Jump to content
  • High School News


    1. Tournament Previews

      Tournament Previews
    2. Feature Articles

      WW and MM
    3. Silverback Release

      Early release for Silverbacks
      • No articles here yet

    529 articles in this category


      Zionsville Sectional Preview

      The usual suspects are the favorites to advance from the Zionsville sectional. #14 Carmel, formerly ranked Westfield, Lebanon and Zionsville are loaded with highly seeded wrestlers. Carmel has 4 #1 seeds, 3 #2 seeds and 11 total Greyhounds seeded 1-4. Westfield has 2 #1 seeds, 3 #2 seeds and 9 total Shamrocks wrestlers seeded 1-4. Lebanon has 2 #1s, and 8 top-4 seeds. Zionsville has 8 top 4 seeds as well. Clinton Prairie, Clinton Central, Western Boone, Frankfort, Fishers, Rossville and Hamilton Southeastern all bring some talented individuals to Saturday's action, but none of those teams will figure in the team competition.  I think it's also safe to say that Sheridan won't be winning this sectional this year.
      Carmel looks to be a notch above the rest, although that appeared to be the case last season and Westfield pulled the upset last year. It appears that Westfield is the only team with a strong chance to beat the Greyhounds this time around, but I'll still stick with Carmel to win, followed by Westfield, Lebanon and Zionsville, in that order. Carmel is coming off of a disappointing 2nd place MIC conference finish, finishing behind Lawrence North, a team they beat earlier in the season. I expect them to come out hungry and defend their seeds furiously.
      A couple of returning state placers return this year: Carmel's Will Mascaro (7th at 130 last year, qualifier at 125 in '07) and Westfield's RV Peter (8th at 160 last year).
      103 Favorite:  Clayton Campbell (Lebanon) 23-4, Probable regional qualifiers: Kaleb Taylor (Clinton Prairie) 27-5, Pat Parham (Carmel) 25-7, Jason Sipher (Fishers) 26-10
      **Notes** None of the top seeds at 103 competed in last year's sectional. Look for a Parham/Campbell final. Campbell lost a fairly close regular decision to Cathedral's Brian Harvey, so he's pretty legit. Possible darkhorse: 5th seed Sparky Inman of Westfield--the record (26-15) isn't outstanding, but Westfield wrestles a treacherous schedule and Inman has had some nice wins in the past.
      112 Favorite:  Josh Julien (Lebanon) 25-2, Probable regional qualifiers: Mike Devaney (Rossville) 23-2, Joseph Cremer (Carmel) 16-6, Adam Thomas (Clinton Central) 23-10
      **Notes** Julien was sectional champ last year at 112 and finished 2nd at regionals. He has pinned Cathedral's Blake Roytek this year. In other words, he's a stud.  Devaney was sectional and regional champ last season at 103. Cremer finished 4th at 103 at last year's sectional. Look for a Julien/Devaney final. Possible darkhorse: 5th seed Ryan Mantel (10-7) of Zionsville--former sectional champ struggled this season, but he has ability and experience to make a postseason run.
      119 Favorite:  Ben Sommers(Carmel) 26-8, Brady White (Westfield) 34-6, Probable regional qualifiers:  Brandon Gray(Fishers) 18-13, Brent Roman (Hamilton Southeastern) 14-9
      **Notes** White finished 3rd at 112 last season. Roman finished 2nd at 103 last season. Look for Sommers and White to duke it out in the finals--should be a barnburner and either kid can win it.  Possible darkhorse: 4th seed Roman stepped up big last year at Zville, finishing 2nd despite a so-so record.
      125 Favorites:  Chris Maxwell (Clinton Prairie) 31-2, Evan Ackerman (Carmel) 24-7, Probable regional qualifiers: Cameron VanCamp (Lebanon) 21-6, Will Mueller (Westfield) 23-9
      **Notes** Maxwell has advanced to semi-state the past 2 years, despite finishing 3rd in the sectional both years. According to CP's coach Jeremy Corbin, it's been 12 years since a CP wrestler won a sectional title.  Standing in Maxwell's way is Evan Ackerman. Ackerman advanced to semistate last year and has faced some formidable opponents this season. These two will almost certainly meet in the finals and it should be one of the best matches of the day. Both kids are capable of making a run to Conseco.  Possible darkhorse: 4th seed Mueller has wrestled up a weight for much of the season. I don't see him upsetting Maxwell, but he could be a tough match for a #1 or #2 seed at regionals.
      130 Favorites: #12  Nick Beattie (Western Boone) 29-0 Probable regional qualifiers:  Christian Morris (Carmel) 22-9, John Floor (Westfield) 20-5, Stachler (Zionsville) 20-14
      **Notes** Beattie is one of the best kept secrets in the state.  A relative newcomer to the sport and a great natural athlete, he turned in a great performance at last year's sectional at 135 lb., finishing 2nd, above Carmel's Dan Frascella and Lebanon's Adam Skelton. Morris also stepped up last year, finishing 2nd at 119 despite a 11-10 record; he followed that up with a 2nd place finish at regionals, advancing to New Castle with a 13-12 record. Another 2nd place finisher last year is Floor, and he's very capable of knocking off Morris, as he also advanced to semi-state last year. Beattie should almost certainly win this weight, but who he faces in the final could be critical in the team race. Floor and Morris are both solid and both battle-tested.  Possible darkhorse: 5th seed sophomore Brayton Young of Lebanon kept pace with Beattie in one of their two matches this season, losing 12-10 in their first meeting.
      135 Favorites: #4  Will Mascaro (Carmel) 31-0 Probable regional qualifiers:  Adam Skelton (Lebanon) 19-3, Drew Spriggs (Western Boone) 20-8, Drew Billman (Westfield) 16-24
      **Notes** Mascaro should cruise to a sectional title again this year.  He's won it and the regional twice already, and finished 2nd in both as a freshman. Skelton is a 2X semi-state qualifier, despite finishing 4th and 3rd in the sectional the past 2 years, respectively, and will be the runner-up this year unless he can pull the huge upset of Mascaro. These 2 are a cut above the other wrestlers in the weight.  Possible darkhorse: 5th seed Brenton Morgan of Frankfort finished 3rd last year at 130 and could very possibly take out Billman to advance to North Montgomery next weekend.
      140 Favorites: Joe Lile (Fishers) 33-3, Dustin Youngs (Zionsville) 24-6 Probable regional qualifiers: Harrison Coleman (Carmel) 11-6, Tyler Smith (Westfield) 21-18
      **Notes** This is a very wide open weight. Lile finished 3rd last year at 125.  No one in this weight advanced past regionals last year, although Youngs was a semi-state qualifier the year before. Lile and Youngs should tussle for the title. Possible darkhorse: 3rd seed Coleman of Carmel has wrestled a much tougher schedule than Lile or Youngs, so his record could be misleading and he could be dangerous in this spot.
      145 Favorites: Taylor Evans (Clinton Central) 31-2, Patrick Robinson (Hamilton Southeastern) 35-4, Jeff Sease (Zionsville) 22-5  Probable regional qualifiers:  Brandon Davis (Western Boone) 18-5, Curtis Anderson (Carmel) 27-6
      **Notes** Interesting seeding here. This is another very wide open weight, and the deepest weight in the sectional. The depth is actually pretty impressive. Robinson and Sease were both semi-state advancers last year; Sease advanced to the semi-state the year before, too.  Any of the 3 favorites could win the sectional and/or the regional; it wouldn't be a shocker to see someone from this group advance to Conseco. The 5th seed Anderson owns a win over Lawrence North's 16th ranked Matt Goodwin. Possible darkhorse: 6th seed Drew Miller of Rossville sports a 20-5 record. Unfortunately for him, he'll have to get through grizzled veteran Sease to advance. This weight is worth the price of admission to Zionsville.
      152 Favorites: #12 Drew Brogden (Zionsville) 33-1 Probable regional qualifiers:  Jake Evans (Clinton Central) 27-6, Kameryn Wright (Lebanon) 16-9, Nathan Ziems (Carmel) 10-6
      **Notes** Brogden should have little difficulty picking up the 152 lb. championship, although Evans is a legit 2 seed. Evans won his conference this year as well. Possible darkhorses: 3rd seed Wright led Cathedral's Calvin Sullivan 12-8 after 2 periods and lost a close decision. 5th seed Brock Robinson of Westfield (31-8) is probably one of the better 5th seeds in any sectional. Strange seeding here. 6th seed Troy Hollings of Fishers is 24-8. After Brogden, it should be very, very interesting to see who advances. 
      160 Favorites: #7 @171 RV Peter (Westfield) 21-2, #5 @160 Brad Farrell (Fishers) 35-2 Probable regional qualifiers:  Max Youngs (Zionsville) 22-11, Kyle VanCamp (Lebanon) 21-6
      **Notes** Farrell (145) and Peter (160) were both sectional and regional champs last year and both advanced to semi-state the year before. Peter has wrestled most of the season up at 171 and has wrestled a tougher schedule than Farrell. Although it should be a good match, those 2 factors should put Peter on top when they meet. Youngs advanced to semi-state last year at 130 as a freshman with a 13-16 record. Possible darkhorses: 5th seed Josh Petty of Clinton Central (29-3) is one of only 4 Bulldogs in school history to win conference 4 times. He is very capable of beating VanCamp to advance.
      171 Favorites: Nolan Karkowski (Carmel) 21-9, Spencer Reece (Hamilton Southeastern) 28-5 Probable regional qualifiers:  Jacob Howenstein (Zionsville) 23-7, Kansas Varner (Frankfort) 16-4
      **Notes** Not a lot of results from last year with this group. Ferland advanced to regionals at 160 last year with a 12-17 record. Karkowski and Reece should battle it out for a title. My money is on Warren Central transfer Reece; he's had some nice wins this year. Possible darkhorses: 5th seed Kaleb Ferland (Fishers) 24-8 and 6th seed Wes Bankert (Westfield) 10-3 are very capable of advancing.
      189 Favorites: #14 Patrick Lux (Fishers) 30-6, Robert Melby (Westfield) 32-5 Probable regional qualifiers:  Jason Pedigo (Zionsville) 24-12, Stephen Showalter (Lebanon) 19-10
      **Notes** Melby was a sectional champ last year at 189 and finished 2nd at 189 the year before. Lux finished 2nd at 171. Lux has already beat Melby this year, but Melby seems to peak in the postseason. It won't be an upset if Melby wins. Possible darkhorses: 6th seed Spencer Morris of Carmel has a poor record (14-20), but this could be a situation ripe for an upset.
      215  Favorites: #9 Paul Parsley (Westfield) 26-2 Probable regional qualifiers:  Josh Yoder (Carmel) 18-12, Zach Nichols (Frankfort) 25-4, Jesse Boley (Lebanon) 23-5
      **Notes** Parsley should be a sectional and regional champ this year, although this weight isn't as clear-cut as it appears. He qualified for semi-state last year. Nichols has a great shot to beat Yoder for the 2nd spot. He finished above Parsley last year at sectionals and also qualified for semi-state. He should be the 2nd seed. Boley beat Cathedral's Jake Buchanan this year and could give Parsley a rough match. Possible darkhorses: 5th seed Andy Jacquet (Clinton Central) is 26-6 and won his conference title. Boley had better be prepared for Jacquet. Unseeded Scott Mason of Zionsville (9-11) has really struggled this year but he was a semi-state qualifier last year at HWT. Interesting. Injuries, maybe? Anyone know?
      285  Favorites: Jesse Hollander (Carmel) 20-4 Probable regional qualifiers:  Sean McCarthy (Westfield) 14-13, Mitch Damm (Zionsville) 14-14, Ty Wilson (Frankfort) 13-8
      **Notes** This weight looks to be all Hollander. The undersized sophomore Greyhound HWT is someone to look out for in the future. I think he has a great shot at making it to Conseco this year and will be a likely contender the next two years. Possible darkhorses: HSE's 5th seed Trevor Reece (21-15), 6th seed Stephen Killen of Western Boone (20-10) and unseeded Sheldon Paddack of Sheridan (18-11) could steal an advancement in this relatively weak weight class.


