Evansville Semi-State Preview
Welcome to TripleBâ€™s annual Evansville Semi-State Wrestling Preview Spectacular!!
Before we get into the good stuff, letâ€™s cover whatâ€™s important:
Ford Arena info, provided by Markio:
Parking and general information about the arena can be found at www.thefordcenter.com
Wrestlers can enter the arena at 7:30am for weigh ins. Wrestlers and coaches will enter at the interior ticket office lobby (to the far right of the main lobby doors) to check in and head back. You will pick up your credentials here.
The only coolers allowed are for wrestlers and must enter at the check in table through the interior ticket lobby. NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK for anyone else is allowed inside unfortunately. Not my rules, just standard building policy.
Public doors open at 8:00am CST. Enter on Main Street through the main lobby. We will look to create a separate door/entrance for those that already have tickets.
There is NO onsite parking. Please do not have any team vehicles attempt to park in the loading dock or attached outer lot. These are reserved spots.
There is no public Wi-Fi.
Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Premium loge seats are available for purchase now and on event day. They are $40 pre-event and $30 if you show up and want them day of. They include a $15 concessions voucher.There is an ATM in the lobby if you need to get some cash out.
Please do not jump over the dasher walls to access the floor. They try to control access to the floor, so you need to enter from the lower level hallway under section 103. You wouldn't jump the wall at Banker's Life would you? lol
The hospitality room for officials, etc. will be in the Corner Club. Enter from the main lobby and hang a right at lower level hallway.
If you are going to set up a camera please do not have the cord running across the aisle. You will be made to unplug any cords running across an aisle.
We will have full concessions available throughout the day. Coffee and hot chocolate are also available all day as well. (get the bbq pork nachos, huge and awesome)
There is no smoking on or in the Ford Center property, this includes e-cigarettes.
Brackets will be updated throughout the day and posted on several of the 170 or so TVs located all over the arena. The brackets end up kind of small, but hey, they are everywhere and pretty cool.
Lastly,if you are a wrestler that loses please don't kick,throw,or punch Ford Center property. We had a kid break off a door handle last year.Sent the bill to the school.
Weâ€™ll preview all 14 weights. Each weight will feature:
The Charles Barkley â€œTurribleâ€ Draws - ticket round matches that shouldnâ€™t be happening in the ticket round!
The Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Best first round matches!
The Built Ford Tough Locks - Traditionally this is the most stingiest honor to earn. This year though we will name 7, yes half the weight classes, BFTLâ€™s!
Ford Fab 4 - After picks were gathered, points distributed, and the dust settled, weâ€™ll have the Ford Fab 4.
And new this year:
The Cam Newton Dabs: Wrestlers who got points, but not enough to make the Fab 4, weâ€™ll give them some Dab!
Hooks Picks and All Semi-State Name Team - Hook and Half brings you a travel guide for things to do and places to eat in Evansville, along with his all name team!
Without further ado...UNLEASH THE PREVIEW!!
The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware Indians in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then the governor of the Indiana Territory. On Saturday should anyone surrender a late takedown, escape or back points, they will find themselves relinquishing a spot on the podium. Faltering in the first couple of rounds will likely mean a one-way ticket to palookaville - Hook and Half
106: Last year I dubbed 106 the future stars, this year why not go with #StudShow. 4 of the top 10 ranked wrestlers in the state, including the #1 and #2 ranked guys. Wow, the south got some love in the state rankings!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - No first round matches really jump off the page. Iâ€™ll single in on Hunter Rice of Evansville Memorial and Victor Antunez of Jennings County. Both guys have double digit losses and this scrappy match should be fun to watch.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #1 vs. # 8 in the stateâ€¦.in THE TICKET ROUND!! Cayden Rooks, one part of the 4 horsemen of the Olympians takes on Asa Garcia of Avon. Garcia got no love from the pickers, can he #GrindItOut and #ProveUsWrong?
The Dab - Paul Pinkham, Bloomington South. Frosh Senstation Devon Casebolt got the nod to get through. But Pinkham will be looking to get revenge from an early season loss!
Ford Fab 4 - The Pickers didnâ€™t like the #1 ranked Rooks (well this picker did), Returning State-Runner Up Ty Mills gets the nod.
