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  • 2019 IndianaMat Award Winners

    Wrestlers of the Year
    1A- Silas Allred of Shenandoah
    2A- AJ Fowler of Calumet
    3A- Jordan Slivka of Cathedral Coaches of the Year
    1A- Tony Currie of Adams Central
    2A- Chad Shepherd of Western
    3A- Sean McGinley of Cathedral Mr. Gorilla
    Asa Garcia of Avon
    1st Runner-up Nick South of Columbus East
    2nd Runner-up Cayden Rooks of Columbus East

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    Mr. Gorilla Award

    #WrestlingWednesday: Cathedral comes up clutch in the finals

    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com “You’re still in this. It’s not over.” Elliott Rodgers kept hearing those words coming from his corner Saturday night in the championship match of the 152-pound weight class at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. With under a minute to go in the match Rodgers trailed Greenfield’s Cooper Noehre 7-4. Rodgers was wrestling for an individual title and a chance to all but secure a team title for the Irish. “It was nerve wracking,” Rodgers said. “It’s scary to be trailing like that. I don’t like it. But, you just have to think if you win, you win. If you lose, you lose. The coaches are in my corner yelling that it’s not over. That kept me going.” Rodgers earned an escape point to cut Noehre’s lead to 7-5. Then, with under 10 seconds remaining, he earned a takedown to tie the score and force overtime. It was the third overtime meeting this season between the two rivals. This time Rodgers pulled out a move he has been working on in practice but hadn’t shown Noehre yet – an inside trip. The move worked, and Rodgers won the match. The victory gave him his first state title and helped Cathedral win its second team title in as many years. “Elliott just grinded it out,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “He was down points but he didn’t panic and he battled back. He didn’t just do it in the finals, he grinded out wins in the quarterfinals and on Friday night.” Rodger’s teammate, senior Jordan Slivka sealed the team championship for the Irish in the next match. Slivka took on Portage’s No. 1-ranked Donnell Washington Jr. in the 160-pound championship. Washington beat Slivka 8-3 during the regular season and appeared on his way to beating him again in the final. Washington took Slivka down early in the match and then cut him (gave him a free escape). Washington continued his dominance for most of the first two periods. Then, in the final minute of the match, Slivka came alive. The Ohio University commit scored seven points in the final minute to win the match 12-7. That victory ensured no other team could catch the Irish in points. Slivka won his first individual state championship last season, and coincidentally, that victory also sealed the team title for the Irish. “This title felt better than last year’s,” Slivka said. “My goal wasn’t to be the best wrestler at Cathedral. I didn’t think I could ever accomplish that with guys like Blake Rypel and Lance Ellis. But no other Cathedral team has won two titles, and I wanted to be able to say I was the best team captain.” Slivka’s wrestling shirt has the word “clutch” on the back of it – one that coach McGinley feels is appropriate for the senior. “He comes through when people count him out,” McGinley said. “Washington is extremely, extremely talented and tough. He was on us that first period. We just wanted to stay close and ride it out. Slivka never lost faith and he pulled out that win.” Going into the final Cathedral looked to be in great shape to claim the team title. The Irish had four wrestling for weight-class championships and a small lead in the team standings. But things got a little dicey in the early goings. Irish freshman sensation Zeke Seltzer lost the 113 pound final to returning state champion, No. 1-ranked senior Jacob Moran of Portage 3-0. Then Cathedral’s Alex Mosconi fell to No. 1-ranked Matt Lee, 5-2 in the 145-pound final. When Avon’s Asa Garcia earned a pin over Roncalli’s Alec Viduya in the 132 pound final, suddenly things got interesting. Avon still had Carson Brewer to wrestle at 182 pounds. Brewer was the heavy favorite in the match, and if he pinned his opponent, Avon had a chance to take the team title. That’s when Rodgers and Slivka stepped up and won back-to-back matches to eliminate that possibility. “If we polled everyone they would have probably said we were an underdog in three of the matches and probably a push in the fourth,” McGinley said. “We knew the odds were against us, and we just needed someone who was going to step up and pull it through.” In all, Cathedral sent five wrestlers to the state tournament. Rodgers and Slivka won their weight classes. Seltzer and Mosconi placed second and Lukasz Walendzak finished 8th at 126.

