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    IHSWCA Update & Clarification of Open Room Policy

    May 7th, 2009
    IHSWCA Members:
    On April 29th the IHSWCA Executive Committee met with Commissioners Ress and Cox of the IHSAA.  Four items of concerns were discussed as well as other topics and issues surrounding wrestling and high school sports in Indiana.
    It appears as though two changes may be put in place for next season.  The first change would be made to the sectional scoring system.  Scoring would now begin at the quarterfinal round.  This concern was raised because 28 of our 32 sectionals have more than 8 teams.  It is now possible for points to be scored in the pigtail round because of getting fortunate draws.  In many cases teams are not only picking up these extra matches, but are receiving forfeits in them.  The hope is this change will make the sectional scoring system fairer to all teams.
    The second change would allow teams to weigh-in 28 wrestlers in the team portion of the tournament series.  We are currently allowed to weigh-in 24, and the IHSWCA believe this was a change that could easily be made and would help the programs who advance in the team tournament series.
    The open room policy was also discussed, and on Monday the IHSAA ruled on this policy.  We were told that the IHSAA would be looking into open rooms very closely because they are concerned about undue influence.  With Indiana’s decision to allow parents to choose the public school of their choice, the worry is recruiting will be an issue.  I want to remind all of members and schools that open rooms are for students of your school only and are voluntary.  You cannot invite kids from around the state to attend open rooms.  If you want to kids from other schools you must be a USA Wrestling (ISWA) or HYWAY club and every kid there must be a member as well.  If they are not you are in violation.  ISWA sponsored RTC’s are within the spirit of the rule as long as all participants are USA Wrestling card holders.
    We were given some advice on this matter by the commissioners.  Do not advertise on IHSWCA.com or Indianamat.com as having open rooms where others are invited.  You need to come up with another name for the workout and make sure all participants are a club member (USA Wrestling or HYWAY).  I ask you as the Junior Director for the ISWA that you do not call them RTC’s unless you are an ISWA recognized RTC.
    Cale A. Hoover
    Center Grove HS, Social Studies Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach
    IHSWCA President
    ISWA Junior Director
    317-881-0581 ext. 1287

    High School News

    Letter from IHSWCA President Cale Hoover

    April 22, 2009
    IHSWCA Members:
    With great pleasure I assume the duties of president of our organization.  I would like to thank those office holders who have come before me.  I would like to thank Barry Humble of New Haven, for giving 2 years of service to the wrestling community.  I have learned a tremendous amount from those who have served before me, and I will lean on them heavily during the next two years.
    The sport of wrestling has taken me on an amazing journey, which provides me with a somewhat unique vantage point.  I grew up in Albion, IN and attended Central Noble High School graduating in 1996.  Central Noble is a true small school, around 400 students most years.  The largest team at Central Noble during my four years their finished with 9 wrestlers.  I continued my education and wrestling career at Purdue University.  My wrestling career lasted about 2 years at Purdue before I decided to move on.  I graduated with a degree in Social Studies Education in 2001.
    During my coaching career I’ve been fortunate to develop from several experiences.  I served as an assistant wrestling coach at Highland HS in Anderson, IN for 3 years and also coached freshman football for 2 years.  Highland was a great place to start, and I am grateful for having working with coaches Cary House and Kyle Poyer.  Hamilton Southeastern gave me my first head coaching opportunity in 2004, and I moved on to Center Grove in 2006.  I was asked to serve on the ISWA board in 2003 and have served as Cadet Director and now Junior Director.  I obviously have worked at some of the largest schools in the state, but I can tell you I have not lost the perspective that was gained from my days at Central Noble.
    Two goals stand out to me at this time.  The first is to build our membership.  We all need to work at getting every wrestling coach in the state, high school, middle school, retired, etc. to join the association.  Increased numbers will make our organization stronger and give us more pull with the IHSAA.  Second, we must improve our communication.  One of our challenges is communicating with our lay coaches.  We have a high percentage of lay coaches in our sport, who do a great job, but who often do not receive items sent through the mail.  Also, not everyone frequently visits the association website.  We must utilize all available communication means which includes standard mail, email, and the IHSWCA website.
    Our association has some important decisions to make in the next year.  We must decide what areas we want to focus on for our presentation in 2011.  The most talked about topics appear to be wrestle backs and class wrestling.  I can honestly tell you that we are not close to having either.  Wrestlebacks are more likely to pass, but at this point the odds are looking long against us.  Class wrestling greatly divides our wrestling community and we lack the consensus needed to move forward to the IHSAA.  In addition, the IHSAA commissioners have made it very clear that they are not in favor of expanding class sports at this time.  Despite this stance, I do believe a discussion on the topic has merit.  I believe the time is right for a survey in the next year to gather the perspective of the membership.
    I have concerns about the current state of the organization.  Our 2009 election saw only 118 votes cast – or 33% turnout.  This has to improve if we are to have legitimacy in the eyes of the IHSAA.  Complaints have been made about the nomination process and also about current implementation of Regional Reps.  I can promise you that the nomination process at the Fall Clinic was done correctly and fairly.  Also, the Regional Rep idea was created to give members the opportunity to participate; however, much like our recent election, participation numbers remain low.
    I look forward to serving as the association president.  Please contact me with questions, concerns, or ideas.  I want to begin better communication among us by expressing my belief that this position comes with an open-door policy.  With your help we can continue to improve our great sport in the state of Indiana.
    Cale A. Hoover
    Center Grove HS, Social Studies Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach
    IHSWCA President
    ISWA Junior Director
    317-881-0581 ext. 1287

    High School News

    State Finals By the Numbers

    103 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #2 Cody Phillips- Union County
    #3 Jared McKinley- Perry Meridian
    #4 Kyle Ayersman- Lake Central
    #5 Bryan Kuhn- Evansville Reitz
    #6 Zach Stevens- Merrillville
    #8 Aurelio Medina- Munster
    #9 Brian Harvey- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #10 Dylan Hall- Evansville Harrison
    #11 Cameron Halsted- Crown Point
    #12 Mason Todd- Pendleton Heights
    #14 Jacob Boomsma- Bloomington South
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 103
    Bout 2/Mat 1: #5 Bryan Kuhn- Evansville Reitz vs. #12 Mason Todd- Pendleton Heights
    Bout 5 Mat 3: #2 Cody Phillips- Union County vs. #10 Dylan Hall- Evansville Harrison
    Bout 7/Mat 4: #9 Brian Harvey- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #14 Jacob Boomsma- Bloomington South
    112 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Anthony Hawkins- Crown Point
    #2 Brandon Nelsen- Lawrence North
    #3 Connor Mullins- New Castle
    #5 Josh Kieffer- Roncalli
    #6 Devon Jackson- Yorktown
    #9 Steven Ross- Concord
    #10 Francisco Colon- Columbus North
    #11 Steven Gonzales- Delta
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 112
    Bout 14/Mat 3: #2 Brandon Nelsen- Lawrence North vs. #6 Devon Jackson- Yorktown
    Bout 16/Mat4: #3 Connor Mullins- New Castle vs. #9 Steven Ross- Concord
    119 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Brandon Wright- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #2 Camden Eppert- Anderson Highland
    #3 Justin Brooks- Warsaw
    #4 Ethan Raley- Indian Creek
    #5 Justin Kieffer- Roncalli
    #6 Alex Johns- Evansville Reitz
    #7 Derek Bevans- Yorktown
    #8 Casey Kenney- Jay County
    #9 Daniel Bradley- Knox
    #10 John Petrov- Hanover Central
    #14 Jeffrey Stotridge- Charlestown
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 119
    Bout 17/Mat 1: #8 Casey Kenney- Jay County vs. #10 John Petrov- Hanover Central
    Bout 18/Mat 1: #4 Ethan Raley- Indian Creek vs. #5 Justin Kieffer- Roncalli
    Bout 20/Mat 2: #2 Camden Eppert- Anderson Highland vs. #14 Jeffrey Stotridge- Charlestown
    125 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Cashe’ Quiroga- Lawrence North
    #2 Jason Tsirtsis- Crown Point
    #3 Anthony Napules- Merrillville
    #5 Mason Berryman- Anderson Highland
    #6 Anthony Lovejoy- FW Luers
    #7 John Grey- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #8 Tyler Clark- South Dearborn
    #10 Ezra Penn- Lafayette Harrison
    #12 Blake Rueger- Evansville Reitz
    #14 Cole Van Horn- Franklin Community
    #15 Andrew Heistand- Yorktown
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 125
    Bout 25/Mat 1: #2 Jason Tsirtsis- Crown Point vs. #8 Tyler Clark- South Dearborn
    Bout 28/Mat 2: #14 Cole Van Horn- Franklin Community vs. #15 Andrew Heistand- Yorktown
    Bout 30/Mat 3: #7 John Grey- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #10 Ezra Penn- Lafayette Harrison
    Bout 32/Mat 4: #3 Anthony Napules- Merrillville vs. #5 Mason Berryman- Anderson Highland
    130 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Joshua Harper- Mishawaka
    #2 Francisco Porras- Hobart
    #3 Brannigan Barlow- Bloomington South
    #4 D’Marcus Spencer- Pike
    #5 Sampson Cook- Perry Meridian
    #6 Zach Thornton- Chesterton
    #7 Quincy Richey- Brown County
    #8 Brock Norton- FW Carroll
    #11 Austin Egolf- Columbia City
    #14 Wade Bohannon- South Vermillion
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 130
    Bout 33/Mat 1: #7 Quincy Richey- Brown County vs. #14 Wade Bohannon- South Vermillion
    Bout 35/Mat 2: #3 Brannigan Barlow- Bloomington South vs. #4 D’Marcus Spencer- Pike
    Bout 36/Mat 2: #6 Zach Thornton- Chesterton vs. #11 Austin Egolf- Columbia City
    135 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Eric Roach- Crown Point
    #2 Johnny Dillon- Hobart
    #3 Taylor March- East Noble
    #4 Will Mascaro- Carmel
    #5 Mitchell Richey- Brown County
    #6 Trenton Reinoehl- Mishawaka
    #7 Chris Goodwin- Perry Meridian
    #8 Doug Welch- Castle
    #10 Zach DeHaven- Evansville Memorial
    #11 Matt Gerber- Bluffton
    #12 Nick Smith- Franklin Community
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 135
    Bout 42/Mat 1: #6 Trenton Reinoehl- Mishawaka vs. #10 Zach DeHaven- Evansville Memorial
    Bout 44/Mat 2: #2 Johnny Dillon- Hobart vs. #8 Doug Welch- Castle
    Bout 45/Mat 3: #1 Eric Roach- Crown Point vs. #12 Nick Smith- Franklin Community
    140 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Steven Sandefer- Mishawaka
    #2 Anthony McGinley- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #3 Alex Surma- Munster
    #4 John Sims- Evansville Mater Dei
    #5 Ryan Stahl- Elkhart Memorial
    #6 Trace Hall- South Bend Riley
    #7 Keith Duncan- Rushville
    #8 Chad Barrett- Eastern (Greentown)
    #10 Jacob Tonte- Perry Meridian
    #11 Chad Welch- Castle
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 140
    Bout 53/Mat 3: #1 Steven Sandefer- Mishawaka vs. #7 Keith Duncan- Rushville
    Bout 55/Mat 4: #2 Anthony McGinley- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #6 Trace Hall- South Bend Riley
    145 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Sam Bennett- Anderson Highland
    #2 Daniel Young- Culver Academies
    #4 Zachary Corpe- Elkhart Memorial
    #5 Jacob Tasseff- Perry Meridian
    #6 Gavin McGinley- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #8 Preston Richard- Castle
    #9 Ezekiel Zenthoefer- Evansville Mater Dei
    #10 Jordan Dulaney- Yorktown
    #11 Jordan Krulik- Martinsville
    #12 Cameron Friend- Leo
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 145
    Bout 58/Mat 1: #11 Jordan Krulik- Martinsville vs. #12 Cameron Friend- Leo
    Bout 60/Mat 2: #4 Zachary Corpe- Elkhart Memorial vs. #9 Ezekiel Zenthoefer- Evansville Mater Dei
    152 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Sean McMurray- Portage
    #2 Kyle Mosier- Yorktown
    #3 Aaron Estrada- Munster
    #4 Calvin Sullivan- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #6 Bryant Whitaker- Muncie Southside
    #7 Drew Brogden- Zionsville
    #8 Drake Stein- Princeton
    #9 Anthony Quiroz- Chesterton
    #11 Blake Wood- Perry Meridian
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 152
    Bout 65/Mat 1: #8 Drake Stein- Princeton vs. #11 Blake Wood- Perry Meridian
    Bout 68/Mat 2: #3 Aaron Estrada- Munster vs. #6 Bryant Whitaker- Muncie Southside
    160 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Briar Runyan- Martinsville
    #2 Mark Myers- Crown Point
    #3 Matt Todd- Pendleton Heights
    #4 Ross Powell- Northridge
    #5 Dalton Jones- Avon
    #7 Brad Farrell- Fishers
    #9 Kurt Monix- Lowell
    #10 Anthony Bill- Indianapolis Chatard
    #11 Tyler Willis- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #13 Jackson Bratcher- Eastbrook
    #16 Richard Morin- Mishawaka
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 160
    Bout 74/Mat 1: #7 Brad Farrell- Fishers vs. #13 Jackson Bratcher- Eastbrook
    Bout 77/Mat 3: #4 Ross Powell- Northridge vs. #10 Anthony Bill- Indianapolis Chatard
    Bout 78/Mat 3: #5 Dalton Jones- Avon vs. #16 Richard Morin- Mishawaka
    171 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Michael Duckworth- Union County
    #2 Braden Atwood- Delphi
    #3 Tanner Wedding- Evansville Memorial
    #4 Bryce Grimes- Lawrence North
    #5 Shelby Mappes- Center Grove
    #6 George Lopez- NorthWood
    #8 Trey Schultz- Adams Central
    #9 Kevin Moats- Tipton
    #12 Huey Hudson- South Bend Riley
    #13 Tyler McCoy- McCutcheon
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 171
    Bout 85/Mat 3: #8 Trey Schultz- Adams Central vs. #13 Tyler McCoy- McCutcheon
    Bout 86/Mat 3: #5 Shelby Mappes- Center Grove vs. #9 Kevin Moats- Tipton
    189 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Marcus Shrewsbury- Crown Point
    #2 Nick Hodges- Southmont
    #3 Drew Graber- Northridge
    #4 Zach Abbott- Huntington North
    #5 Andrew Dalton- East Central
    #6 Andrew Leach- Avon
    #8 Michael Johnson-Jones- Warren Central
    #10 Aaron Stevenson- Indian Creek
    #12 Travis Kepner- Benton Central
    #13 Patrick Lux- Fishers
    #14 Darren Eads- Bloomington South
    #15 Darryn Scott- Marion
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 189
    Bout 90/Mat 1: #2 Nick Hodges- Southmont vs. #4 Zach Abbott- Huntington North
    Bout 91/Mat 2: #1 Marcus Shrewsbury- Crown Point vs. #14 Darren Eads- Bloomington South
    Bout 92/Mat 2: #8 Michael Johnson-Jones- Warren Central vs. #15 Darryn Scott- Marion
    Bout 94/Mat 3: #6 Andrew Leach- Avon vs. #12 Travis Kepner- Benton Central
    Bout 95/Mat 4: #3 Drew Graber- Northridge vs. #13 Patrick Lux- Fishers
    215 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Billy Baker- Bellmont
    #2 Nathan Cleveland- Lowell
    #4 Christian Lentz- Mishawaka
    #5 Gabriel Berry- Warren Central
    #7 Clay Robison- Castle
    #8 Colin Warner- Tipton
    #10 Paul Parsley- Westfield
    #12 Aris Allen- FW Northside
    #13 Neal Lane- Franklin Community
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 215
    Bout 99/Mat 2: #4 Christian Lentz- Mishawaka vs. #10 Paul Parsley- Westfield
    Bout 101/Mat 3: #1 Billy Baker- Bellmont vs. #13 Neal Lane- Franklin Community
    Bout 104/Mat 4: #2 Nathan Cleveland- Lowell vs. #8 Colin Warner- Tipton
    285 lbs. Ranked Wrestlers Remaining
    #1 Adam Chalfant- Winchester
    #2 Craig Fitzgerald- John Glenn
    #3 John Clark- Jeffersonville
    #4 Alexander White- Mount Vernon
    #5 James Travis- Merrillville
    #7 Travis Thomas- Mishawaka
    #9 Jowan Gill- Columbus North
    #11 Ross Janney- Yorktown
    #12 Nate Richey- Brownsburg
    #13 Wes Everett- Delphi
    Friday Night Matches Between Ranked Wrestlers at 285
    Bout 108/Mat 2: #5 James Travis- Merrillville vs. #11 Ross Janney- Yorktown
    Bout 111/Mat 4: #1 Adam Chalfant- Winchester vs. #7 Travis Thomas- Mishawaka