#1 Ty Mills, Brownsburg #2 Cayden Rooks, Columbus East #3 Clay Egli, Evansville Mater Dei #4 Devon Casebolt, Castle
113: All 8 Semi State wrestlers here, including a whopping 6 state ranked kids makes 113 a great weight class on Saturday. Last year Nick Weaver was left as a bridesmaid in a rough ticket round draw with Paul (The Magician) Konrath. This year he hopes to join his running mate Ty Mills, and few more Bulldogs, at the top of podium.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - I got nothing, again. All 8 guys all in different first round matches, it will run status quo.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw -While no repeats of last year, the ticket round should be good. Semi-State 2 vs 7, 1 vs 5, 8 vs 3, and 4 vs 6 will make it a great round.
The Dab - At one point Columbus East Frosh Jake Schoenegge seemed like a lock to join his Olympian teammates. Then nemesis Dalton Craig rolled into town. Now the Schonegge will have to get through a ticket round match w/ Weaver to get to the Bank. Speaking of Craig, Horty and Craig was almost too close to call. Horty got the nod, but donâ€™t be surprised to see Craig, a ticket round shocker a year ago, punch that ticket. Bloomington South Junior Luke Stull got some love also, but a ticket round match date w/ Marscapone could be too much for the Panther junior.
Ford Fab 4 - Look for Weaver to get a stiff match from Indian Creek Freshman Alex Mosconi, but experience will drive Weaver to the tile.
#1 Nick Weaver Brownsburg, #2 Alex Mosconi, Indian Creek #3 Baxter Annakin, Castle #4 Seth Horty, Evansville Memorial
120: Graham Rooks is pretty good, currently ranked 3rd in the state, took 3rd a year ago, returning Semi State champ, and not the favorite the win Saturday, waitâ€¦.WHAT??!?!?! Kyle Luigs looks to bring the Wildcats their first of a few SS champs here.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Finally something we can sink our teeth into. Grab your coffee, grab me a coffee, head to section 113 and letâ€™s go! Zak Siddiqui has been in and out of the rankings all year, Castle super frosh Neal Bealmear has been another solid young super Knight for Bob Harmon. This match should deliver! Levi Miller is a returning state qualifier, heâ€™s had a rough adjustment at 120 and heâ€™ll have tough Martinsville junior Keaton Fisher. Congrats to the winner, they get Graham Rooks! I love guys with double digit losses hooking horns, usually they let it all go, so watch for Edgewoodâ€™s Daniel Bradburn and Columbus Northâ€™s Isaac Peetz.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - While not Turrible draws, nobody likes to see 2 SQâ€™s going at it in ticket round and more than likely weâ€™ll see Miller vs. Rooks. Also Austin Cook of Northview was a ticket rounder a year ago dropping a match to Will (another magician) Egli. This year he gets Luigs in ticket round. Bealmear and Hunt should be another fun Ticket round match.
The Dab - Nada, zero, zip, zilch. The pickers were unanimous in the Fab 4
Ford Fab 4: I couldnâ€™t calm the pickers, they demanded Luigi Luigs. It was tight, but he gets the nod.
#1 Kyle Luigs, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Graham Rooks, Columbus East #3 Blake Mulkey, Brownsburg #4 Noah Hunt, Bloomington South
126: Brock Hudkins becomes the first Built Ford Tough Lock. Heâ€™s a returning state champ and he headlines the deepest field in the Semi-State. 8, yes 8 state ranked wrestlers will go at it here. All 8 Semi-State ranked wrestlers are here and they arenâ€™t the same as the 8 state ranked. Take out Hud the Stud and this weight will be fireworks!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - 4 first round matches that should be good, yes 4! Kicking things off are two state ranked wrestlers and a potential #4 over #1, #10 James Pritchett and #19 Dawson Combest. The pickers say the winner goes to the Bank. Next up Tony Mosconi and Nick South, Mosconi was upset by Panther Dalton Craig a year ago. This year he has Panther frosh Nick South. Does he get revenge to set up a match w/ Logan Dilbeck? Another potential #4 over #1 Mater Dei Junior Joe Happe has 11 losses, but a win over Regional champ and first round opponent Bloomington South Super Freshman Derek Blubaugh. Blubaugh has had a phenomenal second half of the season, does the Panther get revenge? The winner doesnâ€™t get much time to celebrate as they have a date in the ticket round w/ the winner of the 2 state qualifiers, #17 Noah Franklin and #6 Isaac Gomez. Holy smokes what a bracket!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - First round matches Combest/Pritchett and Franklin/Gomez make Sir Charles head sweat, come on man, turrible, turrible, turrible.