      Zionsville Sectional Preview

      Greyhounds, Royals and 'Rocks, oh my....This year will almost certainly be a dogfight for the team title. If seeds hold, Westfield would beat Carmel by one point, but seeds seldom hold in every weight class. As the day progresses, look for Carmel and Westfield to pull away from the pack, which will include HSE, Fishers and Zionsville. I'll take defending champ Carmel by an eyelash.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Inman, Westfield
      2. Snyder, HSE
      3. Miller, Rossville
      4. Garcia, Frankfort
      Outlook: 103 can be kind of unpredictable, but seeds should hold here, with returning Regional qualifier Sparky Inman leading the way. Rossville's Kyle Miller was a conference champ and Frankfort's Manuel Garcia was the 5th place finisher at this weight last year. Watch out for Carmel's Chris Simmons and Fisher's Vinny Pavan, as they have average records but wrestle beastly competition.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Ling, Fishers
      2. Parham, Carmel
      3. Campbell, Lebanon
      4. Watson, HSE
      Outlook: This is a pretty tough, pretty experienced field. Parham is a returning sectional and regional champ and is very capable of knocking off Ling, a semistate qualifier in '09, for the crown here. Campbell is also a returning semistate qualifier and is capable of winning the weight.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #19 Julien, Lebanon
      2. Ash, HSE
      3. Rokop, Carmel
      4. Leicht, CC
      Outlook: This is returning state-placer Julien's weight class to lose, and he won't, barring an injury or similar freak occurrence. A lot of unpredicability after Julien, with regional qualifier Ash getting the nod as runner-up.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #14 Sommer, Carmel
      2. Roman, HSE
      3. Campbell, Lebanon
      4. Cox, Zville
      Outlook: Returning semistate qualifier Sommer leads the way here, although he could be surprised by HSE's Roman, a semistate qualifier in '08 and regional qualifier in '09 who spent some time in the state ranking this year as well.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Lawson, Frankfort
      2. Stachler, Zville
      3. Bankert, Westfield
      4. Riley, Fishers
      Outlook: Very wide open with a lack of proven wrestlers in this class. Lawson has a sterling record but Frankfort doesn't wrestle as many of the big boys as other teams in this sectional.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Billman, Westfield
      2. Davis, WeBo
      3. Calhoun, HSE
      4. Hume, Sheridan
      Outlook: Another wide open weight, with a lot of possible scenarios. Billman has improved tremendously from '09 and is one of a few who can win this weight, including Calhoun, Davis and even Billman's first opponent Simpson, a surprise semistate qualifier a year ago.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #12 White, Westfield
      2. #10 Scurria, Carmel
      3. Irick, HSE
      4. Laughner, Frankfort
      Outlook: Probably the toughest weight in Zionsville. White vs. Scurria will be one of a handful of likely matchups that will go a long way in determining the team champ. Irick is a returning regional qualifier, but he has an unfortunate matchup with returning semistate qualifier Cameron Van Camp of Lebanon.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #6 Robinson, HSE
      2. Miller, Rossville
      3. Smith, Westfield
      4. Varner, Frankfort
      Outlook: This is clearly Mr. Robinson's neighborhood, but returning semistate qualifier Miller won't roll over for him--it won't matter in the end, as Robinson begins his march to Conseco.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Evans, Clinton Central
      2. #13 Frascell, Carmel
      3. Montes, Fishers
      4. Frauhiger, Zville
      Outlook: Pretty tough weight class here. Evans is the one of the best kids you haven't likely seen and Frascella isn't ranked so highly by accident. Should be a great finals matchup, although Montes and Frauhiger could easily throw a monkey-wrench in those plans.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #12 Anderson, Carmel
      2. Evans, CC
      3. Youngs, Zville
      4. Dewhitt, Fishers
      Outlook: Another nice finals matchup here, if seeds hold. Youngs is the most likely candidate to spoil the party, as he's a pretty stout #3 seed here.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #19 Howenstein, Zville
      2. Smitley, HSE
      3. Wright, Lebanon
      4. Schaeffer, Westfield
      Outlook: '09 Semistate qualifier Howenstein should make hay here. Smitley/Wright should be a good semis match.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. #3 Sliga, Fishers
      2. Nichols, Westfield
      3. Morris, Carmel
      4. Bobbitt, Frankfort
      Outlook: The beginning of the Sliga Age begins in earnest. The slick freshman should have his way in one of the manliest weight classes. This could be the first of four potential sectional crowns for the all-world frosh. Nichols should provide a good test in the finals.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Jacquet, CC
      2. Carnes, Westfield
      3. Pedigo, Zville
      4. Courter, Carmel
      Outlook: I'm going against the grain a little in picking Jacquet, but the '09 Team Indiana member is capable of winning the weight. Pedigo and especially Carnes are certainly capable of blowing this pick to shreds, but I'll take the returning semistate qualifier in Jacquet over regional qualifier Pedigo in the semis, and then Jacquet over Carnes.
      Predicted order of finish
      1. Hollander, Carmel
      2. Melby, Westfield
      3. Boley, Lebanon
      4. Howard, Frankfort
      Outlook: Hollander won this weight at last year's sectional, but not one wrestler from the sectional advanced past regionals. This year's final could very well determine the team title. One thing to watch for is Hollander's likely first match vs. Killen. Killen was a 3rd place finisher last year at this weight. Boley is the only returning semistate qualifier among this year's participants.


      Youth "Wrestler of the Week" 12-26

      Name: Ryan Patterson
      Age: 14
      Club/Middle School: Lowell Wrestling Club/Lowell Middle School
      Tournament: LMSAC tourney
      Weeks Record: Undefeated
      Ryan is an 8th grader this season and finished undefeated by pinning every opponent weighing 161lbs and wrestling in the 170lb weight class for the sake of the team. Ryan didn't win ONE MATCH as a 6th grader in middle school...so as a result, he attended multiple team camps over the summer and practiced month after month with the Lowell Wrestling Club and posted a 16-2 record as a 7th grader! This season, he has been a MAN among boys by absolutely dominating every opponent and posting a 18-0 record and a conference title and one individual tourney title at Crown Point.
      Ryan Patterson was a TEAM CAPTAIN and is a National Honor Society member at Lowell Middle School. He also is a 2-way player on the football team. You simply will not find a better kid with better character than Ryan Patterson. He represents everything that is GOOD about our sport...he went from ZERO to HERO by working hard!!!!! His leadership this season led our middle school team to an undefeated DUALS record. Great job Ryan on a great season and being the IndianaMat.com first Youth WOW.


      Youth "Wrestler of the Week" 02-09-09

      Name: Taylor Reed
      Age: 7th grade (12)
      Club/Middle School: Greensburg Junior High
      Weeks record: 5-0
      Taylor wrestled the first tournament of the year in amazing style. He finished the weekend 5-0 pinning tough wrestlers from Center Grove, Beech Grove, Shenandoah, and Triton Central. His only close match was a hard fought overtime victory over Triton Central. Look for big things to come from this little guy! Great start of the season Taylor, keep up the good work. Indianamat.com


      Youth "Wrestler of the Week" 01-25-09

      Name: Isaiah Bradley
      Age: 13 (8th grade)
      Club/Middle School: Wilson Middle School (Muncie, IN)
      Weeks Record: 4-0
      Isaiah went 4-0 this week with wins over 4 quality middle school programs: Delta, East Jay, Blackhawk and Bellmont. He had 2 pins and 2 major decisions. Isaiah is currently undefeated on the season.
      Isaiah not only wrestled this week, but he aslo served as the manager and score keeper as he helped to train the managers. He did this gladly, and actually caught a scoring error that the head table had made. Great job Isaiah and good luck the rest of the season. indianamat.com


      Youth "Wrestler of the Week" 01-19-09

      Isaiah Kemper
      11 years old
      6th grade Thompkins Middle School/Evansville Central
       Isaiah won the Fern Creek Annual Invitation going 4-0 in the 117 lb weight class, 15-2, Fall,7-5 OT and a 4-2 victory in the finals. Isaiah followed that up by placing 1st in the Princeton Folkstyle Open over the weekend going 3-0 with 3 falls. Congratulations from everyone at indianamat.com


      Youth "Wrestler of the Week" 01-03-09

      Name: Austin Neibarger
      Age: 14
      Club: CIA
      Tournament: Border Wars All-Star Christmas Duals in Battle Creek, Michigan
      Tournament Record: 5-0 at 152 lbs.
      Austin Neibarger wrestled for the Indiana All-Star Middle School Team at the All-Star Christmas Duals. Austin pinned all of his opponents on all-star teams from other states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. All of Austin’s pins occurred in the first or second periods of the matches. The Indiana All-Star team finished 3rd overall at the All-Star Christmas Duals and was Coached by Ed Pendoski. Congratulation and good job Austin, keep up the hard work.
      *Special "WOW"
      Jesse C. Terry
      Age 13
      LC Bears Club
      Jesse was a member of Coach Chad Red's LC bears Club until he found out that he had been diagnosed with Leukemia. Jesse lost his hard fought battle on Dec.26th. Our thoughts and Prayers go out to the Terry's.
      indianaMat.com Family

