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Mooresville Holiday Classic Brackets
Click here to view the brackets from the Mooresville Holiday Classic
Teams include: Beech Grove, Monrovia, Charlestown, Homestead, Northview, Jennings Co., Plainfield, Mooresville, Evansville Central, Whiteland, Bloomington North, Yorktown, Brownsburg, Castle, Edgewood, Madison
Wrestler of the Week 12/15 - 12/20/2008
Wrestler of the Week
Muncie Southside Senior
At the Jeff Classic held this past Saturday, Whitaker was the 152 pound champion beating Alex Bailey of Jeffersonville 16-7 in the final.Â Whitaker was also named Most Outstanding Wrestler during the tournament for his dominant performance.Â 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.
New Castle SS -Â 103 pound junior Dominique Price from Arsenal Tech was the Indianapolis City Champion beating 10th ranked Brian Harvey from Cathedral.
Evansville SS -Â 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.
From the Edge of the Mat (12/22)
Dingo here. I was taking a look at the results of the two biggest in-season high schoolÂ tournaments year in and year out, the Walsh Ironman and the Beast of the East. As we all know, Indiana teams and wrestlers are not permitted to participate in these tournaments. However, I saw some familiar names among the results; placers and others who just missed placing. I recognized the names because I remembered them from the Brute Scholastic Duals this past summer. Indiana sent two teams, Indiana Gold andÂ Indiana Blue,Â loaded with our very best wrestlers. Aside from a remarkable runner-up finish for Indiana Gold to the powerful Pennsylvania team, five wrestlers finished the entire tourney undefeated: Sean "Mac Daddy" McMurray, Cashe Quiroga, Brandon Wright,Â Kyle Mosier and Braden Atwood. Many of Indiana's representatives this past summer beat some of the major players at the Ironman and the Beast. Anyway, it's interesting to me, so I took a few minutes to research results, and here's what I found:
Casey Kenney of Jay County, coming off of his runner-up finish this past year at 103, won a 15-7 decision over Delaware's Tyler Pendergrast, who finished in 6th place at the Beast at 103.
Tony Lovejoy, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, an impressive state placer as a sophomore, knocked off uber-stud Shane Gentry of VA (multi-X Ironman and Beast placer, Super 32 placer, Powerade 3rd place finisher) by a strong 15-10 count. Gentry finished 4th at this year's Ironman and 2nd at the Beast, bothÂ at 119. The win is aÂ huge feather in Lovejoy's budding career, to say the least.
Brandon Wright ofÂ Indianapolis Cathedral, Cadet Nationals freestyle champ this past summer in addition to his state championship at 112, manhandled Delaware's Brandon Shulte, 6th place finisher at the Beast at 119, by a 17-6 score. He added a 10-8 win over NJ state champ and Beast 3rd place at 112 finisher Tyler Biscaha. Biscaha is also a former Soph. Nationals champ.
The aforementioned Quiroga of Lawrence North added to his legacy by backing up his state championship this past year with a 11-5 win over Delaware's Wendell Cannon, Beast 4th place finisher at 125. Also, he added a 10-3 win over Beast 130 lb. 6th seed Kenny Knapp of NJ and a win by fall over Ironman 6th place finisher at 119 Gabe Gomez of C0lorado.
Josh Harper, Mishawaka's 3X Indiana state champ, won a 3-2 decision over Delaware's Josh Snook. Snook finished the Beast with a 3-2 record at 140. Harper also won 7-2 over Beast 10 seed at 130 Derrik Russell of NJ powerhouse Jackson Memorial. Russell is a 2X NJ state placer.
Gavin McGinley of Indianapolis Cathedral wonÂ 2-1 againstÂ Beast 11 seed Chris Moon of Virginia. Moon finished 7th at 152.
Sammy Bennett of Anderson Highland won 10-0 versus Ryelan Pavlik of Deleware. Pavlik finished 3-2 in a strong Beast 152 class.
Sean McMurray, PortageÂ state champion last year over Eric Galka at 135,Â won a tough 4-2 decision versus NJ stud and Beast #2 seed at 135 Joe Lospinoso. Â Lospinoso was NJ's runner-up last year at 135 and led the eventual champion late in the 3rd period. Beating Lospinoso was HUGE on the national scene for the Mac Daddy.
Briar Runyon of Martinsville,Â Indiana state runner-up last year and 3rd place the year before (both at 152), won an impressive 1-0 match over NJ's Brian Broderick. Broderick finished 4-2 at the Beast at 160, just one match from placing. Broderick was a state qualifier last year in NJ.
Braden Atwood, Delphi's 4th place finisher at 160 in Indiana, won 3-2 over VA's Daniel McGillivray, 9th seed and 8th place finisher at the Beast in the 160 lb weight class.
Mike Duckworth, Union County's state runner-up at 160 last season, built on his Soph. NationalsÂ runner-up finishÂ with a 8-6 win over NJ state qualifier Umar Taramov. Taramov went 3-2 at the Beast at 160. Duckworth also beat NJ state 3rd place finisher Anthony Saulle 15-4.
Paul Parsley, semi-state qualifier from Westfield, won an impressive 3-2 victory over Beast 7th place finisher at 215 Nick Perelli of VA.
Nick Hodges, Southmont's 5th place finisher at 189 in Indiana last year, was victorious 7-2 over Beast 12th seed Bob Grogan of NJ. Hodges wrestled all the way up at 220.
Jon Clark, state qualifier last year from Jeffersonville, beat Beast HWT #10 seedÂ Larry Cassidy of Delaware.
These results are by no means the only impressive results from our Indiana teams and individualsÂ this past summer, but I thought it wasÂ one sign that Indiana wrestling is alive and well, healthy and strong. Indiana beat a number of strong teams, including a New Jersey Red team loaded with high state-placers. Of course, Indiana is not Pennsylvania or Ohio, in terms of high school wrestling clout, but our best wrestlers have shown that they can hang with any wrestlers from anywhere in the country.