The Dab - Joe Happe and James Pritchett are both #4â€™s looking to pull upsets, some say they will be on the podium come Saturday!
Built Ford Tough Lock - The first of 7, returning state champ Brock Hudkins
Ford Fab 4: While Hud is head and shoulders above this group, not physically, but yeah you get it, Dilbeck and Gomez caused an uproar, Dilbeck barely gets the nod here.
#1 Brock Hudkins, Danville #2 Logan Dilbeck, Gibson Southern #3 Isaac Gomez, Plainfield #4 Dawson Combest, Columbus East
132: Lots of intriguing stories here. The Return of Nick Lee at Team-State sent shock waves through the state, then he disappeared off into the Western sunset, many assumed going the way of Egli and Konrath...Chatter then started again, heâ€™s shooting for Red, heâ€™s coming back for Red, the day of sectional seeding meetings many sat w/ nervous anticipation. Was it happening? Nothing like this has happened in Indiana. Angel and Hump was on a collision course but ended up at different weights. Dolly/Maurer had tons of hype and lived up to it, but Red and Lee, 2 Big Ten signees going at it! Also Elliott Molloy becomes the second returning semi state champ to not be a favorite. Then the bottom half of the bracket is bananas with 5 of the 8 guys receiving votes. Finally Iâ€™ll say donâ€™t sleep on Molloy/Lee, it has potential to be good.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Castleâ€™s SS #6 ranked Braedon Clopton and SS #5 ranked Avonâ€™s Nathan Conley, both received votes to be on the podium. Conley was slightly favored here and actually is deadlocked w/ #4 Floyd Centralâ€™s Tristan Sellmer, this quarter bracket should be a blast. #17 Josh Elpers is the favorite in his quarter bracket, but a tough first round match w/ upset minded Bulldog Connor Allen will be a good match.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - The only real travesty is Molloy and Lee being on the same side of the bracket. This weight will be decided before face offs.
The Dab - The quarter bracket w/ #4, #5, #6 ranked wrestlers will deliver, so letâ€™s throw some dab at Clopton and Conley, either of those guys can be on the podium. Also some dab thrown to Connor Allen, some people (hint heâ€™s short) thinks Allan can punch that ticket!
Built Ford Tough Lock - Returning state champ Nick Lee, he looks to dominate a competitive field.
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Nick Lee, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Tristan Sellmer Floyd Central #3 Elliott Molloy, Danville #4 Josh Elpers Evansville North
138: Last year people were shocked when Nick Lee wasnâ€™t a BFTL, some thought Brayton Lee could pull the upset. He was in fact upset in the ticket round. Well fast forward, Brayton Lee has been dominate enough to be a BFTL, but indeed some people think state ranked and returning state medalists Blake Jourdan can rain on Leeâ€™s parade in the ticket round again. This will be match of the day. On the opposite side of the bracket Castle senior Austin Ramsey will look to slide into the finalist position and await the winner of Jourdan/Lee.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #17 (#7 in SS) ranked Blake Webb vs #5 in SS Trevor Reese, the pickers actually like unranked Reese to beat 2 state ranked grapplers and punch his ticket, but this is another quarter bracket where 3 kids got votes, wide open! Also Tristin Dowell vs. Blake Jourdan. Dowell just returned in time for state tourney is still knocking the rust off, he was a ticket rounder a year ago and dropped a close ticket round match. He can beat Jourdan is Jourdan is looking to Brayton Lee. Donâ€™t be surprised to see Dowell spoil that match.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - 2 top 5 state ranked kids in the ticket round, really? reeeeeallly?? Turrible! Turrible! Turrible! This makes Sir Charles eat Rolaids like candy, not good at all!!!!
The Dab - Jennings County Frosh Brooks Wathen got some love, but not enough to get a Ford Fab 4 pick. Blake Jourdan also got some love, but not enough grab a golden ticket either.