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    Feature Articles 1

    #MondayMatness: Crown Point’s Mendez runs table as a freshman

    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com Jesse Mendez had a “blast” in punctuating his freshmen wrestling season at Crown Point High School with a 2019 IHSAA title. The 126-pounder started off his finals match with a “blast double” takedown and went on to a 6-0 win against Avon junior Raymond Rioux to cap a 42-0 season. Mendez reigned in a stacked weight division. He pinned Western freshman Hayden Shepherd in 1:02 Friday and Mt. Vernon (Fortville) senior Chase Wilkerson in 3:58 in the quarterfinals before earning a 13-4 major decision against Jimtown senior Hunter Watts in the semifinals. “He’s a tough wrestler and a tough opponent to get by,” said Mendez of Watts, who was a champion at 120 in 2018, runner-up at 113 in 2017 and sixth at 106 in 2016. Rioux, who had placed third at 120 in 2018 and sixth at 106 in 2017, beat Yorktown senior Brayden Curtis 3-1 in the semifinals. Curtis was a champion at 113 in 2018 and at 106 in 2017 after finishing seventh at 106 in 2016. And yet Mendez was dominant. How did that happen? “I work hard in the (practice) room,” said Mendez. “My coaches and I are always trying to get to my attacks more often. I just trust in what they’ve been teaching me and it’s been working.” Bulldogs coach Branden Lorek has been impressed with the ability and work ethic of Mendez. “He’s got all the attributes — he’s fast, strong, physical, smart,” says Lorek. “He listens very well. He’s very coachable and a student of the sport. “He’s the first guy in the room and the last guy to leave. For a freshman, he’s not afraid to speak up and pick guys up. He’s a welcome
    addition.” While there plenty of eyes on him at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and on television, Mendez was not intimidated. “I’ve been wrestling in big tournaments my whole life,” said Mendez, 15. “I’ve been in tight situations in front of big crowds. “I think I thrive off of it.” Mendez is confident in his abilities. “If I wrestle my match I can beat anybody,” said Mendez. “If I get my attacks going, there’s nobody who can stop me. “I think I can really open kids up a lot. I’m really good at moving my feet and my hands.” As his head coach puts it, Mendez wants to “be the hero.” “He wants to go out and get bonus points and do whatever he can for the team,” said Lorek. “If we bump him up a weight class, he has no problem doing that. If we need him to wrestle for a major, he’ll get the job done.” Around 7 or 8, Mendez put aside his other sports and focused on the mat. He hooked up with the Region Wrestling Academy. “Those coaches are great,” said Mendez, who grew up in the Lake Central district before moving to Crown Point in middle school. Hector and Monica Mendez have three children — Payton, Jesse and Lyla. “My family’s really important to me,” said Jesse. “They sacrifice a lot for me.” There won’t be much time spent basking in his state title for Mendez. After a brief break, he’s going to start working again to get ready for meets like the FloNationals, Iowa Folkstyle Nationals, World Team Trials, Super 32, Fargo and Who’s No. 1?. In other words, the wrestling world will be hearing more from Jesse Mendez.