    High School News

    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.

    High School News

    IHSAA Wrestling Semi-State Brackets 2009

    1.Merrillville (at Merrillville H.S.), 9 am CT
    Preview by Karl Hungus
    Feeder Regionals: Calumet, LaPorte, Logansport, Rochester.
    2. Woodlan (at Allen County Coliseum), 9 am ET
    Preview by Joe Caprino
    Feeder Regionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Goshen, Jay County, Peru.
    3. New Castle (at New Castle H.S.), 9 am ET
    Preview by Dingo Brigade
    Feeder Regionals: North Montgomery, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Richmond.
    4. Evansville Reitz (at Roberts Stadium), 9 am CT
    Preview by Justin Cooper
    Feeder Regionals: Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville, Mooresville.

    High School News

    Evansville Semi-State Preview

    By Justin Cooper
    This weekend 224 wrestlers from the southern half of Indiana will do battle at Robert's Stadium. A state high 58 ranked wrestlers are in this Semi-State, but only 56 will get to make the trip to the Big Show. Due to the stacked regionals there will be some great ticket round matches.
    Favorite: Brian Kuhn- Evansville Reitz (47-1)
    Look for Brian Kuhn to meet up Jacob Boomsma in the finals. While Dylan Hall and Dusty Kief battle it out for 3rd.
    Others heading to State
    Dylan Hall Evansville Harrison
    Jacob Boomsma Bloomington South
    Dusty Kief Franklin
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Jordan Judy (40-2) vs. Jacob Boomsma (33-2)
    Favorite: Francisco Colon- Columbus North (36-3)
    This is one of the most open weight classes where a lot of great wrestlers and a lot of great match ups. Colon looks to make another trip to state after getting injured last year at Semi State.
    Others heading to State
    Curtis Smith Jeffersonville
    Shawn Miracle Bloomington North
    Derek Fisher Martinsville
    Best Ticket round Match
    Derek Fisher (32-3) vs. Alex Griesemer (36-4)
    Blaine Hall (21-2) Vs. Francisco Colon (36-3)
    Favorite: Ethan Raley- Indian Creek (28-0)
    The potential finals match-up between Raley and Alex Johns of Reitz is one of the matches to watch, but Raley and Johns cannot overlook the other competitors in this weight.
    Others heading to State
    Alex Johns Evansville Reitz
    Jordan Jensen Terre Haute South
    Matt Milton Center Grove
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Jeff Stotridge Charlestown (37-1) vs Returning State place winner Matt Milton (25-7)
    Favorite: Matt Adams- Center Grove (30-4)
    This is a very deep weight class with a lot of talent. The championship will go to whomever brings their ‘A' game on Saturday.
    Others heading to State
    Blake Reuger Evansville Reitz
    Eddie Durran Charlestown
    Zach Henderson Mater Dei
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Zach Henerson Mater Dei (31-5) vs. Luke Pingelton Northview (31-5)
    Cole Vanhorn Franklin (33-7) vs. Eddie Durran Charlestown (36-1)
    Favorite: Brannigan Barlow- Bloomington South (38-4)
    Barlow is the man to beat, this year he has victories over some of the best the state has to offer. This is another very deep weight class with a lot of good first and second round matches. It will be interesting to see if senior Caleb Purtlebaugh can upset freshman Quincy Richey in the round to go.
    Others heading to State
    Andrew Seitz Castle
    Brett Walker Jeffersonville
    Quincy Richey Brown County
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Quincy Richey Brown County (30-1) vs. Caleb Purtlebaugh Martinsville (22-4)
    Favorite: Mitchell Richey- Brown Country (36-0)
    There are six ranked wrestlers in this weight class alone and we should see some great battles all day long.
    Others heading to state
    Doug Welch Castle
    Nick Smith Franklin
    Zach DeHaven Evansville Memorial
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Nick Smith Franklin (36-4) Vs. Aaron May Charelstown (35-7)
    Favorite: John Sims- Mater Dei (32-2)
    This is one of the most stacked weight classes at any Semi State. There will be some great wrestlers sent home because of their draws.
    Others heading to State
    Jerod Crump Center Grove
    Jacob Milenbaugh Columbus North
    Garret Smith Cascade
    Best Ticket Round Matches
    Garret Smith Cascade (40-1) vs. Chad Welch Castle (39-4)
    Zach Wojdyla Brown County (36-3) Vs. John Sims Mater Dei (32-2)
    James Walker Martinsville (20-3) vs. Jacob Milenbaugh (Great 1st round match-up)
    Favorite: Preston Richard- Castle (40-3)
    The Zenthoefer vs. Spicer match may be the match of the day, both are seniors with great records looking to extend their post season one more week. Look for Krulik and Richard to have a great finals match.
    Others heading to State
    Jordan Krulik Martinsville
    Steve Spicer Edgewood
    Ben Moberly Floyd Central
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Steve Spicer Edgewood (36-2) vs. Zeke Zenthoefer Mater Dei (34-4)
    Favorite: Drake Stein- Princeton (41-0)
    Well known Drake Stein will have a great battle with little known Ryan Kolb if both make it to the finals. The spoiler in this weight class is Trey Reese looking to knock off unbeaten Holden Fudurich in the ticket round.
    Others heading to State
    Ryan Kolb Tri West
    Jeff Weiss Heritage Hills
    Trey Reese Indian Creek
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Trey Reese Indian Creek (31-3) vs. Holden Fudurich Sullivan (33-0)
    Josh Sampson New Washington (44-2) vs. Jeff Weiss Heritage Hills (43-5)
    Favorite: Briar Runyan- Martinsville (35-0)
    This is Briar Runyan's weight class, he is an unbeaten senior and has pinned every opponent except for Dalton Jones of Avon. After a 3rd and a 2nd place finish at State Runyan will look to win that elusive State Championship.
    Others heading to State
    Dalton Jones Avon
    Josh Sparks Edgewood
    Zach Easterling Mater Dei
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Zach Easterling Mater Dei (27-6) vs. Terry Terrell Bloomington South (31-9)
    Favorite: #3 Tanner Wedding- Evansville Memorial (32-1)
    Tanner Wedding will be set to do battle with returning state qualifier #5 Shelby Mappes in the semi-finals and the winner will most likely go on to win the Semi-State Championship.
    Others heading to State
    Shelby Mappes Center Grove
    Gabe Watson Columbus North
    Caleb Browner Jeffersonville
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Caleb Browner Jeffersonville (38-5) vs. Ryan Mann Castle (36-7)
    Favorite: Aaron Stevenson- Indian Creek (38-0)
    Sophomore sensation Aaron Stevenson will look to add to his unbeaten season. With five ranked wrestlers this looks to be one of the more interesting weight classes of the day.
    Others heading to State
    Patrick Price North Posey
    Andrew Leach Avon
    Darren Eads Bloomington South
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Ethan Cook Providence (31-2) vs. Alex Rosebrock Castle (40-3) or Andrew Leach Avon (29-3)
    Favorite: Clay Robinson- Castle (43-0)
    Robinson will look to keep his unbeaten senior season alive going up against many good wrestlers. The draw of this weight class will send a few great wrestlers home early.
    Others heading to State
    Tyler Jenkins Jasper
    Dylan Froelich Tell City
    Jacob Vandeventer Bloomington North
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Adam Howland Brownsburg (29-4) vs. Dylan Froelich Tell City (39-4)
    Favorite: Alex White- Mt. Vernon (46-1)
    This is the best weight class of the meet, nearly everyone in this class has a great record, but records will mean nothing if you do not show up to wrestle. Look for Senior Alex White of Mt. Vernon to keep his State Championship hopes alive with some big wins at Semi State.
    Others heading to State
    Nate Richey Brownsburg
    Jowan Gill Columbus North
    John Clark Jeffersonville
    Best Ticket Round Match
    Joe Arthur Bloomington North (35-3) vs. John Clark Jeffersonville (28-1)

