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      2021 NCAA D2 Preview

      By Drew Hughes
      The NCAA D2 national tournament has always been a tough tournament to qualify for but this year it was even harder. Due to Covid, the NCAA decided to reduce the number of participants by 27% meaning that while in a normal year there would be 180 qualifiers, this year there are only 132. To put that into perspective, the D1 tournament will still have 330 competitors this year giving them almost 200 more spots then the D2 tournament. Even with this reduced field there will be 4 Indiana natives competing in St. Louis this weekend.
      Christian Mejia of McKendree University will be competing in the 125-pound bracket. Mejia comes into the tournament with an 8-1 record and will face 8 seed Cole Jones of MSU Moorhead in the first round. In High School Christian wrestled for Elkhart Memorial where he was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.
      Logan Bailey of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 149-pound bracket. The true freshman holds a record of 11-2 and will face 8 seed Jacob Ealy of Pitt-Johnstown in the first round. Bailey wrestled for Indianapolis Cathedral in High School where he was a 2-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up. In addition, Bailey was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2019.
      Dawson Combest of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 157-pound bracket. Combest comes into the tournament with a 10-2 record as well as being the 2 seed of the tournament. Combest has a bye first round but will face Caden Moore of Northern St. in the quarterfinals. Combest qualified for the cancelled 2020 tournament last year and was named an NWCA All-American as the 7th seed that year. In High School, Dawson wrestled for Columbus East where he was a 3-time state placer. Like Bailey, Combest was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2016.
      Gleason Mappes of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 184-pound bracket. Mappes comes to the tournament with a 6-6 record and will face the 4 seed Dan Fillipek of McKendree first round. Mappes also qualified for the cancelled 2020 national tournament. In High School Mappes wrestled for Center Grove and was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.
      The tournament will be on March 12-13 and the brackets can be found on track wrestling. Also, for those that are interested, all of the matched will be streamed live on the NCAA website.
      Click here for brackets

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      Indiana Natives to Watch at NAIA Nationals

      By Drew Hughes
      The 2021 NAIA Wrestling National Championships are set to take place March 5-6 in Park City, Kansas. There are 12 Indiana natives that will be competing at this tournament with 5 of the 11 being ranked in the top 8 of the latest NAIA rankings. Listed below are the NAIA National qualifiers.
      Hometown/High School
      Ty Haskins
      Marian (Ind.)
      Valparaiso, Portage High School
      Matt Gimson
      Indiana Tech
      Elkhart, Jimtown High School
      Connor Gimson
      Indiana Tech
      Elkhart, Jimtown High School
      Blake Mulkey
      Marian (Ind.)
      Brownsburg, Brownsburg High School
      Bailey Moore
      Marian (Ind.)
      Indianapolis, Beech Grove High School
      Brice Coleman
      Indiana Tech
      Indianapolis, Warren Central High School
      Tristan Sellmer
      Jeffersonville, Floyd Central high School
      Elliott Rodgers
      Marian (Ind.)
      Noblesville, Cathedral High school
      Kolby Ferris
      Indiana Tech
      Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern High School
      Jarod Swank
      Cumberlands (Ky.)
      Granger, Penn High School
      Sam Osho
      Marian (Ind.)
      Avon, Avon High School
      Jack Servies
      Marian (Ind.)
      Indianapolis, Perry Meridian High School
      Ethan Bunce
      Marian (Ind.)
      Indianapolis, Lawrence Central High School
      For those that may be unfamiliar with how NAIA works, a team can enter 2 individuals at a weight for 2 different weight classes. With that being said, that is how brothers Matt and Connor Grimson both qualified at the same weight and took 1st and 2nd at their conference. Also winning conference titles where Blake Mulkey, Brice Coleman, Elliot Rodgers, Kolby Ferris, Jack Servies, and Jarod Swank.
      With the exception of Jarod Swank, who competed in the Mid-South Conference, all of the other Indiana Natives competed in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. This was the first year of this conference where Indiana Tech beat Marian in the team race by a score of 163.5 to 144.
      With in person attendance likely limited, the tournament will be on trackwrestling where you can follow the brackets and even watch live for a fee.
      Click here for TrackWrestling brackets

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      Luke Blanton Takes Big 10 Wrestler of the Week Honors

      BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday the winner of this week's Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor. Indiana sophomore Luke Blanton (149) picked up his first career weekly award.
      Blanton had one of the best weekends of his young Indiana career. On December 11, at 20th-ranked Minnesota, Blanton came from behind to upset No. 10 Jake Short in the penultimate bout of the dual. Blanton was behind 6-4 after two periods, then surged ahead with an 11-4 third round in his favor. Blanton sealed the win with a clutch takedown and a two-point nearfall on the edge of the mat with 30 seconds remaining. The win also lifted Indiana to a 19-18 team win over Minnesota, their first Big Ten dual win since 2011.
      On Sunday, December 13, the Hoosiers took on Eastern Michigan, a team on the brink of cracking the national top 25. Indiana battled to a hard-earned 25-9 win over the Eagles, highlighted by Blanton's win over No. 16 Nicholas Barber in the 149 lbs. bout. Blanton took the dual win on a 4-0 decision, in which the Hoosier displayed excellent defensive work.
      With this award, Blanton becomes the first Hoosier this season to win the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor. He's the first Hoosier to win the award since NCAA runner-up Taylor Walsh (December 31, 2014).
      The pair of wins garnered national recognition for Blanton. He rose to the No. 20 spot in the latest Asics FloRankings, and sits at 29th in the latest Dual Impact Index polls.
      After a strong 3-0 weekend, Indiana earned their first national rankings of the season. The Hoosiers are 20th in the latest InterMat team dual rankings, and 22nd in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll.
      The Hoosiers return to action on Sunday, December 20, when they'll take part in the Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev.
      2015-16 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 3 Nathan Tomasello, So., OSU
      Nov. 10 Brett Pfarr, Jr., MINN
      Nov. 17 Sammy Brooks, Jr., IOWA
      Nov. 24 Bo Nickal, Fr., PSU
      Dec. 1 Isaiah Martinez, So., ILL
      Dec. 8 Micah Jordan, Fr., OSU
      Dec. 15 Luke Blanton, So., IND

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      #Wrestling Wednesday Feature: Purdue Ready for NCAA Championships

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      When Tony Ersland took the job as Purdue University’s head wrestling coach he knew it would be a challenge to compete in arguably the toughest wrestling conference in the country. He embraced the challenge.
      Ersland’s Boilermakers finished the season ranked in the top 25 in the country. Purdue finished with a dual record of 10-8 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. Eight Boilermaker wrestlers will compete in the NCAA National Championships this week, starting Thursday.
      “There were a lot of positives for us this year,” Ersland said. “This was my first year in the program with the kids. We set the foundation for how we are going to operate. Overall, I’m happy with the progress we made this year.
      Ersland comes to Purdue from Nebraska, where he was an assistant coach for the past eight seasons. He has coached several top wrestlers, including Craig Brester who was a two-time NCAA finalist and a Big 12 champion.
      “Craig is one athlete who is near and dear to my heart,” Ersland said. “He started out as a walk on at the University of Nebraska. Then he became a two time All-American. He’s the type of athlete that makes coaching worthwhile. He poured his heart and soul into wrestling. He was a special wrestler, and his work is what made him that way.”
      Purdue’s Danny Sabatello, Brandon Nelsen, Nick Lawrence, Doug Welch, Patrick Robinson, Chad Welch, Patrick Kissel and Braden Atwood will all be competing in the NCAA Championships.
      “Our goal is to have national champions and All-Americans,” Ersland said. “That’s the mindset we are going in with. We want to go in and perform at a high level. We’ve wrestled outstanding competition all year long. The Big Ten is a brutal grind. It’s like SEC football. We’ve had four out of the top five teams in the country in the Big Ten.
      “It’s extremely competitive. It’s tougher sometimes to win in the conference than it is in a national bracket. There are no illusions going into the national tournament. You know exactly what you need to do.”
      Ersland likes the quality of wrestlers he has been able to look at in Indiana. He feels that there is great talent in the state.
      “Purdue is in the middle of a great wrestling state,” Ersland said. “Indiana turns out a lot of good talent and we want to see those wrestlers stay at home. We don’t want the Jason Tsirtsis out there to look elsewhere.”
      When asked about Indiana’s high school tournament format, Ersland said he prefers to keep a one-class system.
      “Personally I like the one class tournament,” Ersland said. “I can understand a two class format as well. But as far as evaluating talent, I really enjoy the one class. You don’t end up with a watered down system.
      “I think Michigan’s system sort of waters it down. They have four classes and that’s too many. One or two tops is the way to go.”
      Ersland is married to wife Carolyn. They have twin sons, Jaxon and Mason.
      “They will always have a wrestling partner,” Ersland said of his sons. “My hope is that they will fall in love with the sport as much as I have. But right now they are just four years old. They love to come to practice and watch the guys roll around. I try to get them in bed, but sometimes they just want to stay up and watch wrestling on T.V.”
      The NCAA championships begin at noon on Thursday in St. Louis.