Off the Beaten Path- Karl's look at the small schools of Indiana
Off the Beaten Path - Karl's look at the small schools of Indiana
FULTON, IN - On a windswept and ice-glazed plain somewhere south of Rochester and north of Logansport sits tiny Caston Junior-Senior High School.Â Each December this school hosts 10 of Indiana's smallest schools (average enrollment - 380 students) that have a wrestling program in a Friday - Saturday super dual.Â Due to the weather, Friday nights portion of the duals were cancelled and teams were divided into pools for wrestling on Saturday.Â After four rounds of pool wrestling, teams were paired off to wrestle a fifth round.Â In that fifth round Fountain Central High School defeated Pioneer to take the team title.Â Calumet defeated Northwestern High School to take third.Â West Central defeated North Judson for fifth, Clinton Prairie defeated Frontier for seventh, and Culver Community bested Caston for ninth place.
Each team proved to have a few outstanding individuals that undoubtedly will advance deep into wrestling's post season but the most glaring issue on the day seemed to be the difficulty in fielding complete lineups by the majority of the schools at Caston.Â Six of ten teams present had at least one hole in their line-ups, two schools had six forfeits and one school filled only five weight classes.Â The struggle to try to fill a full lineup in these small schools is undoubtedly a yearly battle.Â For many of these small schools, varsity slots are filled with freshman and inexperienced wrestlers that would definitely benefit from some JV experience but are forced into the line-up due to lack of depth.
Pioneer High School's coach Tim Spray coached eleven freshmen and sophomores along with one senior to a second place finish on the day.Â Coach Spray works as hard as any coach in the state but due to the size of his school (330 students), depth is always going to be an issue and even Pioneer gave up two forfeits all day.Â Pioneer's youngsters and the Pioneer's staff are to be commended for not using youth as an excuse and wrestling tough all day.
West Central High School (275 students) also was impressive today.Â They were able to field a full line-up of solid wrestlers.Â They have already defeated small school power Winamac in a dual meet earlier in the year and look to be a small school on the upswing as they only had two seniors in their lineup.
Fountain Central went unscathed on the day at 5-0.Â They did it by having a lineup made up mostly of solid, if not spectacular, wrestlers.Â Dillon Scott at 112 lost a tight 3-0 match to returning state finalist and outstanding wrestler on the day, Matt Miller of Northwestern.Â Both of these wrestlers appear to have the goods to make a run at Conseco come February.Â Fountain Central faithful were loud all day in support of their Mustangs and get the KarlHungus fans of the week award.
I couldn't help but think of the excitement that might be generated at some of these small schools if they could compete in a classed team state tournament.Â Would more kids in their school be tempted to give wrestling a try?Â Would administration give wrestling more respect if they were competing for sectional and regional titles like their basketball, baseball, and volleyball teams?
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Coming next - Day 1 coverage at Mishawaka's Al Smith Invitational.
Crown Point Makes Early Season Statement against Merrillville
Crown Point, IN-
IndianaMat.com's #3 ranked Crown Point Bulldogs took on the #8 Merrillville Pirates Wednesday night at home in a battle for 'Region' supremacy.Â The dual started at 145 with Merrillville grabbing an early 3-0 lead via a Keon Jones decision over Tommy Renn of Crown Point.Â Crown Point quickly regained the lead 4-3 with a major decision at 152, and they would never trail again the rest of the night.Â Mark Myers, ranked 2nd by IndianaMat at 160, extended Crown Point's lead to 9-3 with a technical fall.Â Merrillville's freshman sensation Kourtney Berry then won a 9-2 decision at 171 to pull the Pirates back within 3.Â IndianaMat's top ranked 189 pounder, Marcus Shrewsbury, registered a quick fall at 189, and Crown Point's 12th ranked 215 pounder James Bakalik followed that up with a decision to give Crown Point an 18-6 advantage.Â Merrillville's 10th ranked heavyweight James Travis showed off his powerful double leg and earned a 1st period fall to draw Merrillville back within 6 at the halfway point of the dual.Â In one of the night's most anticipated contests, the 103 pound match, Merrillville junior Zac Stevens, a state qualifier last year at 103 and currently ranked 4th by IndianaMat, came out and hit nice firemans carry to jump out to an early 2-0 lead over Crown Point's 11th ranked freshman Cameron Halsted.Â After a scramble in which Halsted was able to finish a single leg position and earn a reversal, the match was tied at 2 with 40 seconds to go in the first period.Â Halsted immediately threw legs in on Stevens and was working for a power half when Stevens was able to tripod up and get Halsted high.Â Stevens reached up and grabbed Halsted's head and pulled him over the top for the defensive fall with 13 seconds to go in the 1st period.Â Â This fall at 103 unexpectedly tied the match at 18-18 with 6 bouts to go.Â At 112 lbs., IndianaMat's top ranked Anthony Hawkins earned a technical fall for Crown Point to give the Bulldogs a 23-18 advantage.Â At 119 lbs., Merrillville senior Willy Costakis gave Crown Point's 14th ranked Josh Manes all he could handle, but dropped a 1-0 decision on a Manes escape in the 3rd period.Â This win gave Crown Point a 26-18 lead.Â The best match of the night came at 125 pounds where #2 ranked Crown Point freshman Jason Tsirtsis faced off against 4th ranked Anthony Napules of Merrillville.Â Tsirtsis wore on Napules' head and neck with heavy hands for the first minute and a half of the match and forced Napules into a bad shot late in the first period which he capitalized on with a head in the hole front headlock and was able to score a questionable takedown with little time left in the first period, much to Merrillville head coach Dave Maldonado's displeasure.Â Coach Maldonado argued that Tsirtsis never secured the takedown as Napules quickly stood up and Tsirtsis dropped to a single as he was awarded the 2 and hung onto the leg until the clock expired on the first period of action.Â Â Tsirtsis chose down in the 2nd period and made the score 3-0 with a quick escape via a standup off the whistle.Â Napules was the aggressor on their feet in the second period and although there were no points scored for the remainder of the period, Tsirtsis was warned for stalling.Â Napules chose down in the 3rd period and was able to create a scramble as Tsirtsis threw legs in and get 1 for the escape.Â Napules continued to push the pace and was awarded a point to make the match 3-2 with a minute left on Tsirtsis' second stall call.