    High School News

    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

    High School News

    New Castle: Better bring your A game

    “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curseâ€

    --Carlos Castenada

    “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.â€

    --Mark Twain


    "Dad, what's a walking taco?"

    --The Little Dingo
    This weekend's New Castle semi-state features a state-high 58 ranked wrestlers (Evansville SS has 58 as well), 5 #2 ranked wrestlers and 4 wrestlers ranked #1 in the state, despite the unfortunate timing of 103 #1 Brendan Campbell's appendix removal. On paper, this looks like as loaded and tough a field as there has been in years in New Castle. You want nationally regarded, top-of-the-food chain studs? Quiroga, Eppert, Nelsen, Wright, Duckworth...check. You want undefeated competitors? 8 of 'em. Check. You want depth at each weight? No less than 3 ranked wrestlers at every weight except 285, with 6 ranked kids in 2 separate weight classes. Check. You want walking tacos? Yeah, they got 'em. Check. Ok, you see where I'm going--this is a very tough, impressive semi-state and it should make for a dramatic day of competition. In my opinion, the ticket matches at semi-state are as exciting as Friday night matches at Conseco, and there are some doozies this year. Alright, enough jibber-jabber.....
    Despite the loss of Campbell, this is still a loaded, wide-open field. On paper, it should be decided between #2 Cody Phillips of Union County and #3 Jared McKinley of Perry Meridian in one heckuva slobber-knocker. Truthfully, I don't know who will win if those two meet in the finals--no one's been able to beat either kid all season. However, this is my gimmick and I'm gonna stick with it. Without further ado.....
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Cody Phillips, New Castle's Top Dog at 103][/caption]
    Top Dog: #2 Cody Phillips, Union County, 9, 41-0
    Phillips has manhandled most of his competition the entire season and Union County has produced more than its fair share of elite wrestlers. While he hasn't faced quite the competition that McKinley and Harvey have faced, he is a physically mature freshmen who will need to wrestle with a chip on his shoulder to make it through this group unscathed. He will be tested early and often, and he will be forced to face Harvey in the semis, if the seeds hold. To be fair, McKinley, Harvey, Price could all get hot and win this weight. It happens every year--kids lose to kids they have always beat, major upsets happen and injuries unfortunately take place.
     Conseco, Ahoy
    #3 Jared McKinley, Perry Meridian, 9, 45-0: Very physical freshman will look to win his first semi-state crown by wearing down his opponents and drawing from a season's worth of experience at the highest level. He is a legitimate state title threat. A huge ticket match with Tech's very talented #7 Dominique Price stands in the way of the championship match for McKinley. A bad break for both kids.
    #9 Brian Harvey, Cathedral, 9, 38-7: Don't let the record fool you. Harvey can wrestle with anyone at this weight. A tough ticket matchup with Roncalli's Aaron Davis will be a good challenge for Harvey, but he has a favorable path to advance.
    #12 Mason Todd, Pendleton Heights, 9, 37-2: My Top Dog pick for the Pendleton Heights regional, Todd was pinned by Price in the semis. However, he bounced back and took care of business to nab a 3rd place finish. Todd appears to have a solid shot at advancing through this bracket. A challenge awaits in the ticket round with Carmel's  Pat Parham.
    Best ticket-punch match: #7 Dominique Price, Tech, 10, 35-2 vs. #3 McKinley
    Darkhorse: #7 Dominique Price, Tech
    Unlike 103, which features several favorites, 112 is pretty clearly led by Lawrence North dynamo Brandon "Superbaby" Nelsen. A top-4 State Streeter twice already, the junior is looking to snare a state title, and he has multiple wins in his career over top-ranked Anthony Hawkins of Crown Point to point to as evidence that he's man enough to achieve his goal. Hawkins handed Nelsen his only loss this year and those two seem to wrestle once or twice a fortnight. Josh Kieffer and Conner Mullins will look to do some chin-checking with Nelsen, and those kids don't make a habit of losing big matches.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Super Baby, New Castles Top Dog at 112][/caption]
    Top Dog: #2 Brandon Nelsen, Lawrence North, 11, 34-1
    Top Dog pick for Pendleton Heights responded with a regional title. Nelsen is a technically sound scrapper with a good gastank. He's not very tall or long-limbed for the weight class, but he's very fundamentally sound and avoids bad positions. He's content to win a close, methodical match instead of forcing the action and getting caught. He also has loads of big-match experience; more than just about anyone in the state at 112. He has wins this season over Kieffer and Roytek. 
     Conseco, Ahoy
     #5 Josh Kieffer, Roncalli, 10, 37-4: The very tall, very long-limbed Kieffer might be the wrestler with the best shot at unseating Nelsen. He's had some close matches with the LN standout and is a tough matchup for Nelsen physically and stylistically. Roncalli has really turned a corner, and Josh is a big part of a different mentality by the Rebels. Kieffer has won and lost vs. Mullins, but I like his experience in big postseason matches if they meet at New Castle.
    #3 Conner Mullins, New Castle, 9, 46-2: The very talented and decorated freshman has grappled with some of the state's very best, and has only been defeated twice, once last weekend by Kieffer and once at 119 by #8 (at 119) Casey Kenney of Jay County. He owns wins over Kieffer and Roytek. He could easily be Nelsen's finals opponent.
    Josh Julian, Lebanon, 10, 31-3: Julian bounced back from a slightly disappointing sectional to dominate the field en route to a regional title at North Montgomery. He has big moves and is a very dangerous pinner. While not as heralded as the rest of the contenders, Julian pinned all his foes at regionals and owns a win by fall over Roytek.
    Best ticket-punch matches: #12 Blake Roytek, Cathedral, 10, 36-7 vs. #3 Mullins. #5 Kieffer vs. Tyler Gadient, Noblesville, 10, 32-7. #2 Nelsen vs. #8 Cody Stewart, Rushville, 12, 30-4
    Darkhorses: #8 Stewart, #12 Roytek
    Not a weight class for the faint of heart. Former state champs Camden Eppert and Brandon Wright are joined by Roncalli's Justin Kieffer and Tech's Storm Cosby, as well as others, in a brutal bracket. Advancements will be at a premium; you can chalk up two right off the bat that will be filled by Eppert and Wright. That leaves two for the rest of the mere mortals in the weight class. That's not a knock on any of the other kids; Eppert and Wright are two of the better wrestlers in Indiana since Y2K. If any of the other kids can knock off either one, they will cement a spot in Indiana wrestling lore for many years to come. That said, it is not bloody likely that anyone but Eppert or Wright will beat Eppert or Wright this weekend.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Brandon Wright, New Castle's Top Dog at 119][/caption]
     Top Dog: #1 Brandon Wright, Cathedral, 11, 41-2
    What else is there to say about the 119 lb. bundle of quicksilver? He's a Cadet National champ (over Jason Tsirtsis, among others in a loaded field), he went undefeated at the Scholastic Duals this past summer, he's a defending state champ and the odds-on favorite to win it again this year. Although extremely technical, Wright's real difference makers are fast-twitch fibers, a high wrestling IQ and a seemingly endless gastank. He is not quick; he is sudden, flashing in on the legs of his opponents and with his sprawl. I've also admired his uncanny sense of timing; it helps to have a father with such vast knowledge and experience (not to mention the rest of the excellent Irish staff), but Wright always seems to do what he needs to do in critical situations. That might sound simplistic, but his on-mat strategy is always impeccable. As great as Eppert is, Wright should sew up the #1 seed heading into Friday night at Conseco. If you haven't seen him yet, by any chance, don't blink. He's had losses in the regular season the past two years and turned it on in the postseason, so his two losses to elite opponents in higher weight classes hardly speak to a dropoff by Wright.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #2 Camden Eppert, Anderson Highland, 12, 32-3: Eppert is a nationally regarded stud with a state title and a runner-up finish to his credit thus far in his high school career. If not for the ascension of Wright, Eppert might have 2 titles already, working on a third.  The future Boilermaker is known for his diligence--studying opponents, training, constantly working to improve. When Eppert and Wright wrestle, the gym is filled with a palpable anticipation.  New Castle '09 will be no different. Unfortunately for Camden, until he beats Wright again, the expectation will continue to be that Wright will pull out another victory. Their match should be one of the major highlights of the sectional. Barring injury or other bizarre circumstance, we will have another Clash of the Titans.
    #5 Justin Kieffer, Roncalli, 10, 41-1: The member of the Kieffer Triad with the best record this season, Justin has the misfortune of wrestling in a very top-heavy weight class at New Castle. Kieffer was a 7th place finisher last year at 112 and has a huge win this season over Alex Johns. His confidence is sky-high and he's been pretty dominant thus far in the postseason. However, although anything is possible, he's likely wrestling for a 3 seed at Conseco. Before he can even worry about seeds for State, he needs to worry about Tri's 37-1 Ryan Leeka in the ticket round.
    #16 Storm Cosby, Tech, 11, 38-2: The City champ has a tough, but possible road to advancement. He must first beat a very capable Seve Duncan of Beech Grove. If he can get past Duncan, New Castle's red-hot Alex Catron likely awaits. Catron/Cosby, if it happens, could go either way.
    Best ticket-punch matches: #16 Cosby vs. Alex Catron, New Castle, 10, 41-5. #5 Kieffer vs. Ryan Leeka, Tri, 11, 37-1.
    Darkhorses: Catron, Leeka
    Cashe Quiroga has elevated his performance in the past 12 months to a point where he finished this past regular season at the top of Indianamat's Pound for Pound list, and deservedly so. Among his many impressive wins this season, Cashe beat 3X champ #1 @ 130 Josh Harper, #2 @ 130 Frankie Porras, #2 @ 125 Jason Tsirtsis, #4 @ 130 D'Marcus Spencer, #2 @ 119 Camden Eppert, #1 @ 119 Brandon Wright and many, many others en route to his perfect season thus far. Although this is a solid field assembled at New Castle to compete against Quiroga, it's very unlikely that the Purdue recruit will be tested until he is competing at Conseco. Beyond Quiroga, it's a wide open field for the next 3 placements. Again, that's not a reflection on the field--Cashe is just that good. There are 4 top-8 ranked wrestlers competing here at 125. 
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Cashe Money, New Castle's Top Dog at 125][/caption]
    Top Dog:  #1 Cashe Quiroga, Lawrence North, 12, 39-0
    [caption id=" align="alignright" width="135" caption="King of the Indiana Pound for Pounders][/caption]
    Quiroga is a brawler with skills. He wrestles with heavy, active hands and he generally controls tie-ups. When he was a little younger, he would ruin a lot of good wrestling with one big mistake in a match. He's not making those mistakes any more and he doesn't run out of energy at the end of grueling matches. He's just a tough matchup with no obvious weaknesses to exploit. It will take someone like Tsirtsis wrestling at the top of his game to beat Quiroga, or to even come really close.    
      Conseco, Ahoy
    #5 Mason Berryman, Anderson Highland, 11, 32-2: This was a very tough call, but Southport's Austin Marshall will have to first beat Clinton Prairie's 36-4 Chris Maxwell just to face Berryman. In the end, I think that was the tie-breaker--Marshall's slightly tougher path to the ticket round. Make no mistake, Marshall is a stud and is coming off an impressive regional championship at Perry Meridian last weekend. He could easily be the runner-up here. Complicating matters is the next wrestler on the list..... 

