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    • Date
      September 12-13, 2020

      Registration
      *Registration is closed*
       
      Brackets and Streaming
      TrackWrestling Link

      Stud List
      2020 Stud List
       
      Attendee List
      Due to COVID-19 we are restricting the number of people attending the event, please see the COVID-19 section for more details
      Click to view the list

      Location:
      The Plex South
      5702 Engle Rd, 
      Fort Wayne, IN 46804
       
      Event Schedule
      Weigh-ins
      Saturday September 12th from 1:00-3:00 pm EST Wrestling Session 1
      Weights: 109, 129, 148, and 173
      Saturday September 12th from 5:00-9:00 pm EST Wrestling Session 2
      Weights: 116, 135, 155, 198, and 288
      Sunday September 13th from 9:00 am-1:00 pm EST Wrestling Session 3
      Weights: 123, 141, 163, 185, and 223
      Sunday September 13th from 1:00-6:00 pm EST  
      COVID-19 Procedures **UPDATED**
      Each athlete will be allowed to designate two attendees for the event. These people will need to be either a parent or coach. Please designate the person(s) during registration on TrackWrestling or via our Attendee List page. This will need to be finalized by Friday September 11th at 11pm EST time. All attendees MUST wear face coverings. Athletes will be exempt from this when they are warming-up or competing. If you are not feeling well, experiencing symptoms or may be at a higher risk for getting very sick, we recommend you stay home and watch the live stream through TrackWrestling.  Each person entering the event will be subject to a screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Attendees that are not registered for a specific session will not be allowed into the building. Athletes that need to stay through multiple sessions can do so with prior approval. Please email Joe@IndianaMat.com to confirm. In order to encourage social distancing there will be extremely limited seating, it is highly recommended that spectators bring their own "camp" chairs for seating. Handshaking and normal match procedures such as raising an athlete's hand will be limited and/or eliminated at the discretion of the referees.  
      Registration and Weigh-In Information
      **Due to COVID-19 procedures we will have only one weigh-in session**
      Saturday September 12th from 1:00-3:00 pm EST
      *Note: No weight change fee No Satellite Weigh-ins Weigh-ins will be in a singlet or NFHS approved two-piece uniform  
      Weight Changes **UPDATED**
      As noted there will be no charge for weight changes. However, in order to help our staff with check-in of attendees we have created a form to notify us of a weight change. This will help reduce confusion at check-in for the attendees if an athlete changes weight.
       
      Click the link below to submit a weight change.
      Click here to update your weight class
       
      Entry Fee
      $40 Registration by September 9th at 10:00pm EST or 750 paid entries, whichever comes first. No membership card is required to wrestle You must pay online by credit card ONLY! Per TrackWrestling policy there will be no refunds of paid entries.  If the event is canceled due to COVID-19 we will issue refunds to everyone. Online registration ONLY will be accepted this year. Registration will be cut off at the first 750 paid entries or September 9th at 10pm EST whichever comes first. Please note we had had around 650 preregistered entries the past four years and we sold out the past two years. The Tournament Committee will retain the right to add up to an additional 25 wrestlers, at their discretion, via a petition process, after the entry cutoff. Information about the petition process will be posted within a day after registration closes. Once we reach the entry limit registration will be shut down. After that point the ONLY way to enter is through a petition.
        Tournament Gear and Apparel

      3X Gear is the official gear distributor for the IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open. They will be on hand with a full selection of tournament apparel and other wrestling apparel and supplies.
       
      Spectators
      $10 per person
       
      Age Groups
      Students currently enrolled in 7th-12th grades will be wrestling in one division.