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      Marian University Adds Wrestling

      INDIANAPOLIS - The Marian University department of athletics is proud to announce the expansion of the department with the addition of men's wrestling beginning with the 2016-17 season of competition, director of athletics Steve Downing announced on Thursday.
      "We are proud to continue the expansion of our department," said Downing. "We have added women's soccer (1998), women's golf (2004), men's football (2007), men's and women's bowling (2010) and women's lacrosse (2015) in the past two decades and the addition of men's wrestling just makes sense. It's an emerging sport across the nation and we are looking to bring in the top quality student-athletes who will not only compete for championships, but also be strong students in the classroom."
      Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Knights will compete for the NAIA national championship as an independent member.
      Men's wrestling is the 24th sport within the department of athletics.

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      Steven Bradley Named First Coach at Marian University

      INDIANAPOLIS - Former three-time Indiana state wrestling champion and Beech Grove standout Steven Bradley has been named the first-ever head wrestling coach at Marian University, director of athletics Steve Downing officially announced on Thursday.
      "We are excited to have Steven join our staff," said Downing. "We believe he will bring energy to the department and will build the program exactly how we want it built. Steven will bring in quality student-athletes who will perform on the field and in the classroom."
      "I am very excited about this opportunity to create and enviroment that breeds success on and off the wrestling mat," said Bradley. "I look forward to having a positive influence on the lives of these young men on a daily basis. This wrestling program is a great addition to the high-quality athletics at Marian University as well as to Indiana wrestling as a whole. I would like to thank President Elsener and Mr. Downing for hiring me and having faith in me to run this program with the utmost integrity."
      Bradley brings a wealth of experience within the wrestling world. In his 10 seasons as a collegiate coach, he has helped guide 33 all-americans, 73 national qualifiers and three national champions.
      In his first head coaching job, Bradley spent three seasons at Lincoln College in Illinois. From 2012-14, he earned back-to-back regional coach of the year accolades after guiding his team to a pair of team regional championships in 2013 and 2014. In his three seasons, he coached 12 NJCAA All-Americans, 26 national qualifiers, two national champions and had a 21-9 record in dual matches. In his first season, he guided the team to a third-place finish at the 2012 NJCAA National Championship. He was also the director of the Lincoln College Fitness Center during his time as head coach.
      Bradley spent 2008-11 as assistant coach at Lincoln before being elevated in 2012. During his time as an assistant, he worked with 10 all-americans, 28 national qualifiers and one national champion.
      His first college coaching stop was as assistant coach at the University of Indianapolis from 2005-08. In his four seasons as an assistant at UIndy, he worked with 11 all-americans and 19 national qualifiers.
      In 2008, Bradley was inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame as a wrestler.
      Bradley began his collegiate wrestling career at Lincoln College and was a NJCAA national runner-up in 2000. He graduated from Lincoln in 2000 and continued his studies at UIndy where his career was cut short due to injury. He took up coaching with the Greyhounds and earned his bachelor of science in 2005. He completed his master of coaching education from Ohio University in December of 2013.
      He resides in Indianapolis and will guide the Knights into their first season as a NAIA program beginning this fall.

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      Parris and Lee Named Big Ten Co-Wrestlers of the Week

      Michigan and Penn State Share Wrestler of the Week Honor
      Wolverines’ Parris and Nittany Lions’ Lee each earned pins in Big Ten dual action last weekend
      Co-Wrestlers of the Week
      Mason Parris, Michigan
      Heavyweight – So. – Lawrenceburg, Ind. – Lawrenceburg – School of Engineering
      Picked up a ranked victory in Michigan’s dual against Iowa last weekend Pinned Iowa's third-ranked Tony Cassioppi at the 4:31 mark to improve to 23-0 on the season and hand the Hawkeye his first loss of the season Earned three takedowns in the bout and now owns nine pins this season, including two in a row and five in Big Ten duals Claims the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career Last Michigan Wrestler of the Week: Adam Coon (Feb. 13, 2018)  
      Nick Lee, Penn State
      141 pounds – Jr. – Evansville, Ind. – Homeschool – Health Policy and Administration
      Defeated two top-10 opponents in Penn State's Big Ten road weekend, helping the Nittany Lions post two top-six road dual victories Recorded a 14-1 major decision over No. 7 Tristan Moran of Wisconsin in Penn State's 29-10 victory in Madison Pinned No. 5 Mitch McKee of Minnesota at the 1:56 mark in Penn State's 31-10 victory in Minneapolis to improve to 16-0 overall Earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career Last Penn State Wrestler of the Week: Bo Nickal (Feb. 12, 2019)  
      2019-20 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 5: Luke Pletcher, Sr., OSU/Kendall Coleman, Fr., PUR
      Nov. 12: Dylan Lydy, Sr., PUR
      Nov. 19: Joey Gunther, Sr., ILL
      Nov. 26: Trent Hillger, So., WIS
      Dec. 3: Austin DeSanto, Jr., IOWA
      Dec. 10: Brayton Lee, Fr., MINN/Dylan Lydy, Sr., PUR
      Dec. 17: Graham Rooks, Fr., IND 
      Jan. 3: Alex Marinelli, Jr., IOWA/Seth Gross, Sr., WIS
      Jan. 14: Tristan Moran, Sr., WIS
      Jan. 21: Graham Rooks, Fr., IND
      Jan. 28: Sammy Sasso, Fr., OSU
      Feb. 4: Michael Kemerer, Sr., IOWA
      Feb. 11: Mason Parris, So., MICH/Nick Lee, Jr., PSU

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      Ersland Adds Leroy Vega to the Purdue staff

      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue head coach Tony Ersland rounded out his coaching staff Monday, naming Leroy Vega as his volunteer assistant coach for the 2019-20 season. A three-time NCAA All-American, Vega will work primarily with the lower weight classes. 
      Vega's name is widely known on the Indiana high school wrestling scene, from his days on the mat and to most recently, his days in the corner. He joins the Purdue staff after eight years as the head coach at his alma mater, Portage High School, in northwest Indiana. During his span as head coach, Vega had 41 Indiana High School Athletic Association state tournament qualifiers, with 10 appearing in the finals and three Portage wrestlers claiming an individual title. In 2015, the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association named Vega its coach of the year.
      As a prep at Portage, Vega was a two-time state champion in 1996 and 1997. His success translated on the international scene as well. In 1998, Vega placed ninth at 60 kg the UWW Junior Greco-Roman World Championships. The following year, competing at 54 kg in freestyle, he placed seventh at the world championships.
      Vega wrestled collegiately at Minnesota from 1999 to 2002 and scattered his name throughout the legendary program. Individually, Vega earned All-America honors three times at 125 pounds and captured the Big Ten Conference 125-pound title in 2002. His performances helped the Gophers win three Big Ten team titles and back-to-back NCAA team titles in 2001 and 2002.
      Vega tallied a career record of 135-26, with his 135 wins ranking fifth all-time at Minnesota and his .839 winning percentage ranking 17th. He owned a career dual record of 65-14, with the 65 wins tied for seventh on the Gophers' individual dual wins list.
      Prior to his head coaching appointment at Portage, Vega was named the inaugural head coach at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana, with the birth of the program in 2008. He was at the helm through the 2009-10 season before returning to his roots in Portage.
      Vega earned his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and teaching from Minnesota in 2002. He and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters, LillyAnna and Lilah, and a son, Lydon.

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      Indiana Wrestling Season Preview: 125-157

      BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana wrestling team begins the season this week with the Michigan State Open on Nov. 2. The Hoosiers will host their first dual on Nov. 22 against North Dakota State.
      IU head coach Angel Escobedo said he has been pleased with the energy at the start of the season.
      "We have a new focus," he said. "When you get a lot of new guys they are hungry. They want to change the program and elevate it and elevate themselves. That has been the theme of the room, how great can I be and that has been great to see. They are putting in extra work because they want to be great. We have fresh bodies and fresh mind and they are motivated."
      125 POUNDS
      125 will be very competitive between returner Liam Cronin and transfer Brock Hudkins. Cronin finished with a 17-13 overall record and was in and out of the lineup with Elijah Oliver. Cronin finished fourth at the Hokie Open and second at the Cleveland State Open. This past summer he was one spot away from making the U23 World Team in Greco Roman. Hudkins is a transfer from Northern Illinois and a two-time national qualifier. Hudkins was ranked No. 26 by TrackWrestling. Both guys are motivated and hungry, are putting in extra work and they understand someone is right behind them. They are trying to outwork each other and it is creating a good dynamic with good competition.
      133 POUNDS
      133 is a little up in the air. Kyle Luigs will be coming down from 141. Luigs went 19-16 last season with a highlight win by fall at Iowa against No. 12 Max Murin. Luigs wrestled for the Hoosiers at the Big Ten Championships. Cayden Rooks will be redshirting at 133. Jonathan Moran will also be in the mix. Moran redshirted last season.
      141 POUNDS
      Paul Konrath will be moving up from 133. He cut a lot of weight last year and this is more of his natural weight. Konrath posted a record of 20-11 last season with a 5-5 dual match record. At the South Beach duals Konrath beat No. 4 Tariq Wilson of NC State. The Hoosiers are looking for Konrath to have a great season. Konrath was ranked No. 27 by TrackWrestling.
      149 POUNDS
      Graham Rooks will be the starter at 149. Rooks was the best freshman last year, as he posted a record of 15-7. Rooks won the Cleveland State Open at 149 last season. He beat multiple guys that qualified for NCAAs on the season last year.
      157 POUNDS
      Fernie Silva will be going up from 149. Joey Sanchez will also be in the mix after coming off a redshirt. The plan is to use the first few tournaments to determine a starter. Also Diego Lemley will compete for a spot at 157.  Sanchez finished in third place at the Greyhound Open. Silva lost a tight 8-7 decision against No. 1 Anthony Ashnault.
      Tomorrow look for 165-Heavyweight in our season preview part two.