      5999 12

      WrestlingWednesday: Shenandoah Not a Fly By Night Program

      When Gary Black Jr. interviewed for the head wrestling coach at Shenandoah, his goals were clear. He didn’t want to maintain the status quo for the Raiders. He wasn’t content with getting a few kids through to semistate. He wanted to put Shenandoah on the wrestling map, and he wanted the small Henry County school to compete, and win against the state’s best programs.
      His vision for the program landed him the job, and now, seven years later, he has done exactly what he said he would.
      Shenandoah won the school’s first sectional two weeks ago. The Raiders dominated larger schools such as New Castle and Richmond in the process.
      Last week the Raiders fell 1.5 points shy of winning the school’s first regional title.
      “We had to get a mentality change,” Black said. “We had to understand the physicality of wrestling. We reached out to the elementary school. We implemented a club to get young kids invested in the sport at an early age. It took us a few years, but when we had an opening for the middle school job and I had John Slivka and my dad (Gary) take over, we really started developing our feeder system.”
      Shenandoah has seven wrestlers competing at the New Castle semistate Saturday. Sophomores A.J. Black (106) and Dallas Pugsley (126), senior Ryan Surguy (138) and freshman Silas Allred (170) were all Richmond regional champions. Sophomore Hayden Lohrey (132) lost a close match to undefeated Cainan Schaefer in the championship round. Josh Gee (senior, 160) lost to No. 2-ranked Alston Bane 1-0 in the championship and sophomore Jake Webster placed fourth in the 152-pound class.
      The Raider success story is one of heartache, determination and a coach that refuses to give up on his kids.
      The Heartache
      Coach Black’s younger brother Levi was perhaps the most talented grappler on the Raider team. He had an insane dedication to the sport and a work ethic that was unrivaled. Levi was well liked by everyone he came in contact with. But, despite all the positives he had going for him, Levi struggled with a mental illness that eventually led him to take his own life, at the high school, in November of 2015.
      The death rocked the tiny Shenandoah community, as well as much of the surrounding area. Levi’s funeral brought together wrestlers from around the state. Many wrestlers, such as Bane at Richmond, have shown support of the Black family and helped raised awareness of mental illness by having a green streak (symbolic of Levi’s fight with the disease) dyed in his hair.
      The Shenandoah team needed strength during this time. They needed someone to help them cope with the emotional gravity of the situation. The Black family was there to provide it.
      “Both coaches (Gary Jr. and Sr.) are my heroes,” Gee said. “After all they went through, they still took care of us – even over themselves. Through their pain they never let us down. They helped us cope and really turned us into a wrestling brotherhood. We are a family.”
      For Gary Jr., he knew he needed to find a way to honor Levi, yet move forward.
      “The last 16 months have been a huge learning curve for a lot of us,” Black said. “Not only are you dealing with the daily grind of being a wrestler at a high level, but these kids already battle a lot of things daily. That was one more added struggle for all of us. There are days for me, my dad and I‘m sure the kids – being at that exact same place where everything happened – that make it very difficult. All of our lives have been changed.”
      The Determination
      Last year A.J. Black, Levi and Gary Jr’s youngest brother, tried doing everything he could to honor Levi. At times, the pressure got to him. He didn’t want to let his family down. When he lost in the ticket round to go to state, you could see that built up emotion boil over as tears streamed down his face.
      “The weight of trying to accomplish a goal for the memory of his brother took its toll on A.J. and just mentally wore him down,” coach Black said. “We talked about it. He had to make a shift in how he honors his brother. He needs to start doing things for himself.
      “I ask him before every match, who he is wrestling for. He now will say ‘Me’ and then give me a hug and go wrestle. He still honors Levi, but by working his hardest and doing his best. That’s all Levi would have wanted.”
      The hard work mantra extends past A.J. To a man, the Raiders pride themselves on outworking other teams. The guys have bought into the system and have dedicated their summers to the sport.
      “Levi was the hardest worker in the room,” A.J. said. “Everyone wants to make him proud by working as hard as they can, every day.”
      Take Allred for example. He is a 14-year old freshman that won’t turn 15 until May 28. He’s wrestling in one of the most physically demanding classes (170). Yet he’s undefeated.
      “We believe success is a mindset,” Allred said. “I constantly train and constantly push myself to get better. If you want to be the best, you have to work to be the best. You can get better, or worse every single day.”
      Surguy and Gee are two examples of the dividends of that work ethic.
      As a sophomore Gee was pinned by Bane in the sectional final in 36 seconds. Last year he lost 5-1 to Bane in the sectional final. This year, Gee has dropped two matches to Bane, but both were by the score of 1-0.
      Surguy is another senior that struggled early, but has blossomed due to the work he puts in. This year Surguy is 42-2 with a sectional and regional title.
      The Coach
      Gary has built the Raider program to be one of the state’s best. The Raiders finished No. 2 in the Class A team state, and have higher aspirations down the road.
      For Gary, the key to success has been making the wrestlers buy into the fact that the only way to improve, is to outwork the opposition. He also makes sure the wrestlers feel like a family.
      “We see each other at our worst, and we see each other at our best,” said Allred, who has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked third in his class. “When one of us has a down day, the rest of us try and pick him up. This is more than a wrestling team. We’re all friends. We’re all brothers.”
      The leader of the Raider family is undoubtedly the young coach Black. His passion for the team is evident in every match he coaches.
      “On Sundays I’m exhausted,” Black said “It’s hard for me to be on the sideline when I just want to go to war with them. I don’t want to be the general just telling them to go into battle. I want to battle with them. I’ll be the intense guy on the sideline.
      “I want these kids to win as bad as they do. I get extremely emotionally involved in their success. I’d like to think they appreciate it, even though I look ridiculous. I love wrestling and I love watching those kids compete.”
      Last year only Lohrey punched his ticket to the state meet for the Raiders. This year Shenandoah has high hopes to have more than one kid represented. They know how hard the road is to get to state, but they’ve prepared themselves to complete the journey – just like a young coach interviewing for his first head coaching job seven years ago said they would.


      Wrestling Philosophy Show with Joe Caprino

      Recently the #800lbGorilla himself was on the Wrestling Philosophy show with Jared Opfer. 
      You can find other links to the podcast here.


      Wrestler of the Week or Maybe Year?

      This weekend dreams came true for 224 athletes in the state of Indiana.  For some it seems as routine as the sun coming up, for others it is something they have worked long and hard for.  This is just one of many great stories about a state qualifier this year.  As a coach, fan, parent or athlete, you can't help, but to cheer on kids like this.  Good luck to all the athletes at the state finals this Friday and Saturday.
      By Phil Arnold


      [caption id=attachment_741" align="alignleft" width="125" caption="Jared Schwartz, Adams Central 130 lbs.][/caption]
      Normally, you wouldn't think a 4th place finish at Semi-State as qualifying a wrestler for a wrestler of the week honor.  After all, there were 56 Semi-State champions in the state and three wrestlers finished higher just in his weight class alone.  But, as Paul Harvey is famous for saying, sometimes you need to know "the rest of the story."
      Jared Schwartz reported for wrestling last year as a soft, somewhat pudgy freshman.  His Middle School career was just average, winning some and losing some.  He wasn't one of those freshmen expected to make a difference on the varsity and, to be honest, he didn't.  He wrestled the year as the varsity 125lber mostly because Adams Central didn't have anyone else.  Jared improved as the year went on, but still finished the year with only 3 wins against 22 losses.  The biggest improvement, though, was in his attitude.  His statement to the coaches at the end of the season was "I'm sick of losing."
      So, Jared took the off-season more seriously than before.  He was a regular at club practices and participated in more tournaments than ever.  The Jets expected him to be improved in 2009 and he was.  He won 2/3 of his matches, but met strong competition in the conference and area.  Then, the tournament season started.  Jared wasn't seeded for conference and lost his first match, but he defeated the number 2 and 4 seeds in the wrestle-backs to take third.  The sectional saw him seeded sixth, but he avenged earlier losses to upset the number 3 and 2 seeds and finish as the runner-up.  He repeated that finish as regional runner-up to advance to semi-state.  Still, no one took him seriously.  A quick review of the FW Semi-State Pick contest showed no one picked him to beat Jimmy Larowe of East Noble.
      But he did.  Using good form and balance Jared scored three takedowns and won 6-4.  From 3-22 to state qualifier in one year!  Sounds like a good candidate for Wrestler of the Week to me.


      Wrestler of the Week for November 20th

      [caption id=attachment_2221" align="alignleft" width="265" caption="Michael Cheh on left of Franklin Central][/caption]
      Michael Cheh of Franklin Central earns the first wrestler of the week for the 2010/2011 season.  Cheh had an awesome day winning the Capital City Classic.  He defeated three ranked opponents all in overtime to capture the title.  In his first match he defeated #5 Jordan Naughton of Perry Meridian, his second victory was over #11 Adam Decker of Beech Grove and his final win was over #10 Kyle White of Warren Central.


      Wrestler of the Week for December 2nd


      Wrestler of the Week 11/20 – 11/28/2009

      Photo by Paul Tincher

      Yorktown Junior

      Andrew Hiestand

      Hiestand was undefeated at the Yorktown Super 8 while wresting up in weight.  Hiestand, currently ranked #2 at 135 by IndianaMat, defeated #16 at 140 Brooks Faurote of Bellmont and #4 at 145 Bryce Schendel of Garrett.
      Honorable Mention:

      New Castle SS – 189 pound senior Michael Johnson-Jones of Warren Central.  Johnson-Jones won the Capitol City Classic With a victory over #11 Andre Richards of Perry Meridian.

      Evansville SS –  171 pound senior Caleb Browner of Jeffersonville.  Browner won the Capitol City Classic and defeated #16 Garrett Goldman of Bloomington North.

      Merrillville SS – 152 pound senior Alex Surma of Munster.  Surma was the 160 weight class champion at the Chesterton Super Duals and defeated #6 Zach Corpe of Elkhart Memorial.