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    Feature Articles

    2019 State Finals Information Center

    State Finals Hashtag: #INWRState19 Social Media
    IHSAA on Twiiter
    IndianaMat on Twitter Finals Broadcast TV Listing
    Click here for a list of providers Brackets
    TrackWrestling.com
    IndianaMat with rankings Pick'em Contests
    Standings after semi-state
    State Finals Pick'em Top 8
    Mat Burns Pick the Champions Gorilla Radio
    Episode 67 talking about 106-145
    Episode 68 talking about 152-285 Featured Articles
    State Finals by the Numbers
    State Finals #WAYL2
    IHSAA State Finals Preview
    2019 State Finals Media Guide
    Top 5 Storylines
    History of the State Tournament General Information
    Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis | Website Security: All people as well as their bags, purses, and coolers (athletes only) entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be subject to a security inspection. A full list of prohibited items can be found in the Fieldhouse Fan Guide. Additionally, misconduct, mistreatment of Fieldhouse staff, or other prohibited behavior will be addressed promptly and violators are subject to ejection from the premises or arrest. The code of conduct is found in the Fieldhouse Fan Guide. Admission: $8 per session or $20 both days. Children 24 months old and younger admitted free of charge.  Television: Saturday's state championship bouts in each weight class will air live on Fox Sports Indiana. Hosted by Mark Jaynes (play-by-play), Mike Goebel (analyst), Blake Maurer (analyst) and Greg Rakestraw (mat interviews). Webstream: Friday's first round and Saturday's quarterfinals, semifinals and consolation matches may be viewed via live stream for a subscription fee at TrackWrestling.com. For Saturday night's championship round, viewers outside of the Fox Sports Indiana coverage area, a live stream will be available at IHSAAtv.org. For those within the FSI coverage area, the stream will be available only on delayed basis following the conclusion of the telecast. State Finals Pairings Show
    The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org beginning at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Greg Rakestraw and Hall of Fame coach Mike Goebel will serve as hosts. Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
    Parade of Champions 5:45 pm ET
    First Round | 6 pm ET (Gates open at 4:30 pm ET) Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019
    Quarterfinals | 9:30 am ET with semifinals to follow (Gates open at 8 am ET)
    Consolations | 5 pm ET (Gates open at 4 pm ET)
    Finals | 7:30 pm ET

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    Tournament Previews 6

    History of the State Tournament

    This information was compiled by Dave Holman in his book "Ready Wrestle" and Dick Neal better known as The Ancient Elder. 1922-1949 “The first Indiana state high school wrestling tournament was held by Indiana University in 1922 under the auspices of the IHSAA. There were 19 wrestlers from 7 schools participating in this first state tournament. The individual champions in each weight class were awarded gold medals and the championship team was awarded a plaque. It is interesting to note that from 1922-1935 a regulation high school wrestling match consisted of one eight-minute period with both wrestlers starting in the neutral position on their feet. There was no point system and the winner was determined solely on riding time or by a fall. If a wrestler could gain a takedown, ride his opponent and accumulate the majority of riding time, or if he could pin his opponent, he would be the winner. In the 1935-36 season, a point system and periods were added to make the matches more interesting for spectators. From 1922 to 1951, the only IHSAA rules that governed Indiana high school wrestling were the general IHSAA rules that applied to all sports in Indiana, such as eligibility and age requirements. The rules used for the state tournament and for meets during the regular season were the National Intercollegiate Wrestling coaches and enforced as rules by the tournament officials. As the sport of wrestling grew, and as more teams and coaches began to participate in the state tournament, it became harder to enforce these rules. Beginning with the 1951-52 wrestling season, a new set of rules was adopted by the IHSAA for the governing of Indiana high school wrestling. The rules were written jointly by coaches Chauncey McDaniel of Southport High School and Clifford Myers of Bloomington High School. These rules remained in effect until the 1957-58 wrestling season when certain modifications were made. One of these modifications resulted from a controversy over weight loss. Prior to 1957, the so-called "50 percent rule" was in effect. This rule stated that in order to be eligible for the sectional tournament a wrestler must merely wrestle at a certain weight for 50 percent of his matches. At a tournament a boy could wrestle several times and each of his matches would count toward the 50 percent. There 'was basically no restriction on how much weight a wrestler could lose during the season. There was nothing to prevent him from weighing-in at a weight for 50 percent of his matches, then going up to any other weight for the rest of the season, and then dropping back down for the sectional. It was decided that all of this was a misinterpretation of the purpose of the rule, which was to prevent excessive weight loss during the season. The new rules stated that a wrestler must be certified at a certain weight by mid-season. The wrestler could not go down in weight after that date and must weigh-in at that weight at a minimum number of meets during the regular season in order to be eligible for the sectional tournament. The modified rules remained in effect until 1973 when the National Wrestling Federation Rules were written, for which the Indiana rules served as a model. From 1922 to 1932 the IHSAA bought the awards and paid for lodging; however, Indiana University actually hosted the tournament. The state tournament created great interest in wrestling and a rapid growth followed. By 1930 there were about 20 teams throughout Indiana. Due to the rapid growth of wrestling in the state, the IHSAA took over the complete sponsorship of the state tournament from 1933 to 1943). During these years the tournament was still hosted by Indiana University. Sadly, during the years of the "Great Depression" and the early years of World War II, many schools dropped their wrestling programs and a steady decline followed. From 1944 to 1949, Indiana high school wrestling was at its lowest point and the IHSAA was forced to drop sponsorship of the state tournament. During these years a few of the schools throughout the state still continued to compete. These schools kept the state tournament alive by hosting an invitational tournament each year. The main schools which participated and the years these various schools hosted the tournaments were: Southport in 1944 Crawfordsville in 1945 and 1946; Bloomington in 1947 and 1949; and Lafayette Jeff in 1948.In 1950 the IHSAA once again took over sponsorship of the state tournament, and it continues to do so today. From 1950 to 1959, the tournament was hosted on alternate years-by Bloomington and Lafayette Jeff. From 1960 to 1980 the tournament was hosted by Southport, who at that time had one of the largest high school field houses in Indiana with 7,200 seats. The state tournament finally outgrew even this facility and from 1981 through 1999 the tournament was moved to Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Again size became an issue and in 2000 the tournament was shifted to Conseco Field house in Indianapolis. 
        