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      2021 NCAA D1 Nationals Preview

      By Drew Hughes
      This year there will be 13 Indiana guys competing in St. Louis across 8 different weight classes. This puts only 7 other states ahead of us for the number of qualifiers. Out of these 13 qualifiers only 1 of them is not from the Big Ten.
      Drew Hildebrandt will be competing in the 125-pound bracket for the Central Michigan Chippewas. This will be Drew’s 3rd NCAA tournament appearance and has earned the 4th seed. The Penn High School graduate also won his 2nd MAC title to qualify for the tournament and is undefeated on the season.
      Nick Lee will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Penn State and will be in the hunt to win a national title. Lee comes into the tournament as the 2nd seed just like he was last year for the cancelled championships. The Evansville Mater Dei graduate is 8-1 on the season with his 1 loss coming in the Big Ten finals to the 1st seed Eierman.
      Chad Red will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Nebraska where he will be looking to All-American like he has at every NCAA tournament he’s wrestled in. Red comes into the tournament as the 8th seed with his only losses this year coming from the 1st and 3rd seeds of the tournament. As most people have seen, the New Palestine grad has always showed up for the big show.
      Cayden Rooks will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Indiana where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. Rooks earned an at-large bid to qualify for the tournament and will be the 32nd seed. Cayden is a Columbus East High School graduate where he won 2 state titles.
      Graham Rooks will be competing in the 149-pound bracket for Indiana, and this was his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. After a 6th place finish at the Big Ten tournament, Rooks earned himself the 21st seed. Graham is also a Columbus East grad and is the older brother of previously mentions Cayden Rooks. 
      Brayton Lee will be competing in the 157-pound bracket for Minnesota, and this was his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. After being seeded 7th for last year cancelled tournament Lee will be 1 spot higher at the 6th seed this year. The Brownsburg native is coming off of an impressive 3rd place Big Ten finish.
      Jake Tucker will be competing in the 165-pound bracket for Michigan State, and it is a little controversial to claim him for Indiana. Tucker went to Mount Carmel High School in Illinois BUT has lived in Lowell Indiana his entire life. Since he has an Indiana driver’s license, I think it’s only fair we get to claim the now 2-time NCAA qualifier. Tucker earned the 25th seed after finish 6th place at the Big Ten tournament.
      Joe Lee will be competing in the 165-pound bracket for Penn State where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. The Evansville Mater Dei grad will be the 23rd seed of the tournament after placing 8th at Big Tens. While Joe didn’t get a top 8 seed like his brother Nick, he does still have 1 more state title then his older brother.
      Donnell Washington will be competing in the 174-pound bracket for Indiana where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. The Portage grad has really proved himself this year and will be the 9th seed. Washington is coming off a 6th place Big Ten finish and holds a win over the 3rd seed.
      Drew Hughes (also the person writing this article) will be competing in the 174-pound bracket and is the 32 seed. This will be his 4th NCAA tournament and holds one of the worst records in the entire tournament at 3-7 on the year. All that we can know for sure is that the Lowell High School grad is going to choose top and probably get hit for a few stalling calls.
      Lucas Davison will be competing in the 197-pound bracket for Northwestern, and this will be his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Davison is coming into the tournament as the 12th seed after placing 5th at Big Tens. The Chesterton native will be looking to become an All-American just like his dad was back in the day.
      Thomas Penola will be competing in the 197-pound bracket for Purdue, and this will be his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Penola qualified for last years cancelled tournament at 285-pounds. This year he’s down a weight and earned himself the 19th seed of the tournament. The Zionsville High School graduate finished 7th at the Big Ten tournament.
      Mason Parris will be competing in the 285-pound bracket for the Michigan wolverines, and this will be his 3rd NCAA tournament. Parris will be the 2nd seed of the tournament for the 2nd year in a row. The Lawrenceburg native has placed 2nd at the big ten tournament the last 2 season and will be looking for a rematch of the Big Ten finals in the NCAA finals. 

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      #WrestlingWednesday Feature: Hurford Wraps up Successful NJCAA Career

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      Former Culver Community wrestling standout Matt Hurford is making a name for himself in the junior college ranks.
      Hurford recently finished as runner-up in the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. The Ellsworth Community College sophomore has placed runner-up in the championships both of his years at the school.
      Ellsworth is a two-year college program. So now Hurford is weighing his options and hoping to wrestle Division I for the remainder of his collegiate years.
      “I’ve got several Division I coaches talking to me,” Hurford said. “I’ve just got to decide what I’m going to do and what the best fit for me is going to be.”
      At Culver Community High School Hurford ended his senior year on a high note. He won state at 182 pounds, beating Perry Meridian’s Jake Massengale 9-4 in the final.
      “That was probably the highlight of my wrestling career so far,” Hurford said. “I was so happy after that.”
      Ellsworth coach Cole Spree was pleased to have Hurford on his team the past two seasons.
      “He’s the hardest worker we have,” Spree said. “That is ultimately the key to his success. His work ethic and what he expects from himself is second to none. There are times in the room where he gets beat by the other guys, but that’s only because he practices so hard, he warms up so hard, he can wear himself out because he only knows one speed.”
      Spree said he loves to recruit Indiana wrestlers. Ellsworth is located in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
      “I’ve got one other kid from Indiana on my team right now (Merrillville’s Isaac Rentas),” Spree said. “A lot of Indiana kids don’t want to go far away. But the kids from Indiana are usually very grounded and seem to all come from very good programs and they know their wrestling.”
      Hurford admits he has work to do in order to be able to compete at the level he would like to in Division I.
      “I think my strength and my hard work are my two biggest assets,” he said. “But I still have to improve technique-wise.”
      Hurford wasn’t always a good wrestler. He started competing in second grade and struggled quite a bit up until about seventh grade.
      “I think seventh grade is when things really started to click for me,” Hurford said.
      Wrestling has been an uphill climb for Hurford since the beginning. He didn’t get recruited heavily out of high school, despite winning the state championship. But it didn’t stop him. Instead he went to Ellsworth to improve, and has done so. Spree contributes Hurford’s success to the amount of time he spends working to get better.
      “Matt doesn’t have freaky speed,” Spree said. “He doesn’t have anything that would make you say ‘wow.’ But he’s got that attitude that no matter what is put in front of him, he’ll go around it, or through it, or over it. He’ll do whatever it takes. That’s why he will continue to be a success.”
      If you have a story idea for #WrestlingWednesday, email jerhines@cinergymetro.net with your suggestion.

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      #WrestlingWednesday Feature: Wabash Wrestling has Lefever Fever

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      To say Wabash College’s wrestling program is like a family might be an understatement.
      Wabash has five wrestlers who have qualified for this weekend’s Division III Nationals, three of which are brothers.
      The Little Giant’s are hoping those brothers can catapult the team to their best ever finish in the National Championship.
      “Last year we finished ninth as a team, which was our best finish ever,” Wabash assistant coach Danny Irwin said. “Without a doubt we feel like we should do much better this year, just based on our seeds. All five guys are capable of getting on top of the podium.”
      Wabash is led by the Lefever brothers, who wrestled for Fort Wayne Carroll in high school. Twins Reece and Conner are seniors. Reece is the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds. Conner is the top seed at 174 pounds and younger brother Riley, a sophomore, is a returning champion who is the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds.
      Wabash freshman Devin Broukal and junior Ethan Farmer, both from Bloomington South High School, have also qualified for Nationals, but are unseeded.
      Riley won Nationals last season. Wrestling didn’t always come easy to the youngest Lefever brother, however. In high school he finished his freshman season with a dismal 11-18 record. He improved by his sophomore year, finishing 26-15. As a junior things really started to click. Riley was 38-3 his junior year, wrestling at 160 pounds.
      In his senior season Riley finished 46-1 and was a state runner up.
      “I didn’t really start to enjoy wrestling until my freshman year,” Riley said. “That’s when I found my love for the sport. I started wrestling all year around with my brothers. Because of that, I really started to improve pretty quickly.”
      The Lefevers are each others’ biggest supporters, but they are also highly competitive with one another – especially Conner and Reece.
      “With Riley being the little, big brother (he’s younger, but physically bigger) he doesn’t get into it as much as Reece and Conner do,” Irwin said. “I think those two would just assume kill each other then let the other guy win. We have to break them up all the time for the good of the team."
      “But as much as they fight, I don’t think anyone could be as supportive to each other as they are.”
      Conner admits that Riley is the toughest of the three right now, mainly because of his size.
      “Riley would beat the crap out of us,” he said. “He throws us around like rag dolls. We have had a lot of time to throw him around like that, until he got in college. We don’t like it, but it is what it is.”
      All three brothers credit their parents, Kent and Nancy, for pushing them to get better in the sport.
      “I know the way we were raised has had a big impact on how we wrestle,” Reece said. “My parents sent us to camps. They were always willing to spend the time and money it took to get us to tournaments and camps. They always made sure they gave us every opportunity in wrestling.”
      Even now, Kent and Nancy do not miss any matches. They travel all across the country to see their three boys compete.
      All three are hoping to take home a National Championship. They know that if they do, Wabash will place higher than it ever has before.
      “They all three can win,” Irwin said. “And hopefully get us some bonus points in the mix. If they do that, that will put us in contention for a National title.”
      Wabash finished the season with a 12-2 mark and was fourth at the National Duals.
      “We all love this school,” Reece said. “The team camaraderie is very good. We are all close friends and we all want our team to succeed. We are definitely a family at Wabash.”