      Wrestler of the Week 12/8 - 12/13/2008

      Lawrence North Senior

      Cashe' Quiroga

      During the Chris Traicoff Memorial Tournament, Quiroga was 5-0 including victories over defending state champion and national cadet champion Brandon Wright of Cathedral and now #2 ranked freshman Jason Tsirtsis from Crown Point.  Quiroga, defending 119 state champion, is currently ranked 1st at 125 by IndianaMat and is nationally ranked 22nd by Wrestling USA Magazine.  Quiroga has logged wins this season against 3 time state placer Camden Eppert of Anderson Highland and 2 time state qualifier D'Marcus Spencer from Pike and will attend Purdue University next year.

      Honorable Mention:
      Fort Wayne SS -  140 pound junior Ryan Stahl from Elkhart Memorial.  Stahl was 5-0 at the Jim Nicholson Invitational defeating state placer Trace Hall of South Bend Riley.
      Evansville SS -  103 pound freshman Alonzo Shepherd from Jeffersonville.  Shepherd was 5-0 at Castle while beating ranked wrestlers from Evansville Mater Dei and Bloomington South.
      Merrillville SS - 112 pound junior Anthony Hawkins from Crown Point was undefeated at the Chris Traicoff Memorial including victories over state placers Brandon Nelson of Lawrence North and Paul Beck of Mishawaka


      Wrestler of the Week 12/21 - 1/3/2009


      Wrestler of the Week 12/21 – 1/3/2009
      [caption id=attachment_218" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Evansville Mater Dei's Jon Sims][/caption]

      Evansville Mater Dei Sophomore
      John Sims
      Sims was 5-0 at the Evansville Mater Dei Holliday Classic including a win over defending Kentucky State Champion Luke Ervin of Union County, Kentucky.  Sims is 22-1 on the season with his lone loss coming at the Glenn Sample Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio to Tommy Sasfy of Reynoldsburg, OH.  Sims has a 2.96 GPA and has defeated state qualifier and #12 ranked Chad Welch of Castle on the season.

      Honorable Mention:
      New Castle SS– 103 pound freshman Cody Phillips from Union County won the Connersville Spartan Classic  and was named MOW by defeating then #1 Brian Kuhn from Evansville Reitz, # 11 Brian Harvey of Cathedral and # 13 Mason Todd of Pendleton Heights.
      Fort Wayne SS– 215 pound senior Billy Baker from Bellmont won the Al Smith by beating then #3 Christian Lentz of Mishawaka and #2 Nathan Cleveland of Lowell.
      Merrillville SS– 135 pound senior Johnny Dillon from Hobart won the Al Smith by defeating 3 time state placer and then #2 ranked Taylor March of East Noble.


      Wrestler of the Week 12/15 - 12/20/2008

      Wrestler of the Week

      Muncie Southside Senior

      Bryant Whitaker

      At the Jeff Classic held this past Saturday, Whitaker was the 152 pound champion beating Alex Bailey of Jeffersonville 16-7 in the final.  Whitaker was also named Most Outstanding Wrestler during the tournament for his dominant performance.  An Honor Roll student, the 2 time state qualifier is 15-1 on the season and was also the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Charger Invitational.
      Honorable Mention:

      New Castle SS -  103 pound junior Dominique Price from Arsenal Tech was the Indianapolis City Champion beating 10th ranked Brian Harvey from Cathedral.

      Evansville SS -  160 pound senior Briar Runyan from Martinsville won the Bo Henry Classic held at Bloomington North and was awarded the Gene Brewer III Memorial award and voted Most Outstanding Wrestler.

      Merrillville SS - 119 pound junior Danny Bradley from Knox won the Carnahan Tournament beating 13th ranked John Petrov from Hanover Central and 14th ranked Josh Manes from Crown Point.

      Next WOW will be named on 1/6/09 after all holiday tournaments.


      Wrestler of the Week 1/5 - 1/10/2009


      Wrestler of the Week 1/5 - 1/10/2009

      [caption id=attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Perry Meridian's Sampson Cook][/caption]

      Perry Meridian Senior
      Sampson Cook
      Cook was undefeated at the Bellmont Super Duals including a win by fall over then #1 ranked and 3 time state champion Josh Harper from Mishawaka.  Cook, a state qualifier last season, is currently 16-1 on the season and has moved to #2 in the rankings after his performance this past week.  Cook's lone loss came to the hands of IndianaMat Pound for Pound #1 Cashe Quiroga at the Marion County Tournament.  Cook's future plans include joining the United States Marine Corps.


      Honorable Mention:
      Fort Wayne SS -  145 pound senior Jordan Dulaney from Yorktown.  Dulaney was undefeated at the Franklin Super 6 this past Saturday including a win over Seyka of Holt, Michigan.
      Evansville SS -  119 pound senior Alex Johns from Evansville Reitz.  Johns won the Lafayette 5 Star Classic in Lexington, KY and was named most outstanding wrestler while defeating 2 time Kentucky State Champion Matt Zarth of Lexington Henry Clay.
      Merrillville SS - 119 pound junior John Petrov from Hanover Central won the Lake County Tournament while beating Al Smith champion and now #11 Jake Lamb of Lowell in the championship match.


      Wrestler of the Week 1/19 – 1/24/2009

      Co-Wrestlers of the Week 1/19 - 1/24/2009

      [caption id=attachment_436" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Crown Point's Eric Roach][/caption]

      Crown Point Sophomore

      Eric Roach
      Roach ranked #1 at 135 by IndianaMat, defeated Illinois 135 pound senior Matt Holmes of Lakes High School ranked #1 in Illinois AA 5-4. Roach went 3-0 against Illinois competition this past Saturday at Lake Forest High School of Illinois.  Roach  is 25-0 on the season and has quality wins against #5 Julian Brooks of Romeoville Illinois AAA, honorable mention Mike Murphy of Lincoln Way East High School Illinois and #13 Dominic Corsaro of Indianapolis Cathedral.  Eric is a Stagg High School champion, a Carnahan champion, went 5-0 at the Traicoff and a DAC champion.  Roach is also a USA Preseason National Champion  and and the High School Coaches Association 2008 Freshman National Champion and a 2008 Indiana State Runner-up at 130lbs.
      [caption id=attachment_437" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Roncalli's Hunter Bartley][/caption]

      Roncalli Freshman
      Hunter Bartley
      Hunter defeated 140 pound #2 ranked by IndianaMat Tony McGinley from Indianapolis Cathedral by fall.   He has Down Syndrome and is in the special needs program at school. He is the youngest of five children. He has two sisters, Meagan and Rachel, and two brothers, Tyler and Jake. He has been going to wrestling meets since he was three years old and he loves the sport. Since Hunter suffers from a heart condition and has a pacemaker, he is unable to compete in sports, but that didn't stop him from wearing a singlet, wrestling shoes, and head gear to every tournament. After watching Hunter, the wrestling communities at St. Jude (CYO), Roncalli, and Indy Southside Rebels decided to include Hunter in exhibition matches. He is undefeated, winning all his matches be fall (thanks to all of his gracious opponents)!! He has several tournament boards and a 1st place medal from the ISWA State Wrestling Tournament. Hunter can now add pinning second ranked Tony McGinley to his accomplishments (Thank You, Tony)! The coaches and Tony made Hunter's dream come true. If Roncalli or Indy Rebel's are wrestling, you will see Hunter sitting right there with his coaches and teammates.

      Honorable Mention:
      Fort Wayne SS -  135 pound senior Matt Gerber of Bluffton.  Gerber defeated #11 Bryce Schendel of Garrett 12-1 in the final of the ACAC tournament.
      New Castle SS -  119 pound senior Camden Eppert of Anderson Highland.  Eppert won the Olympic Conference tournament with a 12-4 victory over #8 Casey Kenney of Jay County.
      Evansville SS - 160 pound senior Dalton Jones of Avon.  Jones won the Hoosier Crossroads Conference tournament with wins over #5 Brad Farrell of Fishers and #7 at 171 RV Peter of Westfield.


      Wrestler of the Week 1/12 – 1/17/2009


      Wrestler of the Week 1/12 - 1/17/2009
      [caption id=attachment_328" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bloomington South's Brannigan Barlow][/caption]

      Bloomington South Junior
      Brannigan Barlow
      Barlow won the Conference Indiana Tournament at 130 pounds.  Barlow beat then #2 Sampson Cook of Perry Meridian, who was named IndianaMat WOW last week, in the semi final 10-4.  Barlow then defeated #1 ranked D'Marcus Spencer of Pike 6-3 in the final.  Barlow is 27-4 on the season and has also logged wins against #9 Nick Odom of Warren Central, #15 Logan McWhorter of Columbus North and #4 at 125 Will Sheets of Bellmont.

      Honorable Mention:
      Fort Wayne SS -  215 pound senior Aris Allen of Fort Wayne North Side. Allen won the Goshen Invitational including defeating #3 ranked in Michigan D4 Travis Gump of Bronson, MI.
      New Castle SS -  135 pound senior Chris Goodwin of Perry Meridian.  Goodwin was undefeated for the week while beating #13 Dominic Corsaro of Cathedral and then cruising through the Conference Indiana Tournament winning by tech fall in the final.
      Merrillville SS - 125 freshman Jason Tsirtsis of Crown Point.  #2 Tsirtsis won the Duneland Conference Tournament defeating #3 Anthony Napules from Merrillville and #14 Luis Acuna from Portage.


      Woodlan(Fort Wayne) Semi-State Preview

      There is no better place to spend Valentine's Day than the War Memorial Coliseum for semi-state wrestling action. This year an extra 56 wrestlers get to wrestle in the friendly confines of the Coliseum as the fourth place finisher from regional now advances to semi-state. The teams with the most representatives are Yorktown with 10, Bellmont and Peru with 9, and Carroll, South Adams and Elkhart Central with 7. The action will be hot and heavy this year as there are numerous great match-ups in the ticket round and before.
      Bishop Dwenger's Austen Vore comes in undefeated and is the favorite here. Travis Bryant of Muncie Central will try to knock off the senior as he is currently wrestling really well at the right time. This weight class will be a dogfight from the beginning with great matches from the first round onward.  Vore will be tested early with Elkhart Central's Abraham Que in a potential ticket round match.