Â With under 30 seconds left in the match, Tsirtsis got in a deep high crotch, but Napules brought him into a crackdown position and was beginning to scoot around the corner and looked as if he was going to score the go-ahead takedown.Â Tsirtsis was able to readjust, duck the leg, and come out the back door to secure the takedown with under ten seconds to go to make the final score 5-2 in Tsirtsis' favor.Â This win gave Crown Point a 29-18 lead with 3 bouts to go.Â At 130 pounds, unranked Frankie Valdivia from Merrillville earned an upset victory for Merrillville over previously 5th ranked Dallas Schurg of Crown Point.Â With the score tied 2-2 in the second period, Valdivia put Schurg to his back with a very tight cement mixer and was able to secure the fall with one minute to go in the 2nd period to draw Merrillville back within 5.Â IndianaMat's top ranked 135 pounder, sophomore Eric Roach of Crown Point, earned a technical fall to seal the win for Crown Point.Â Although the dual was already won, those that stayed were treated to a mild upset at 140 pounds.Â Unranked Merrillville senior Darrius Richmond put on a dominating performance against previously 14th ranked Josh Flamme of Crown Point.Â Richmond used a pair of takedowns and a pair of reversals to defeat Flamme by a score of 8-4.Â After 14 exciting bouts of Duneland Athletic Conference action, the Crown Point Bulldogs defeated the Merrillville Pirates 34-27.Â This match turned out to be a lot closer than expected, as many messageboard posters predicted Crown Point to win easily.Â These two programs have definitely separated themselves from the rest of the 'Region', and a rematch with a trip to Team State on the line should be in the works in early February.Â Although this was just a 7 point match with a pair of closely-contested swing matches at 119 and 125 which went Crown Point's way, I think that it is important to note that the matches at 103 and 130 were won by Merrillville by fall, which I don't see happening again.Â Both of these matches were between state-ranked caliber kids and were both tied matches at the time of the unexpected falls. The 12 points earned by Merrillville in these two weight classes could easily become decisions for Crown Point next time around.Â Merrillville had almost everything go their way Wednesday night that possibly could have, and still came up short.Â For this reason I don't like their chances in a rematch, although neither did anyone at the Team Semi-State last year, and Coach Maldonado still found a way to get the job done!Â In the rematch with a trip to Center Grove on the line I will take Crown Point, again, 36-21.
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Toe to Joe with Cashe Quiroga
This week's Toe to Joe is with Lawrence North's Cashe Quiroga.Â Cashe is coming off a really good weekend where he beat last year's 112lb state champion Brandon Wright and freshman phenom Jason Tsirtsis, among other top wrestlers in the state at the Chris Traicoff Memorial. Last year Quiroga won a state championship at 119lbs and is looking to win another one this season at 125lbs.Â He has committed to wrestle at Purdue University next year.
1. How did you get started wrestling and how many years have you been wrestling?
My older brother went out for our middle school team and so I followed. I have been wrestling since the 6th grade, so this is my 7th year.
2. What other interests/hobbies/sports do you participate in outside of wrestling?
I do a lot outdoors, mainly camping and fishing.
3. Who is the toughest wrestler you have faced and why?
Josh Harper has probably been the toughest for me. I have lost to him 4 times and he has given me a loss every year so far in high school.
He is very good at some of the things I struggle with. He is a great scrambler, which is probably my weakness. That is one of the reasons I like to wrestle him because it is making me better at something I need to improve on.
4. How do you feel about spring and summer wrestling?
Training year-round has been huge for me. I think if you want to compete for state championships, you have to wrestle in the spring and summer. I have made big jumps in technique and experience because of spring and summer wrestling.
5. Describe what it was like to win your first title last year after coming up short as a sophomore.
I was obviously very happy to accomplish one of my goals and dominate the way that I did. I had put the loss from the year before out of my mind. But more than anything, I felt good about the way I had trained and competed. It was very satisfying.
6. What is the most memorable match you have wrestled and why?
One that is fresh in my mind was my over time match with Dâ€™Marcus Spencer this year. We are friends and he used to be my teammate and practice partner here at LN. I was down by 3 with 17 seconds left and had to take him down, cut him, and take him down again to send it to over time. It was a good win.
7. How do you feel about class wrestling?
I havenâ€™t really thought about it. But I like knowing I was the best 119lber. in the state last year.
8. Who is the most influential person in your life? Why?
My coaches here at LN have probably made the biggest impact on me. They have made me one of the best wrestlers in the state, helped me learn how to be a good student, and shown me how to be a good person.
9. Do you have any superstitions or routines when it comes to wrestling?
I am not superstitious. But, I always listen to Metallica on my IPod before I wrestle.
10. What makes wrestling so great?
I like that how well you do is determined by how hard you work. Also, in other sports, they just go to practice and go home and forget about it. With wrestling, you are constantly reminded of what you are going through. Your body hurts, youâ€™re hungry. You are doing things that most people are not willing to do.
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From the edge of the mat (12/16)......
It's your faithful narrator Dingo with the weekly recap of Indiana's finest athletes.
Let's start with one of my favorite wrestlers of the past decade, Alex Dolly, formerly of Mishawaka High School. As reported this past week, Dolly was granted another year of eligibility, due to an injury plagued 2005-2006 season.
Alex has had a great collegiate career already, following an excellent high school career that saw him lose only twice during his entire junior and senior season. As a junior, Dolly lost a one point match to eventual state champ, senior Chris Cooper of Whiteland, en route to a strong 3rd place finish. He placedÂ 2nd as a senior, losing on a rideout in double OT to four-time state champ Blake Maurer of Evansville Mater Dei.Â That match stands out in many people's minds as one of the best at the state finals in recent memory. For what it's worth, he also finished 5th as a sophomore, starting a trend that would follow him the rest of his HS postseason career--he lost a one point match, this time to state runner-up, senior Mike McCarthy of Mt. Vernon. Three one point losses, two to dominant champions and one to a runner-up, which brings us to Dolly's collegiate career.....