    #7 John Grey, Cathedral, 12, 38-3: Grey won the last battle with Berryman, last week at regionals. As I mentioned last week, Grey can beat just about anyone not named Quiroga or Tsirtsis at this weight. However, he'll have to get through Fountain Central's regional champ Eli Moore to earn a spot in the semis, where he'll likely face Marshall or Berryman. Either way, it's a tough row to hoe for Grey. He and Berryman are pretty closely matched (Grey won 3-2 at regionals), and Berryman has been denied a state qualification berth the past 2 years.  It's a bit of a crapshoot, truthfully.
    #8 Tyler Clark, South Dearborn, 11, 34-2: Clark was a state qualifier last year and dropped a very close match to Grey earlier this year. He can hang. However, he'll have to negotiate 2 very tough matches just to make it to the ticket round. First he'll face perennial contender Jarrid Logan of Hamilton Heights, a hungry senior who has been denied a trip to Conseco his entire career. If he can get by Logan, he'll have to face either Joe Kieffer or Cameron VanCamp of Lebanon. So, while he avoids Quiroga, Grey and Berryman as ticket opponents, he gets two very tough matches for a shot to advance to state again. He's the best bet of the 4 in his section of the bracket.
    Best ticket-punch matches: #5 Berryman vs. Austin Marshall, Southport, 12, 35-3.  Joe Kieffer, Roncalli, 9, 37-9 vs. Clark .
    Darkhorses: Marshall. Kieffer.

    This weight features several highly ranked, strong challengers for the title. The entire bracket is filled with tough kids, and there will be some studs going home disappointed. In fact, it's a certainty that either a state qualifier or state placer from last year will not qualify for State this year.  Odom vs. Bohannon is probably the best potential ticket match of the day. Spencer is my pick, but he's far from a lock. Cook has pinned Josh Harper this year, among many others. Even without Michael Lovitt, this weight class is loaded. There are no gimmes in this bunch.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="D'Marcus Spencer, New Castle's Top Dog at 130][/caption]

    Top Dog: #4 D'Marcus Spencer, Pike, 12, 33-3 Spencer is one of the most talented, snake-bitten kids in recent memory from Central Indiana. A 2X state qualifier, he has had rough outings on Friday night in both instances. He has always competed at a very high level and has long been able to go with anyone in his weight. This year, he has wins over  Cook, Odom and Bealmer, to go with 2 exceptionally close losses to Quiroga. He has traditionally done pretty well at semi-state, so look for him to win this time around. Expect the biggest competition from Sampson Cook, if Cook advances to the finals.  
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #5 Sampson Cook, Perry Meridian, 12, 33-5: The king of the killer cradle is walking danger. You know you have a great go-to move when every opponent knows it's coming and you still land it. Cook has victimized some excellent wrestlers with the same, lethal move. He has great length and most of his opponents fear being ridden by Cook, and for good reason. Cook was a Conseco qualifier last year and is looking to earn a good seed for the State Finals.
     #10 Nick Odom, Warren Central, 12, 31-11: Odom has one of the toughest, if not the toughest overall, draws of anyone at New Castle. Right off the bat, he faces a very tough 36-5 Sam Hoegeman from East Central. If he survives that match, he gets the aforementioned Bohannon, a tough senior state qualifier last year with a 41-1 record. Bohannon is coming off a regional final that saw him hand Western Boone's Beattie his first loss of the season. Odom or whoever comes out of this portion of the bracket will have earned it.
    #13 Nick Beattie, Western Boone, 12, 34-1: Beattie has had a great year and isn't quite done yet. Although he dropped his first match to Bohannon, he has a winnable portion of the bracket. He'll first have to beat Cathedral's John Stringfield for a shot at the winner of Dickey/Fellers. While it's winnable, it's far from easy and Beattie would be in uncharted waters at that point.
    Best ticket-punch match: #10 Odom vs. #14 Wade Bohannon, South Vermillion, 12, 41-1.
    Darkhorse: Bohannon, without a doubt.
    This SHOULD be Mascaro's weight class, but Adam Skelton of Lebanon and others might have a different take on that issue. Skelton very nearly knocked off #4 Mascaro in last week's regional, losing a controversial match in OT. Mascaro actually has one of the tougher foursomes in the bracket to beat in order to advance. Others to watch include Skelton, a two time semi-state qualifier, #13 Dominic Corsaro, an 8th place finisher at 130 last year at Conseco and#7 Chris Goodwin of Perry Meridian. This weight could produce some surprising results; parity is the key word here.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Will Mascaro, New Castle's Top Dog at 135][/caption]
    Top Dog: #4 Will Mascaro, Carmel, 12, 39-0
    Mascaro stepped up big at last year's semi-state, knocking off fellow Top Dog D'Marcus Spencer and finishing above Cook and Corsaro. He used that momentum to solidify a 7th place finish last year at 130 at the State Finals. The close call with Skelton will likely make him sharper this week; it sounds like he gassed pretty badly in OT. He'll need to be on top of his game to grab another semi-state title.

     Conseco, Ahoy
    #7 Chris Goodwin, Perry Meridian, 12, 41-4: Goodwin was surprised last week by Ben Davis's Forrest Romer in the regional title match. He'll have to beat Skelton or Corsaro to advance to the semi-state finals.
    Adam Skelton, Lebanon, 12, 24-5: Skelton is coming off a great regional and needs to avoid a big letdown. He'll have his hands full with Dominic Corsaro in the ticket round. This might be the year Skelton gets over the hump and makes state. His potential match with Goodwin could be a great one.
    Forrest Romer, Ben Davis, 12, 29-11: Like Skelton, Romer is hot, earning an impressive regional title last weekend at Perry Meridian. Hamilton Heights junior Braydon Alley stands in Romer's way. Romer's momentum might be the difference.
    Best ticket-punch matches: #13 Dominic Corsaro, Cathedral, 12, 36-5 vs. Skelton. Romer vs. Braydon Alley, Hamilton Heights, 11, 31-7.
    Darkhorse: Corsaro. It's hard to bet against a returning place-winner.
    Tony McGinley seeks to add another big title to his collection. His knee is a concern, but he looked sharp at the regional. Among a host of others, Jacob Tonte, Dustin Youngs, Keith Duncan and Jonathan Decker look to challenge the McGinley Supremacy at 140. While McGinley is a solid favorite, his potential injury concerns might open the door for a challenger to take the semi-state championship and the #1 seed at Conseco that it brings. 
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Tony Mac, New Castle's Top Dog at 140][/caption]
    Top Dog: #2 Tony McGinley, Cathedral, 12, 32-2
    McGinley is a proven winner and was a 4th place finisher at 140 at last year's State meet. He also qualified for the State Finals as a sophomore. If he's healthy, it's hard to picture him losing here. I think he'll tough it out and grab semi-state title #2. No one stands out as a clear challenger here.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #7 Keith Duncan, Rushville, 12, 31-3: 2X state qualifier Duncan looks to get over the hump this year and add a state placement to his resume. He seems most likely to have a shot at upsetting McGinley. However, there are 3 other very tough wrestlers in his portion of the bracket who could prevent him from qualifying for State a 3rd time, including state qualifier JR Corman, who had a big semi-state last year. Duncan had better not come out flat for his first match, either; Shelton is capable of a big upset.
    #10 Jacob Tonte, Perry Meridian, 11, 42-2: Coach's son Tonte is always dangerous and is a former 7th place state finisher. Tonte has had a remarkably good year, outside of two rough matches vs. #1 Sandefer and #2 McGinley. He struggled vs. McGinley earlier this year, but he also seemed to be trying to 'hit a home run' with big throw and headlock attempts.
    Jonathan Decker, Warren Central, 9, 26-6: Pay attention to this name. This is one tough freshman hombre. Decker surprised many at the Warren sectional, pinning Josh Ramage and JR Corman en route to a sectional title. He followed that up with a strong 2nd place finish at the Perry regional and he seems to be improving on a daily basis. He'll have to somehow get by tough seniors and fellow sectional champs Dusty Youngs and Dominique Butts, but he has some strong Mojo working right now. If Decker isn't the pick, then it's likely the experienced Youngs.
    Best ticket-punch matches: Decker vs. Dusty Youngs, Zionsville, 12, 30-6. #7 Duncan vs. JR Corman, New Palestine, 11, 33-8.
    Darkhorses: Youngs and Corman.
     This is a pretty loaded weight at New Castle. #1 Sammy Bennett, fresh off a tight loss to #6 Gavin McGinley, looks to re-establish himself as the wrestler to beat at 145. He will have to face down one of the most dangerous weight classes at New Castle. Bennett, McGinley, Tasseff, Robinson and Goodwin are just some of the studs at this weight. McGinley won this stacked weight class last year, with Bennett finishing 2nd. Bennett got the last laugh at Conseco, finishing a very impressive 2nd at the State Finals.

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Gavin Mac, New Castle's Top Dog at 145][/caption]
    Top Dog:  #6 Gavin McGinley, Cathedral, 12, 27-3
    McGinley has earned a reputation recently as somewhat of a 'meanie'. I'm not so sure about that, but I know he wrestles very hard and with a lot of emotion, as evidenced after last week's regional finals. Maybe it's just the McGinley Supremacy that bothers people. The 2X state placer will likely place a third time this year, and it's even possible he could win it all. Although he and Bennett are 1-1 vs. each other this year, McGinley seems to have his number a little bit, going back to last year. Gavin has to worry about Jacob Tasseff, though, as Tasseff beat him at Cathedral in their dual earlier this year. They should meet in the semis and McGinley is going to have to figure out a way to finish his takedowns, something he wasn't really able to do in their last meeting. He was pretty frustrated in their last meeting. It should be a fantastic match, if it happens.