      The Big Enchilada: Austen Vore- Bishop Dwenger
      Other State Streeters
      Travis Bryant- Muncie Central
      Todd Batt- South Adams
      Shannon Garrettson- Peru
      Early Matches to Watch
      Austen Vore vs. Abraham Que- Elkhart Central
      Todd Batt vs. Trenton Gremmil- Central Noble
      Many of the 112lbers and their coaches in the Fort Wayne Semi-State were very anxious to see where the draws played out here. There are five returning state qualifiers in this weight class and add to that freshman phenom Devon Jackson. Jackson is the favorite here, but he will have to fend off stiff challengers from the beginning to the end.  The five returning state qualifiers that will be going at it for the four spots at state include Prairie Heights' Travis Barroquillo, Steven Ross of Concord, Northwestern's Matt Miller, Steve Gonzales of Delta and Muncie South's Jacob Armantrout.  Armantrout and Miller will be squaring off in the first round with the winner getting the priviledge of wrestling Barrquillo in the ticket round.

      The Big Enchilada: #6 Devon Jackson- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      #7 Travis Barroquillo- Prairie Heights
      #9 Steven Ross- Concord
      #11 Steve Gonzales- Delta
      Early Matches to Watch
      #7 Travis Barroquillo vs. Matt Miller- Northwestern
      #9 Steven Ross vs. Logan Randle-Huntington North
      Returning state runner-up, Casey Kenney of Jay County, is the headliner in this weight class. He survived round #1 with Yorktown's Derek Bevans and would like nothing more than to leave Fort Wayne with his second semi-state championship. Bevans was the 112lb semi-state champion last year.  Others to watch include Bellmont's Brooks Faurote who has quite the family lineage and Alex Filer of Elkhart Central.

      The Big Enchilada: #8 Casey Kenney- Jay County
      Other State Streeters
      #7 Derek Bevans- Yorktown
      Alex Filer- Elkhart Central
      Brooks Faurote- Bellmont
      Early Matches to Watch
      Alex Filer vs. Bobby Perry- Bluffton
      Brooks Faurote vs. Marquis Williams- Snider
      Two returning state placers headline this weight class in Tony Lovejoy and Will Sheets. Sheets comes in with 10 losses on the season, but most were while wrestling up at 130lbs for the team during the regular season. One wrestler to keep your eye on is Angola's undefeated Ricky Furar. He could possibly see Sheets in the ticket round if they both win their first round matches. Another great potential ticket round match will be between Troy Fiechter of Southern Wells and returning state qualifier Aaron Garrettson of Peru.

      The Big Enchilada: #6 Tony Lovejoy- Bishop Luers
      Other State Streeters
      #15 Andrew Heistand- Yorktown
      Troy Fiechter- Southern Wells
      #4 Will Sheets- Bellmont
      Early Matches to Watch
      Troy Fiechter vs. Aaron Garrettson- Peru
      #4 Will Sheets vs. Ricky Furar- Angola
      The top quarter-bracket in this weight class is absolutely LOADED. All of the wrestlers have four or less losses on the season and two were state qualifiers last year. Unfortunately only one of these wrestlers will get in free to Conseco next week. Columbia City's Austin Egolf leads the way in this quarter-bracket as he was a state qualifier last year at this weight. Austin Shepherd was a state qualifier at 112lbs last year and is the latest in a long line of Shepherds to come through the Western program. The other wrestlers are Southern Wells' Darin Fiechter and West Noble's Ty Alles. Both have experience at the Coliseum, but have yet to wrestle at Conseco.

      The Big Enchilada: #8 Brock Norton- Carroll
      Other State Streeters
      Jimmy LaRowe- East Noble
      Josh Ehr- South Adams
      #11 Austin Egolf- Columbia City
      Early Matches to Watch
      Austin Shepherd- Western vs. Darin Fiechter- Southern Wells
      #11 Austin Egolf vs. Tyler Alles- West Noble
      The headliner in this weight class is East Noble's Taylor March. He is looking to come home with a gold medal this year after taking silver as a freshman and sophomore and the bronze last year. March only has one loss on the season and that is to Johnny Dillon at the Al Smith. Another wrestler to watch in this weight class is #11 Matt Gerber of Bluffton who has dominated the competition for the past three weeks. Gerber will be tested in the ticket round by Jimtown's Jeremy Hill. Another ticket round match to watch is Jace German of Garrett against Steve Farrah of Elkhart Central.

      The Big Enchilada: #3 Taylor March- East Noble
      Other State Streeters
      #11 Matt Gerber- Bluffton
      Austin Waite- Maconaquah
      Jace German- Garrett
      Early Matches to Watch
      Jace German vs. Steven Farrah- Elkhart Central
      #11 Matt Gerber vs. #16 Jeremy Hill- Jimtown
      This weight class sports three ranked wrestlers and the bracket and the wrestling bracket gods at the IHSAA separated all three into separate quarter brackets. The one to watch is #5 Ryan Stahl of Elkhart Memorial. He was a qualifier in 2007 at 112lbs, but was knocked out of the tournament by Will Sheets at 125lbs last year. Stahl would love nothing more than to bring home another state title to hang beside the one his brother won last year. The other challengers to watch are Eastern's Chad Barrett who placed 6th last year and Garrett's Bryce Schendel. Schendel will have to knock off undefeated Josh Martin of Randolph Southern in the ticket round to make it to state for a second year in a row.

      The Big Enchilada: #5 Ryan Stahl- Elkhart Memorial
      Other State Streeters
      #8 Chad Barrett- Eastern
      Justin Beck- Leo
      #13 Bryce Schendel- Garrett
      Early Matches to Watch
      #5 Ryan Stahl vs. Jeremy Sisk- North Miami
      #11 Bryce Schendel vs. Josh Martin- Randolph Southern
      Along with 140lbs, this is another weight class with three ranked wrestlers. Any of these three wrestlers could take home the blue ribbon on any given day. The favorite is returning champion Jordan Dulaney of Yorktown. Dulaney took home a championship last year, but was upended at state in the first round. Others to watch are Elkhart Memorial's pinning machine Zach Corpe and Leo's Cam Friend. Friend and Corpe both have older brothers that wrestled under the spotlight and would love to duplicate those feats. The match to watch early on is Corpe vs. returning state qualifier Corey Richards of Churubusco.

      The Big Enchilada: #10 Jordan Dulaney- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      #12 Cam Friend- Leo
      Dalton Sparks- Peru
      #4 Zach Corpe- Elkhart Memorial
      Early Matches to Watch
      #12 Cam Friend vs. Ryley Hankenson- Bellmont
      #4 Zach Corpe vs. Corey Richards- Churubusco
      #10 Jordan Dulaney vs. Chandler Pogue- Mississinewa
      When you talk about pinning this year you cannot leave out Kyle Mosier of Yorktown who is coming to the Coliseum with pins in 36 out of 38 matches. He has pinned at least four of the top competitors in this bracket and would love nothing more than to pin his way to a title. Mosier is a two-time state placer, placing 4th in 2007 and 2008. Tyler Baker of Bellmont who placed 6th last year will look to knock off Mosier along with two time state qualifier Bryant Whitaker of Muncie South. Both Baker and Whitaker cannot overlook their early round matches as they will both have to battle to punch another free ride to Conseco.

      The Big Enchilada: #2 Kyle Mosier- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      #10 Tyler Baker- Bellmont
      #6 Bryant Whitaker- Muncie South
      Matt Davenport- Oak Hill
      Early Matches to Watch
      #10 Tyler Baker vs. Quinn Kurtz- Prairie Heights
      #6 Bryant Whitaker vs. Zac McCray- Garrett
      Returning state qualifier Ross Powell is the headliner in this group. He comes in undefeated this year and relatively untested. Another top contender at this weight is Eastbrook's Jackson Bratcher. He will look to reverse his fortunes of last year as he came in undefeated only to get upset in the ticket round. Bellmont's Trent Busse is riding a big winning streak after missing a couple weeks late in the season due to injury. Drew Walters of Elkhart Central is a returning state qualifier, but will have to avenge an early season loss to Jordan Hamilton of Churubusco to qualify for state again.

      The Big Enchilada: #4 Ross Powell- Northridge
      Other State Streeters
      Jordan Hamilton- Churubusco
      Trent Busse- Bellmont
      #13 Jackson Bratcher- Eastbrook
      Early Matches to Watch
      Jordan Hamilton vs. Drew Walters- Elkhart Central
      #13 Jackson Bratcher vs. Trent Castner- Yorktown
      Don't worry everyone, the George Lopez at this weight class was not the star of Beverly Hill Chihuahua so don't go asking for autographs! Ok, sorry for the lame attempt at humor, but the George Lopez from Napanee is as talented a wrestler as George Lopez is a comedian.....minus Beverly Hills Chihuahua! He was a state qualifier last year and an Al Smith runner-up this year. Lopez will be tested by the likes of Trey Shultz of Adams Central and Marqueen Suel of Harding. Suel had Lopez on the ropes last year in the ticket round in a great match that he pulled out late in the third period. Returning state qualifier Martin Lantz of Fairfield dropped down a weight this year and will have to go through Shultz to qualify again for state.

      The Big Enchilada: #6 George Lopez- Northwood
      Other State Streeters
      Spencer Fenner- Eastbrook
      Marqueen Suel- Harding
      #8 Trey Shultz- Adams Central
      Early Matches to Watch
      Marqueen Suel vs. Grant Melcher- Bellmont
      #8 Trey Shultz vs. Martin Lantz- Fairfield
      Drew Graber came out of nowhere to place second in the state at 171lbs last year. This year people know who he is and he is still dominating them. Graber is looking to finish one notch higher on the podium at Conseco, but will have to navigate through a tough field at the Coliseum first. The first test could be in the semi-finals with Huntington North's Zach Abbott. Graber only beat Abbott by one point last year. Others to watch for are Peru's Brett Worden and #15 Darryn Scott of Marion.

      The Big Enchilada: #3 Drew Graber- Northridge
      Other State Streeters
      #4 Zach Abbott- Huntington North
      Brett Worden- Peru
      #15 Darryn Scott- Marion
      Early Matches to Watch
      Brett Worden vs. Travis Thatcher- Bellmont
      #15 Darryn Scott vs. Josh Grider- South Side
      When was the last time there wasn't a Baker wrestling for Bellmont? Maybe the 1800's? As usual, there are some Bakers in the Bellmont lineup and they are all STUDS! Billy Baker however had to watch the state finals last year from the stands as he was eliminated in the ticket round by the eventual state champion Steve Stahl. Baker has come back bigger and meaner after leading the Braves football team to a state championship in the fall. The undefeated Baker will definitely be tested this week by an equally accomplished wrestler in North Side's Aris Allen. Allen also comes in undefeated and he has passed the "look test" since his sophomore year. The Allen vs. Baker match is one to watch for on Saturday, but they will have to get through the likes of Jimmie King of Muncie South and Austin Phillips of Elkhart Central to make this match happen.

