2015 Mr. Gorilla: Karlâ€™s Kontenders
Year one of IndianaMatâ€™s Mr. Gorilla award honoring the stateâ€™s top senior wrestler brings no shortage of contenders. We have seen many great matches during the regular season and are sure to see many more as the state tournament series continues. This article is not meant to exclude any potential winner of the award, it is only meant to highlight a few of the grapplers who have distinguished themselves at this point of the season. IndianaMat has assembled a blue ribbon group of voters from throughout the state and even have included national high school wrestling experts that will vote for the winner after the state finals on Feb.21st. Voters include a mixture of coaches, administrators, and members of the media.
Garrett Pepple â€“ East Noble â€“ 113
- 2014 Super 32 4th at 113lbs
- 2014 USAW Junior Freestyle 8th at 113lbs
- 2014 IHSAA - 2nd at 113lbs
- 2014 USAW Folkstyle All-American 3rd at 113lbs
- 2013 IHSAA - 2nd at 106lbs
Career Record 126-7
Pepple has both the high school and off season bones to be a serious contender for the top senior. He also recently signed a letter of intent to continue wrestling for the Indiana Hoosiers. The only minor knock might be a less then top-flight regular season schedule and the fact that Pepple has only been in the line-up for three years.
Brandon James â€“ Perry Meridian â€“ 138
- 2014 IHSAA 2nd at 132lbs
- 2014 Flo All-American 3rd at 120lbs
- 2013 Junior Freestyle 6th at 126lbs
- 2013 IHSAA 5th at 126lbs
- 2012 IHSAA 3rd at 113lbs
- 2012 Cadet Freestyle 6th at 120lbs
- 2011 Cadet Freestyle 8th at 112lbs
Career Record â€“ 159-7
King James was probably considered by many to be a pre-season favorite for this award and his senior season to date has done nothing to diminish that standing. A three time state medalist, James is only missing the medal with the blue ribbon to complete his in state list of accolades. He has already posted a convincing win over Tommy Cash this season, has a scholarship to wrestle at Old Dominion, and many national placings to his credit.
Tommy Cash â€“ Lawrence North â€“ 138
- 2014 IHSAA State Champion at 138lbs
- 2014 Flo All-American 5th at 132lbs
- 2012 IHSAA 5th at 106lbs
Career Record â€“ 160-5
The first of two Tommys, Cash is another strong contender for Mr. Gorilla. He has a state title on his resume as well as fifth place finish in his freshman season. A sophomore season cut short due to injury and a loss to James earlier this season are to minor blemishes that could easily be wiped out if he were to take this yearâ€™s title and defeat James in the process. Donâ€™t count out the IU bound Cash.
Tommy Forte â€“ Mishawaka â€“ 152
- 2014 IHSAA 2nd at 145lbs
- 2014 Super 32 5th at 145lbs
- 2014 USAW All-American 7th at 152lbs
- 2013 IHSAA State Champion at 138lbs
- 2012 IHSAA 3rd at 132lbs
Career Record â€“ 149-5
Three trips to the state semifinals along with a perfect season and state title in 2013 put Tommy Two in strong contention for being considered the top wrestler in the state. Forte has committed to follow former coach Bryce Hasseman and will wrestle for the University of Buffalo. Battling injuries and the lack of a bone fide rival this season might be the only stumbling blocks for this talented senior.
The Fab Five â€“ Various Schools â€“ 170
Dylan Lydy â€“ Ben Davis â€“ Lydy has the shortest resume of the Fab Five but is currently ranked #1 based on his wins over both Jackson and Stevenson and an undefeated record. Lydy had a win over eventual state champ Stevenson last year before he was DQâ€™d from the state tournament.
Ben Harvey â€“ Cathedral â€“ Harvey is currently ranked 2nd in the state. He holds two state medals and has qualified for state all three years. Harvey will be looking to join big brother as a state champion. He has split two meetings with Stevenson so far this year.
Joey Mammolenti â€“ Penn â€“ Coming in at #3 is Pennâ€™s senior Joey Mammolenti. In his first two years in the Kingsman lineup, Mammolenti has qualified for state. Unfortunately, he has failed to medal the past two years. Dominating wins over highly regared Scottie Sopko and Cameron Jones have lifted Mammolenti into the conversation for the stateâ€™s top honor
Dillon Jackson â€“ Yorktown â€“ Another sibling stud is Yorktownâ€™s Dillon Jackson. He burst onto the state stage last year with an impressive 3rd place performance. Jackson has lost to both Lydy and Harvey but boasts a win over last yearâ€™s titlist Jacob Steveson.
Jacob Stevenson â€“ Franklin â€“ Last but not least is 2014 state champion Jacob Stevenson. The mere fact that a returning state champion is ranked fifth in the state at the same weight class is testament to tremendous strength and depth in this class. Stevenson has a win over Harvey but has suffered losses to Lydy, Jackson and Harvey. Whomever navigates this tough weight class deserves strong consideration for being named Mr. Gorilla.
Chase Osborn â€“ Penn â€“ 182
- 2014 IHSAA 2nd at 170lbs
- 2012 IHSAA State Qualifier at 132lbs
Career Record â€“ 118-25
Osborn burst onto the scene in his freshman year when he was a surprise state qualifier for the Kingmen. His sophomore season ended at regional as he was going through a growth spurt but Osborn reemerged in a big way his junior year by making a run to the title match at 170. His senior year has been dominating and has only been tested once in the Al Smith finals by Chestertonâ€™s Andrew Davison.
Norman Oglesby â€“ Ben Davis â€“ 285
- 2014 2nd at 285lbs
- 2013 State Qualifier at 285lbs
Career Record â€“ 135-15
Storminâ€™ Norman turned heads his sophomore year when he emerged as a semistate champion for the Giants. Last year, he repeated as the Evansville champ and won his first three matches at Bankerâ€™s Life. A runner-up finish to Cathedralâ€™s Wes Bernard ended his season. Oglesby got a blue ring as a star Ben Davis football squad this fall and earned a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.