    Conseco, Ahoy

    #1 Sammy Bennett, Anderson Highland, 11, 32-1: It's very possible that Bennett will get a measure of revenge and end up on top of the podium at New Castle. He's a talented kid with some very impressive results under his belt, and he has beaten McGinley this year. In addition to last year's runner-up finish, he also qualified for State as a freshman at 140. Bennett has Hamilton Southeastern's Patrick Robinson lurking as a possible ticket matchup. Bennett should get the job done and advance to State a 3rd straight time.
    #5 Jacob Tasseff, Perry Meridian, 12, 43-1: Tasseff knows he can beat anyone in the state at this weight. With Perry's rugged schedule, he's faced many tough kids at 145, this year and in past years. It won't be an upset if Tasseff beats McGinley and Bennett. Tasseff has a nightmare matchup vs. East Central's Presley in the ticket round. Expect a close one.
    Matt Goodwin, Lawrence North, 12, 31-6: Goodwin was ranked in earlier editions of the individual rankings. The way the brackets fell, he has a strong chance at advancing to Conseco.

    Best ticket-punch matches: Bennett vs.  Patrick Robinson, Hamilton Southeastern, 12, 42-4. Tasseff vs. Jared Presley, East Central, 11, 30-2.
    Darkhorses: Robinson, Presley.
    A solid field led by undefeated 4th-ranked Cathedral wrestler Calvin Sullivan soldiers on to New Castle this weekend. While the 2-time State placer Sullivan is the favorite, depth is present in the form of #14 Jake Jennings, #11 Blake Wood, #7 Drew Brogden and East Central's Nick Hutchison. Watch out also for Matt Miller, Brock Robinson and Mike Taylor. Past Sullivan, the expected order is unclear.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Calvin Sullivan, New Castle's Top Dog at 152][/caption]
    Top Dog: #4 Calvin Sullivan, Cathedral, 12, 37-0
    Sullivan brings his unblemished record and excellent record at Conseco into this semi-state as a fairly clear favorite. Sullivan placed 5th the past 2 years, at 135 last year and at 125 the year before. Calvin has successfully made the move up to 152, beating all comers so far this year. He actually has a very tough path to the semis; a tough opener against Fishers' Troy Hollings, followed by a very dangerous match vs. #14 Jennings of New Palestine. If he beats Jennings, Cal will still have to beat #7 Brogden (39-1!)of Zionsville just to make the finals. Expect him to meet and beat #11 Wood in the finals if the seeds hold.


    Conseco, Ahoy
    #11 Blake Wood, Perry Meridian, 12, 41-4: Wood is a regional champ who was also a state qualifier last year. He'll have to get by Robinson, Taylor, Miller and Hutchison to face Sullivan again, but he should be equal to the task. Wood was really slowed down in his earlier match with Sullivan. He was unable to get anything going at all, losing 4-1. 

    #7 Drew Brogden, Zionsville, 12, 39-1: Brogden has a solid path to the semis, where he could meet Sullivan. I'd like to see he and Wood go at it for a true 2nd, but this is Indiana. Brogden is legit; he owns a win over Bellmont's Ty Baker this year, as well as a win over Preston Richard. Sullivan may be too much for him.
    Nick Hutchison, East Central, 12, 38-2: Hutchison brings an excellent record into New Castle, where he'll have to deal with a very tough sophomore named Mike Taylor of Lawrence Central. This is a pick 'em. I went with the senior.
    Best ticket-punch matches: Sullivan vs. #14 Jake Jennings, New Palestine, 12, 25-7. Hutchison vs. Mike Taylor, Lawrence Central, 10, 24-9. Wood vs. Matt Miller, Hamilton Heights, 12, 17-4/ or Jordan Robinson, Westfield, 12, 37-10.
    Darkhorses: Taylor, Miller, Robinson
    This might be the most loaded weight of the bunch. #3 Matt Todd appears to be a comfortable favorite, but there are a handful of other kids who could get hot and win the weight. #7 Brad Farrell, #6 RV Peter, #8 Brett Durphey, #11 Tyler Willis, #10 Anthony Bill, Nick Holaway, Von Wasson, Ibragim Komilov and Cory Hudgins are all legit potential state qualifiers. While Todd should win it, it's far from a given, and he will be sorely tested even if he is victorious.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Matt Todd, New Castle's Top Dog at 160][/caption]
    Top Dog: #3 Matt Todd, Pendleton Heights, 12, 39-0
    One of several Todds from Pendleton Heights through the years, Matt looked pretty dominant at the Pendleton Heights regional. He had no problem with the much taller Komilov, who was riding high after a huge upset of Tyler Willis in the regional semis. Last year's 8th place finisher at 160 #6  RV Peter will be waiting for Todd in the ticket round. Todd's very physically strong and maintains solid positioning when he wrestles. He'll get a good taste of Conseco's 160 lb. class in this semi-state, but he should wind up as Top Dog at the end of the day.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #7 Brad Farrell, Fishers, 12, 42-2: Farrell should be able survive a monstrous grouping which includes Southport's Alan McNeal and Ibragim Komilov. To be sure, there are no easy matches in this weight in particular. McNeal is a tough senior and Komilov presents all kinds of matchup problems. If Farrell gets by those 2, he'll have the red-hot Nick Holaway or Tyler Willis waiting for him. His reward if he can win those 3 extremely tough matches is the undefeated Todd in the finals. Should be Fishers first state qualifier and state-placer.
    Nick Holaway, Greenfield-Central, 12, 32-9: Few wrestlers have elevated as much in the postseason as Holaway. He pinned his way to the finals of the sectional, then knocked off then-undefeated Durphey in the finals. He followed that up with a strong regional championship, beating multi-X state qualifier Chris Hines, always-tough Cory Hudgins and Durphey once again. He is very dangerous, but he'll also have to get by Tyler Willis, which is no easy task.
    #8 Brett Durphey, Shelbyville, 12, 26-2: A state qualifier last year at 160, Durphey has beaten everyone he's faced this season except Holaway. In order to advance, Durphey will have to beat either #10 Anthony Bill or regional champ Von Wasson. Durphey stepped up big in last year's semi-state, beating one-loss Connor Hofmeister of Cathedral to advance to state in a tight match that most saw him as a sizeable underdog.
    Best ticket-punch matches: All four are epic matchups. #7 Farrell vs. Ibragim Komilov, North Central, 11, 33-8. Holaway vs. #11 Tyler Willis, Cathedral, 9, 35-5. #8 Durphey vs. #10 Anthony Bill, Chatard, 11, 34-3/Von Wasson, New Castle, 11, 44-3. #3 Todd vs. #6 Ronald "RV" Peter, Westfield, 12, 26-4.
    Darkhorses: Komilov, Willis, Bill, Wasson and Peter
    Michael Duckworth came into last year's New Castle semi-state and cleaned house. It's very likely he'll do it again. The difference? Last year he was the hunter and this year he is the hunted. Will it matter? Probably not. Duckworth is one of Indiana's best wrestlers and he is hungry for his first state title. Although there are numerous fine wrestlers in this weight class, there is no clear challenger for Duckworth. He'll likely face Grimes in the semis; he beat Grimes last year in New Castle. I'm not sure Moats or Moore can really keep pace with him in the finals. What's a Duckworth? Another semi-state title, almost certainly.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Mike Duckworth, New Castle's Top Dog at 171][/caption]
    Top Dog: #1 Michael Duckworth, Union County, 11, 41-0
    There's not too much to say about Duckworth, other than he is a special wrestler and one of the biggest favorites at this semi-state. He'll take up where wrestlers like Union County's Kenneth "Casey" Caldwell and Chris Barnhizer left off; he won't be happy with a state runner-up finish again this year. New Castle is just a means to that end. He's a very clear Top Dog here.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #9 Kevin Moats, Tipton, 11, 39-2: Moats battled tough with Grimes in the regional final and came up a bit short. He'll have a bear of a match with Perry Meridian's regional champ Jordan Robinson. Robinson is very capable of beating Moats and making the finals, but I'll go with the Tipton wrestler. Moats is very solid and should tangle with Moore in the semis if he can get by Robinson, which is a big if.
    #4 Bryce Grimes, Lawrence North, 12, 39-1: Last year's 5th place finisher in New Castle looks to get over the hump. Grimes had the misfortune of winding up on Duckworth's side of the bracket, which is a shame, because he's likely the 2nd best in this field. He'll have to get by #15 Phelps to make it to Conseco, but he should be able to do that comfortably. His one loss the entire season was to Shelby Mappes, a loss he avenged twice. Grimes is still a good bet to place at New Castle, even with a 3rd seed.  The only critique I have of him at all is that he appeared to gas in the regional finals vs. Moats.
    Scott Moore, Fountain Central, 11, 30-1:  Moore won his regional last weekend and looks to advance to his first state meet. He'll have to get by Mike Smith to advance to state. I don't think he'll be able to beat Grimes, although he has a shot at beating Moats.
    Best ticket-punch matches: Grimes vs. #15 Mike Phelps, New Palestine, 11, 32-6. Moore vs. Mike Smith, North Central, 10, 25-9, #9 Moats vs.  Jordan Robinson, Perry Meridian, 10, 32-4.
    Darkhorses: Robinson, Smith
    This is probably the deepest group of wresters at New Castle, and probably the most difficult to handicap, as evidenced by 6 ranked wrestlers. There are 3 former state qualifiers in the group, as well as a ticket match featuring 2 kids looking to become their school's first state qualifier. Nick Hodges appears to be a pretty clear favorite, but Michael Johnson-Jones, Andy Dalton, Ben Vondersaar, Patrick Lux, Chaz Brock and Daniel Sandberg are all State-caliber wrestlers. I'm personally looking forward to this weight more than any other at New Castle.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Nick Hodges, New Castle's Top Dog at 189][/caption]
    Top Dog: #2 Nick Hodges, Southmont, 12, 25-1
    Hodges, the fairly unathletic-looking, slightly pudgy kid from Southmont, is a returning state 5th place finisher at 189. Appearances are highly deceiving; Hodges is as slick a big man as I've seen in a while. Not very tall or long for the weight, Hodges uses movement and leverage exceptionally well. Maybe more than anyone besides Duckworth last year, Hodges surprised and impressed me at New Castle. Hodges has to get by the very tough Sandberg to advance to Conseco, but it will be a huge upset if he doesn't win not only that match, but the entire weight and move forward as a top seed at State. Even the ever-improving Michael Johnson-Jones shouldn't stand in the way of Hodges' bid to advance to the finals.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #5 Andy Dalton, East Central, 12, 40-1:  If Dalton manages to make the finals, he will have already beaten rugged Heights wrestler Zac Garrity, #9 Chaz Brock and regional champ Ben Vondersaar. Needless to say, that's not a small task. Weighing in his favor, Dalton already owns a win over Michael Johnson-Jones and 215's Colin Warner. Like many kids at this weight, he wrestled at 215 quite a bit this season. Dalton will need to wrestle almost flawlessly to make the finals.
    #8 Michael Johnson-Jones, Warren Central, 11, 36-2: If wins were given to the kid who passes the 'look test' the best, MJ-J would be your New Castle champ and Hodges wouldn't win a match. One of the nicest kids off the mat, smiling and friendly with everyone he meets, including his competitors, Johnson-Jones has improved by leaps and bounds this year, which is impressive since he qualified for State last season. As Coach Vickery has noted, MJ-J has learned to use his natural gifts, especially his hips, much better this year. He dominated his sectional and regional against some good competition. He lost a close match early in the season to Dalton, but he would have a great shot to avenge that loss and make the semi-state finals, if not for the way the bracket was set up. As things stand, he'll have to beat Westfield's Melby and Manual's Sawyers to advance to Conseco. He'll have to settle for a shot at 3rd, due to a semis matchup with Hodges, who is just too crafty and experienced for Johnson-Jones.
    #13 Patrick Lux, Fishers, 12, 35-7: This was a tough one to call and I went back and forth with it because Lux faces Pendleton Heights regional champ Ben Vondersaar in the ticket round. The difference, to me, is that Lux has semi-state experience and is coming off a weekend win over #9 Chaz Brock. The battle with Vondersaar is a matchup of kids looking to become the first-ever state qualifier from each kid's school (technically, Lux would be 2nd, since Farrell wrestles earlier), and it should be a war. Lux also has to get by tough frosh Andre Richards for the right to face Vondersaar.
    Best ticket-punch matches: #13 Lux vs. Ben Vondersaar, Guerin, 12, 34-3. #5 Dalton vs. #9 Chaz Brock, Crawfordsville, 12, 38-4.
    Darkhorses: Vondersaar, Brock
    Four ranked wrestlers, including unbeaten Gabe Berry of Warren Central, head a solid, evenly matched 215 semi-state. Berry appears to be the strongest horse in the field, but Colin Warner, Paul Parsley, Jake Buchanan and Chris Schaefer stand out as possible challengers to Berry for the title.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Gabe Berry, New Castle's Top Dog at 215][/caption]
    Top Dog: #5 Gabriel Berry, Warren Central, 12, 36-0
    Berry has had some close matches this year, but with Warren's schedule, his flawless record is pretty impressive. Multiple wins over Chris Schaefer and Drew Dorsey, as well as a win over John Kercher to go along with his sectional and regional crowns, show that Berry is poised for a run at a state title. I'm sure he and Michael Johnson-Jones have some pretty intense practices. Berry's first stiff test should come in the semis, when he faces last year's state qualifier and Pendleton Heights regional champ Colin Warner. Should he get by the always tough Warner, he'll likely face Chris Schaefer for the fourth time. It's hard to beat the same kid that many times, and Schaefer has a lot of tools to work with, but Berry should be able to get the job done.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    #6 Chris Schaefer, Perry Meridian, 12, 37-5: Three of Schaeffer's losses are to Berry; he also has close losses to top-ranked Billy Baker and #4 Christian Lentz. Schaefer is very long and very strong, and he has an excellent motor. He's been in the lineup for a long time and is as seasoned as any wrestler in the field. He'll have to overcome Westfield's top-seeded Paul Parsley in the ticket round. Parsley likely belongs in the top 4, but he got a brutal draw. After facing Parsley, Schaefer will likely have to get by Buchanan again, something he did earlier this season in the dual with Cathedral.
    #8 Colin Warner, Tipton, 12, 39-3: Warner could be competing at 189, but his move to 215 allowed Dylan Ford to have a great year for the Blue Devils at 189. Warner has serious experience in the state series and nationally, so he won't be intimidated by Berry in the semis. He should cruise to the semis.
    Jake Buchanan, Cathedral, 11, 29-8: In his match with Schaefer earlier this year, Buchanan was able to keep the match close despite Schaefer's physical superiority. Buchanan is slick on his feet and lulls his opponents to sleep, waiting for an opportunity to surprise them with an agile trip or shot. Buchanan should watch out for Halbert in his opening match.
    Best ticket-punch match: #6 Schaefer vs. #10 Paul Parsley, Westfield, 12, 32-2 
    Darkhorse: Parsley
    Heavyweight is probably the least heralded, and therefore most unpredictable, weight class at New Castle. Led by the dominant Ethan Cuevas, the field has some wrestlers with excellent records. While Cuevas is a strong favorite, Tony Bell, Dylan McBride, Ben Jackson, Andrew Becker, Sam Poole, Trent Wallace, Caleb Miller and Dimitrios Alafogianis all bring 30+ wins and dominant seasons into the semi-state; three spots are up for grabs among that crew.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Ethan Cuevas, New Castle's Biggest Dog][/caption]
    Big Dog: #6 Ethan Cuevas, North Central, 12, 42-1
    Cuevas has been a revelation this year. He didn't participate in the postseason series last year, but this year he has performed at an elite level. Other than a very close loss to last year's state qualifier and #4 HWT Alex White, no one has been able to control Cuevas. Cuevas is an athletic heavy, and he should be able to go deep into a match, or even OT, without gassing. He'll likely have to beat Sam Poole and Dylan McBride to advance to the title match, where he should be able to take care of business vs. Bell or Becker.
    Conseco, Ahoy
    Tony Bell, Roncalli, 12, 33-8: Bell has been one of Roncalli's stars this postseason, garnering a bunch of falls and continuing to beat everyone placed in front of him. In order to advance to the title match, he'll first have to take care of the very dangerous Dimitrios Alafogianis, brother of former state-placer (as a 3rd place regional finisher! Foreshadowing???) Eli Alafogianis. If he can get by the New Castle HWT, he'll likely have to try to hand Becker just his 4th loss. It seems that the tough schedule is paying off for Bell and Roncalli.
    Dylan McBride, Crawfordsville, 11, 36-6: McBride is coming off a title at the North Montgomery regional that saw his sectional produce all 4 placers. McBride will have to get by Milan's 38-4 Ben Jackson to advance to the semis, where he'll likely meet Cuevas. McBride should handle Becker in the third place match.
    Andrew Becker, Elwood, 12, 37-3: Becker is coming off of a strong 2nd place finish at Pendleton Heights and should be able to get by Trent Wallace and Rodney Quicksall to advance to Conseco.