      The Big Enchilada: #1 Billy Baker- Bellmont
      Other State Streeters
      #12 Aris Allen- North Side
      Austin Phillips- Elkhart Central
      Jimmie King- Muncie South
      Early Matches to Watch
      Jimmie King vs. Dylan Green- Kokomo
      Austin Phillps vs. Anthony Fondrea- Winchester
      Last year's state runner-up didn't even win the semi-state! Chalfant lost a close match to New Haven's Matt Cheviron due to penalty points and had to settle for 3rd place. This year Chalfant again brings an undefeated record to the Coliseum, but he plans on keeping the zero at the end. He will be challenged however by relative unknown Evan Floyd of Northwestern who comes in with only one loss on the season. The other closest competitors in Ross Janey of Yorktown and Jim West of South Adams have both been caught counting the lights when they wrestled Chalfant.

      The Big Enchilada: #1 Adam Chalfant- Winchester
      Other State Streeters
      Evan Floyd- Northwestern
      #11 Ross Janney- Yorktown
      Jim West- South Adams
      Early Matches to Watch
      Evan Floyd vs. Daniel Meyer- Bellmont
      Evan Floyd vs. #15 Zack Stone- Jimtown


      Woodlan(Fort Wayne) Semi-State Preview

      Two of the top wrestlers from last year return to this weight class, lead by defending semi-state champion Danny “the hamminator” Hamm of Prairie Heights. His main foe will be Brock Bevans of Yorktown who defeated him earlier this season. Also in the bracket is an undefeated wrestler from Garrett that has flown under the radar for most of the season. Look for many great match-ups in this weight.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Hayden Lee- Garrett vs. Zach Krumlauf- Dekalb
      Brock Bevans- Yorktown vs. Forrest Glogouski- Fairfield

      King of the Hill
      Brock Bevans- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      Danny Hamm- Prairie Heights
      Zach Krumlauf- Dekalb
      Andrew Bowman- Homestead
      Abraham Que of Elkhart Central looks to be the favorite here, but there are numerous landmines in the bracket that could trip up the undefeated senior. There are numerous early matches that are going to be close and hotly contested.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Matt Frane- Dekalb vs. Tommie Lockett- Harding
      Frane/Lockett vs. Kyle Jolas- Huntington North
      Benjamin Fiechter- Southern Wells vs. Abraham Que- Elkhart Central
      Erique Early- Snider vs. Cody Walburn- Adams Central

      King of the Hill
      Abraham Que- Elkhart Central
      Other State Streeters
      Kyle Jolas- Huntington North
      Schuyler Phillips- Yorktown
      Cody Walburn- Adams Central
      This weight class will be one featuring many young wrestlers with only two seniors represented this year. There is no clear cut favorite this year and the only two returning state qualifiers will most likely meet in the ticket round.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Chas Busz- Whitko vs. Willie Nelson- West Noble
      Evan Loe- Peru vs. Chandler Carroll- Yorktown

      King of the Hill
      Kody George- Homestead
      Other State Streeters
      Derek Roe- Adams Central
      Chandler Carroll- Yorktown
      Willie Nelson- West Noble
      Four former state qualifiers highlight this weight class, but just because they have been to state before does not mean they will make it again as all of them have tough ticket round matches. Jordan Gilbert of Whitko and Nick Crume of Jimtown were both state qualifiers at 112lbs last year, but will most likely meet in the ticket round.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Nick Crume- Jimtown vs. Jordan Gilbert- Whitko
      Kalib Jackson- East Noble vs. Philip Gerber- Bluffton
      Jackson/Gerber vs. Kris Workman- Taylor
      Keelan Rushing- Homestead vs. Tommy Poynter- Dekalb

      King of the Hill
      Nick Crume- Jimtown
      Other State Streeters
      Todd Batt- South Adams
      Tommy Poynter- Dekalb
      Kris Workman- Taylor
      This weight will feature some very good wrestling led by the Philippine Phenom Travis Barroquillo of Prairie Heights who comes in undefeated on the year. Another wrestler to watch is Garrett’s Brayden Moreau who comes in with only one blemish on his record and that was at a weight class 10lbs higher. The bottom half of the bracket will be very interesting to watch with the first round match-up of Tony Elkins of Snider and Trevor Enchartea of Elkhart Central. In the same quarter-final the 1 vs. 4 match has some intrigue when Bo Ketring of Oak Hill takes on Dalton Baysinger of Yorktown. The ticket round match of Collin Crume of Jimtown and Sebastian Eckert of Huntington North will be a fun one to watch.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Collin Crume- Jimtown vs. Sebastian Eckert- Huntington North
      Bo Ketring- Oak Hill vs. Dalton Baysinger- Yorktown
      Trevor Echartea- Elkhart Central vs. Tony Elkins- Snider

      King of the Hill
      Travis Barroquillo- Prairie Heights
      Other State Streeters
      Brayden Moreau- Garrett
      Collin Crume- Jimtown
      Tony Elkins- Snider
      Not much to say here other than Devon Jackson is the head of the class coming in with a perfect record and relatively untested this season. The bottom quarter bracket will have many interesting matches with Gabe Sprunger of South Adams going up against ACAC rival Corey Botts of Leo in the first round and the winner getting to face off with Colin Downey of Huntington North to punch their ticket to state.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Gabe Sprunger- South Adams vs. Corey Botts- Leo
      Sprunger/Botts vs. Colin Downey- Huntington North

      King of the Hill
      Devon Jackson- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      Michael Nix- Bishop Dwenger
      Isaiah Bradley- Muncie South
      Colin Downey- Huntington North
      The 140lbs weight class is a complete toss-up with many wrestlers having a shot at the championship and qualifying for state. Recent move-in Cole VanHorn of Yorktown is the class of the field right now, but he could be challenged by numerous wrestlers in this bracket.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Kevin Marsh- West Noble vs. Zach Armstead- Churubusco
      Cody Zink- Woodlan vs. Drake Meska- Jay County

      King of the Hill
      Cole VanHorn- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      Kevin Marsh- West Noble
      Drake Meska- Jay County
      Brooks Faurote- Bellmont
      As with last year, this weight class looks to be a barnburner from beginning to the end. All but one ticket-round match will pit wrestlers with four or less losses against each other, which will make for some exciting and heartbreaking wrestling. Add to that the intrigue of some under the radar wrestlers such as Jesse Goodnight of Kokomo and Josh Seldenright of the Howe School, this weight will be full of surprises all day long.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Josh Seldenright- The Howe School vs. Zeke Schultz- Adams Central
      Seldenright/Schultz vs. Jesse Goodnight- Kokomo
      Jon Timmerman- Carroll vs. TJ Burnfield- South Adams

      King of the Hill
      Andrew Hiestand- Yorktown
      Other State Streeters
      Cam Matteson- Elkhart Memorial
      Jon Timmerman- Carroll
      Zeke Schultz- Adams Central
      Two undefeated wrestlers highlight the field here, with both Carroll’s Reece Lefever and Josh Ehr of South Adams coming in without a loss. Unfortunately the bracket gods did not help out and these two will potentially wrestle in the semi-finals instead of the finals. Adding even more drama to the potential match is that both will be teammates next year at Indiana Tech. On the other half of the bracket there will be many great matches just to get to the semi-finals. The best match of the first round at this weight class and probably any weight class will be the battle of state qualifiers when Zack Zurbrugg of New Haven faces off against Jarod Schwartz of Adams Central. Adding icing to the cake in this match is coach Barry Humble of New Haven will be facing off against Adams Central and former protégé Doug Schultz.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Jarod Schwartz- Adams Central vs. Zack Zurbrugg- New Haven
      Dantrell Goodman- Elkhart Memorial vs. Reece LeFever- Carroll

      King of the Hill
      Reece LeFever- Carroll
      Other State Streeters
      Jarod Schwartz- Adams Central
      Will Busse- Bellmont
      Josh Ehr- South Adams
      The other half of the LeFevers highlights this weight class. Conner LeFever of Carroll leads the way with a perfect record here, but will be challenged early and often. His first round match is not easy with the giant killer Chantz Luginbill of Adams Central in the way. After C-Lef, the rest of the state qualifiers is a toss-up. In the top quarter bracket you have three wrestlers battling it out that have three or less losses. In the second quarter bracket you will have state qualifier Garrett Weber of Leo and two wrestlers with only two losses each. Finally in the lower quarter bracket you have all the wrestlers with seven or more losses. Needless to say picking the winners here will require great skill in drawing names out of a hat.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Christian Harvey- Taylor vs. Cody Conrad- Heritage
      Garrett Weber- Leo vs. Jordan Simmons- Winchester
      Weber/Simmons vs. Tyler Rimmel- Central Noble

      King of the Hill
      Conner Lefever- Carroll
      Other State Streeters
      Cody Conrad- Heritage
      Garrett Weber- Leo
      John Mahlan- Bellmont
      Thank you to the bracket gods for separating the best wrestlers in this weight class. Ryley Hankenson of Bellmont and undefeated Jackson Bratcher of Eastbrook lead the way in this weight class. Look for their finals match to be a great one.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Jeff Enrietto- Carroll vs. Brandon Weinkauf- Jimtown
      Alex Hostetler- Fairfield vs. Spencer Cooper- Leo

      King of the Hill
      Jackson Bratcher- Eastbrook
      Other State Streeters
      Ryley Hankenson- Bellmont
      Jeff Enrietto- Carroll
      Alex Hostetler- Fairfield
      This is the most wide open weight class at the Fort Wayne Semi-State. Eleven wrestlers come in with seven losses or less and many of those losses are to others in this same bracket. There are numerous match-ups in the first round that are toss-ups and no clear cut favorite. State qualifiers Brandon Dillenbeck of Goshen and Scott Neff of Yorktown are probably the slight favorites. Dillenbeck has a very dangerous Austin Striggle of Whitko in the first round. One of the best quarter brackets will be the one headlined by Alex Evans of Huntington North. Evans has had a fine season this year, but will be tested by Ben Baker of Bellmont in the first match and then with the winner of the Redrecus McCurrie of Wayne and Tanner Adams of Jimtown match.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Brandon Dillonbeck- Goshen vs. Austin Striggle- Whitko
      Spencer Raypole- Carroll vs. Clayton Smith- Eastern
      Alex Evans- Huntington North vs. Ben Baker- Bellmont
      Redrecus McCurrie- Wayne vs. Tanner Adams- Jimtown
      Scott Neff- Yorktown vs. Braxton Siddons- Churubusco