      Awards
      Top 4 will receive medals and the top 4 will qualify for Super 32 early entry
       
      Contact
      Joe Caprino
      joe@Indianamat.com
       
      Wrestling Information
      -Wrestling will take place on Saturday September 12th and Sunday September 13th, 2020
      -Weight Classes: High School: 109, 116, 123, 129, 135, 141, 148, 155, 163, 173, 185, 198, 223, 288
      -Wrestlers in 7th-12th grade may participate
      -Double elimination wrestle-backs to 4th place
      -Period lengths 2-1-1 Championship 1-1-1 Consolation
      -Overtime will be 1 minute sudden victory neutral and 30 second rideout
      -We will seed 4-16 wrestlers so please include your state or national credentials when registering 
      -2019/2020 NFHS rules will be utilized, except the overtime modification
      -Wrestling will be on full mats
      -Singlet or approved NFHS uniform is required
      -College out of bounds rules will be utilized.
      -Headgear is not required, but recommended
      -Mouthpieces are required if you have braces
      -Wrestlers need to be clean shaven when they step on the mat, long hair is allowed.
       
      Host Hotel
      Ramada Plaza by Wyndham
      305 E Washington Center Rd,
      Fort Wayne, IN 46825
      Rate: $92
      Click here to reserve a room
      Call (260) 205-8568 and ask for the IndianaMat block
       
      College Coaches
      We will offer a special college coaches package for $50. Please follow this link to preregister in advance.
      You may pay in advance or pay if you are not attending the event and want the entry database using this button
      Click here for the PayPal link.
      The package will include:
      Registration list of all high school aged wrestlers with name, address, grade, weight and accomplishments* Admission to the tournament and floor access for up to two coaches. *Note we are limiting two coaches this year* Preliminary entry list sent after registration closes  
      *Tournament entry information with addresses and contact information will be sent the week after the event and will have all high school aged wrestlers that opted to have information released to coaches.
       
      Past Results
      2019 Results(610 wrestlers from 11 states)
      2018 Results(605 wrestlers from 12 states)
      2017 Results(597 wrestlers from 10 states)
      2016 Results(647 wrestlers from 11 states)
      2015 Results(580 wrestlers from 11 states)
      2014 Results(586 wrestlers from 14 states)
      2013 Results(598 wrestlers from 10 states)
      2012 Results(444 wrestlers from 8 states)
      2011 Results(254 wrestlers from 9 states)
      2010 Results(171 wrestlers from 9 states)  
       
      IHSAA Rules
      Regarding Coaching at the IHPO
      15-2 During School Year Out-of-Season
      15-2.1 Individual Sports (Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Wrestling)
      a. Students may participate in non-school contests as individuals or as members of a non-school team in non-school contests provided that participation during school time is approved by the school principal or his/her designee.
      b. Coaches, from a member school coaching staff, may coach students in that sport if NOT under the organization, supervision and operation of the member school.
      c. Member schools may not organize, supervise or operate athletic practices or interschool athletic contests.
      d. Member schools may not provide school-owned uniforms (jerseys, shirts, shorts, pants, singlets, or swimsuits, etc.) worn by the student in non-school contests.
    • Schedule
      Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
      Session 1 | First Round | 6 pm ET (Gates open at 4:30 pm ET)
      Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020
      Session 2 | Quarterfinals with Semifinals to follow | 9:30 am ET (Gates open at 8 am ET)
      Session 3 | Consolations at 5 pm ET with Championships to follow at 7:30 pm ET (Gates open at 4 pm ET)
       
      State Finals Hashtag: #INWRState20
      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
       
      East Chicago Semi-State
      Evansville Semi-State
      New Castle Semi-State
      New Haven(Fort Wayne) Semi-State
       
      Pick'em Contests
      Standings after semi-state
      State Finals Pick'em Top 8
      Mat Burns Pick the Champions
       
      Gorilla Radio
      Episode 86 talking about 106lbs-145lbs
      Episode 87 talking about 152lbs-285lbsHIgh School Wrestling Weekly
       