    From 1922 to 1949, the tournament was held over one weekend. During these early years of the state tournament, a school could enter an entire team or just a few individuals. All of the wrestlers entered in a certain weight class were paired up by a "blind draw". Since it was possible for the two best wrestlers to meet in the first round, it was made a double elimination tournament with full wrestle-backs. Wrestle-backs were actually used from 1922 to 1949, long before the modern state tournament used them between 1981 and 1984. Growing from 7 teams in 1922 to approximately 20 in 1949, the day finally came when it could no longer be held in just two days. Beginning in 95O the tournament format consisted of various sectionals throughout the State serving as a preliminary to reduce the number of wrestlers competing at the state finals. The following sections of this chapter will outline the growth and changes that have occurred in the tournament format from 1950 to the present.  1950 In 1950, the state tournament began at two sectional sites around the state with ten teams in each sectional. The two sectional sites were located at Bloomington and East Chicago. There were 20 schools and 240 wrestlers participating in the 1950 state tournament. Both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each sectional advanced to the state finals held one week later. There were 48 wrestlers from 13 schools participating in the state finals. There were four finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The finalists were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same sectional were in opposite brackets and the sectional champions would not meet until the final match. There were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1951-1953 From 1951 to 1953, the state tournament began at four sectional sites around the state with five or six teams in each sectional. The following were the four sectional sites from 1951 to 1953: Bloomington, Lafayette Jeff, Southport, and South Bend Central. There were 22 schools and 264 wrestlers participating in the 1951 state tournament. From 1951 to 1953 only the champion in each weight class from each sectional advanced to the state finals held one week later. There were 48 wrestlers from 12 schools participating in the state finals in 1951. There were four finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The four sectional champions were paired by a blind draw. There were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1954-1957 From 1954 to 1957 the state tournament began at four sectional sites around the state with nine teams in each sectional. The following were the four sectional sites from 1954 to 1957: Bloomington, East Chicago Lafayette Jeff and Muncie Central.  There were 35 schools and 420 wrestlers participating in the tournament. From 1954 to 1957 both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each sectional advanced to the state finals held one week later. There were 96 wrestlers from 27 schools participating in the state finals in 1954. There were eight finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The finalists were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same sectional were in opposite brackets and the sectional champions would not meet until the semifinal and final matches. There were four quarterfinal matches and the winners advanced to the semifinals and the losers were eliminated. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1958-1962 Due to the rapid growth in interest in wrestling, the number of sectionals was doubled from four to eight and two regional meets were added between the sectional and state finals. From 1958 to 1962, the state tournament began at eight sectional sites around the state with six to ten teams in each sectional. The following were the eight sectional sites from 1958 to 1962: Bloomington, East Chicago, Indianapolis Broad Ripple, Indianapolis Manual, Kokomo, Muncie Central, New Albany, and South Bend Adams. There were 62 schools and 744 wrestlers participating in the 1958 state tournament. From 1958 to 1962, both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each sectional advanced to one of two regionals, which were held one week later. Bloomington and Lafayette Jeff hosted the regional action from 1958 to 1962. Qualifiers from 4 of the eight sectionals went to a northern regional, usually held at Lafayette Jeff. Qualifiers from the other four sectionals went to a southern regional, usually held at Bloomington. There were eight wrestlers per weight class competing in the regional tournament and they were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same sectional were in opposite brackets. They would not wrestle each other again until the final match of the regional and two sectional champs would not meet until the second round. During the years from 1958 to 1962, the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each regional advanced to the state finals, which was held one week later. There were 48 wrestlers from 26 schools participating in the state finals in 1958. There were four finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The finalists were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same regional were in opposite brackets and the two regional champions would not meet until the finals. There were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1963-1971 Once again due to the rapid growth in interest in wrestling, the number of sectionals was doubled from 8 to 16 and the number of regionals doubled from 2 to 4. From 1963 to 1971, the state tournament began at 16 sectional sites around the state with 12 to 14 teams in each sectional. The following were the 16 sectional sites from 1963 to 1971: Anderson, Crawfordsville, Crown Point, East Chicago, Elkhart, Evansville Mater Dei, Franklin Central, Gary Wirt, Hammond Tech, Indianapolis Broad Ripple, Indianapolis Washington, Kokomo, New Albany, New Castle, South Bend Adams, and Warren Central.
       