      King of the Hill
      Alex Evans- Huntington North
      Other State Streeters
      Brandon Dillenbeck- Goshen
      Spencer Raypole- Carroll
      Scott Neff- Yorktown
      State placers Taylor Grubb of Prairie Heights and Travis Thatcher of Bellmont are the headliners at 215lbs. Grubb got the better of Thatcher at the Al Smith, but never count out a Bellmont Brave during the tournament series. Unfortunately this match will occur in the semi-finals and the other half of the bracket is a toss-up.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Alex Jakacki- Leo vs. Chase Spears- Elkhart Memorial

      King of the Hill
      Taylor Grubb- Prairie Heights
      Other State Streeters
      Travis Thatcher- Bellmont
      Alex Jakacki- Leo
      Andrew Chalfant- Winchester
      Bellmont’s mighty mouse Daniel Meyer comes into Saturday without a blemish on his record and the state’s #1 ranking. He definitely makes the big guys fun to watch as he is very active on his feet and extremely athletic. After him though, there are about 10 wrestlers that could punch their ticket to Conseco.
      Early Round Bracket Buster Matches
      Daniel Meyer- Bellmont vs. Dominique Stauffer- Elkhart Central
      Clay Selman- Angola vs. Josh Mitchell- Heritage
      Andrew Mason- Huntington North vs. Selman/Mitchel

      King of the Hill
      Daniel Meyer- Bellmont
      Other State Streeters
      Andrew Mason- Huntington North
      Ta’Quan Walker- North Side
      Eric Forrest- Jimtown


      Women's Wrestling in Indiana

      The sport of wrestling has been a male dominated sport for a long time, but women are increasingly making their mark. From USA National Team member Katie Downing to current High School and Nationally Ranked Juniors Sarah Hildebrandt and Demi Strub, Indiana has its share of Women who are striving in the sport of wrestling. There are many opportunities in wrestling for women, but they require research and dedication. This page will provide some brief information to help you succeed.
      Women’s wrestling has two styles, Folkstyle and Freestyle. Folkstyle is the form that you wrestle in school. Freestyle is the only women’s style for International, College, and most National competitions. Freestyle is very fast-paced and makes for great women’s tournaments. The USGWA is a woman’s only wrestling organization that has great state and regional tournaments for only women and an exceptional National Championship. USA Wrestling has added a Folkstyle Nationals, with Freestyle at the Junior Nationals & Body Bar Nationals.
      The ISWA provides numerous state and local competitions for women in both styles, they also provide the only avenue for a women’s team in Indiana, competing at the Junior Nationals in late July. Wrestling with your local school or club will teach you much about wrestling. But to be able to measure your ability and skill, you need to wrestle other women. This is the best way to judge your success and how far you can go in wrestling.
      The three websites listed are the major sites for women’s wrestling. There you will find tournaments, clubs, schedules, blogs, forums, and everything you will needed to start your journey in women’s wrestling.

      Remember, YOU need to take the next step to further your wrestling career. The help is there and the competition is great. If you want more out of wrestling, don’t hesitate to ask for help! For information and assistance about Women’s Wrestling contact:
      ISWA Women’s Director Darren Strub - darrenstru@aol.com - 513-375-4903

      2009 Junior National All-Americans Sarah Hildebrandt and Demi Strub
      Demi is a two time All-American and both are Juniors in High School this season.


      Winfield Leads Three Junior All-Americans

      Donte Winfield lost a close 1-0, 1-0 to Michigan's Adam Coon in the finals to lead a trio of All-Americans in Junior Freestyle.  Coon won a Cadet World Championship last year and is ranked as one of the top wrestlers in the class of 2013.  In the championship match, Coon scored on a push-out in each period to get the victory.  Neither wrestler was ever in much position to score otherwise.
      Neal Molloy and Jared McKinley both advanced to the 5th place match in their respective weight classes.  Molloy won his match over West Virginia's Justin Arthur very convincingly, 7-2,6-0.  Arthur was the wrestler who eliminated Tommy Forte in round 7.  McKinley dropped his 5th place bout to Sam Branacle 4-0,4-2.  McKinley finishes as a two-time Junior Freestyle All-American as he will be attending Indiana University in the fall.
      Junior-132 - Jared McKinley's place is 6th.
      Match #1 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Chance Driscoll (Ohio) Dec 6-0,6-1
      Match #2 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Nick Frank (Maryland) Dec 6-3,3-1
      Match #3 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Jayce Carr (Kentucky) Fall 7-1,1:29
      Match #4 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Mitchell Lexvold (Minnesota) Dec 1-0,1-0
      Match #5 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Jonce Blaylock (Oklahoma) Dec 4-0,3-1
      Match #6 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Sammy Jones (Louisiana) Dec 0-1,1-1,4-1
      Match #7 Jared McKinley (Indiana) received a bye.
      Match #8 Nick Kelley (New York) over Jared McKinley (Indiana) Dec 0-1,5-0,3-1
      Match #9 Jared McKinley (Indiana) over Tate Robinson (Missouri) Dec 3-1,8-2
      Match #10 Nick Kelley (New York) over Jared McKinley (Indiana) Dec 0-1,5-0,3-1
      Match #11 Zain Retherford (Pennsylvania) over Jared McKinley (Indiana) TF 6-0,9-1
      Match #12 Jared McKinley (Indiana) received a bye.
      Match #13 Sam Brancale (Minnesota) over Jared McKinley (Indiana) Dec 4-0,4-2
      Junior-138 - Neal Molloy's place is 5th.
      Match #1 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Cameron Sypher (Colorado) Fall 7-0,0:25
      Match #2 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Daniel Downes (Delaware) TF 7-0,7-0
      Match #3 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Walker Dempsey (New Jersey) Dec 3-2,3-1
      Match #4 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Luke Zilverberg (Minnesota) TF 7-0,6-0
      Match #5 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Coltan Laganiere (Minnesota) TF 7-0,7-0
      Match #6 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Colt Cotton (Pennsylvania) Dec 4-1,8-0
      Match #7 Bryce Brill (Illinois) over Neal Molloy (Indiana) Dec 2-4,3-2,7-0
      Match #8 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Jacob Velarde (Washington) Dec 2-1,7-0
      Match #9 Anthony Ashnault (New Jersey) over Neal Molloy (Indiana) Dec 3-1,6-1
      Match #10 Neal Molloy (Indiana) received a bye.
      Match #11 Bryce Brill (Illinois) over Neal Molloy (Indiana) Dec 2-4,3-2,7-0
      Match #12 Neal Molloy (Indiana) over Justin Arthur (West Virginia) Dec 7-2,6-0
      Junior-285 - Donte Winfield's place is 2nd.
      Match #1 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Zachary Newton (Virginia) TF 6-0,6-0
      Match #2 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Ben Calamari (Illinois) Fall 0:22
      Match #3 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Garrett Lee (Kansas) Fall 0:43
      Match #4 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Brandon Johnson (Washington) Dec 2-0,2-0
      Match #5 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Josh Marchok (Illinois) Dec 1-0,1-0
      Match #6 Donte Winfield (Indiana) received a bye.
      Match #7 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Evan McGee (Oklahoma) Dec 2-1,1-0
      Match #8 Donte Winfield (Indiana) over Jake Scanlan (Iowa) Dec 1-0,2-0
      Match #9 Adam Coon (Michigan) over Donte Winfield (Indiana) Dec 1-0,1-0