      1887 1

      Kevin Lake Hired at Manchester

      Former New Haven graduate and Manchester wrestler Kevin Lake has been hired to head the Manchester University wrestling team. Lake comes to Manchester after stints at Princeton, South Dakota State, and Fresno State. Most recently he was the program director at Beat the Streets Los Angeles.

      1889 1

      Ersland Announces Purdue Wrestling’s Class of 2016

      Five early signees all ranked among nation’s top 20 at their weight
      Nov. 18, 2015
      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue has inked five nationally ranked wrestlers, including four of the nation’s top overall recruits, during the early signing period head wrestling coach Tony Ersland announced Wednesday. These elite future Boilermakers include Indiana’s top heavyweights, multi-time state champs from Michigan and Minnesota and a top-20 195-pounder with family roots in Purdue athletics.
      “I think the overwhelming thing about this group is they really bought into our message, which is the transformation of Purdue and where we are taking this program,” Ersland said. “They saw the impact of what we did in year one and how the guys bought into our message.
      “This same group was excited about what that message was and that’s accomplishing a lot of firsts for Purdue wrestling,” Ersland said. “I love that those kids want to be a part of doing something the first time, not just be another cog in the wheel of another program. They understand the special opportunity that they have before them.”

      Christian Brunner (East Dundee, Illinois) is a two-time Illinois High School Association class 3A state placewinner for Dundee-Crown High School with a third-place finish at 195 pounds as a junior and was the 182-pound runner-up as a sophomore. He is currently ranked among the nation’s top-20 prep wrestlers at 195. Brunner’s family has roots in Purdue athletics with a pair of uncles, Jeff Zgonina and Frank Kemt, playing football for the Boilermakers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Click on the image above to learn more about Brunner.

      The nation’s No. 19 overall recruit and a top-five wrestler at 152 pounds, Griffin Parriott will make his way to West Lafayette from New Prague, Minnesota. Parriott is a two-time Minnesota State High School League Division AA champion and four-time tournament qualifier. In May he took third at the UWW Junior Nationals at 66 kg, finishing behind a World Cadet gold medalist and an NCAA All-American. Click on the image above to learn more about Parriott.

      Devin Schroder becomes the second wrestler from Grand Rapids Catholic Central to commit to Purdue during Ersland’s tenure, joining former high school teammate Nate Limmex, who is a 149-pounder for the Boilermakers. Schroder, the No. 56 overall recruit, is a three-time Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 champ. He has won back-to-back titles at 119 pounds after winning the 2012 championship as a freshman. The Northview native is a two-time FloNationals finalist, taking top honors at 113 pounds in 2014. Click on the image above to learn more about Schroder.

      Indiana’s own Shawn Streck, the country’s second-ranked high school heavyweight and No. 21 overall recruit, will make the move an hour south to join Coach Ersland’s squad. Streck pinned his way to the 285-pound title as a junior, capping off a 46-0 season. As a sophomore he placed third and seventh as a freshman. The Merrillville native also has a trio of top-four finishes at national tournaments. Click on the image above to learn more about Streck.

      Streck is joined by fellow Indiana product and close friend Kobe Woods. Hailing from Mishawaka, Woods is tabbed as the No. 54 overall recruit and is currently listed as a top-six 220-pounder nationally. Woods is the defending IHSAA champ at 220, which he won with a perfect 44-0 record. Outside of the high school mat, Woods’ resume is highlighted by a finals appearance at the 2015 Cadet World Team Trials at 100 kg and in 2014 he claimed the 195-pound title at the Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Cadet Folkstyle Nationals. Click on the image above to learn more about Woods.

      8365 1

      Lefever reflects on what it took to become four-time NCAA D-III national champion

      Riley Lefever could win wrestling matches 1-0 or 2-0.
      But what’s the fun it that?
      On his way to a fourth national championship, the Wabash College senior was named NCAA Division III’s most dominant wrestler by averaging 5.79 points per match during the 2016-17.
      To punctuate his fourth crown, he scored a pin in the 197-pound finals to help the Little Giants place third in the team standings. Lefever left the meet in LaCrosse, Wis., with the National Wrestling Coaches Association Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet Award.
      “I like to push the pace,” Riley said. “Once you wear them down, it’s going to be easier to get to the legs.
      “That’s the way I approach wrestling, wear them down, push the pace and score a lot of points.”
      Riley often finishes in a decisive way.
      “He’s got a lot of horsepower,” Wabash head coach Brian Anderson said. “He’s big with cradles, bundling them up.”
      Lefever, who was an IHSAA state runner-up at 170 for Carroll High School (Fort Wayne) as a senior in 2013, became the first national championship in Wabash history as a freshman (Chris Healey placed second for the Little Giants in 2005) and went on to go 129-0 against D-III competition during his collegiate career while joining Augsburg's Marcus LeVesseur (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) as the division’s only four-time champions.
      Overall, Riley was 158-6 (38-0 as a freshman, 37-3 as a sophomore, 44-0 as a junior, 39-3 as a senior).
      “His aggressive style and his approach to never stop scoring, it is exhausting to his opponents,” Anderson said. “He is a great example of wrestler who likes breaking people on the mat.”
      In putting away Ithaca College senior Carlos Toribio in 4:52, Lefever took his foe from his feet to his back — something he’s done countless times in drills and matches.
      After taking each of his first three titles — all at 184 — Lefever trained with a purpose during the summer and came back better for the intercollegiate season.
      Competing against grapplers in higher divisions, Riley won the Iowa State University/Harold Nichols Open and placed second at the Eastern Michigan University Open at the beginning of his senior season.
      For his last college go-round, Riley was bigger and was even tougher on his feet.
      “I talked to Coach Anderson and wanted to do what is best for the team,” Riley said. “I knew I got a little bigger. I saw it as just another challenge, facing bigger guys and wearing them down.
      “I want to move guys around, snap them to the mat and score.”
      As it had been at 184, getting those big guys off their feet was the focus.
      “Takedowns, that’s where most matches are won,” Riley said. So, he worked on singles, doubles, ankle picks and more. His lunch break was often coupled with watching video of the sport’s finest and how they execute moves.
      “The best wrestlers are moving all the time and finding those angles,” Riley said. “It’s fun wrestling to watch.”
      As a Little Giants assistant, Reece Lefever got to watch Riley make history from the corner of the mat.
      “It was pretty awesome,” Reece said. “Riley likes to have fun and get after it. Winning 1-point matches isn’t as fun as scoring a ton of points. That’s what the fans like to see, too. He put on a show for people.”
      Kent and Nancy Lefever’s sons earned eight All-American honors on the mat for Wabash — four for for Riley, three for Reece and one for Conner (twin to Reece). In 2015, all three brothers were in the D-III national finals with Riley (184) and Conner (174) winning and Reece (157) placing second.
      Reece was the first Little Giant to achieve All-American status three straight seasons.
      Conner, a volunteer assistant at Wabash, says it’s his little brother’s drive that takes him to the top of the podium.
      “He wants to get better,’ Conner said. “He’s not satisfied with just winning. He wants to dominate.”
      Reece and Conner sparred with Riley a couple times a week during his tournament run. A few years ago, there was a chance of taking little brother down once in awhile,
      “I could hang with him,” Conner said. “Since he went up and weight class and gotten so much better, it’s tough to keep up with him.”
      Conner has watched Riley consistently put it on opponents.
      “Riley likes to lift the guys and slam them down hard,” Conner said. “As a fan, it’s fun to watch the guys who can take anybody down at will.
      “He breaks them down mentally.”
      Anderson has watched the twins show the younger brother the way and seen him take the program to new heights.
      “(Conner and Reece) are perfect examples of how you need to live your life, stay on the tracks with your training and always do one more thing in pursuit of a national title,” Anderson said. “Conner attained it and Reece just missed it.
      “The whole Lefever family and guys on those teams, these are the groups that took it up a notch and believe they were good enough to challenge for national trophies.”
      The bar has been set higher in Crawfordsville and Conner knows where the credit lies.
      “Riley changed the whole atmosphere of Wabash wrestling,” Conner said. “Nobody believed anyone could win a championship.
      “That’s how we’ve been able to make that big improvement.”
      And to think his mat career almost ended before it really got started.
      “I played soccer and planned on playing soccer instead of wrestling, but I was practically dragged to practice by my brothers, teammates,” Riley said. “My parents made me go.”
      Riley, who placed sixth at the Carroll Sectional as a 125-pound freshman with an 11-18 record, counts his brothers as his biggest influence.
      “I get to train with them everyday,” Riley said. “They were studs when I was growing up. They pushed each other.
      “I still work on technique with them and they are the main reason I came to Wabash.”
      Riley wrestled with Conner and Reece for three years at Carroll.
      “Those are memories I’ll never forget,” Riley said.
      The brothers are also products of the Roadrunner Wrestling Club. Besides the Lefevers, college All-Americans from that Garrett-based organization are Travis Barroquillo (three times) and Matt Hurtford (twice).
      After thriving in the competitive atmosphere at Wabash, Riley intends to continue his mat career and Anderson will still be there to guide him.
      “My ultimate approach is that I will feed them as fast as they want to eat,” Anderson said. “You have different levels of committed athletes in your program. Riley is one of the most elite. He is hungry for opportunities. I’ve made sure he’s being challenged as much a humanly possible. That that will continue. I will work to help him.”
      Anderson sees a possible World University Games or U.S. Open appearance for Riley this summer and he could wind up at a Regional Training Center or the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
      “He definitely has the ability and the build where he can do it,” Reece said. “He can get pushed by guys his size and at his level.”
      In May, Academic All-American Riley is scheduled to graduate from Wabash as an English major and History minor. He is scheduled to marry longtime girlfriend Madison in August.
      When he hangs up his shoes, Riley said he plans to be a wrestling coach.