      Friday Night IndianaMat/WZBD Preview Show
      Click here for information
       
      Featured Articles
      State Finals by the Numbers
      State Finals #WAYL2
      IHSAA State Finals Preview2020 State Finals Media Guide
      Top 5 Storylines
      Who do you want in your corner on Friday night?
      Who do you want in your corner on Saturday morning?
      Who do you want in your corner in the semi-finals?
      History of the State Tournament
       
      General Information
      Dates: Feb. 21-22, 2020.
      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: $10 per session or $20 both days. Children 24 months old and younger admitted free of charge. Order All Session Tickets 
      Television: Saturday's state championship bouts in each weight class will air live on Fox Sports Indiana.
      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 on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT (1 hour). The show will be hosted by Greg Rakestraw and Mike Goebel.
      Approved Broadcasts 
      Order All Session Tickets 
      Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
      Session 1 | First Round | 6 pm ET (Gates open at 4:30 pm ET) | Order Session 1 Tickets 
      Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020
      Session 2 | Quarterfinals with Semifinals to follow | 9:30 am ET (Gates open at 8 am ET) | Order Session 2 Tickets 
      Session 3 | Consolations at 5 pm ET with Championships to follow at 7:30 pm ET (Gates open at 4 pm ET) | Order Session 3 Tickets 
    • The season is around the corner and this weekend will be the ultimate test for Indiana grapplers at the Super 32. There are 45 Indiana athletes registered for this year’s event in Myrtle Beach. Of interest will be a few wrestlers that will be new to Indiana wrestling this year that could make a big impact at Bankers Life in February.
       
      Belt Contenders
      Three state champions along with a sophomore with a load of national success highlight the Indiana wrestlers that will contend for a coveted Super 32 belt. Sergio Lemley is back in Indiana after winning an Illinois state title last year. He is nationally ranked and won IHPO in September. He will be in the mix at a deep 120lbs weight class.
       
      State champion Zeke Seltzer took an early loss last year and was unable to crack the top 8. This year he will take on a lot of top guys at 126lbs. His weight features the two top ranked guys in the nation, but Zeke has shown he belongs in this group.
       
      Chesterton’s Evan Bates won a state title at 220lbs but will be looking for a belt at 195lbs this weekend. He placed 5th here last year at 195lbs. His toughest foes include a couple top 5 wrestlers in Seth Shumate and Brandon Hoselton.
       
      Lastly, Christian Carroll is also in the mix at 195lbs. Everyone in Indiana has known for a while he is extremely talented. However, he did not get to show it off as an injury sidelined him last year. He won the Grappler Fall Classic at 215lbs a couple weeks ago knocking off a couple ranked wrestlers. He is one that many inside and outside of Indiana are watching this weekend.
       
      Podium Contenders
      Some wrestlers to watch that are contenders to reach the podium include state champion Alex Cottey, runner-up Cheaney Schoeff, third placer Hayden Watson, and three-time placer David Pierson. Cottey made a deep run last year and will return to 113lbs this year. He will be big at this weight and his extremely physical style will bode well for him. He has had some national success in the past at Fargo so he is no stranger to big event placements.
       
      Schoeff had a great run last year at the state finals. Look for him to make a deep run in Myrtle Beach at 120lbs. He gave Lemley a great match at IHPO. This could be his breakout national event.
       
      Watson and Pierson both had great IHPO tournaments. Watson lost a close match in the finals to a top 5 wrestler, while Pierson won a deep weight in…. David Pierson style. Watson is going to be trouble for everyone that he faces with a relentless in your face style. Pierson is a wildcard that can end a match at any time. He will need to string together multiple solid matches in a row to make the podium.
       
      Others to keep your eyes on
      A couple new faces to Indiana will be interesting to watch. Crown Point will have Javen Estrada in the lineup this year. He was a state qualifier in Illinois last year and had a really good IHPO event. South Carolina state champion Matteo Vargo will be new to Granger this year and is entered at 126lbs. Obviously South Carolina is not a power state so it will be interesting to see him in a field this deep.
       