Following a redshirt season, Alex qualified for Nationals despite a sub .500 record, and he quickly made a mark on the national wrestling scene. He beat 2X All-American and eventual national champion Shane Webster of Oregon, ultimately falling short of All-American status as a freshman by just one match.
Dolly's second active season was basically washed away by injuries, but he won 21 matches as a junior and qualified for Nationals again.
Last season, a season which many thought would be his last at Northern Iowa, Dolly again qualified for Nationals after a successful regular season. He again fell just short of obtaining All-American status, losing in the Round of 12.
All of this brings us back to the original point--although he's rusty and not ready to go right this second, according to Coach Penrith, Alex gets another chance to finally get over the hump and get the national recognition he truly deserves. All Indiana wrestling fans will be cheering Alex on as he gets back on the mat this season.
In Juggernaut-related news, Andrew Howe got back in action after an uneven but impressive performance at Cliff Keen. Howe bested Northern Iowa junior Tyson Reiner 3-2. Reiner was a Nationals qualifier last year and won a match in the big tourney. There will be no Juggernaut sightings until the Midlands.
Alex Tsirtsis followed up his stirring win over then #1 ranked Nick Gallick with a dominant 14-2 shellacking of promising young Northern Iowa wresler Trenton Washington. As with Howe, Tsirtsis won't be back in action until the Midlands.
Still no Angel Escobedo so far this season. Angel, Kinser, Hernandez, Young and company will join Howe and Tsirtsis at the Midlands. The Midlands should be a riveting couple of days for Indiana wrestling fans.
Casey Caldwell (Union County HS) of the Naval Academy placed fourth at 184 at the Nittany Lion Open. Casey has shown that he can hang with the better wrestlers at his weight class and will be a darkhorse candidate this year at Nationals.
In closing, the following former Indiana high school wrestlers are ranked:
125 #2 Angel Escobedo IU
133 #9 Reece Humphrey OSU
141 #1 Alex Tsirtsis Iowa
157 #13 Kurt Kinser IU
165 #9 Andrew Howe Wisc
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #10 Humphrey
141 #1 Tsirtsis
157 #11 KinserÂ IU
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #8 Humphrey
141 #1 Tsirtsis
141 #13 Hernandez
157 #12 Kinser
165 #15 Andrew Howe Wisc
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #9 Humphrey
141 #2 Tsirtsis
157 #16 Kinser
Wrestler of the Week 12/8 - 12/13/2008
Lawrence North Senior
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.Â Quiroga, defending 119 state champion, is currently ranked 1st at 125 by IndianaMat and is nationally ranked 22nd by Wrestling USA Magazine.Â 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.
Fort Wayne SS -Â 140 pound junior Ryan Stahl from Elkhart Memorial.Â Stahl was 5-0 at the Jim Nicholson Invitational defeating state placer Trace Hall of South Bend Riley.
Evansville SS -Â 103 pound freshman Alonzo Shepherd from Jeffersonville.Â 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
Pound For Pound 12/15/2008
IndianaMat.com Pound for Pound Rankings 12/15/2008
1. Cashe Quiroga
2. Josh Harper
3. Sean McMurray
4. Eric Roach
5. Jason Tsirtsis
6. Steven Sandefer
7. Brandon Wright
8. Marcus Shrewsbury
9. Camden Eppert
10. Taylor March
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Team Rankings as of Results posted 12/14/08
Team Rankings as of Results posted 12.14.2008
2. Evansville Mater Dei
3. Crown Point
5. Perry Meridian
9. Evansville Reitz
11. Lawrence North
14. New Palestine
16. Elkhart Memorial
18. Carroll (FW)
Projected Team State Participants
1. Crown Point
6. Perry Meridian
7. New Palestine
8. Ev. Mater Dei
To check out full team-by-team results, click here
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Karl Hungus Among Us Traicoff Recap
Cavemen Pass Mid-Season Test
CALUMET: Some of Indiana's best wrestling programs as well as fifty ranked individuals took their annual migration northwest to '˜da region' to participate in a sixteen team mid-season meat grinder of a wrestling tournament. The Chris Traicoff Memorial Invitational held yesterday in the Calumet Fieldhouse lived up to its billing as the "Premier dual meet tournament in the state of Indiana." The competition was so tough that a defending state and national champion (Cathedral's Brandon Wright) ended his day with a 3-2 record. The day was surely grueling for all involved, but that is just the type of atmosphere in which the Mishawaka Cavemen seem to thrive as they aced this semester exam by going 5-0 on the day, defeating Crown Point 39-28 in round 5.
The format for the Traicoff had top seeds (Mishawaka, Crown Point, Cathedral, and Lawrence North) meeting in round robin action after each dispatched their first two round opponents. Although the top four teams separated themselves fairly easily, that did not mean there were not some upsets of note in the early going.
Most notably was young #13 ranked 103 pounder Brian Harvey of Cathedral defeating second ranked Dustin Keif of Franklin 8-4. With the score 2-2 after the first period, Harvey rode Keif the entire 2nd period. Keif chose the optional start for the third period, giving Harvey a slim 3-2 lead. On their feet, Harvey caught Keif in a firemans dump that became a 5 point move when Harvey held Keif in nearfall position. Keif reversed Harvey late in the third to provide the final score (8-4). Another upset occurred at the 145 lb. class where #10 ranked Chris Almarez of Highland relied on strong leg work to protect his 4-2 lead, riding #3 Gavin McGinley of Cathedral for nearly all of the third period. McGinley finally did shake himself free with 15 seconds remaining in the third, but last year's 3rd place finisher at state did not have enough time to attempt a solid takedown, ensuring a 4-3 victory for Amarez. One final minor upset occurred at 189, where Portage's Kyle Keith turned Mishawaka's #13 Dustin Boyd in the third period to earn a hard fought 5-4 victory.