      1535 1 3

      Hoosiers Add Two-Time NCAA Qualifier Brock Hudkins

      BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana wrestling program and IU head coach Angel Escobedo have announced the addition of Brock Hudkins.  
      Hudkins, a native of Danville, Ind., started his collegiate career at Northern Illinois where he twice qualified for the NCAA Championships at 125 lb.
      At Danville Community High School, Hudkins posted a perfect 83-0 record as a junior and a senior. Hudkins was a four-time state qualifier and two-time State Champion.
      "We are excited to bring Brock Hudkins back to Indiana," IU head coach Angel Escobedo said. "A two-time NCAA qualifier, Brock will add national level experience to our team."
      Brock Hudkins
      Danville, Ind. | Danville Community High School
      Weight Class: 125
      Intended major at IU: Pre-Physical Therpay
      2X NCAA Qualifier
      4X State Qualifier in High School
      3X State Placer
      2X State Champion
      Won Sagamore Conference, Hendricks County, Sectional, Regional and Semi-States titles all four years.
      Team captain from 2013-16, MVP three years in a row
      "I think what Angel is doing at Indiana is special," Hudkins said. "I believe in what he is trying to accomplish and I think he's the guy to do it. He can get me to the next level I'm looking for. Angel has been to the highest level and knows what it takes. A big thing that stands out is the culture change he is trying to make. Not many people realize what he had to do as far as isolating himself from the culture he was surrounded by, to accomplish his dreams and how much time and effort he had to put in by himself. I can relate to that on many levels and believe he's making this place better for all the guys who are tired of dreaming and ready to be something greater than their thoughts.
       "I really connected with the coaching staff and believe it's the best fit for me," Hudkins added. "When I think about IU I see myself not only accomplishing my degree and graduating, I see myself not pursuing my dream of a national champion, but accomplishing it. I believe with this team, these coaches, the academic staff I will have, I will be put in a situation where I'll have no other choice but to win and be successful in all aspects of life."

      857 1

      Hoosiers Add NCAA Champion Jason Tsirtsis to Coaching Staff

      BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – IU head coach Angel Escobedo has announced the addition of three time All-American and NCAA Champion Jason Tsirtsis as a volunteer assistant coach.
      Tsirtsis, a native of Crown Point, Ind., where he won four state championships in high school, started his college career at Northwestern where in his redshirt freshman season he won the NCAA Championship at 149 lb. That year, in 2014, Tsirtsis also was the Big Ten Champion, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Intermat Freshman of the Year and Midlands Champion.
      Tsirtsis concluded his collegiate career in 2017-18 with Arizona State as an All-American with a seventh-place finish at NCAAs. He was named the Comeback Wrestler of the Year at the NCAA Championships by FloWrestling.
      I'm very excited to add Jason Tsirtsis to our staff,” Escobedo said.  “Since day one, our focus has been to keep the best kids in state and I believe having an Indiana legend like Jason will help achieve this goal. He will work directly with our middle weights (149-165) and we are excited to have him join our program.”
      “I am extremely excited to join the wrestling family down in Bloomington,” Tsirtsis said.  “Angel has done a great job at changing the culture within the program and I'm thrilled to help further the growth & development of our wrestlers. I can't wait to get down to Bloomington!”

      983 1

      Lewis Joins Purdue Wrestling Staff

      The former Missouri Tiger was a four-time All-American
      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue wrestling head coach Tony Ersland made a splashy hire Wednesday, welcoming four-time NCAA All-American Daniel Lewis into the Boilermaker wrestling room as a graduate assistant. The former Missouri Tiger competed at 165 and 174 pounds over the last four NCAA seasons, graduating as one of the top wrestlers in program history.
      “It’s not every day you have the opportunity to bring a four-time All-American into your room, and we’re thrilled to welcome Daniel to our team,” said Ersland. “His success on the mat speaks for itself, his abilities in the classroom are even more impressive and I can’t wait to get him around our guys.”
      The Blue Springs, Missouri native racked up a career record of 118-17 for the Tigers, earning All-America at 165 pounds as a freshman and sophomore and then at 174 pounds in his final two seasons. He’s one of only three four-time All-Americans in Missouri wrestling history, joining Ben Askren and J’Den Cox.
      “I feel blessed to be granted such an amazing opportunity to continue my education and start giving back to the sport that gave me so much,” said Lewis. “My glory days of college wrestling are over, but I plan to find success in the lessons and experiences I pass on to my new Boilermaker family.”
      Lewis won four straight Mid-American Conference individual titles, leading Missouri to the team championship in every season and was named the MAC Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2018. Fifty-three of his 118 career wins came by fall (44.9%), good for second-most in Missouri history, and he took home the 2019 Gorarrian Award for recording the most falls at the NCAA Championships.
      He earned MAC Freshman Wrestler of the Year honors and Missouri’s Marshall Esteppe Most Outstanding Freshman award in 2016, finishing 29-6 at 165 pounds and finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships. He followed up with a 28-6 mark in 2017, again at 165, and took sixth at the national tournament.
      After moving up to 174 pounds as a junior in 2017-18, Lewis reeled off 32 straight victories to start the season, including a flawless 26-0 mark in the regular season and his third straight MAC title. His 17 falls were a team and career high, and he went on to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships. Lewis’s senior season brought a similar level of success, posting a 28-3 overall mark with 17 falls, earning his fourth straight MAC crown and another fourth-place effort at the national tournament. He went undefeated in duals over his final two years and finished 25-1 in dual competition for his career. He shared Missouri’s Most Outstanding Wrestler honors in each of his last two seasons and was named the University of Missouri Male Athlete of the Year in 2019.
      Lewis earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in May of 2019 from Missouri with an emphasis in aerospace engineering and will be pursuing his master’s degree in Business Administration from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue. He completed a construction/property management internship with The Kroenke Group in Columbia, Missouri in the summer of 2018, and worked at ProCraft Mechanical in Broomfield, Colorado as a project operations intern in 2019.