      Brownsburg freshman Preston Haines will be another wrestler to watch. He placed 4th at IHPO and could be a contender for a state title this year. Evan Dickey will be back at 106lbs and keeps improving each year. He could be a sleeper at a weight loaded with younger athletes.
       
      State placers to watch include runner-ups Matthew Koontz and Jujuan Anderson. Third place finishers Logan Frazier, Kysen Montgomery, Jaden Reynolds, and Aiden Warren could be in the mix to make the podium. Reynolds won an IHPO title in September and has had a very good off-season. Montgomery and Frazier are both solid wrestlers that could put together a run of wins to put themselves in a good spot to place. Warren is taking a week off from the gridiron to hit the mats this week. Another wrestler to watch is Gavinn Alstott. He was 4th in 2019 at state, but had a death draw at semi-state this year. Lastly, the other state placers entered include Stephan Roberson Jr., Ian Heath, and Christian White.
       
      Super 32 History
      Indiana has had 45 placers at the Super 32. The first placer was Camden Eppert in 2008. There have been four champions from Indiana: Blake Rypel(2015), Chad Red(2014), Jarred Brooks(2011), and Ethan Raley(2010). There have been seven runner-ups in the event: Nick South(2018), Lucas Davison(2017), Neal Molloy(2012), Devon Jackson(2011), Jason Tsirtsis(2010), Brandon Wright(2009), and Jason Tsirtsis(2009). There have been six wrestlers place twice, they include Blake Rypel, Brayton Lee, Chad Red, Drew Hughes, Jason Tsirtsis, and Joe Lee.
       
      To see all the past placers, click here.
       
      Indiana Entries
      Weight Name School State Place 106 Evan Dickey Indianapolis Cathedral Qual 106 Preston Haines Brownsburg   113 Alexzander Cottey Perry Meridian 1st 113 Dylan Driver Westfield Qual 113 Keaton Morton Perry Meridian   120 Logan Frazier Crown Point 3rd 120 Brac Hooper Carmel Qual 120 Sergio Lemley Chesterton 1st 120 Cheaney Schoeff Avon 2nd 120 Tony Wood Jay County   126 Stephen Roberson Jr Crown Point 5th 126 Zeke Seltzer Indianapolis Cathedral 1st 126 Matteo Vargo Penn 1st 132 Gavinn Alstott Floyd Central 4th 132 Cameron Clark Jay County   132 Alecsander Freeman Mater Dei 6th 132 Kysen Montgomery Brownsburg 3rd 132 David Pierson Warren Central 4th 132 Christian White New Palestine 5th 138 Luke Goodwin Southport 7th 138 Ian Heath Leo 6th 138 Matthew Koontz Perry Meridian 2nd 138 Hayden Watson Center Grove 3rd 145 Javen Estrada Crown Point Qual 145 Cody Goodwin Crown Point   145 Brady Mckivitz Perry Meridian   145 Jaden Reynolds Avon 3rd 152 Jajuan Anderson Warren Central 2nd 152 J Conway Floyd Central 6th 152 Orlando Cruz Crown Point Qual 160 Trae Anderson Laporte   160 Brody Baumann Mater Dei Qual 160 Tyler Jones Warren Central 7th 160 Kade Law Columbus East Qual 160 Jakob Sheets Perry Meridian   170 Sam Morrill Columbus East 8th 182 Johnny Parker Cathedral Qual 182 Keon Sullivan Warren Central   195 Connor Barket West Lafayette Qual 195 Evan Bates Chesterton 1st 195 Christian Carroll Penn   195 Aiden Warren Perry Meridian 3rd 220 Joshua Howell Terre Haute South Vigo Qual 220 Conner Specht Jay County   285 Jacob Johnson Franklin Community Qual
    • Today the NCAA announced the championship locations for events from 2023 through 2026 for all of their championship sports in all three divisions. It was announced that the 2025 NCAA DII Championships will be held in Indianapolis. The University of Indianapolis will be the official host of the event that will take place at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum(better known as the Pepsi Coliseum). The wrestling portion of the DII championships will be a part of the DII Winter Sports Festival that will include championships in indoor track and field along with swimming championships in the Indianapolis area.
       