The first set of duals in the winner's bracket had Lawrence North taking on Mishawaka and Crown Point brawling with Cathedral. The Irish had early momentum when #3 Gavin McGinley stacked up #12 Nick Bruno for the fall midway through the second period. Cathedral earned a major decision at 152 to take an early 10-0 lead. CP's senior leader #2 Mark Myers righted the Bulldog ship by snatching two takedowns and utilizing a tight crossface ride for most of the match to defeat #11 Tyler Willis of Cathedral. A turning point for Crown Point occurred at 215 where the Bulldog's Jim Bakalik came back from a 4-2 deficit to wear down Cathedral's Jake Buchanan. Bakalik obviously filled up the gas tank before leaving as he hustled and scrambled his way to a 7-4 victory. In another battle of ranked opponents, Cathedral's #13 Brain Harvey defeated his second ranked opponent, #10 Cameron Halsted, 1-0. In a marquee match-up at 125, defending state champ and second ranked Brandon Wright of Cathedral squared off against Indiana wrestling royalty, freshman #3 Jason Tsirtsis of Crown Point. In the first period Tsirtsis used a snap down, duck under to a single in which he finished nicely. Tsirtsis led 2-0 after one period. Wright came back to tie the match with a lightning quick switch on the whistle to begin the second period. Tsirtsis then escaped to take a narrow 3-2 lead heading into the third. Tsirtsis extended his lead to 5-2 in the third before giving up a takedown to narrow the score to 5-4. Tsirtsis escaped to finish off the scoring at 6-4. Not to be outdone, Cathedral's #4 John Grey staged a thrilling overtime victory over #9 Dallas Schurg, 3-2. At 135 Crown Point's #1 Eric Roach was very impressive in turning #9 Dominic Corsano with a variety of tilts and wings to earn a technical fall at 16-0. Roach's victory sealed the team victory as well, 29-22.
In the match-up of Mishawaka and Lawrence North, the Caveman used their depth to rest a couple of their starters in defeating the Wildcats, 38-25. The only contest matching ranked wrestlers had #7 Bryce Grimes of LN utilizing a number of low singles and double leg takedowns to defeat #13 Joey Smith, 10-2.
Second round highlights included #11 Tyler Willis of Cathedral winning an entertaining match over Richard Morin of Mishawaka. #3 Anthony Hawkins of Crown Point gave up a 3 point lead to #2 Brandon Nelson of Lawrence North in the third only to cut Nelson in the thirty second overtime period and then take down Nelson to win. #1 Josh Harper of Mishawaka wrestled his first match of the day against the Irish's #4 John Grey and showed no rust in a dominating 16-0 technical fall. In marquee match-up number 2, freshman Jason Tsirtsis had another opportunity to defeat a defending state champ when he squared off with #1 Cashe Quiroga. The first period was scoreless, Tsirtsis escaped and as they were on their feet Quiroga locked up and threw an upper body toss to take the lead 2-1. Tsirtsis escaped in the second to even the match 2-2. In the third Quiroga escaped, and deftly countered numerous takedown attempts to win 3-2. Finally, in another bout matching up two heavy hitters, #1 Steve Sandefer of Mishawaka utilized a slick ankle pick to defeat #2 Tony McGinley by the score of 3-2. Coincidently, this was exactly the same margin Sandefer had in his victory over McGinley in last years state semi-final match. Second round match scores in the championship bracket: MHS 29 CATH 23, CP 42 LN 13.
The championship match pitted the top two seeds, #1 Mishawaka versus #2 Crown Point in a battle where 19 ranked wrestlers would pound it out on the mat to see who would be an early favorite to take home the team hardware in February. The match started at 160 and CP's #2 Mark Myers used 3 takedowns and a nearfall to post a major decision against Richard Morin. #13 Joey Smith gutted out a tough 8-5 victory over CP's Jeremy Kooi. Smith was wrestling on a knee that he tweaked earlier in the day and was visibly in pain through much of the match but was able to ignore it enough to earn 3 team points for the Cavemen. At 189, #1 ranked Marcus Shrewsbury of Crown Point capped of a phenomenal day in which he was never really tested by turning #13 Dustin Boyd with an arm bar and collecting a pin in 1:55. Mishawaka took control of the match with victories at 215, 285 and 103. Most surprising of these was Mishawaka's 103 Taylor Wisler running a wing and pinning the Bulldog's #10 Cameron Halstead just :59 into the first period. Wisler, a relative unknown statewide, will no doubt be force to reckoned with come February. At 112, CP's #3 Anthony Hawkins garnered his second exciting overtime victory, defeating the pesky Paul Beck 7-6. The Cavemen's #16 Matt Guerra posted a minor upset by defeating #10 Josh Mannes 6-4. Guerra is not flashy but is extremely tough on his feet and he has improved his mat wrestling from a year ago. #3 Jason Tsirtsis was up next for the Bulldogs and he used a rock solid front headlock to secure 3 takedowns on Mishawaka's Nick Schrader through two periods. Schrader fought gamely to stay off his back but succumbed to hard half nelson and was pinned at 4:32. A relatively fresh Josh Harper of Mishawaka was slick on his takedown of #9 Dallas Schurg, threw legs and utilized a physical power half to turn and pin Schurg in 1:32. At 135, CP's #1 Eric Roach battled to a 5-2 victory. Next up was defending state champ Mishawaka's #1 Steve Sandefer. He put on a front headlock takedown clinic in a major decision victory over #14 Josh Flamme. Sandefer's victory secured the team title for the Cavemen. The Cavemen split the last two matches with Mishawaka's Alex White defeating #12 Nich Bruno 6-3 and Crown Point's Jeremy Pogorzelski receiving an injury default over # 16 Tim Forte making the final score 39-28.