      801 1

      No. 25 Purdue Wrestling Sweeps Boilermaker Duals

      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 25 Purdue wrestling team won 27-of-30 matches Sunday to post a 3-0 mark at the 2019 Boilermaker Duals in Holloway Gymnasium. The Boilermakers defeated Indianapolis 45-0, Clarion 34-6 and Northern Illinois 31-8 to improve to 6-1 in dual competition on the year.
      The Boilermakers picked up 12 bonus-point victories in the trio of duals, including two each from sophomore Parker Filius and junior Devin Schroder. Filius earned his second fall of the season, sticking Clarion’s Taylor Ortz in 4:21 and needing just 3:31 to secure a 16-0 technical fall over NIU’s Nathan Swartz. Schroder added his fifth and sixth technical falls of the season, both coming at 16-0, and his 20 back points Sunday surged him to third all-time at Purdue with 322 to his credit, passing Alex Griffin and Chris Fleeger on the Boilermakers’ career list.
      The biggest news of the day came for the Boilermakers at 133 and 197 pounds where freshman Travis Ford-Melton and senior Christian Brunner saw their first varsity action of the season. Ford-Melton was 3-0 on the day with a fall, a decision and a forfeit, improving to 7-1 on the season, while Brunner was 2-0 with a fall and a decision, taking his record to 10-1 on the year.
      Other undefeated marks for the Boilermakers belonged to junior Griffin Parriott, freshmen Kendall Coleman and Emil Soehnlen and senior Dylan Lydy. Parriott picked up a monster win in the Clarion dual, downing senior Brock Zacherl 4-2, using a first-period takedowns and two escapes to defeat the nation’s No. 5 wrestler according to FloWrestling. Coleman rolled out 16 takedowns in his three wins, improving his season total to a team-high 44 on the season, while Lydy had eight takedowns Sunday to push his career total to 219 and move into 20th place all-time at Purdue.
      Northern Illinois took two of their three duals on the day, defeating Indianapolis 36-9 and edging Clarion 19-17, while Clarion took down Indianapolis in their finale 34-10.
      The Boilermakers are off next weekend, but return to action Dec. 6 at the 2019 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. 
      Round 1
      Purdue 45, Indianapolis 0
      141: Alec White (PUR) def. Matt McKinney (UINDY), D 6-1
      149: Nate Limmex (PUR) def. Tylan Tucker (UINDY), TF 18-3 (5:58)
      157: No. 7 Kendall Coleman (PUR) def. Blaze Lowery (UINDY), MD 16-5
      165: Emil Soehnlen (PUR) def. Jack Eiteljorge (UINDY), D 9-4
      174: No. 9 Dylan Lydy (PUR) def. No. 12 Gleason Mappes (UINDY), MD 13-5
      184: Max Lyon (PUR) def. No. 9 Brody Conner (UINDY), D 8-3
      197: Thomas Penola (PUR) def. Zach Fry (UINDY), Fall 6:36
      285: David Eli (PUR) def. Jack Williams (UINDY), Fall 1:43
      125: No. 10 Devin Schroder (PUR) def. Nick Brady (UINDY), TF 16-0 (5:49)
      133: Travis Ford-Melton (PUR) def. No. 11 Ana Abduljelil (UINDY), Fall 1:29
      Clarion 17 vs. Northern Illinois 19
      141: Taylor Ortz (CLA) def. Nathan Swartz (NIU), TF 17-0
      149: No. 7 Brock Zacherl (CLA) def. McCoy Kent (NIU), D 5-3
      157: Mason Kauffman (NIU) def. Avery Shay (CLA), D 3-2
      165: Izzak Olejnik (NIU) def. Michael Bartolo (CLA), D 9-5
      174: Kenny Moore (NIU) def. Max Wohlabaugh (CLA), D 6-3
      184: Brit Wilson (NIU) def. Luke Funck (CLA), MD 19-7
      197: Gage Braun (NIU) def. No. 19 Greg Bulsak (CLA), D 11-4
      285: Ty Bagoly (CLA) def. Max Ihry (NIU), D 4-2
      125: Bryce West (NIU) def. Jake Gromacki (CLA), D 4-2
      133: Seth Koleno (CLA) won by forfeit 6-0
      Round 2
      Purdue 34, Clarion 6
      141: Parker Filius (PUR) def. Taylor Ortz (CLAR), Fall (4:21)
      149: No. 13 Griffin Parriott (PUR) def. No. 7 Brock Zacherl (CLAR), D 4-2
      157: No. 7 Kendall Coleman (PUR) def. Avery Shay (CLAR), D 13-7
      165: Emil Soehnlen (PUR) def. Michael Bartolo (CLAR), D 8-3
      174: No. 7 Dylan Lydy (PUR) def. Max Wohlabaugh (CLAR), D 6-2
      184: Max Lyon (PUR) def. Luke Funck (CLAR), MD 14-1
      197: Christian Brunner (PUR) def. No. 19 Greg Bulsak (CLAR), Fall (5:15)
      285: Ty Bagoly (CLAR) def. Thomas Penola (PUR), Fall (1:07)
      125: No. 10 Devin Schroder (PUR) def. Jake Gromacki (CLAR), D 9-2
      133: Travis Ford-Melton (PUR) def. Seth Koleno (CLAR), D 11-7
      Northern Illinois 36, Indianapolis 9
      141: Nathan Swartz (NIU) def. Matt McKinney (UIndy), Fall 1:39
      149: Anthony Gibson (NIU) def. Tylan Tucker (UIndy), Fall 1:54
      157: Dylan Thurston (NIU) def. Clay Jones (UIndy), D 9-5
      165: Jack Eitelijorge (UIndy) def. Zack Velasquez (NIU), D 6-5
      174: Caden McWhirter (NIU) def. No. 12 Gleason Mappes (UIndy), D 11-4
      184: Brit Wilson (NIU) def. No. 9 Brody Conner (UIndy), D 5-2
      197: Gage Braun (NIU) def. Griffin Stine (UIndy), TF 22-5 (6:10)
      285: Terrese Aaron (NIU) def. Jack Williams (UIndy), Fall 2:06
      125:  Bryce West (NIU) def. Nick Brady (UIndy), MD 12-3
      133: No. 11 Ana Abdulijelil (UIndy) won by forfeit
      Round 3
      Purdue 31, Northern Illinois 8*
      141: Parker Filius (PUR) def. Nathan Swartz (NIU), TF 16-0 (3:31)
      149: No. 13 Griffin Parriott (PUR) def. McCoy Kent (NIU), D 8-7
      157: No. 7 Kendall Coleman (PUR) def. Mason Kaufman (NIU), D 8-4
      165: Emil Soehnlen (PUR) def. Izzak Olejnik (NIU), D 3-2
      174: No. 7 Dylan Lydy (PUR) def. Kenny Moore (NIU), D 5-2
      184: Caden McWhirter (NIU) def. Max Lyon (PUR), Fall 5:50
      197: Christian Brunner (PUR) def. Gage Braun (NIU), D 7-2
      285: Terrese Aaron (NIU) def. Thomas Penola (PUR), D 4-9
      125: No. 10 Devin Schroder (PUR) def. Bryce West (NIU), TF 16-0 (4:50)
      133: Travis Ford-Melton (PUR) wins by forfeit
      * - Northern Illinois docked one team point for throwing headgear at 184 pounds
      Clarion 34, Indianapolis 10
      141: Roshaun Cooley (Clarion) def. Matt McKinney (UIndy), D 8-3
      149: Jalin Hankerson (Clarion) def. Tylan Tucker (UIndy), Fall 1:13
      157: Hunter Michaels (Clarion) def. Clay Jones (UIndy), Fall 0:43
      165: Jack Eitelijorge (UIndy) def. Mike Vernagallo (Clarion), D 8-6
      174: No. 12 Gleason Mappes (UIndy) def. Christian Sequete (Clarion), MD 17-7
      184: No. 9 Brody Conner (UIndy) def. Luke Funck (Clarion), D 6-0
      197: No. 19 Greg Bulsak (Clarion) def. Zach Fry (UIndy), MD 14-1
      285: Ty Bagoly (Clarion) def. Jack Williams (UIndy), D 5-2
      125: Cameron Butler (Clarion) def. Nick Brady (UIndy), Fall 4:21
      133: Seth Koleno (Clarion) def. No. 11 Ana Abduljelil (UIndy), Fall 1:19
      All rankings via InterMat