      Where are they now? With Jeremy Hart

      [caption id=attachment_377" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Former South Adams wrestler Jeremy Hart in action at Penn State][/caption]
      By Corey Sparks
      Wrestler Name: Jeremy Hart
      High School: South Adams Jr.-Sr. High School, IN & State College High School, PA
      College: Penn State University
      First things first, who is Jeremy Hart and why has he been selected to be featured in the first article of "Where are they now?"  Jeremy Hart is one of the most driven individuals I have ever met.  I first met Jeremy as an elementary wrestler back in the early 90's.  The Gold Wrestling Club was in the beginning stages, and Jeremy's father, Brad Hart was one of the founders of the organization.
      I returned to the South Adams Wrestling program in 1998.  The short and pudgy Jeremy Hart was now a freshman at South Adams and to my surprise, he had grown up.  I know that's what kids do, I always hated it when grandparents would say that, "Wow, kid...you have grown since the last time I seen you!"  Jeremy Hart had become a young man.  He worked harder as a freshman, then any other kid in the room.  There were juniors and seniors coming to us after practice once or twice a week asking, no begging us to talk to Jeremy about going 100% all the time from the start of practice to the end of practice.
      Jeremy's passion for wrestling and to achieve greatness is why he was my choice for this first write up of "Where are they now!"
      Interview by Corey Sparks, South Adams Wrestling
      Talk a little about your High School Wrestling Experience:
      [caption id=attachment_378" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Former South Adams wrestler Jeremy Hart in action at Penn State][/caption]
      I wrestled my freshman season at South Adams. I had a decent season and record for a freshman, but fell short of my goal of winning a state title when I didn't even make it out of sectional. The loss my freshman year at sectional to Chad Bollenbacher from Adams Central stuck with me throughout my High School career and served as a great source of motivation.
      Soon after my freshman year my family moved from Berne, IN to State College, PA. In State College I had access to resources like I never knew existed. At the outset I trained year round with a former Penn State wrestler and Olympian, Ken Chertow. At the beginning of my sophomore year at State High I began training with former Penn State wrestler, Chad Dubin. I really credit Ken and Chad for my high school success. Ken laid a foundation of good technique and taught me how to push myself. Chad developed my style and showed me the finer points of the sport.
      I ended up placing in Pennsylvania AAA state three times in high school. As a sophomore I placed 7th. I was runner-up as a junior, losing to 4-2 to Rocky Mantella in the finals, and as a senior I placed third. I lost a 5-4 heartbreaker in the semifinals to Jake Herbert, giving up a takedown in the last 10 seconds of the match.
      After high school I decided to attend Penn State University on a wrestling scholarship.
      High School Wrestling in Indiana vs. Pennsylvania:
      I think that Indiana has some great high school wrestling. However, I don't see it consistently producing the same quantity or quality of wrestlers as Pennsylvania. I think one of the big reasons for this is the strength and seriousness of the youth programs in Pennsylvania. Granted, Indiana has youth wrestling clubs. However, they're not the same as clubs that exist in PA like the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, Angry Fish, Ken Chertow's Olympian Wrestling School, and many others that bring the best wrestlers within a 100 mile radius together in one place to train. Additionally, these clubs are led by professional coaches; former NCAA wrestlers and All-Americans who have devoted their lives to developing young wrestlers into state and NCAA champions coach these clubs.  The proof is ultimately in the performance of the state's athletes at the highest levels of competition. Each year there are far more All-Americans at Fargo from PA than from IN, and PA always has more All-Americans at NCAA's. I think it all begins with the quality and seriousness of the feeder programs.
      Views on Class Wrestling (A big debate within the State of Indiana, I just want to get your perspective since you were a part of both sides):
      I think this debate must be analyzed according to the purposes of high school wrestling. At the end of the day, the purpose of high school wrestling is to develop character, hard work, and discipline in the boys who participate. The existence of a class structure has no bearing on the accomplishment of this aim. However, a secondary purpose of high school wrestling is to give the largest number of young men the opportunity to wrestle at a collegiate level, possibly with financial assistance for the fruits of their labor on the mat. This objective cuts toward a class system. The placement of a wrestler at the state tournament is a quality indicator for college coaches. It's not the only quality indicator, but it is an important one nonetheless. A state with a single class is doing an incredibly inefficient job at exposing the spectrum of quality of its wrestlers because, by definition, only eight wrestlers can place. Thus, a wrestler who may have placed in a smaller school division, or in a bigger school division, but failed to place in a single class structure may be denied exposure to college coaches which he would have had if he had competed in a class system. If the high schools in a state really wish to maximize the opportunities for their athlete's to compete at the collegiate level, they will ensure them maximum exposure. Sure, a single class system results in one state champion. That may give that individual something to brag about, but it does little for the overall good of wrestling in the state. When more wrestlers are exposed to colleges due to placement in the state tournament, more wrestlers wrestle in college. When more wrestlers wrestle in college, more college wrestlers populate the state from which they came. These wrestlers then become the coaches of the youth clubs and high schools sowing the knowledge gleaned from collegiate wrestling into younger wresters, and thus the entire level of wrestling in the state is raised. In short, classes are a good thing. Instead of eight placers per weight, you now have 16 or 24 depending on the number of classes. More exposure means more college wrestlers, more college wrestlers means better wrestling in the state.
      I've gotten somewhat long-winded above, but that argument doesn't even take into account the non-wrestling benefits of class wrestling: increased revenue potential from the state tournaments, increased educational opportunities for those wrestlers who do get financial assistance to go to college, etc...
      Summer Wrestling & Summer Camp Experiences:
      I wrestled every summer all summer without exception. I was either at a camp or wrestling for a national team in Fargo. The saying is cliché, but true, "Summer wrestling makes winter champions."
      National & International Experiences:
      I competed nationally at Fargo twice as a Cadet and twice as a Junior. I was a Junior National All-American in freestyle in 2001. In college I wrestled FILA Junior Nationals, where I was an All-American, and University Nationals. I won one international tournament which was held in Puerto Rico.
      D1 College Wrestling Experiences:
      Wrestling at the D1 level is like nothing else I've ever experienced. It is truly not only a sport, but a way of life. Everything revolves around training and competing, and nearly every aspect of your life (My relationship with Jesus and my family still had priorty) gives way to the goal of being a national champion.
      You compete against the best wrestlers in the country every match. Every single dual is like wrestling a state championship match.
      What was it like to wrestle for Penn State?
      Wrestling for Penn State was a dream come true. There is no program east of the Mississippi with the wrestling heritage that Penn State has. I was proud to wear the Blue and White, and I did my best to represent Penn State well. There is nothing like wrestling in front of 5,000 screaming fans at Rec Hall.
      Favorite practice partner & why?
      James Yonushonis. He was always one of the most intense guys in the room, and he never took the easy way out or did anything halfway. We got into fist fight at least once a week because our matches would be so physical and intense, but we pushed each other and made each other better.

      Who was your toughest opponent and why?
      Troy Letters from Lehigh. He was one of the few guys I wrestled who was both strong as an ox and flawless in technique. His defense was so good that you had to get desperate to try and score, which, of course, made his offense look even better.


      Most memorable match?
      My junior year in the state semi-finals I was wrestling a senior ranked number one in the state. The match went into double overtime and I got the flip, took down, and escaped with :07 on the clock. All 7,000 people in Hershey arena went nuts. That was probably when I first realized that none of the success I had had up to that point was a fluke. I realized that I belonged wrestling at a high level.
      What impact has wrestling had on your life?
      It has taught me how to work harder than even the hardest workers that never wrestled. I am able to go the extra mile and do what no one else is willing to do to succeed because I did it for so long on the mat. Wrestling taught me rigorous discipline, how to perform under pressure, and how to learn from mistakes and correct them. Most people are simply lazy, crack under pressure and would rather be mediocre than learn from mistakes and improve.
      If you would have had to choose a different sport, what would it have been?
      Lacrosse. You get to hit people with a stick, and I hear they don't have to make weight!
      What was your main source of motivation?
      I motivated myself. I'm a perfectionist by nature. So, I was always, and still am my biggest critic and motivator.
      Do you have any future plans with Wrestling?
      I'll always be involved in the sport in one way or another. Serious coaching isn't really for me, but I'll always have my hand in the sport in some way.
      What are you doing presently?
      I am currently in law school at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
      What are your future plans?
      I'm going to graduate from law school, hopefully clerk for a judge, and then develop a practice in commercial and/or employment and labor litigation. Any attorneys who are wrestling fans out there that want to discuss job opportunities should give me a call!
      Any last words you would like Wrestling Fans to know?
      I would like to thank them. Wrestling fans, like wrestlers, are a special breed, and the fans are a large part of what makes a wrestling experience like mine memorable. Thank You!


      Where are they now with Brad Traviola

      Wrestler’s Name: Brad Traviolia
      High School: Wawasee
      College: Northwestern University
      Talk a little about your high school wrestling experience:
      Coach Rich Welborn had developed Wawasee into a very respectable wrestling program by the time I reached high school. Our team annually had high expectations. I was part of a group of kids from our area that competed in freestyle competition throughout the spring and summer months from a fairly early age - which I believe was a first for Wawasee. This additional time spent wrestling paid off as Wawasee had a nice run of sectional and regional championships and several state place winners.
      What other sports did you play/enjoy in high school?
      Football. The Wawasee Warriors were state runners-up in Class 3A in 1985. This was the first year in which the state championship format included all teams. Our team was barely over .500 during the regular season but we got hot during the playoffs and made a run all the way to the state finals. It was great fun being part of that experience and playing in the Hoosier Dome.
      Memories of your state championship:
      I recall feeling a sense of relief more than anything else. I lost in the semi-finals as a junior and I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish my senior year on top. I think for any state champion the accomplishment serves as a validation of the time, effort and commitment put forth by that individual or team.
      Summer wrestling & summer camp experiences:
      As part of the Indiana junior freestyle team I attended a week-long training camp at Doug Blubaugh’s “Top of the World Camp” in Bloomington. My parents almost turned around and took me home after arriving and seeing dogs running all over the wrestling mats, the “swimming facility” (an overgrown pond), and several coaching staff members clearing land around the camp with heavy construction equipment in between wrestling sessions. I’m glad I stayed because I learned the front-headlock from one of the very best.
      College wrestling experiences:
      Northwestern was a great fit for me. The campus was close (3 hours drive) but not too close to home. My teammates became my extended family. The camaraderie among my teammates was so important because the hardest part about jumping from high school to college for me was adapting to the high level of competition every day in the practice room. Taking fourth place as a team at the 1990 NCAA Wrestling Championships was definitely the highlight.
      National & international experiences:
      While I competed in a few national freestyle tournaments I never really got into it. High school was great in that football served as a nice break from wrestling and vice versa. After my freshman year of college I didn’t want to see a wrestling mat for months.
      Favorite practice partner & why? (High school or college)
      I was fortunate to have great practice partners in both high school and college. At Wawasee I practiced every day with Lance Lantz who won a state championship at 167 lbs. our senior year. There is no substitute for facing top level competition every day. At Northwestern the talent level was incredible and being a middle weight I found it beneficial to practice with both smaller, quicker guys, as well as, heavier, stronger teammates so I could work on different parts of my style depending my opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.
      Who was your toughest opponent and why?
      One of the toughest had to be David Lee of Wisconsin (1989 NCAA Champion at 167 lbs.). He was one of the few opponents that I don’t know whether I could have beaten even on a good day.
      Most memorable match?
      One match that I think about from time to time is an early round match against Marty Morgan of Minnesota at the 1989 NCAA Championships. This was the fourth time I wrestled Marty that year and he had won two of the previous three. I wrestled one of the best matches of my career this time and won our final bout decidedly. The ironic part about it, and probably the reason I think about the match occasionally, is that I lost my next two matches and came up just short of earning All-America honors. Marty went on to eventually earn 6th place while only losing to the same two individuals I did. He just met them later in the brackets because I won our match! So let that be a lesson for all of the youngsters out there - keep your intensity up at all times, especially after a big win!
      What were your main sources of motivation as a wrestler?
      I just wanted to be the best.
      What impact has wrestling had on your life?
      Like many people, sports provided me opportunities to learn from both my successes and failures. The incredible demands of wrestling are what helped me develop my work ethic and my ability to dedicate myself to a goal. Wrestling provided me an education and eventually employment as a coach at Northwestern. It absolutely opened the door for me to continue my career in college athletics.
      What are you duties with the Big Ten and NCAA?
      I’m the Deputy Commissioner of the Big Ten and serve as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the conference. My responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of the conference office.
      I also serve on the NCAA Wrestling Committee. The committee reviews the rules and policies that govern collegiate wrestling and can recommend changes that it feels are in the best interest of the sport.
      Where do you see college wrestling in 20 years?
      My optimistic outlook foresees the number of Division I programs staying around 85. I believe that we will continue to see a growth of programs at the Division II and Division III levels. It is my hope that the NCAA will eventually sanction a dual meet championship and that will help re-energize the regular season. If wrestling has a chance to reach a broader fan base it will be through the dual meet format.
      Views on class wrestling based on school enrollment (A big debate within the state of Indiana):
      I must admit that I carry a rather silly sense of additional pride knowing that I won a single-class state championship. A little bit of bragging rights when trash-talking with teammates from other states. However after having seen the benefits that a class system provides, both in promotional value for the sport and a better student-athlete experience, I can’t really argue against it.
      Any last words you would like wrestling fans of Indiana to know?
      It’s great to see more and more quality wrestlers coming out of the state.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.