin wrestled awesome last weekend at semi state. He avenged one of his regular season losses with a win over Castles Patrick Schnell. Along the way he put the hammer to Mater Dei’s Blake Jourdan. A deep state run would not be out of the question. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL EVAN SMILEY – BEECH GROVE (39-5) VS. ANTHONY VAUGHN – ELKHART MEMORIAL (40-3). Two stud seniors will face off on Friday night. Both have been previous state qualifiers and appear to be evenly matched. Expect a very tight match here. DRINKING THE MILK – McCormick. 152 Tommy Forte of Mishawaka is the wrestler to beat at 152. He has not been tested this season and I would be surprised if anyone gives him much resistance this weekend. Tommy’s knee is a little dinged up but it doesn’t show and he cruised to the semi state title last weekend. The other side of the bracket holds a few potential finalists in Yorktown’s Dru Berkebile, Lebanon’s Kellen VanCamp, and Forte’s conference rival Jarod Swank of Penn. Evansville Central’s Isiah Kemper deserves mention as he is a three time state qualifier. POLE POSITION TOMMY FORTE – MISHAWAKA (33-0). Forte is ranked 9th and 15th respectively by Intermat and Flo. He is wrestling next year for Buffalo and former coach Bryce Hasseman. It would be a huge upset if anyone were to beat Forte this year. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER MARQUIS SCHIEBER – JIMTOWN (30-8). I saw Schieber wrestle during a couple of mid-season tournaments and frankly was quite disappointed. He looked disinterested and ready for it to end. After watching him at his conference meet, I saw a rebirth. Athletic and skilled this Jimmie is a difficult match up for anyone and has great momentum going into the state meet. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ELIJAH DUNN – INDIAN CREEK (42-2) VS. JAROD SWANK – PENN (32-5). A contrast of styles between the funky Dunn and the controlled, methodical Swank should prove interesting. It will likely come down to who can impose their will on the other. DRINKING THE MILK – Forte. 160 Another weight class where the state’s top ranked wrestler also has national credentials and rankings on his resume. Lowell’s Drew Hughes is a favorite to become Lowell’s second state champ in 2015, joining Colton Cummings. He wrestled under the lights as a frosh and got spladled by Ty Fleenor last year on Saturday morning. Experience and motivation along with an unparalled ability to turn guys on top make Hughes a tough package to deal with. POLE POSITION HUGHES – LOWELL (40-0). A clear front runner but must face Edgewood’s Gabe Koontz in the quarter finals and possible Delta’s Jacob Gray, Avon’s Brandon Helm or local rival Darden Schurg from Crown Point in the finals. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TRISTAN GOERING – SOUTH BEND RILEY (37-11). Goering got an absolute great draw for a fourth place finisher and has a good chance to reach the semi-finals for coach Bill Flatt and the Wildcats. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ADAM DODSON – JOHN GLENN (36-2) VS. ETHAN BRIGGEMAN – CARDINAL RITTER (36-4). Two evenly matched senior studs from lesser known programs make this an interesting matchup. Each will be fighting to get on that podium and wrestle on day two. DRINKING THE MILK – Hughes. 170 The furious five (Stevenson, Lydy, Jackson, Harvey, Mammolenti) became the splendid six after watching the Google Hangout with state’s ‘experts’. I am convinced that Lawrence North’s Cameron Jones has the goods to challenge for a title as well. It did appear that returning state champ Jacob Stevenson might have seriously injured his leg at semi-state. Let’s all hope he can end his high school career on the mat. POLE POSITION DYLAN LYDY – BEN DAVIS (42-0). Lydy has wins over Stevenson, Jones and Dillon Jackson of Yorktown. This is just enough to edge Ben Harvey of Cathedral as the pre meet favorite. The top tier here is incredibly close and this should be one of the marquee weights to watch because just about any results are possible. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER CAMERON JONES – LAWRENCE NORTH (38-6) – If things fall right for Jones, he could find himself wrestling under the lights. However it shakes out, Jones has clearly put himself in position to be a serious state title threat as a senior next year. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL ISHMAEL CORNEJO – PORTAGE (29-7) VS. JACOB STEVENSON (34-6). Keep an eye on this match to see how last year’s state champ Jacob Stevenson is wrestling on his injured leg. He can’t expect any sympathy from Portage’s Cornejo. DRINKING THE MILK – Lydy. 182 Penn’s Chase Osborn is a returning state runner up and has been ranked #1 all season. That should make him the favorite to take home title but I have seen probably more variety of picks in this weight class than any other. Western’s Corey Hinkle, Chesterton’s Andrew Davison, Avon’s Evan Elmore and Lawrenceburg’s Mason Parris are all receiving some love as potential state champions. Osborn and Hinkle have the most experience, Elmore is coming in hot, and both Davison and Parris represent the future will be filled with great upper weight wrestling. POLE POSITION CHASE OSBORN – PENN (35-0). As mentioned before, Osborn has experience under the lights and an unblemished record this year. This adds up to a number 1 ranking and front runner status. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER GAGE GARPOW – WINAMAC (37-3). Garpow was one of the big surprises of the Merrillville semi state. He had Osborn on the ropes in their match up and dominated state ranked Jake Kliemola of Lake Central. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL CONNER JAMES – RONCALLI (44-1) VS. ANDREW DAVISON – CHESTERTON (38-2). An absolutely brutal Friday night matchup between two wrestlers with three losses between them. The winner will get the honor of facing Western’s undefeated Corey Hinkle. A nasty quarter bracket. DRINKING THE MILK – Davison. 195 This is one of the few brackets that should hold chalk through the semi-finals with all four semi state champs winning. That does not mean that the winner is in much question at this weight class. Cathedral’s junior Blake Rypel season has been every bit as dominating as Chad Red or Nick Lee. He is just too explosive for anyone to handle in the state of Indiana. Mooresville’s Randy Scott, Perry Meridian’s Tristan Tonte and Yorktown’s Myron Howard will battle it out for the chance to meet Rypel under the lights. POLE POSITION BLAKE RYPEL – CATHEDRAL (43-0). Rypel has the skills to lap the field here. Ranked seventh by Flo and tenth by Intermat, no one should challenge Rypel this weekend. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER TANNER BRADLEY – MISHAWAKA (26-4). Much like Sampson, there is much power in the hair of Tanner Bradley. Don’t get mesmerized by the mullet, Bradley is an athletic freak who can put you on your back at any time. A run to the finals is not out of the question for this Caveman. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL TRISTON TONTE – PERRY MERIDIAN (40-2) VS. MATT HEDRICK – PORTAGE (29-7). Tonte is a very exciting sophomore who will wrestle with no fear of the big stage. Hedrick wrestled smart tactical matches at semi state to earn his bid to Indy. DRINKING THE MILK – Rypel 220 The 220 class is led by preseason top ranked Kobe Woods of Penn. Woods has maintained that ranking by fashioning a perfect 40-0 record. In fact, Woods has even cracked the national rankings at #19 by Flo. This class is by no means a slam dunk (sorry) as several challengers could step up if Woods were to falter. Conference rival and returning state placer, Eliseo Guerra of Elkhart Central has had two tight matches with Woods. Warren Central Courvoisier Morrow was narrowly defeated by Woods at the Al Smith tournament. POLE POSITION KOBE WOODS – PENN (40-0). The Penn big man has gone wire to wire and has the experience, skill and coaching to bring home the gold. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER EVAN ELLIS – EASTERN (44-2). Ellis was a ticket round causality last year and wrestling at small school Eastern has kept him off many people’s radar. He is a talented wrestler that could make a run deep in this bracket. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL BLAKE DAVIS – GARRETT (47-4) VS. MORGAN KRAL – CROWN POINT (36-2). Davis has been largely over shadowed by his higher ranked older brother but one could argue that Blake has had a slightly better season than his brother Bo. He will face Kral, who is looking for his first state medal and has a state champion older brother in Tyler Kral. DRINKING THE MILK - Woods 285 It looks like a two horse race for the big boys between nationally ranked top ten wrestlers Shawn Streck of Merrillville and Norman Oglesby of Ben Davis. There looks to be lots of purple under the lights on Saturday night. Both big men have state medals and lots of experience wrestling on Banker’s Life floor. Oglesby, a senior, has already accepted a football scholarship to Cincinnati while Streck is a junior who will likely have his pick of offers in both football and wrestling. POLE POSITION SHAWN STRECK – MERRILLVILLE (42-0). The bracket gods were kind to wrestling fans by putting Streck and Oglesby on opposite sides of this bracket. HUNGUS’ HARD CHARGER BRYCE BIDDLE – PLAINFIELD (30-3). Plainfield’s promising sophomore Bryce Biddle has had one of the toughest roads to qualify for state going clear back to his sectional. He got a nice draw and could parlay this to a semi-final trip in his sophomore campaign. FRIDAY’S BRICKYARD BRAWL QUINN YORK – FRANKLIN (40-4) VS. JASION BROGAN – WARREN CENTRAL (38-5). These two juniors are just a shade under the top tier heavyweights and will battle Friday night for state hardware. DRINKING THE MILK – Streck. Click here to view the article
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