    There were 103 schools and 1,236 wrestlers participating in the 1963 state tournament. From 1963 to 1971, only the champion in each weight class from each sectional advanced. Qualifiers advanced to one of four regionals, which were held one week later. Regional sites from 1963 to 1971 were Bloomington, East Chicago, Indianapolis Arlington, and Lafayette Jeff. Qualifiers from 4 of the 16 sectionals went to each regional site. There were four wrestlers per weight class competing in the regional tournament and they were paired up by a blind draw. During the years from 1963 to 1971, only the champion in each weight class from each regional qualified for the state finals held one week later. There were 48 wrestlers from 26 schools participating in the state finals in 1963. There were four finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The finalists were paired up by a blind draw. As in the regional tournaments there were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. By the early 1970' s the various sectionals had grown to include as many as 16 to 18 teams in each sectional. Some sectionals had as many as 20 teams. In 1972, the tournament format would have to be expanded further. 1972-1975 From 1963 to 1972, wrestling had, perhaps, its most rapid growth. Due to this growth, the tournament format was changed to include 32 sectionals and 8 regionals. From 1972 to 1975, the state tournament began at 32 sectional sites around the state with 8 to 10 teams in each sectional. The following were the 32 sectional sites from 1972 to 1975: Anderson, Bellmont, Bloomington, Brookville, Calumet, Crown Point, East Noble, Elkhart, Evansville Mater Dei, Franklin Central, Greencastle, Greenfield Central, Greenwood, Hobart, Jasper, Lafayette Jeff, Lawrence Central, Logansport, Mooresville, Muncie Southside, New Albany, New Castle, New Haven, Noblesville, Indianapolis Pike, Portage, Rensselaer, South Bend Adams, South Bend Washington, Taylor, Triton, and Wabash.    There were 265 schools and 3,100 wrestlers participating in the 1972 state tournament. From 1972 to 1975, both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each sectional advanced to one of eight regionals, which were held one week later. The following were the eight regional sites from 1972 to 1975: Bloomington, Fort Wayne Northside, Gary Wirt, Indianapolis Arlington, Indianapolis Pike, New Castle, South Bend Adams, and Twin Lakes. There were eight wrestlers per weight class competing in the regional tournament and they were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same sectional were in opposite brackets. They would not wrestle each other again until the final match of the regional and two sectional champs would not meet until the second round. During the years from 1972 to 1975, only the regional champion in each weight class from each regional advanced to the state finals, which was held one week later. There were 96 wrestlers from 63 schools participating in the state finals in 1972. There were eight finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The finalists were paired up by a blind draw. As in the regional tournaments there were four quarterfinal matches and the losers were eliminated. The winners advanced to the semifinal round. There were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1976-1980 Due to the continuing growth in wrestling, the state tournament format was changed once again in 1976. This was the last major change and included 64 sectionals and 16 regionals. Also added were four semistate tournaments held between the regional and state finals. From 1976 to 1980, the state tournament began at 64 sectional sites around the state with 4 to 6 teams in each sectional. The following were the sectional sites from 1976 to 1980 and most have continued to be sectional sites up to the present: Adams Central, Bloomington South, Brookville, Brownsburg, Calumet, Center Grove, Crawfordsville, Crown Point, Culver Military, Delphi, East Chicago Washington, East Noble, Jeffersonville, Jennings County, Knightstown, Lafayette Jeff, Lakeland, Lawrence Central, Lebanon, Logansport, Manchester, Marion, Mishawaka, Mooresville, Elkhart Memorial, Evansville Mater Dei, Evansville Reitz, Fort Wayne Carroll, Fort Wayne Northside, Fort Wayne Wayne, Fountain Central, Franklin Central, Gary Wirt, Goshen, Greencastle, Greenfield Central, Greensburg, Hagerstown, Hammond High, Highland, Huntington