      874 1

      Lydy Wins CKLV Title, Boilers Place 5th

      LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Purdue wrestling team wrapped up its most-impressive Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational showing in program history Saturday, finishing fifth with 92.5 points. Five Boilermakers turned in top-four performances at their respective weights, led by senior Dylan Lydy who captured the tournament title at 174 pounds.
      The Boilermakers match their top CKLV finish in program history, previously taking fifth in 2008, and turned in their most points ever in the event. The five placewinners matched the team’s best as well, equaling the five top-eight showings in 2004, when the Boilermakers were seventh with 83.5 points.
      Lydy becomes the fourth CKLV champion in Purdue history, and their first since Ben Wissel took the 184-pound crown in 2005. The Boilermaker senior had to take out a pair of top-five opponents to claim the title and remain undefeated on the season at 14-0. Lydy opened the day against Nebraska’s fifth-ranked Michael Labriola, avenging last year’s loss at NCAA’s with a 3-1 sudden-victory win. The pair traded escapes in regulation and then Lydy closed the door with a double-leg takedown in the extra period to advance to the finals. The finals played out in a similar way as Lydy used the extra session to take out No. 4 Bryce Steiert of Northern Iowa. After a 1-1 finish to regulation, Lydy posted a takedown in the sudden-victory frame to secure the tournament title.
      Senior Christian Brunner and junior Devin Schroder posted second-place finishes at 197 and 125 pounds, respectively. Brunner made the finals with a 2-1 win over Oklahoma’s sixth-seeded Jake Woodley, putting together a tough ride in the second period to secure the riding time point and victory. He fell in the championship match to top-seeded and top-ranked Kollin Moore of Ohio State. Schroder knocked off seventh-ranked and second-seeded Alex Mackall of Iowa State in the semifinals, posting six points in the second period with a takedown and four-point nearfall on his way to a 6-2 win. Schroder suffered a narrow loss to top-seeded and second-ranked Jack Mueller of Virginia in the finals, scoring a takedown in the second, but giving one up in the first and third in a 6-2 defeat.
      Junior Griffin Parriott and freshman Kendall Coleman took fourth at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Parriott came through the consolation bracket after a quarterfinal loss Friday, posting three straight wins Saturday to advance to the third place match. He topped Virginia’s Denton Spencer in the Round of 12, overcoming a 6-0 first-period deficit to get a 9-7 overtime win, and then secured a 7-3 win over Nebraska’s fourth-ranked Collin Purinton in the following round. Parriott kept it going with a 4-2 decision over the top seed, Northern Iowa’s Max Thomsen, who came into the tournament ranked fifth, but fell in the final bout of the day to Northwestern’s Yahya Thomas, 10-3.
      Coleman’s best freshman start in recent program history came to an end at 15-0, falling in his 16th career match to top-seeded and top-ranked Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State. He rebounded with a 5-2 win over Oklahoma’s 19th-ranked Justin Thomas in the consolation semifinals, but fell to No. 2 David Carr in the third-place match on a late tilt and riding-time point, 4-1. Coleman’s 15-0 start is the best for a Purdue freshman since Chris Fleeger in 2001-02, as both wrestlers saw their streak end at the hands of the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country.
      Junior Max Lyon and freshman Emil Soehnlen came up just shy of climbing the podium, as Lyon fell in the Round of 12 to Virginia Tech’s 10th-ranked Hunter Bolen, while Soehnlen was forced to medically withdraw from the tournament before Saturday’s action began. Lyon was right in it with Bolen, flurrying in the final 30 seconds to draw a second stall working and nearly scoring a takedown before time expired in a 5-3 decision.
      The Boilermakers are off for the next 11 days and return to action Thursday, Dec. 19 at Southern Illinois Edwardsville.
      Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
      Las Vegas Convention Center
      5th PLACE – 92.5 POINTS
      125: #3 Devin Schroder (R-Junior) - SECOND PLACE
      Round 1: Dominic LaJoie (Cornell) - W, D 10-7
      Round 2: Joey Prata (Virginia Tech) - W, D 5-1
      Quarterfinals: #6 Brandon Courtney (Arizona State) - W, Fall 6:03
      Semifinals: #2 Alex Mackall (Iowa State) - W, D 6-2
      Finals: #1 Jack Mueller (Virginia) - L, D 6-2
      133: Travis Ford-Melton (Freshman)
      Round 1: #2 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) - L, MD 10-1
      Conso. Round 1: Jose Fernandez (Cal Poly) - W, D 14-10
      Conso. Round 2: Tyler Small (Iowa State) - L, Fall 4:46
      141: Alec White (R-Sophomore)
      Round 1: Jake Ryan (Cal Poly) - L, D 8-7
      Conso. Round 1: Michael Blockhus (Northern Iowa) - L, 6-5
      149: #3 Griffin Parriott (R-Junior) - FOURTH PLACE
      Round 1: Jaden Van Maanen (North Dakota State) - W, D 4-2
      Round 2: Jaden Jensen (Wyoming) - W, D 6-1
      Quarterfinals: #6 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) - L, Fall 4:49
      Round of 12: #9 Denton Spencer (Virginia) - W, SV 9-7
      Conso. Quarterfinals: #7 Collin Purinton (Nebraska) - W, D 7-3
      Conso. Semifinals: #1 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) - W, D 4-2
      3rd-Place Match: #8 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) - L, D 10-3
      157: #4 Kendall Coleman (R-Freshman) - FOURTH PLACE
      Round 1: Carson Brolsma (Minnesota) - W, D 8-4
      Round 2: Colton Yapoujian (Cornell) - W, SV 3-1
      Quarterfinals: Justin McCoy (Virginia) - W, D 6-3
      Semifinals: #1 Hayden Hidlay (North Carolina State) - L, MD 8-0
      Conso. Semifinals: #6 Justin Thomas (Oklahoma) - W, D 5-2
      3rd-Place Match: #3 David Carr (Iowa State) - L, D 4-1
      165: #7 Emil Soehnlen (R-Freshman)
      Round 1: Ricky Padilla (Fresno State) - W, Fall 6:52
      Round 2: Sam Dover (Oklahoma) - W, D 7-1
      Quarterfinals: #2 Josh Shields (Arizona State) - L, TF 19-4 (6:10)
      Round of 12: Shayne Oster (Northwestern) - MFF
      174: #3 Dylan Lydy (R-Senior) - FIRST PLACE
      Round 1: Max Maylor (Michigan) - W, MD 15-5
      Round 2: #14 Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley) - W, TB2 5-3
      Quarterfinals: #11 Anthony Mantanona (Oklahoma) - W, D 5-3
      Semifinals: #2 Michael Labriola (Nebraska) - W, SV 3-1
      Finals: #1 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) - W, SV 3-1
      184: #12 Max Lyon (Junior)
      Round 1: Michael Battista (Virginia) - W, D 6-4
      Round 2: #5 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) - L, D 8-4
      Conso. Round 2: Kyle Davis (Sacred Heart) - W, Injury Default
      Conso. Round 3: #13 Alan Clothier (Northern Colorado) - W, D 6-5
      Round of 12: Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech) - L, D 5-3
      197: #7 Christian Brunner (Senior) - SECOND PLACE
      Round 1: Garrett Joles (Minnesota) - W, MD 15-6
      Round 2: #10 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) - W, D 3-1
      Quarterfinals: #2 Jay Aiello (Virginia) - W, D 4-2
      Semifinals: #6 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) - W, D 2-1
      Finals: #1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) - L, MD 16-6
      285: Thomas Penola (R-Freshman)
      Round 1: #3 Tanner Hall (Arizona State) - L, D 4-2
      Conso. Round 1: Bobby Steveson (Minnesota) - W,D 10-5
      Conso. Round 2: #4 Chase Singletary (Ohio State) - W, MFF
      Conso. Round 3: #12 Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard) - L, D 3-2
      All numbers represent tournament seeds

      1523 1 7

      The Bailey’s find a home at UIndy

      By Drew Hughes
      Breyden Bailey has been on the move most of his college career but has finally found his home at the University of Indianapolis. After high school Breyden started his career at Northern Illinois University but after the first semester transferred to the University of Indiana. He then spent the next year and a half at IU where he compiled a 17-12 record. After his second year of college, he transferred one last time to where he currently is at UIndy. 
      When asked on how he decided on UIndy Breyden said “I decided on University of Indianapolis because it was close to home and I really liked the culture that was being built and the family atmosphere. I felt as if I fit in well and I could trust the coaching staff and what they were saying and were striving for.”. 
      Breyden redshirted his first year at UIndy where he compiled a 21-1 record. Currently a Redshirt Junior Breyden is 2-0 on the season with both of his wins being falls. He is also ranked 7th in the country.
      Logan Bailey is just starting his college career with the Greyhounds after an impressive high school career that ended with a 150-15 record and a state runner-up finish his senior year. Logan is off to a great start with the Greyhounds where he is currently 4-0 with 3 of those wins being bonus point victories.
      The brothers are back on the same team for the first time since Breyden’s senior year and Logan’s freshman year of high school. “Wrestling has created a bond with us over the years and brings us closer and there isn’t anyone else I would rather be a teammate with than him. It’s awesome to see us as a 1-2 punch in the lineup this year.” Said Breyden. 
      Along with Breyden and Logan’s success so far this year with the Greyhounds the team itself is a dominate 4-0 so far with their last win coming of 8th ranked Tiffin. When talking about his team Breyden said “UIndy this year is going to be a force to be reckon with and we have a great team. Don’t be surprised when nationals come around in March when we bring home a team trophy. UIndy is on the rise and I believe is a great place for good Indiana wrestlers to come and succeed.”. 
      While Breyden’s professional plans for after college are still undecided, he is certain that coaching wrestling will be a part of it. With Breyden’s dad running one of the most successful youth clubs in the state, the Indiana Outlaws, Breyden hopes to help play a role in the clubs continued success when he is finished competing. 
      Now for the real question that everyone wanted answered, who would win in a match between the two brothers. Breyden stated that “This is an answer that will never change, no doubt I’m winning. Spread -3.5.” But if I had to make a prediction, I would take the younger Bailey by at least 4.