It should be noted that the Traicoff Invite not only pits numerous first-class Indiana high school wrestlers in action but also was an opportunity to see a set of first-class referees work. Men like Chuck Barnett, Mike Faulkner, Dan McCartney, Jim Hoover, Barry Woodward, Bart Welch, Chris Conlisk, Tim Servies, Craig Bultemeier, and 21 Traicoff veteran Mike Golando work awfully hard multiple nights of the week and give up their weekends to provide outstanding officiating for our Indiana wrestlers. On a final note, a special thanks to Jim Wadkins and the staff of the Traicoff for running this event that provides us fans with such great entertainment. My only suggestion is to switch the high school to a power grid different then the one that Y2CJ41 uses. When he turns on his computer, it has been known to cause brown outs throughout the Midwest. (You had to be there to get that lame attempt at a joke)
Alex Tsirtsis Wrestler of the Week
Iowa's Alex Tsirtsis named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week
Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Alex Tsirtsis (Griffith, Ind./University of Iowa) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for Dec. 2-8.
Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level.
The third-ranked Tsirtsis posted a 4-2 win over second-ranked Nick Gallick to lead No. 1 Iowa to a 20-15 win over No. 2 Iowa State on Saturday night before 15,955 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. It was the largest dual meet crowd in NCAA history.
Tsirtsis' win at 141 pounds provided a huge boost as the Hawkeyes won 6 of 10 matches over the Cyclones. Tsirtsis scored a reversal with one second left in the match to pull out the win.
Tsirtsis, a senior, is in his fourth year as a Hawkeye starter. He placed seventh in the 2006 NCAA Championships. He redshirted during the 2007-08 season before jumping back into the Iowa lineup this season.
Pound for Pound Best Wrestlers 12/11/2008
IndianaMat.com Pound for Pound Rankings
1. Cashe Quiroga- Lawrence North
2. Brandon Wright- Cathedral
3. Josh Harper- Mishawaka
4. Sean McMurray- Portage
5. Eric Roach- Crown Point
6. Marcus Shrewsbury- Crown Point
7. Steven Sandefer- Mishawaka
7. Jason Tsirtsis- Crown Point
9. Camden Eppert- Anderson Highland
10. Frankie Porras- Hobart
Briar Runyan- Martinsville
Taylor March- East Noble
Michael Duckworth- Union County
Adam Chalfant- Winchester
Toe to Joe with Eric McGill
[caption id=" align="aligncenter" width="291" caption="Eric McGill wrestling against Pittsburgh's Headlee][/caption]
The first installment of Toe to Joe is an interview with Cornell wrestler and former two-time Indiana state champion Eric McGill.
1. Why did you choose to go to Cornell?
[caption id=" align="alignleft" width="143" caption="Cornell wrestlers running up a hill][/caption]
Choosing which college to attend was probably the hardest, and, in retrospect, best decision that I have made for myself at this point in my life. I chose Cornell University over Stanford, Princeton, Central Michigan, and Purdue because Cornell allowed me the opportunity to acquire an Ivy League education, while at the same time, wrestling for a top-5 Division 1 college program. It was simply something that I could not pass up. The contacts that I have already met, and will continue to meet at Cornell will hopefully put me on a path to success. Just within the network of former Cornell wrestlers, not even including the rest of the university, we have a former CEO of Goldman-Sachs, a former assistant of economic policy to the President of the United States, and a mission specialist for NASA's space shuttle Atlantis, just to name a few. Every year, Cornell wrestlers go to work on Wall Street and become successful very early in their adult lives.
2. Outside of wrestling, what are your other interests and hobbies?
Although schoolwork and wrestling take up a large amount of my time, I still like to have other outlets to take my mind off of these stresses. My Sundays are always devoted to NASCAR and the NFL and I am a huge fan of Tony Stewart and the Chicago Bears. I have been a Chicago Cubs fan since the day I was born and I rarely miss a Cubs game on either the radio or the TV throughout the course of the summer. Also in the summer, I like to fish as much as I can with my grandpa at his lake in Cedar Lake, Indiana. We fish for largemouth bass and bluegill, mostly. Although I have never gone ice fishing, some of the guys on the team have talked about going soon because the winters are so cold here in New York. I'm looking forward to it; hopefully it will be a good time! I am also a big fan of MMA and my favorite fighter is WEC Champ Miguel Torres. He has a high pace, attacking style and is such a well-rounded fighter that it makes him very fun to watch. Miguel grew up with one of my high school wrestling coaches, Bobby Joe Maldonado, in East Chicago, Indiana and we have worked with Miguel on his wrestling in the past.
3. What is the biggest difference between high school and collegiate wrestling?
The two biggest differences between high school and college wrestling are parity and mat wrestling. What I mean by parity is that every single time that you step on the mat, you know that you are going to be in a closely contested match. In high school, if you are at the top, elite level, you may have just 5 or 6 matches a year that are even close. The mental preparation that you must go through to get ready for these big matches is the same from high school to college, except that instead of having to prepare this way 5 or 6 times a season, it could be 5 or 6 times in a day at a college tournament. Another big difference is mat wrestling. For me, the transition on my feet from high school to college was not nearly as big as what I learned on the mat. My top wrestling has gotten infinitely better since high school, and I wish that I knew some of the things in high school that I have picked up from the top position at Cornell. My bottom wrestling is still my biggest weakness, although I am continuing to work to shore it up. I have found myself losing a few close matches recently because of my inability to consistently get off of the bottom. If you can't get away, not only are you not getting an escape, but he is also getting a riding time point. For this reason, if you can't get away on bottom, it's like starting every single match down 2-0. It's hard to win the close matches when you are giving away 2 points.
4. Do you think we should get rid of folkstyle and wrestle the international styles in high school and college? Why or why not?