North, Indianapolis Chatard, Indianapolis Howe, Indianapolis Pike, Jay County, Mount Vernon, Muncie Northside, Muncie Southside, New Castle, New Haven, New Prairie, Noblesville, Pendleton Heights, Rensselaer, Shelbyville, South Bend Washington, Southport, Southridge, Taylor, Terre Haute North, Valparaiso, Warsaw, Washington, and Wes-Del. There were 305 schools and almost 4,000 wrestlers participating in the 1976 state tournament. From 1976 to 1980, both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each sectional advanced to one of 16 regionals, which were held one week later. The following were the 16 regional sites from 1976 to 1980 and most have continued to be up to the present: Bloomington North, Calumet, Crown Point, Elkhart Central, Castle, Fort Wayne North, Fort Wayne Snider, Indian polis Arlington, Indianapolis Pike, Lebanon, Muncie Northside, New Castle, New Prairie, Seymour, Shelbyville, and Twin Lakes.    There were eight wrestlers per weight class competing in the regional tournament and they were paired up so that the champion and runner-up from the same sectional were in opposite brackets. They would not wrestle each other again until the final match of the regional and two sectional champs would not meet until the second round. From 1976 to 1980 both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each regional advanced to one of four semi-state tournaments, which were held one week later. The following were the four semi-state sites from 1976 to 1980: Bloomington South, Fort Wayne Northside, Indianapolis North Central, and New Prairie. There were eight wrestlers per weight class competing in the semi-state tournament. The same format was followed that was used at the regional tournaments. From 1976 to 1980, both the champion and runner-up in each weight class from each semi-state advanced to the state finals, which were held one week later. There were 104 wrestlers from 74 schools participating in the state finals in 1976. There were eight finalists per weight class competing with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. The same format was followed that was used at the regional and semi-state tournaments. There were four quarterfinal matches and the losers were eliminated. The winners advanced to the semifinal round. There were two semifinal matches. The two semifinal winners wrestled a championship match to determine first- and second-place finishers. The two semifinal losers wrestled a consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. 1981-1983 From 1981 to 1983, the state tournament format remained basically the same but with the following minor changes. The top three placers in each weight class from each semi-state advanced to the state finals. There were 1 2 finalists per weight class competing which made it necessary to begin wrestling on Friday evening. During the first round, the second- and third-place finishers from different semi-states wrestled and the semi-state champions would wrestle the winners of these preliminary matches in the second round. The first round losers were eliminated. From 1981 to 1983, wrestle-backs were used. Wrestlers losing in the quarterfinals to an eventual semifinal winner would have an opportunity to qualify by wrestle-backs for the consolation match to determine third- and fourth-place finishers. From this point on, the format remained the same with the top four 'place finishers each awarded a medal. In 1981, there were 320 teams with 4,070 wrestlers competing in sectional action. The finals of 1981 saw 93 teams competing with 156 wrestlers. By 1983, there were 314 teams with 4,070 wrestlers competing in sectional action. The finals of 1983 saw 87 teams with 156 wrestlers in action. 1984-1985 From 1984 to 1985, the state tournament format again remained basically the same except for some additional minor changes. The top four placers in each weight class from each semi-state advanced to the state finals. There were 16 finalists per weight class competing which made it necessary to continue the Friday evening first round session. The main difference was that everyone wrestled on Friday. This change was brought about because many felt it a disadvantage for the semi-state champions not to wrestle the first round, as had been the case during 1981 to 1983. The previous format also had prevented the semi-state champions from earning fall points during the opening round.  