      We will keep you posted on exact dates and ticket information as it becomes available.
    • By DANE FUELLING There will be a new coach in the chair for Homestead High School come November, as the Southwest Allen County school named Andy Oberlin the next head coach of the wrestling team.    “I am extremely excited to be running the program,” said Oberlin in an interview Monday with the DDD. “As with most wrestlers, I like to be in control and have opinions on how things should be done and now I will get a chance to see if they will work.”   Oberlin takes over the Spartan program from former Snider wrestler Nathan Devaux, and heads a program that he has been coaching in some capacity since 2014. Oberlin says that for the first time in his personal life, he finally has time to balance his family, work and a head coaching job.    Devaux will continue with the program as an assistant, as well as Brent Stockman, who wrestled at Toledo University. Other assistants for 2020-21 will be Josh Michaels (Columbia City), Rick Greenwood (Elmhurst) and Mason Gaines (Fishers).    The new coach is a graduate of DeKalb High School, where he graduated in 1994.    “I had the pleasure of wrestling TIm Myers six times my sophomore and junior year,” Oberlin chuckled. Of the six losses he had his sophomore and junior year, four of them came from Myers. He was eliminated from the state tournament both years by Myers in the ticket round.    Oberlin’s Bellmont connection continued his senior year, where he handed Jason Hayes his only two losses of the year prior to his appearance in the state championship bout in 1994. The Baron wrestler finished fourth that year at 119.    His wrestling career continued at North Central College, a D3 school. A decade after leaving North Central, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Purdue University.    Oberlin began his coaching career in 1997 as an assistant for the well-travelled Rod Williams at Norwell. He returned to Dekalb a few years after that and coached under Tom Blackburn and later Jason Hunter.    “I truly love coaching kids because of what this sport did for me and what I see it do for athletes. There is a bond between a wrestling coach and an athlete that I personally don’t see in other sports. You are truly going into battle with them and that solidifies that bond. Personally, there is nothing better than watching a child start wrestling as a youth and then see that athlete wrestle his senior year.”   A full program, not just at the high school level, but all the way through the youth program, is Oberlin’s ultimate goal at one of the largest high schools in northeast Indiana.    “Over the last six years, we have taken a club of about 10 to 20 kids to a little more than 100 last year. Our middle school programs are starting to develop and grow.”   Over 70 kids competed on the district’s two middle school programs this season and the success of the program was higher than in recent memory.    When asked for goals for his tenure, Oberlin looked at the bigger picture.   “We, as a community, have to work to raise the level of wrestling in our area. I want Homestead to be a part of lifting this semi-state back up.”   A berth at Team State and a few state medals were just some of the big goals he has for the program. Oberlin noted that he worked with other coaches on a ten year plan when he came to the program and feels that with three years left, Homestead is still on pace to accomplish many of the original standards he set in 2014.    Oberlin admitted that competing with Bellmont is a goal of his.    “We have a pretty strong Thanksgiving Duals and I will make sure that Bellmont has a standing invitation to that.”   An invitation to compete at the prestigious Al Smith tournament at Mishawaka over the holidays is something that Oberlin feels his program can earn in the coming years.    Oberlin and his wife and three children reside in the SACS district. 
    • By Dane Fuelling
       
      When sports started shutting down four weeks ago, one of the first casualties was the ISWA (Indiana State Wrestling Association) Folkstyle State tournament, which was due to be held at Warren Central. While the decision came as a surprise at the time, it was certainly the right one. One must look at the losses suffered by township schools in Marion County in the last month to realize that the virus would have been spread at WC and sent back to every corner of the Hoosier State had the tournament gone on. 
       