Although I feel that USA Wrestling would probably see more success at the Olympic and World level if they were to get rid of folkstyle at the high school and college level, I, personally, am against it. As of right now, the successful international style is not very spectator-friendly. It is low-scoring and does not promote action. At the elite high school and college level, on the other hand, you will see a high-pace, attacking style, with lots of exciting scrambles. If nothing else, folkstyle is more fun to watch. The top high school and college level guys in the United States are still wrestling the international styles in folkstyle's "off-season" at tournaments such as Fargo, University Nationals, FILA Jr's., U.S. Nationals, etc., so our international guys are not coming into the game clueless just because they spent the majority of their wrestling careers wrestling folkstyle. Bubba Jenkins from Penn State showed everyone that it's possible to compete in college in today's day in age and still enjoy international success when he won the FILA Jr. World Championship. On the other hand, Henry Cejudo provided an argument for the other side, since he decided to forego college wrestling in order to improve his freestyle, and that seemed to work out pretty well for him, too.
5. What is your college major and why did you choose that area?
At this point, my major is Economics within Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences. I have also declared a minor in Law and Society within Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences. I feel that this course of study gives me the most versatile set of options upon the completion of my undergraduate degree. Friends of mine who have graduated from Cornell with Economics degrees have gotten jobs on Wall Street and become successful at very young ages. If an opportunity like that were to fall into my lap, it would be tough to pass by. However, with the economy in its current condition, and the uncertainty of Wall Street at the present time, I also have the options to go to Business school and work towards an MBA, go to Law School, or both.
6. What is the most memorable match you have wrestled in?
I have wrestled in so many matches that it would be hard to classify one as my "most memorable match." For this reason, I will just run through some that stick out in my mind for various reasons, from all the way back in youth wrestling, all the way up until my college career. For me, there is no better feeling than avenging a loss. When I think back on losses that I have avenged, a few stick out in particular. The first happened in 6th grade. Growing up wrestling in Illinois' IKWF youth program, I used to always wrestle a kid from the Harvey Twisters named Mario Morgan, who now wrestles in Division 2 at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The first time that we wrestled was when I was 8 years old and he tech-falled me 15-0. We would go on to wrestle each other almost every single year after that with him winning every single time, but the score getting closer and closer and closer. Finally, in 6th grade, I beat him and it was extremely gratifying to see that I had not only caught up to him, but passed him. He served as a sort of measuring stick for my progress from the time I was 8 years old until the 6th grade, and I had finally outgrown it! Another avenged loss that sticks out in my mind happened in 8th grade. At Liberty Nationals that year, I lost 6-0 in the 3rd and 4th place match to a kid from New Mexico named Matt Ortega, who went on to win Senior Nationals and now wrestles at IU. Just 3 weeks later at the Virginia Challenge, we wrestled again in the finals and I beat him 5-2. The first match of my sophomore year in high school sticks out as another gratifying victory. My freshman year I went 46-1 and advanced to the state championship match at 103 where I lost 4-2 to Jon Lloyd from Warren Central. The very first match of the following season at 119 we wrestled again in the first round of the Indianapolis Cathedral Super Six and I came out on top of that one by an identical score, 4-2. Other than those 3 matches, my first high school state title, a 3-2 win against Adam Walters from Portage at 125 in 2006, and the whole 7-match series with Brennan Cosgrove which culminated in my second high school state title sticks out as some other matches that were memorable in my career. Two that stick out as particularly memorable in that 7 match series were the very first two. In the first one, a dual meet at Hobart in which we were battling back and forth, exchanging takedowns and reversals and backpoints and I won 9-8 with a takedown in the final seconds. The second match in that series, the finals of the Lake County Tournament was also memorable. He threw me to my back in the first period and I was down by 5 right away. I slowly picked the lead off one point at a time and came back and won 10-9, also with a takedown in the final seconds. He won the third match, a 5-2 decision in the finals of the Lake Athletic Conference Tournament. He also won the fourth match, a 3-1 decision in the finals of the Hobart Invite. The fifth match, the Calumet Regional finals, was a memorable one, even though it went to him by a score of 9-7 In that one we put a lot of points on the board and it came right down to the wire. In the sixth, the Merrillville Semi-State finals, he was winning late in the 3rd period when he was disqualified for an illegal slam. The 7th and final match for the state championship also came right down to the wire and an escape with under 30 seconds to go gave me the 6-5 win. Those are what I would classify as my most memorable matches, however, the best atmosphere that I have wrestled in would undoubtedly be the hostile crowd in the dual meet at Penn State last year when I faced returning All-American Jake Strayer. The state championship match is a fun atmosphere, but nothing compares to thousands of fans who are out for your blood, and sitting literally inches from the edge of the mat. They actually pushed you back on when you went out of bounds.
7. Class wrestling, yay or nay?
Although I can see both sides of the argument, I am against class wrestling in the individual state tournament. At this point, with Indiana wrestling still growing and looking to gain national attention, I do not feel that there is enough depth to successfully split up the individual state tournament. At each weight class, the top 5 kids are head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, and until Indiana can qualify 16 kids for the state tournament (and maybe even leave some at home) that are capable of beating the state champion on any given day, I feel that class wrestling would have a watering-down effect on the individual state tournament. In the past couple of years, it has become a more nationally recognized accomplishment to win 2 or 3 state titles in Indiana with guys such as Matt Coughlin and Andrae Hernandez becoming All-Americans after winning only 2 Indiana state titles. If Indiana was to split up the individual state tournament, kids who are not on this elite level would be winning multiple state titles, and the image of Indiana wrestling in the national picture would suffer a setback. Although this is how I feel about class wrestling in the individual state tournament, I am open to the idea of class wrestling for the team state tournament. In the past years, with the exception of Evansville Mater Dei, who has an unrivaled feeder system, the team state tournament has been dominated by large schools, and I do not see any problem with splitting that tournament up into classes.