    High School News

    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

    High School News

    Merrillville Semi-State Preview

    -56 Wrestlers look for trip to Indy
    On Saturday, February 14th over two hundred athletes will converge in the Merrillville High School gymnasium, not to trade valentines, but to scratch and claw their way to a berth in state finals. Many would argue that this semi-state is the most competitive in the state and many wrestlers with the ability to place at Conseco will end their seasons in the “ticket round†at Merrillville. In total, fifty-three ranked wrestlers and six top ranked individuals will take part in this annual region brawl.

    Kyle Ayersman from Lake Central is the clear favorite in this class as he has already beaten most of the other contenders. The potential match of the day will be between Merrillville’s Zack Stevens and Warsaw’s mighty mite, Jarred Brooks.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #4 Kyle Ayersman - Lake Central - Freshman (42-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #6 Zack Stevens – Merrillville - Junior (34-4)
    #11 Cameron Halsted - Crown Point - Freshman (29-6)
    #8 Aurelio Medina – Munster - Sophomore (37-4)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Buster
    #13 Jarred Brooks – Warsaw - Freshman (35-1)

    Crown Point should crown their first of several semi-state champions at this class. Anthony Hawkins has beaten many of the state’s best and is heavily favored to claim the top spot on the podium this year. The best ticket round matches should pit Rochester’s Garth Simpson versus Calumet regional champ Danny Rodriguez of Highland and Alex Gregory of Penn taking on Brandon Coppinger of Portage.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Anthony Hawkins - Crown Point - Junior (34-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    Garth Simpson – Rochester - Sophomore (43-4)
    #13 Brandon Coppinger – Portage - Sophomore (35-7)
    Robert Floyd – Delphi - Senior (14-3)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Alex Gregory – Penn - Sophomore (29-4)
    Danny Rodriguez – Highland - Sophomore (29-6)
    Indiana University bound Justin Brooks should be the winner here but might be tested by dangerous Danny Bradley of Knox and/or John Petrov of Hanover Central. Bradley would first have to get by the tough Caveman Matt Guerra in the ticket round headliner. Logansport regional champ Oscar Trujillo of Lafayette Jeff will try to upset #15 ranked Cory Hildebrandt in an effort to reach the state finals.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #3 Justin Brooks – Warsaw - Senior (35-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #15 Cory Hildebrandt – Penn -Senior (34-5)
    #9 Danny Bradley – Knox - Junior (35-0)
    #10 John Petrov - Hanover Central - Junior (36-2)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Matt Guerra – Mishawaka - Junior (31-5)
    Oscar Trujillo - Lafayette Jeff - Senior (31-6)
    Fabulous freshman Jason Tsirtsis looks to avenge his team regional loss to Anthony Napules. These two studs are the favorites in this very deep weight class. There are compelling matches littered throughout this bracket. Unheralded Nick Schrader of Mishawaka put himself in prime position for slot in the state finals with his regional victory over Tony Stevens of Penn.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]

    The Big Kahuna
    #2 Jason Tsirtsis - Crown Point - Freshman (32-2)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #3 Anthony Napules – Merrillville - Junior (37-3)
    #10 Ezra Penn – Harrison - Senior (39-3)
    Nick Schrader – Mishawaka - Junior (26-11)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Sam Camacho – Hobart - Senior (27-8)
    Kyle Hernandez – Knox - Junior (32-7)
    Tony Stevens – Penn - Senior (35-3)
    #16 Luis Acuna – Portage -Sophomore (36-4)
    Josh Harper continues in his quest for state title number four but it will not be easy. In a likely rematch of last year’s state finals, second ranked Frankie Porras looks to unseat the top ranked Harper.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Josh Harper – Mishawaka - Senior (30-2)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    Dallas Schurg - Crown Point - Junior (29-6)
    #6 Zack Thornton – Chesterton - Junior (33-2)
    #2 Frankie Porras – Hobart - Junior (32-1)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Bobby Marcuccilli – Wawasee - Sophomore (30-3)
    Nathan McTigue – Delphi - Junior (26-5)
    Another battle between the two top ranked wrestlers in the state looks to be on tap at the 135 lb. class. Eric Roach of Crown Point has been nearly untouchable this year but Johnny “Thrillin†Dillon wants a chance to knock off another highly ranked wrestler. Dillon beat Taylor March of East Noble earlier in the year. Sixth ranked Trent Reinoehl could be a factor as he hopes to upset Roach in the semifinals.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Eric Roach - Crown Point - Sophomore (34-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #2 Johnny Dillon – Hobart - Senior (33-0)
    Chase Lewandowski – Plymouth - Junior (32-6)
    #6 Trent Reinoehl – Mishawaka - Senior (8-0)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Buster
    Owen Dorris – Pioneer - Sophomore (41-5)
    Fans at the Merrillville semi-state should be in for yet another treat at 140. Defending state champion Steve Sandefer must negotiate a bracket filled with landmines. Sandefer could face third ranked Alex Surma in the semis and then sixth ranked Trace Hall in the finals. Hall has given the top ranked Sandefer his only loss on the season.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Steve Sandefer – Mishawaka - Senior (36-1)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #6 Trace Hall - SB Riley - Senior (31-5)
    Darrius Richmond – Merrillville - Senior (31-5)
    #3 Alex Surma – Munster - Junior (42-0)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Tanner Lynde – Delphi - Freshman (34-6)
    Dustin Schultz - Kankakee Valley - Junior (37 -3 )
    Daniel Young of Culver Academies was sharp as a tack at the Rochester regional and will look to carry that momentum through the semi-state. He will likely face the surprise Calumet champion Keon Jones in the semifinals and will then match up with the winner of the Almaraz-Ray ticket round battle.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #2 Daniel Young – CMA - Senior (40-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    Keon Jones – Merrillville - Senior (33-5)
    #3 Chris Almaraz – Highland - Senior (33-1)
    Tyler Lymburner - SB Riley - Senior (23-3)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Cody Ray - North Newton - Senior (40-1)
    Shane Evers – Harrison - Senior (46-5)
    Sean McMurray of Portage toughest match may be a semifinal match-up with third ranked Aaron Estrada of Munster. Veteran wrestlers, David Minix of Winamac, Adam Keener of Warsaw, Jordan Martin of New Prairie and Tim Forte of Mishawaka look to fill the other two slots at Conseco.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Sean McMurray – Portage - Junior (41-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #3 Aaron Estrada – Munster - Senior (20-1)
    Adam Keener – Warsaw - Senior (32-4)
    #5 David Minix – Winamac - Senior (36-1)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Jordan Martin - New Prairie - Senior (32-6)
    Tim Forte – Mishawaka - Senior (25-6)
    Mark Meyers is the clear favorite in this field. He has torn through most of his competition this year and may not be seriously threatened until he gets to Indianapolis.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #2 Mark Meyers - Crown Point - Senior (34-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #9 Kurt Monix – Lowell - Senior (29-2)
    Adam Arsenault - SB St. Joe - Senior (23-10)
    #16 Richard Morin – Mishawaka - Junior (32-6)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Cheney Dale – McCutcheon - Junior (33-7)
    Rob Keough - Lake Central - Senior (37-6)
    A very deep field is headlined by second ranked Braden Atwood. Atwood is probably the only sure thing at this weight class as up to eight other wrestlers have a legitimate shot a securing a slot in the state finals.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #2 Braden Atwood – Delphi - Junior (41-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #12 Huey Hudson - SB Riley - Senior (32-5)
    #13 Tyler McCoy – McCutcheon - Senior (34-4)
    Chris Bartley – Griffith - Senior (31-3)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Ryne Bell - South Newton - Junior (34-2)
    #7 Blake Hoffer – Triton - Senior (17-3)
    Andrew Sands - Hanover Central - Senior (33-12)
    Joey Smith – Mishawaka - Senior (13-6)
    If Shrewsbury comes into Merrillville focused he should leave a semi-state champion for the first time. Shrewsbury had previously lost to Jake Salas of Merrillville and Ian Hinton of Mishawaka. I don’t think there is anyone of that quality to challenge Shrewsbury this year. There are, however, a whole host of challengers for the other three state slots.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #1 Marcus Shrewsbury - Crown Point - Senior (34-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]