      ISWA President Pat Culp says her organization and the greater USA Wrestling body, have canceled all events up to May 10th at the local and national level. 
       
      As President, Culp participates in weekly video conferences with the CEO and president of USAW, along with all the state chairs. 
      “USA Wrestling has developed a COVID-19 committee,” said Culp Wednesday morning, “that tries to stay on top of any and all developments regarding what is happening nationally. In addition, they try to determine what is happening state by state. All states are required to inform USAW each time there is a change in our ‘stay at home’ policy, school cancellations, etc.”
       
      The challenge for the ISWA has been a set of circumstances that seem to change daily. 
       
      “We saw this when trying to host Folkstyle State in the second weekend in March. Our venue, which was a school, informed us on Tuesday that they would not be allowed to host the event, which was a three-day event scheduled to start that Friday. We had to scramble to find a new venue.”
      The Columbia City resident, whose son Blane is the head wrestling coach at CCHS, said that her team quickly contacted USAW and asked if they were allowed to still host the event. 
       
      “The people at USAW informed us we could until the state of Indiana told us no. So we found a new venue. However, 24 hours later, USA Wrestling put out a statement stating they were recommending postponing all events until further notice. That’s how fast everything changed.”
      At the time of printing, Culp was preparing for another conference call to discuss the upcoming Central Regionals, scheduled to be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on May 15, 16, and 17. 
       
      The ISWA will also be hosting the 14U national duals in Franklin in the middle of June, pending conditions of the pandemic. 
      “It has been a very trying situation for all sports. Our main objective is to keep the kids safe, along with spectators, officials, coaches, etc. The ISWA would like to be able to have wrestling open back up this summer, if allowed, and with precautionary measures. In the meantime, we are posting daily workouts to keep the kids involved and in shape.”
       
      Pat Culp took over as ISWA President in the fall and has been part of the organization since 1992 in one form or another. 
    • By JEREMY HINES
      Thehines7@gmail.com
       
      Howard Jones is, without a doubt, the face of Jennings County wrestling. Jones has coached the Panthers for over four decades (41 years to be exact). And during those 41 years he’s always had to do things the hard way. That’s all about to change.
       
      Jennings County has started the construction of a one-of-a-kind wrestling facility. Jones believes this might be the only dedicated wrestling venue for a high school in the Midwest, and possibly even the entire country.
       
      The new, five-million-dollar venue will feature seating for over 800 fans. It will have four full-size mats down with the ability to remove some seating and go up to six full size mats. The 24,000 square feet venue will also have two locker rooms and a coaches’ office.
       
      “We expect this to make our wrestlers feel like first-class athletes,” Jennings County Athletic Director Cory Stevens said. “They are going to have a facility that no other wrestlers in the region or in the state will have. We hope this attracts others to use it as well, for camps and things of that nature.”
       
      For Jones, this is a dream come true. His wrestlers have practiced in a balcony overlooking the basketball gymnasium. The school has two balconies on each side of the gym, and the wrestling team was often so large that it had to split the team up and use both sides.
       
      “I was lucky enough to have real good assistant coaches over the years,” Jones said. “I would go on one side and the assistants would go on the other. Sometimes we would divide by weight class. Sometimes we would divide by varsity and junior varsity.”
       
      The wrestlers would also have to move the 800-pound mats that were stored in various places throughout the school down to the gym floor for invitationals or dual meets.
       
      “Needless to say, it was an inconvenience, at the minimum,” Jones said. “We didn’t get the lighter mats until about four years ago. We always had to end practice early if there was a girls or a boys basketball game.”
       
      Jones didn’t much believe that the program was getting its own venue when he was first told about it. He had heard similar talk before. One time the school was going to build a 4.7-million-dollar facility that would house three basketball courts, a weight room, a track and a wrestling room. Ultimately that got voted down by the community.
       