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Brayton Lee, Brownsburg #2 Austin Ramsey, Castle #3 Cale McCoy, Northview #4 Trevor Reese, Franklin
145: Joe Lee rounds out a group of stellar wrestlers. They almost sound like a law office: Hudkins, Lee, Lee, and Lee! If they are a law firm then Austin Bethel is that pain in backside defense attorney. Little Lee has shown a propensity to give up falls in big matches, Bethel got a huge win over a Lee a year ago and collected another huge win over a Lee at sectionals. Can Bethel slam this case shut?? The jury has spokenâ€¦..and no Joe Lee joins his brother in the Built Ford Tough Lock group. The pickers like the Castle 4 to roll here.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Stephen Gibson vs Nicholas Burke has #4 over a #1 written all over it, other than that not a lot going on in the first round.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Center Groveâ€™s Logan Coyle is ranked #12 in the state and #4 in the Semi-State, but the depth of Castle could be too much. Austin Bethel is #10 in state and #2 in SS. This match features 2 state caliber juniors w/ one going home early. #19 ranked Tyler Crowl seemed poised to break through this year, but has #9 ranked Chase Wilson from Princeton in the ticket round, another state ranked stud going home early.
Tbe Dab - No love here if you arenâ€™t from the deep South!
Ford Tough Lock - Joe Lee, Evansville Mater Dei
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Joe Lee, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Austin Bethel, Mt. Vernon #3 Chase Wilson, Princeton #4 Nicholas Burke
152: Another weight, another returning SS champ not favored. Indian Creekâ€™s Elijah Dunn stormed on the scene last year. He had an exciting match with Isaiah Kemper at Semi State and battled to 4th place finish at State. Andrew Herrin shocked the field and grabbed a Semi State title for the Panthers of Jennings County. This year these two grapplers appear to be on a collision course in the Semi finals. Can the 5th ranked Dunn get it done or will the 7th ranked Herrin grab his second semi-state crown? Mater Deiâ€™s Mitch Lehman will look to spoil both their parties and grab a SS championship.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Regional champ Denver Aydelott will get some Dab but heâ€™ll have to put away Mount Vernonâ€™s Micah Keller first. SS ranked Connor Dean will find himself in a battle with Max Hauser of Floyd Central.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - The Round Mound of Takedowns seems happy with 152, no real complaints
The Dab - Unranked Regional Champ Denver Aydelott would like to cap his senior season with a trip to the Bank, but the pickers favor Avon junior Jacob Clark.
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Elijah Dunn, Indian Creek #2 Mitch Lehman, Evansville Mater Dei, #3 Andrew Herrin, Jennings County #4 Jacob Clark, Avon
160: This weight class was almost a lock from #1 - #4, Cayden Whitaker seems to be the favorite w/ nemesis Burk Van Horn closely following. Castle junior Jacob Farmer also was unanimous, and Colton Oâ€™Neal was almost the unanimous choice for fourth but Arkee Glover from Brownsburg got some Dab to prevent that. I say donâ€™t forget about Southridge senior Mitchell Mundy. He was hurt all year and came back just for the state tourney. Heâ€™s undefeated, can an undefeated senior be a sleeper? We shall see!!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Weâ€™ll start at the top, Mundy vs. Glover could be a battle. 2 hungry seniors going at it! Next is Jeff Red Devil Donovan Smith, a surprise ticket rounder from a year ago and the quarter bracket favorite Colton Oâ€™Neal from Pike Central. Can Smith surprise again? Next up is the marquee matchup of the first round 160lb bracket returning state qualifier Gleason Mappes and Conor Hay of Bloomington South. This one could also be a doozy!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - 14th ranked Cole Chandler of Jennings County has had a great year, but he draws 7th ranked Burk Van Horn in the ticket round. Both guys are ranked top 4 in the Semi-State but only one can advance. Turrible draw for the Panther!
The Dab - Arkee Glover of Brownsburg another cog in the wheel of the state champ Bulldogs might be the surprise of the bracket!