    Conseco Bound
    #12 Travis Kepner - Benton Central - Senior (38-4)
    Kyle Keith – Portage - Senior (34-8)
    Willie Lott - East Chicago Central - Senior (22-1)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Bryce Holland – LaPorte - Senior (30-10)
    Randy Kaufman – Rensselaer - Senior (32-5)
    Dustin Boyd – Mishawaka - Senior (31-8)
    Timmy Buckingham - SB Riley - Junior (27-8)
    This class has the best 215 lb. wrestlers in the state not named Baker. Cleveland is the favorite but by no means is he a sure thing. It will be a shame that either fourth ranked Christain Lentz or third ranked Kannon Keigley of New Prairie will not be wrestling at Conseco Field House this year.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Big Kahuna
    #2 Nathan Cleveland – Lowell - Junior (31-1)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    Brady Tolle - Lewis Cass - Senior (33-1)
    Nathaniel Coleman – Portage - Senior (34-7)
    #4 Christain Lentz – Mishawaka - Junior (37-3)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Busters
    Travis Yoakum – Delphi - Senior (26-5)
    #3 Kannon Keigley - New Prairie - Senior (40-2)
    Vlade Nacovski - Lake Central - Junior (34-4)
    The top five wrestlers at heavyweight combine for a record of 168-3. Craig Fitzgerald of John Glenn gets the nod as favorite due to his fifth place finish at last year’s state finals. The other big boys are all capable of upsets. 285 should keep fans in their seats at Merrillville.[caption id=attachment_705" align="alignright" width="124" caption="The Big Kahuna][/caption]
    The Biggest Kahuna
    #2 Craig Fitzgerald – Glenn - Senior (41-0)
    [caption id=attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Stepin\' Up to Conseco][/caption]
    Conseco Bound
    #13 Wes Everett – Delphi - Senior (39-0)
    #7 Travis Thomas – Mishawaka - Junior (22-2)
    #5 James Travis – Merrillville - Junior (38-0)
    [caption id=attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Buster Brown][/caption]
    Bracket Buster
    #14 Coty Anderson – Highland - Senior (28-1)

    High School News

    Pendleton Heights Individual Regional Breakdown

    The sign above the door to the Pendleton Heights gymnasium reads- "Abandon all hope all ye 119 and 125 lbers who enter here". OK, it doesn't say that, but it should. The always entertaining Pendleton Heights individual regional is highlighted by two weights dominated by state champions and top contenders. However, like all the state's regionals, all the weights feature some truly excellent wrestlers. Here's the breakdown:
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Little Todd, 103 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog: #12 Mason Todd, Pendleton Heights. The nationally decorated freshman Arabian wrestler brings just one loss to the party. That one loss is to #2 Cody Philips of Union County, considered by many to be the wrestler to beat at 103 for the entire state. Other than that one stumble, Todd has had a magnificent first year campaign. Like his brothers before him, Todd looks to make a mark on Indiana wrestling. He'll have some serious tests here but he is the slight favorite IMO. This is his first regional and the competition here is very stiff; on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with wrestling in your home gym. His potential semis match with Price could be a dandy and it will almost certainly have important ramifications for semi-state and beyond. 103 can be a surprising weight class, so Todd is not a lock by any stretch; in fact, he's only the 3rd highest ranked kid at the regional. This is a pretty strong weight class; I'm looking forward to it. 
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    #9 Brian Harvey, Cathedral. Harvey has wrestled seemingly everyone at 103 this season and has had a great freshman season. He'll have to beat Boston or O' Neal to advance to the finals. He gets to avoid Todd and Price until the finals, if he makes it that far. That win over Price last weekend looms large here and he is a safe bet to make the finals and nab a top-2 seed for New Castle next weekend. 
    #7 Dominique Price, Arsenal Technical High School. The very close loss to Harvey last weekend means that the IPS product must face Todd in the semis. Price is not a household name, but he is very capable of winning this regional. He is legit and I expect to see him at Conseco this year and beyond. He was runner-up to Brandon Nelson at this weight last year.
    Robert Boston, Lawrence North. This was a tough call, as O'Neal is very tough and has an outstanding record. Still, I think Boston's record is a little misleading, considering the schedule LN has faced. Boston has had some solid national results in the past and I think he'll find a way to beat the Tri-Central wrestler. He will be hard-pressed to beat Todd or Price for 3rd place, but stranger things have happened.
    Best 'ticket punch' match: O'Neal vs Boston.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Brandon Nelson, 112 Top Dog][/caption]
     Top Dog: #2 Brandon Nelson, Lawrence North. Nelson is a strong favorite here and he'll be a strong favorite next weekend as well. He is a very experienced wrestler and he'll likely be wrestling under the lights in a couple of weeks.


    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

     See ya next week at New Castle
    #12 Blake Roytek, Cathedral- Roytek is similar to Harvey--the kid has wrestled just about everyone at his weight. Roytek has actually lost to indianamat's #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 wrestlers this year. However, he hasn't been blown out by any of them; impressively, he lost to #1 ranked  Anthony Hawkins of Crown Point by a 4-2 score. He's one of those kids who wrestles to his opponents' ability; Gadient could definitely pull an upset here. I think Roytek will make it to the finals and lose a respectable decision to Nelson.
    Tyler Gadient, Noblesville. Basically, he and Wilson are very evenly matched and it wouldn't be a surprise if either kid won. 
    Andrew Wilson, Pendleton Heights. WeeMom will likely hate me for putting him below Gadient, but at least I have him qualifying for semi-state.

    Best 'ticket punch' match: Wilson's first round tussle with Tech's Aaron Thurman.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Brandon Wright, 119 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog: #1 Brandon Wright, Cathedral. It's hard to bet against Eppert, but Wright has historically peaked in the postseason--a scary thought considering Wright's excellent regular season. His battle with Camden will be the first of 3 likely postseason matches. Wright is nothing less than a monster and should secure a top seed at New Castle.


    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    #2 Camden  Eppert, Anderson Highland- Purdue-bound Eppert is very familiar with Wright. As methodical and hard-working as the Scots wrestler is, I'm sure he's been specifically preparing for his matchups with Wright.  I expect him to give Wright his toughest matches from here on out, even at Conseco. However, Wright's mind-blowing quickness is hard to prepare for, even if you've scouted him heavily. Also, Camden needs to make sure he doesn't overlook Cosby in the semis.
    #16 Storm Cosby, Tech. The City champ is very unfortunate to be stuck with this group of competitors. Although Cosby is very game, I just don't see him beating Wright or Eppert. I do, however, see him securing a #3 seed by beating Eshelman. He lost his first match at regionals last year.
    Justin Eshelman, Pendleton Heights. Eshelman is a returning semi-state qualifier and will be wrestling on his home mat. I think he'll advance to New Castle, but it will be incredibly difficult for him to finish above 4th.
    Best 'ticket punch' match:  Cosby vs. Levi Lanning of Alexandria. Lanning was a semi-state qualifier last year and Cosby was not. I hope Storm isn't looking past him.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Cashe Money, Top Dog 125][/caption]
    Top Dog: Christoper "Cashe" Quiroga, Lawrence North. A no-brainer. #1 at 125 , nationally accomplished/ranked and #1 on indianamat's pound for pound ranking. Although Cashe has been the hottest wrestler in the state all year, this is actually a very deep and tough weight for a regional. I don't think it will matter; Purdue recruit Quiroga continues his march for another state title.


    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle

    #5 Mason Berryman, Anderson Highland- Berryman will have to get through John Grey to get to the finals, but I think he'll pull it off. He is a legit #5 and a likely state placer.

    #7 John Grey, Cathedral-Grey can beat anyone at this weight not named Quiroga or Tsirtsis. However, he keeps a lot of matches close, even against lesser oppponents--kind of like Roytek in that he wrestles to the level of his opponent. I think Berryman beats him this time.
    Jarrid Logan, Hamilton Heights-Another tough field for Logan to try to survive. He doesn't get a break in his opening match--Posey is a very tough out and could pull the slight upset.
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Logan vs. Lovester Posey, Tech
    Top Dog: Colin Bullock, Hamilton Heights. A slightly shallow weight class gives Bullock a very solid chance at earning a regional title. Bryant, Bell and Franklin could definitely de-rail his plans, but Bullock will look to bounce back from a tough team performance vs. Carmel and Coach Willoughby will have the Huskies prepared.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]
    See ya next week at New Castle

    Josh Franklin, Lawrence Central. Franklin is capable of beating Bullock, but he'll have his work cut out for him in the semis, as Anderson Highland's tough Dominique Bryant awaits.
    Dominique Bryant, Anderson Highland. The senior Scots wrestler, like Franklin, could win the whole shooting match this weekend. However, his opening match with Cathedral's Stringfield could be a landmine. That one is far from a gimme.
    Greg Bell, Lawrence North. Bell is a little inconsistent, but he's capable of beating good opponents and he's wrestled a ton of studs this season. His first round match with 33-5 Tri-Central sophomore Keegan Pyke could easily be his first and last match at regionals. This weight is wide open.
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Bell vs Pike, Stringfield vs Bryant.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Dom Corsaro, 135 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog: #13 Dominic Corsaro, Cathedral. Corsaro is a returning state placer, but like 130, this weight is far from clear. Corsaro will be the favorite, but strong tests could come from Heights' Alley or essentially anyone in the bracket. A very wide open bracket here.