      This time around school superintendent Teresa Brown told Jones that it was going to happen.
       
      “One day she told me ‘Coach Jones, we’re going to get you that wrestling room.’,” Jones said. “I didn’t believe her. That was about three years ago. Then, at the first of the year, she steps into the gym and said to me ‘Don’t you doubt me coach Jones, don’t you doubt me’.”
       
      Jones has had a hand in the design of the facility. He has looked at places like Purdue for inspiration and has tried to emulate what he knows works.
       
      “It’s been a very emotional time for me,” Jones said. “I have thought our kids deserved something better, but maybe not this elaborate, for years. I questioned why it was going to be so good. The principal at the time said ‘Howard, why can’t we have the best for our kids?’ That made sense to me. I think this state-of-the-art facility will be what’s best for our kids.”
       
      For Jones, the principal’s statement got him thinking.
       
      “I’m pretty conservative with things,” Jones said. “When he said that to me, I started thinking differently. I started thinking why not. The school wants to be greedy for the kids and it really shows.”
       
      The wrestling facility isn’t the only thing to get a major upgrade at the school. The baseball and softball fields got a multi-million-dollar upgrade. The weight room doubled in size. The football field got new turf. The tennis courts are getting a facelift. But, the largest change, is the wrestling renovation.
       
      According to Stevens, this might not have ever happened if it weren’t for the influence Jones has had on the students and the community through wrestling.
       
      “They say it has a lot to do with me, but it’s really for the kids,” Jones said. “The kids deserved better and we’re getting there. The educators care for the kids. But since this announcement I’ve had hundreds of people call or contact me about how much wrestling has done for them. That was done without this kind of facility. It’s not that we create champion wrestlers. It’s important that we realize we’re creating champion kids.”
       
      This has been an emotional journey for Jones. Former wrestlers are working on the building of the new facility and even the companies that put in the bids for the construction were ran by some of Jones’ former wrestlers.
       
      “Each of our six elementary schools have former wrestlers of mine that are coaching,” Jones said. “All but one of my assistants were coached by me. The middle school – all but one of the coaches was coached by me. It makes me very proud. One of the things that probably puts things in perspective for me the most is that I had a principal at one of the elementary schools come up to me and said ‘Howard, I’m tired of going to principal meetings and hearing about your wrestling program.’ But wrestling is a fraternity, not just within the school, but it creates a strong bond for life.”
       
      Stevens hopes to see other schools build similar facilities for their programs in the future.
       
      “We hope this inspires other schools to do something similar,” Stevens said. “Everyone is going to benefit from this – not just the high school, but the younger kids as well. Wrestling is a sport that does great things for kids. The more we can inspire other kids, the better. I was not a wrestler, but I see the value the sport offers for kids today.”
    • We have put together the best 124 wrestlers from 2000-2020 and mashed them in the ultimate bracket. This list includes five wrestlers who won four state titles, 10 that won three titles, and 49 that have won two state titles!
       
      We seeded them by a point system on their whole career then separated ties by national level success. The top 44 wrestlers(all who made the finals at least three times) were given a bye into the main 64 man ultimate bracket. The other 80 will battle it out in a vote-in to make the main bracket.
       
      To add to the foray we have created some banana bets for you to earn more bananas for future use.
       
      Voting will take place on Twitter starting around noon on Monday March 23rd and continue daily until the bracket is complete. Each voting duration will be only two hours so stay tuned to our Twitter account for updates throughout the day. As the winners are announced we will update our bracket to determine the champion.
       
      Bracket Link
      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mD3b5oNdjmYZlkwJsSsii2pdkuP5z-YZ2JY3wjDYyCY/edit?usp=sharing
       
      Banana Bets Links
      https://indianamat.com/index.php?/bettingshop/
       
      Twitter Link
      IndianaMat
      #IMUltimateBracket
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