Built Ford Tough Lock - Cayden Whitaker, Martinsville
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Cayden Whitaker, Martinsville #2 Burk Van Horn, Franklin #3 Jacob Farmer, Castle #4 Colton Oâ€™Neal, Pike Central
170: Another Ford Tough Lock at 170 as Brownsburgâ€™s Nathan Walton is a clear cut favorite here. Ticket round excitement here as 3 of the 4 matches have been highlighted as matches to watch. With 6 state ranked wrestlers and all 8 semi-state ranked wrestlers accounted for the battle for second could be intense!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #17 (#6 SS) ranked Evan Dowell from Castle will have his hands full right off the bat as he battles #7 SS ranked Jake Moore of Franklin. The other highlight curtain jerker is #16 ranked Jaylon Owens of Pike Central vs #5 SS ranked Ethan Runyan from Martinsville. The Artesian looks for another 4 over 1 upset here.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - While there are no Turrible draws, there will be some exciting ticket round matches: Jacob Hendrich vs. #10 Jonah Hays, #12 Kameron Fuller vs. #17 Evan Dowell, and the winner of Runyan/Owens vs. #9 Thomas Dull of Terre Haute North
The Dab - Jonah Hays, Evan Dowell, and Ethan Runyan all got some love but not enough to get on the podium
Built Ford Tough Lock - Nathan Walton, Brownsburg
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Nathan Walton, Brownsburg #2 Kameron Fuller, Jeffersonville #3 Thomas Dull Terre Haute North, #4 Jacob Hendrich Northview
182: Brownsburg Senior CJ Damler looks to put a cap on the Bulldogs semi-state championship bid here. Heâ€™s another Built Ford Tough Lock and like other weights, after the Lock the weight class will be fun to watch. 4 state ranked and 7 semi-state ranked wrestlers will go to battle here for spots at the Bank. Bristen Dial of Brown County vs. Ike Murrell of Terre Haute North and #13 Hunter Dalton vs. # 11 Jaden Sonner should provide ticket round fun.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #7 ss ranked Carson Mohler and #8 ss ranked Marcus Duregger will battle it out to see who gets Damler in the ticket round.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #2 SS Jaden Sonner vs. #3 SS Hunter Dalton will be a ticket round match of two state ranked wrestlers battling for the golden ticket. Bristen Dialâ€™s win over Sonner last week at regionals set this party up.
The Dab - Jaden Sonner of New Albany and Ike Murrell of Terre Haute North both look to spoil some brackets and extend their seasons by one more week.
Built Ford Tough Lock - CJ Damler, Brownsburg
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 CJ Damler, Brownsburg #2 Jeremy McKinley Tecumseh #3 Hunter Dalton, Bloomington North #4 Bristen Dial, Brown County
195: Kurtis Wilderman of Evansville Mater Dei has had a tremendous year, heâ€™s undefeated in the state. Some are saying state title for the Wildcat. But the pickers say hold up, heâ€™s not a lock in weight class featuring 5 state ranked wrestlers and all 8 semi state ranked guys.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Nothing here makes Barry pat himselfâ€¦.wait...a 14 loss Bam Bam Newbolt might knock off heavily favored Ty Robinson of Edgewood and throw that quarter bracket into wildness!! Yes some pickers said so!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Jennings County Senior Christian Redmond rode the overtime train to victories last year over Isaac McCormick and Mater Deiâ€™s Chase Anslinger all the way to the podium at Bankers Life. This year him and McCormick will hook up in the ticket round, both are state ranked. Turrible says Sir Charles, Turrible.
The Dab - The aforementioned Redmond pulled more votes than other state qualifiers but not enough to make the Fab 4. Jeffâ€™s Darion Newbolt also got some love, but not enough.
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Kurtis Wilderman, Evansville Mater Dei #2 Isaac McCormick, Brownsburg #3 Garrison Lee, Monrovia #4 Ty Robinson Edgewood
220: Usually the big guys get no love. But with 11 state ranked and 15 semi state ranked big dudes in the last 2 weights we hope everybody sticks around for some big guy love! Avonâ€™s Gunnar Larson is the last of the Ford Tough Locks. The defending semi-state champ looks to repeat but will have a stiff challenge from Martinsvilleâ€™s Clayton Scroggs.
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Dakota Short vs. Dristin McCubbins features 2 seniors with stellar records. This whole quarter bracket will be amazing - #18 (#7ss) Chase Dixon will hook horns with #6 ss ranked Cory Heinrichs of Center Grove. #15 (#4ss) Tristin Choate goes to battle with #8 ss ranked Nathan Long.
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Dristin McCubbins is ranked #6 in the state, but the pickers went with Michael Boots of Evansville Mater Dei. Were we suffering from pickers fatigue? #18 Chase Dixon vs. #15 Tristin Choate is another match where the pickers went with the underdog. Choate is a returning State Qualifier, evidently we had too much moonshine by 220.
The Dab - As mentioned above McCubbins and Choate are both favorites on paper, but didnâ€™t get enough votes to get to the Fab 4.