During the first round, the first- and fourth-place finishers from different semi-states wrestled and the second- and third-place finishers from different semi-states wrestled. The first round losers were eliminated and the winners advanced to the second round. Wrestle-backs were also used in 1984. In 1985, a snow storm delayed the tournament for one week, therefore the tournament site had to be moved from Market Square Arena to New Castle. Since the tournament had to be held on one day, wrestle-backs were eliminated because of the time factor. From this point on true wrestlebacks were excluded from the tournament. The format remained the same with the top four place finishers each awarded a medal. Participants in 1984 included 316 teams with 4,100 wrestlers at sectional sites and 113 teams with 208 wrestlers at the state finals. In 1985, participants included 312 teams with 4,050 wrestlers at sectional sites and 106 teams with 208 wrestlers at the state finals. 1986-1991 From 1986 to 1991, the state tournament format still remained basically the same. Some additional changes finally resulted in the current format used today. The most recent changes were as follows. The top three placers in each weight class from each regional advanced to the semi-state. There were 12 wrestlers per weight class competing in the semi-state. This made it necessary to wrestle a preliminary round between the second- and third-place finishers from different regionals. The winners would wrestle the regional champions in the second round. From this point on, the format remained the same. The top four placers in each weight class from each semi-state advanced to the state finals. The format of the state finals remained unchanged except from 1986 to 1991 the top six place finishers were each awarded a medal. Wrestlers who lost in the Quarterfinals to the eventual finalists wrestled consolation matches to determine fifth- and sixth-place finishers. In 1986 there were 311 teams with 4,037 wrestlers involved in sectionals and 118\teams with 208 wrestlers involved in the state finals. The 1991 tournament had 306 teams with 3,775 wrestlers competing in sectional action and 112 teams with 208 wrestlers advancing to the state finals. 1992 The format of the state finals remained unchanged in 1992 except the top eight place finishers were each awarded a medal. The first round losers were eliminated and the winners advanced to the second round. Wrestlers who lost in the Quarterfinals to the eventual finalists wrestled consolation matches to determine fifth-and sixth-place finishers. Wrestlers who lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual semifinal losers wrestled consolation matches to determine seventh- and eighth- place finishers. The 1992 tournament had 307 teams with 3,724 wrestlers competing in sectional action and 123 teams with 208 wrestlers advancing to the state finals.” - Dave Holman
    "Ready, Wrestle" - 1992 1996-2009 In 1995-1996 the IHSAA implemented a team state championship series to be ran parallel to the individual series. In 2002-2003 the number of sectionals were reduced from 64 to 32. And the third and fourth place finishers from each sectional were advanced to the regionals. In 2008-2009 the 4th place finishers from each regional were advanced to the semi-state. As mentioned in the last few sections of this chapter, the number of teams and individuals participating in the state tournament had increased dramatically until the mid-1970's. However, for the past 15 years the numbers have remained fairly constant. This does not mean that the interest in wrestling has declined. The main reasons are that almost all of the schools in Indiana had started wrestling programs by the mid-1970's, and that many of the smaller schools, which had wrestling by the 1960’s, were involved in consolidations. As a result, the increase in the number of teams during this period was offset by a decrease due to many school consolidations. Many changes have been made through the years to keep pace with the growth of the sport and no doubt further changes will be made in the future. For the benefit of the high school wrestlers in the state of Indiana and through the efforts of many dedicated individuals, wrestling will continue to be the great sport it has always been.  - Dick Neal aka The Ancient Elder

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    High School News 17
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