8. Who is the most influential person in your life? Why?
The most influential people in my life are my parents. They were the ones who set me up with the opportunities that have helped me get where am I today. They each played pivotal roles that you don't quite understand until you get older and are able to look back on it. My dad was at almost every single practice up until I got into high school and would drive me all over for the best coaches and workout partners. I'm sure he could have found more relaxing things to do after work. He was also a driving force behind my success in school and was always motivating me to do better. My mom never missed a match and did the "behind-the-scenes" work which often gets taken for granted. She was able to put up with me as I cut weight, taking my special diet into account every night as she prepared dinner, and always made sure all my clothes were washed and ready for the next day's workouts. Both of my parents put me and my success and interests before themselves and I am very grateful for this.
9. Do you have any superstitions or routines when it comes to wrestling?
Those who know me know that I am extremely superstitious when it comes to wrestling. There are so many I can think of, that I will just name a few. First, I eat and drink the exact same thing in the exact same order after each and every time that I weigh-in for a competition. My morning warm-up always consists of the exact same number of reps and exact same techniques every single week. I also wear the exact same items of clothing at every single competition. I have my singlet on, and on top of that I have a t-shirt and shorts, followed by a long sleeve t-shirt, followed by a sweatshirt and warm-up pants. Three matches before I am going to wrestle, I take off the sweatshirt and warm-up pants. Two matches before I am going to wrestle I take off the shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, and when there is 30 seconds left in the third period of the match before I am about to wrestle, I take off the t-shirt. This is just something that I have been doing for a long time, and works well as a routine for me, although many people find it quirky.
10. The weight class 103â€¦ keep it or get rid of it?
Being a former 103 pounder, I am all for keeping 103. Here in New York, they even have a 96 lb. weight class. There are just too many talented kids at 103 to get rid of it. I was just looking back at my 103 lb. weight class at state and noticed that there were 4 kids in there that went on to be high school state champions. That's 1 out of every 4 kids that made it that year! I am also against moving 103 up to a higher weight like 108. Every year there are upperclassmen at 103 that are less skilled than some freshman at the same weight class but win because of a size, strength, and maturity advantage. If 103 got moved up to 108, this problem would be even larger since more upperclassmen could make 108 than can make 103.
Just as a fair warning to future people that want to go Toe to Joe, this is what Eric looked like afterward.
[caption id=" align="aligncenter" width="666" caption="This is Eric Mcgill after going Toe to Joe][/caption]
Dingo's Den #1
This week in Hoosier collegiate wrestling, Article 1
Hey everyone. It's your faithful narrator Dingo here. This past week, there were some interesting developments in the world of D1 wrestling concerning some of our former Indiana high school wrestlers.
The most notable, obviously, involves Alexander Tsirtsis, or T-shirts as some of our lazier friends on the national sites call him. Coming off a redshirt year, a heated competition for the 141 spot with 4-time Iowa high school state champ Dan LeClere and a 'bunged up' shoulder (thanks, Kentucky Mudflap), Alex has firmly established himself as a strong candidate for the current number one ranked wrestler in the nation at 141 pounds. Alex followed up wins earlier in the season over #11 Chris Drouin of ASU, #17 Alex Krom of Maryland and #19 (Intermat) Eric Kruger of Central Michigan with a stirring, last second (literally) win over then-top ranked Nick Gallick of Iowa State. Alex reversed Gallick with 1 second left in the match. Cael and company protested vigorously, but the replay seemed to confirm that the correct call was made. Alex has grown some pretty girthy locks this year and, so far, he has responded like Samson. The current themat.com Wrestler of the Week, the Griffith HS product looks physically stronger than ever, and he actually chose the down position in the third period of his match with Gallick, showing that he has improved on a long-standing weakness and is unafraid of working from the bottom, even in crunch time. It's a long, long season, but Alex has started his senior campaign undefeated and looking like a strong contender for a national title.
Another wrestler from Indiana having an outstanding start to his season is Kurt Kinser, formerly of Bloomington South HS. Competing so far this season at 157, a position he earned by knocking off former All-American and Evansville Mater Dei wrestler Matt Coughlin, Kurt finished 7th at this past week's Cliff Keen Las Vegas Open. Kinser won his first two matches, including a nice win over Penn's Matt Dragon. However, last year's national champion at 157, Jordan Leen of Cornell, was his next opponent. Kurt kept it respectable versus the senior, but ultimately fell to Leen in their quarterfinals match 6-1. Kinser won his first match in the consolation bracket, then fell to 5th seeded Chase Pami of Cal Poly. Kurt finished his day by beating 6th seeded senior Jason Johnstone of Ohio State. A very tough draw kept Kurt from finishing higher, and he absorbed his first losses of the season. Earlier this season, Kurt pinned national #1 recruit Jason Welch of Northwestern and defeated #9 Matt Moley of American. Moley was also an All-American last year. Kurt has shown that he can hang with the big dogs at this bigger weight class.
Andrew Howe had a pretty successful outing for a true freshman competing in a stacked tourney, finishing 5th above some notable wrestlers. The Juggernaut won his first two matches, including a nail-biter over highly regarded 8th seed Mike Galante of Lehigh. Like Kinser, Howe had a very tough draw in the quarters; top-seed and returning AA Mack Lewnes of Cornell. Like Kinser, Howe kept it respectable, dropping a 6-2 decision. Andrew won his first consolation match, then received a forfeit, then dropped a surprisingly lop-sided match to returning AA Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska.
Obviously, space and time constraints prevent me from detailing other significant results by former Indiana high school wrestlers, but fear not, for I'll have another piping hot serving of recap coming down the pike next week.
In closing, the following former Indiana high school wrestlers are ranked:
125 #2 Angel Escobedo IU (#2 really????)
133 #9 Reece Humphrey OSU
141 #1 Alex Tsirtsis Iowa
157 #14 Kurt Kinser IU (behind Matt Dragon and Matt Moley????)
165 #9 Andrew Howe Wisc
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #10 Humphrey
141 #4 Tsirtsis
141 #13 Andrae Hernandez IU
157 #17 Matt Coughlin IU
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #7 Humphrey
141 #3 Tsirtsis
141 #7 Hernandez
157 #9 Kinser
125 #1 Escobedo
133 #9 Humphrey
141 #2 Tsirtsis
157 #16 Kinser