Built Ford Tough Lock - Gunnar Larson, Avon
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Gunnar Larson, Avon #2 Clayton Scroggs, Martinsville #3 Chase Dixon, Bloomington South #4 Michael Boots, Evansville Mater Dei
285: Donâ€™t head to Stollâ€™s Country Inn just yet (but do go afterwards, awesome food!), the big guys are bringing the bang! 7 ranked studs (6 in the top 10) and all 8 ranked semi-state grapplers will be duking it out. This one caused the pickers the most headaches!
Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - #7 (#6ss) Brett Henson and #7 ss ranked Austin Fleck will look to do battle. This is a rematch as Fleck upended Henson 3-2 in their first meeting. This match kicks off this exciting weight class!
Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - #3 state ranked Wade Ripple and #5 state ranked Sean Galligar will go at it for a spot in the Fab 4. Also state ranked #4 Quinn York and state ranked #8 Brendan Sutton will do battle. They wrestled for a 3rd place last year, this year they will wrestle for a spot in the Fab 4!
The Dab - While this weight class is loaded, the pickers were almost unanimous in the Fab 4 (not so much in the order though), the only heavy getting dab is EMDâ€™s Austin Fleck. The unranked Wildcat will look to push through a heavily ranked field.
Ford Fab 4 -
#1 Quinn York, Franklin #2 Sean Galligar, Columbus East #3 Corey Klem, Gibson Southern, #4 Brett Henson, Avon
Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t mention Hookâ€™s picks and Hookâ€™s all semi-state name team:
All Name Team:
Baxter "Embrace the Dark Side" Annakin
Hunter "Tote That" Baehl
Dylan "Raising" Cain
Carson "Black &" Deckard
Conor "Washer &" Dwyer
Asa "La Machina" Garcia
Grant Goforth "& Prosper"
Max "Brick" Hauser
Cody "Nikon" Kammerer
Tony "Willie" Mosconi
Mitchell "Saturday Sunday" Mundy
Ike "The Mushroom" Murrell
Jeb "Hanky" Pankow
Camden "Wild Irish" Rose
Burk "Gabriel's" Van Horn
Weâ€™ll end this article with Hookâ€™s Picks:
-Do not come early, or stay late, to view the Evansville Icemen, the soon-to-be-departed minor league hockey team. The Icemen had tremendous local support before owner Ron Geary produced three seasons of losing, bad hockey. The coffers have dried up and he is moving them to Owensboro. Boo!
-Dinner- Turoni's has two Evansville locations and a microbrewery. Their pizza is special. DiLegge's is a locally-owned Italian restaurant whose food is out of this world. Visit theHilltop Inn, recently voted theManliest Bar in America. The adventurous should order a brain sandwich. Non-adventurers will be safe and happy with a bowl of Burgoo (trust me). Mrs. Hook loves their chicken livers. I am a Stromboli fiend, accordingly, I have eaten them everywhere. Nobody beats Pizza King for Stroms. Nobody. The Gerst Haus serves authentic German cuisine and has over 30 varieties of beer on tap. Get ready for a carbohydrate and protein load up!
Â· Franklin Street has a vibrant night life featuring restaurants, bars, taverns and a night club. Park your car, as the city offers shuttle service for the Mardi Gras pub crawl taking place this weekend.
Â· Get your ticket early. There is only one door to enter the Ford Center and it is going to be cold and windy on Saturday morning.
Â· Bring money. The Ford Center is one of Indiana's premier venues; it comes at a price. They get NBA-style prices for the concessions. Methinks that the good people of Castle should take over food duties...
Â· Bring a hoodie. An ice rink is beneath the mats. The place is fa-rosty.
Â· 70 years ago, 130,000 Americans hit Normandy's beaches, liberated Europe and altered the course of western civilization. Many of our boys caught a ride to the shoreline on the LST, built right here in Evans-Vegas. The LST 325 is downtown and available for tours. You will not regret it.
Â· John Reitz was a 19th-century lumber baron along the magnitude of a Bill Gates or Donald Trump. His son is the namesake of FJ Reitz High School and Reitz Memorial High School. The Reitz home is open for tours. The Mrs. and the kids will enjoy this.
Â· The Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE) is within walking distance of the Ford Center and is a grand slam. When my three children--Hooksly, Hookticia and PowerHalf--were tikes, it was one of their favorite things to do.
Thanks everybody! Travel safe and weâ€™ll see you Saturday at The Ford!!!
Dustin Bentz â€œTripleBâ€