      473 1 1

      Lucas Davison earns Big 10 Wrestler of the Week honors

      Wildcats’ Davison earns Wrestler of the Week plaudit after posting a 4-0 record to claim the heavyweight title at the MSU Open
      Wrestler of the Week
      Lucas Davison, Northwestern
      Heavyweight – Jr. – Chesterton, Ind. – Chesterton
      Went 4-0 by a combined margin of 30-7 to take the heavyweight division title at the Michigan State Open The unranked 285 pounder started the tournament with a 5-0 decision over Cal Poly’s Trevor Tinker before earning a 10-4 decision over Illinois' No. 25 Luke Luffman Earned bonus points in a 13-3 major decision over Northern Illinois’ Terrese Aaron and followed it up with a 2-0 decision over No. 22 Josh Heindselman of Oklahoma in the finals The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career Last Northwestern Wrestler of the Week: Sebastian Rivera (Jan. 2, 2019)  
      2021-22 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 10: Lucas Davison, Jr., NU

      1209 2

      Paul Rademacher to Lead Indiana Tech Women’s Wrestling Program

      FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Tech has hired Paul Rademacher to lead its women’s wrestling program, Director of Athletics Debbie Warren announced Monday.
      “We are ecstatic to bring Paul into the Warrior Family and lead our women’s wrestling program,” Warren said. “His background in freestyle wrestling, knowledge of the NAIA and overall experience elevated him in this highly competitive search and we look forward to seeing him build the program and grow the sport of women’s wrestling in the Midwest.”
      A former wrestler at Oregon State University, Rademacher comes to Tech following a two-year stint at Southern Oregon University, where he was the Associate Head Coach for the women’s wrestling team.
      “I am very excited and honored to be selected to be the first Women's Wrestling Head Coach at Indiana Tech,” Rademacher said. “It was very obvious that Indiana Tech was fully invested in starting this program and being successful. I believe Fort Wayne will be a great place for Women's Wrestling and that student-athletes will come from around the country to join the Warriors and be a part of the Indiana Tech community.”
      During his two years with the Raiders he went 14-14 and led the team to an eighth place finish at the first-ever NAIA National Invitational this past March and a 12th-place performance at the Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA) Championships in 2018. He mentored six All-Americans during his time in Ashland.
      “The opportunity to start the program from scratch and set a culture of character, integrity, academic and athletic excellence was a major draw for me,” Rademacher said. “I look forward to working with the other athletic programs to continue the national success that Indiana Tech has produced. I would like to thank AD Debbie Warren, Dr. Daniel J. Stoker (VP for Student Affairs), and President Dr. Karl W. Einolf for believing in me and for this opportunity.”
      Prior to his time at SOU, Rademacher served as the head coach for the boys and girls wrestling teams at Henley High School (Ore.) for two seasons and was in charge of Mount Vernon High School (Wash.) before that. he had 40 wrestlers place during his time at the prep ranks while four became state champions under his tutelage, while he recorded two top-four finishes in the Oregon State Athletic Association (OSAA) Tournament.
      A 1999 graduate of Chiloquin High, Rademacher competed from 1999-2003 at Oregon State, where he named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Second Team as a senior. He continued to compete post-collegiately, and in 2014 placed second in the Veteran’s Greco Roman Division B 76-kilogram class and third in the Veteran’s Freestyle Division B 76-kilogram class. He was a quarterfinalist in the 2014 US Open Freestyles at 74-kilograms and won the 2012 Washington State Tournament Greco-Roman in the 85-kilogram division.
      Rademacher is a USA Wrestling Bronze Certified Coach and was the head coach of the Oregon Junior National Team from 2015-18. He served as a wildland firefighter from 2000-15 at Baker River IHC was a member of the U.S. Forest Service in Washington.
      He received his Master’s Degree in Teaching – Science from Western Governors University in 2017 and graduated from OSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Fitness Management. Rademacher and his wife, Gretchen, have been married since 2004.
      The Warriors will begin competing as a team in the 2020-21 academic year. To learn more about women’s wrestling in the NAIA click here. To learn more about Indiana Tech women’s wrestling, click here. Interested student-athletes may fill out a recruit questionnaire here.


      Trine Thunder Announces Class of 2013

      Head Coach Dan Callahan has announced the class of 2013 for Trine University in Angola, Indiana. Callahan will be bringing in 24 new wrestlers into the four year old wrestling program with wrestlers representing Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. The headliner of the group is Illinois 3A(big school) state champion Elias Larson of Marian Catholic just outside of Chicago. Larson is projected to wrestle 149 or 157lbs. The class also includes 11 other state qualifiers and placers including Hoosier natives Trace Hall and Tyler Lymburner of South Bend Riley, Will Sheets of Bellmont, Nick Odom of Warren Central, and Forest Romer of Ben Davis. The Thunder also will receive the services of two wrestlers transfers in Caleb Norville formerly of Mishawaka and Dylan Forbes formerly of Prairie Heights. Out of state wrestlers that will be wrestling for Trine next year include Michigan state runner-up Jeffery Nofzinger, Michigan 3rd place finisher Ben Wines, Ohio 8th place finisher Robert Blake and Michigan state qualifier Nathan Strickland.
      Trine graduated their first class of wrestlers this past season and will be looking to replace Seniors Louis Posa, Bryan Wight, and Kyle Pittman. The Thunder will return starters Brandon Harvey at 125lbs, Tye Bowman at 133lbs, George Markou at 157lbs, Kyle Long at 165lbs, Nick Kraus at 174lbs, Alex Fleet at 197lbs and Mike Tees at heavyweight. This recruiting class along with all of the returning wrestlers, many of whom hail from Indiana, will help to contribute to a great 5th season for the Thunder wrestling program.

      High School
      Weight Class
      State Finishes

      Elias Larson
      Marian Catholic, IL
      SQ '07, 6th '08,1st 2009 IL AAA

      Trace Hall
      SB Riley
      4th, 4th & 7th IN

      Jeffrey Nofziger
      Morenci, MI
      2nd 2009 MI Div 4

      Ben Wines
      Pittsford, MI
      3rd 2009 MI Div 4

      Will Sheets
      4th 2008 IN

      Caleb Norville
      6th 2008 IN

      Robert Blake
      Tinora, OH
      8th 2009 OH

      Nick Odom
      Warren Central
      8th 2008 IN

      Tyler Lymburner
      SB Riley
      SQ 2009 IN

      Forest Romer
      Ben Davis
      SQ 2009 IN

      Nathan Strickland
      Grosse Pointe MI
      SQ 2009 MI Div I

      Dylan Forbes
      Prairie Heights
      SQ 2008 IN

      Henry Waring
      East Noble

      Dustin Kern

      Elliott Corner

      Alan McNeal

      Brett Worden

      Kyle Ullery
      SB Riley

      Jame Green

      Alex Bailey

      David Waldroup
      New Palestine

      Aaron Overbey
      Ben Davis

      Andrew Leis
      Elida, OH

      Jay Dee Schmucker


      Indianapolis Announces Incoming Recruits

      The University of Indianapolis has announced the class of incoming recruits for next year. New coach Jason Warthan inherits a team that only lost starter Jimmy Nichols and will look to replace him with state runner-up Casey Kenney of Jay County or three time state placer Alex Johns of Evansville Reitz. The Greyhounds will also bring in three other Indiana state placers.  After a 3rd place finish this season and qualifying in 2008, Shelby Mappes of Center Grove will come to the Greyhounds and wrestle 174lbs.  Andrew Leach of Avon will also be making the short drive to Indy, he finished 6th this year and is projected to wrestle 184lbs.  Randy Kaufman of Rensselear Central, an 8th place finisher, is projected to wrestle 197lbs for the Greyhounds. State qualifier Nick Smith of Franklin is another signee that has been to the state finals.  The top incoming recruit not within the Indiana border is North Carolina two-time placer Trey Weliver. Indianapolis is still working on a few other recruits and transfers that they are hoping to announce in the coming weeks.
      Next year's line-up will look very similar to this year's line up with Johns or Kenney manning the 125lbs spot vacated by senior Jimmy Nichols.  Two former state champions will be coming back at 133lbs and 141lbs in Ethan Harris from Beech Grove and Matt Irwin from Bellmont.  Irwin is also a two-time NCAA qualifier.  Northwood's David Lopez will look to keep the 149lbs spot, but will be pushed by incoming freshman Nick Smith.  At 157lbs, NCAA qualifier and former state runner-up Cory Fornal of Rochester will look to build off his success from last season.  Two Illinois products will going at it for the starting spot at 165lbs in former placer Jake Holler and  two time qualifier Bryce Givens.  Josh Curry of Columbia City, Shelby Mappes and the loser at 165lbs will all do battle to determine the starter for this weight.  JT Jenkins from New Albany will move up to 184lbs next season and be pushed by a host of freshman.  Sam Johnson a sophomore from Avon will be pushed for the 197lbs spot by freshman Randy Kaufman.  The heavyweight weight class will be held down by senior Lynn Panko who was a state champion for Avon High School and a former NCAA qualifier.

      High School
      Weight Class
      State Finishes

      Alex Johns
      Evansville Reitz
      3rd, 3rd, 6th IN

      Casey Kenney
      Jay County
      2nd, 4th IN

      Kyle Estrada

      Zach Moreno
      St. Joseph, IL

      Trey Weliver
      Union Pines, NC
      3rd, 4th NC

      Nick Smith
      SQ IN

      Shelby Mappes
      Center Grove
      3rd, SQ IN

      Cody Wittkamp
      Lima, OH

      Kyle Keith

      Andrew Leach
      6th IN

      Randy Kaufman
      Rensselear Central
      8th IN

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