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    Braydon Alley, Hamilton Heights-Alley is going to need a high finish here to set himself up to advance at New Castle. This wide open field is going to get a lot tougher at semi-state, so the Huskies wrestler must perform at a high level in this spot.
    Matt Ratay, Lawrence North
     Zach Long, Elwood
    Best 'ticket punch' match:  Haydon Buck (Tri-Central) vs. Ratay, Long vs. Levi Lucas (Manual)
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Tony Mac, 140 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog-#2 Tony McGinley, Cathedral-McGinley is battling an injury and didn't participate in the team regionals. He also forfeited his sectional finals match with Butts. If he's not too limited by his injury, he should cruise through this regional. If he's really bunged up and gimpy, anything is possible. I wouldn't underestimate the McGinleys....wrestling is their business.

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle

    Dominique Butts, Lawrence Central-A fortunate turn of events makes it appear that butts will be a 2nd seed at New Castle. Can he take advantage and make a run to Conseco?
    Zach Bowers, Hamilton Heights-An unfortunate turn of events puts McGinley in his path early in the regional. Bowers is a tough, smart wrestler and a bunged-up McGinley might be vulnerable.
    Montrail Johnson, Tri-Central
    Best 'ticket punch' match: McGinley/Pore, Butts/Gregg and Johnson/Shelton
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Sammy Bennett, 145 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog-#1 Sammy Bennett, Anderson Highland-This is a loaded field, but Bennett has passed every test thus far this season. McGinley looms large in Bennett's future, but Specht or Goodwin shouldn't be overlooked either. Last year's runner-up at 145 will be tested.

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    #6 Gavin McGinley, Cathedral. You know it's a tough field if Gavin Mac isn't the favorite. While on paper McGinley is a strong favorite to reach the regional finals, Heights' Miller is not a cupcake. Assuming McGinley beats Miller, he could pull the upset over Bennett, making Bennett's road to Conseco a lot bumpier.
    AJ Miller, Hamilton Heights. The senior Miller is solid and battle-tested. Still, this is one tough group and Miller will have his hands full with Goodwin for 3rd place.
    Matt Goodwin, Lawrence North. The formerly ranked senior has yet to taste the sweet flavor of State Street. He is a very capable kid; he needs to just advance to New Castle, then he can regroup and try to make a run to Conseco. A potential matchup with Miller for 3rd could be huge for each kid's chances to make it to state.
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Goodwin vs. Noblesville's Wayne Specht. The two wrestlers are a combined 58-10.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Calvin Sullivan, 152 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog-#4 Calvin Sullivan, Cathedral. Cal is undefeated this year and has placed 5th at state the past 2 seasons. He will be a tough nut to crack for anyone in Pendleton on Saturday. While anything is possible in wrestling, Sullivan is among the strongest favorites in the regional.

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    Matt Miller, Hamilton Heights. Beat Holt last week and should be 2nd best here this weekend.
    #15 Nick Holt, Pendleton Heights. Wrestling on his home mat, perhaps Holt returns the favor to Miller, who wrestled on his home mat last week. Should be a good one.
    Mike Taylor, Lawrence Central
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Holt vs. LN's Ethan Wilson
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Big Todd, 160 Top Dog][/caption]
    -#3 Matt Todd, Pendleton Heights-Another Arabian Todd at the top of the heap. Matt is very experienced, is undefeated and has already experienced the State experience. This is a very dangerous field, and Todd will have to navigate through a minefield that features Cathedral's explosive freshman Willis and one-loss Anthony Bill of Chatard.

    Top Dog

    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle

    #11 Tyler Willis, Cathedral-The phenom continues to improve; at this point, there's no telling what he will do in the postseason. He seems to have elevated his game to a superior level--he absolutely is capable of beating the much more experienced Todd. He has a fairly clear path to the finals.

    #10 Anthony Bill, Bishop Chatard- Willis gave Bill his first loss last week. Will Bill Kill this weekend? Kill, Bill, Kill
    [caption id=" align="alignnone" width="137" caption="Kill Bill][/caption]

    Ibragim Komilov, North Central
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Komilov vs Anderson's Mark Buehler
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Bryce Grimes, 171 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog
    - #4 Bryce Grimes, Lawrence North-Another deep field in Pendleton. Grimes is stout but he'll have his hands full with Moats and Fleenor or Hofmeister. That said, I like his chances quite a bit. I think he's the best guy in the weight not named Atwood or Duckworth.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    #9 Kevin Moats, Tipton-Moats brings a nearly spotless record into this tough regional. Moats could have 2 difficult matches under his belt before he meets Grimes in the finals. Whoever wins this field will have earned it and will be in good shape heading towards Conseco from New Castle.
    Andy Fleenor, Noblesville-Just a hunch here. Truthfully, he's going to have a very tough match with Hofmeister just to advance out of the regional.
    Phillip Buehler, Anderson- 32-5 ain't too shabby
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Fleenor/Hofmeister could be one of the best matches of the day.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Sandberg, 189 Top Dog???][/caption]
    Top Dog
    - #16 Daniel Sandberg, Lawrence Central-This was a very tough call, as there are at least 4 other kids who could take the weight. Another Dingo hunch here, so take it for what it's worth. His first opponent is 35-7. I like Sandberg in this spot because he's wrestled the most grueling schedule of the top participants here.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    Henry Nichols, Pendleton Heights-Nichols won a tough Heights sectional last weekend and will be looking to follow it up with a solid performance here. His first opponent is 29-5. His potential 2nd opponent is 31-3. No easy way out at this weight.
    Zac Garrity, Hamilton Heights- A lot depends on his health. One of the most snake-bitten kids in recent years, Garrity has the tools to put a strong run together. Will this be the year he breaks through? That injury may determine the answer.
    Ben Vondersaar, Theodore Guerin- Did you know that Theodore Guerin was a woman? A nun, in fact? It's true. On a more releveant point, Vondersaar is a coach's son and is capable of winning this weight. 31-3 isn't a coincidence.
    Best 'ticket punch' match: All of 'em. Not one kid in the bracket with double digit losses. Very impressive
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Colin Warner, 215 Top Dog][/caption]
    Top Dog
    -#8 Colin Warner, Tipton. Warner looks to build on his state qualification last season and will be a solid favorite here. Anything short of a championship will make an attempted run at Conseco a lot more difficult.


    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    Jake Buchanan, Cathedral-Likely the only kid with a solid chance at knocking off Warner. Buchanan is very solid and doesn't beat himself.
    JR Smart, Lapel-Just taking a stab here. Very wide open field past Buchanan and Warner.
    Michael Raby, North Central-See Smart, JR
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Smart/Lawrence Central's Jaylen Clark
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Ethan Cuevas, King of the Giants][/caption]
    Top Dog
    -#6 Ethan Cuevas, North Central-Cuevas has very quietly established himself as a very strong state contender. He should be the class of this field, although Stokes is a tough semis matchup. Becker should keep it respectable in the finals, but it will be a big upset and a big blow to his state chances if Cuevas doesn't win this regional.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="130" caption="Come on down][/caption]

    See ya next week at New Castle
    Andrew Becker, Elwood-Heights sectional winner sports an impressive 35-2 record.
    [caption id=" align="alignleft" width="105" caption="Blade will stick you][/caption]

    Wesley "Snipes" Stokes, Cathedral- Nimble giant has improved considerably from the beginning of the season to now.  A good sleeper pick here and at New Castle.

    Jackson Kerfoot, Hamilton Heights
    Best 'ticket punch' match: Kerfoot/ Lawrence Central's Eric Thigpen

    High School News

    College Wrestling Survey

    Hi Wrestling Fans,
    I am currently working with the NWCA to find ways to enhance the sustainability of college wrestling and its programs. We are in the process of assessing the college wrestling schedule and we would love to get your opinion on a variety of related issues. In order to do this, we hope that you will take 5 minutes of your time to fill out our online survey (link below). Please let me know if you have any questions! Thanks so much for your time!
    Coyte Cooper
    Email: Coyte.Cooper@mail.wvu.edu

    High School News

    Team Regional Roundup

    Click here to view the brackets
    The 2009 version of the revamped team state tournament provided everything you could ask for, upsets, blowouts, and close calls.  Three of the seven teams that punched their tickets for Center Grove are first timers.  Congratulations to the Crown Point Bulldogs, Delphi Oracles and Castle Knights on making it to the Elite Eight of Indiana wrestling.  The regulars in Bellmont, Perry Meridian, Indy Cathedral and Mishawaka also made reservations for 14 for the team state finals.
    Jimtown Team Regional
    In the first round Mishawaka easily dispatched the Plymouth Rockies 56-8 without both their returning state champions, Steven Sandefer and Josh Harper.  The other semi-final didn't provide much as Elkhart Memorial took out East Noble 51-18.  The finals did have some flair as Elkhart Memorial hung close, but Mishawaka's depth proved to be the difference as they pulled away late 36-22.
    North Montgomery Team Regional
    Indianapolis Cathedral will be making their fourth  trip to the team state finals as they beat up on Hamilton Heights 49-15 and then beat Carmel in an almost identical score of 45-18.  Carmel beat Fountain Central in the first round 45-9.  The Irish have made it to team state in 1999, 2006 and 2007.
    Portage Team Regional
    The host Indians beat Munster in the first round 57-12, but it wasn't without fireworks as a highly anticipated match between Sean McMurray and Aaron Estrada was everything you could ask for.  Both 152lbers went at it with each spending time counting the lights, but McMurray came away with the 15-10 victory.  The other semi-final was hotly contested between Merrillville and Crown Point.  The Bulldogs owned a regular season win over the Pirates, but the regular season means nothing to both these region rivals.  Crown Point rode their horses, Marcus Shrewsbury, Mark Myers, Anthony Hawkins, and Eric Roach to a 34-20 victory as they all earned much needed bonus points.  In the finals, Crown Point easily dispatched the host Indians 42-13.
    Adams Central Team Regional
    The first round provided a couple upsets in both semi-finals.  The Whitko Wildcats took care of business beating the New Haven Bulldogs 39-21 in the first round.  New Haven beat Whitko by two points earlier in the season.  The other semi-finals was a barnburner as Yorktown held an eight point lead with two matches to go.  Bellmont got two big pins to come away with the 31-27 victory.  Bellmont then easily took care of Whitko 42-15 to make their 13th appearance in the team state finals.
    Greencastle Team Regional
    Bloomington South slipped by Martinsville in the 36-27 and Perry Meridian took care of Avon 44-13 in the first round here.  In the finals Perry Meridian didn't slow down as they beat the Panthers 45-6.
    Jasper Team Regional
    This is where the biggest of upsets happened Wednesday night.  Castle upended perennial power Mater Dei in the first round 29-16.  Bob Harmon's Castle Knights held the lead throughout, as Mater Dei did not lead once during the match.  In the other semi-final Jeffersonville beat Southridge 41-20.  In the finals, Castle did not have a letdown as they ground out a 30-16 victory over Jeffersonville.
    Peru Team Regional
    The host Tigers came away with a 54-21 victory over the Marion Giants in the first round.  The other semi-final had the Oracles of Delphi taking out West Central 57-15.  In the finals Delphi beat Peru 46-24 to punch their first ticket to team state.

    High School News

    2009 IHSAA Wrestling Regional Brackets

    Team State Tournament Bracket
    1. Calumet, 9:30 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: Calumet, East Chicago Central.
    2. LaPorte, 9 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: Crown Point, LaPorte.
    3. Rochester, 9:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Mishawaka, Plymouth.
    4. Logansport, 9:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Lafayette Jefferson, Twin Lakes.
    5. Goshen, 9:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Elkhart Memorial, Westview.
    6. Carroll (Fort Wayne), 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), New Haven.
    7. Peru, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Oak Hill, Peru.
    8. Jay County, 8:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Delta, Jay County.
    9. North Montgomery, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Crawfordsville, Zionsville.
    10. Pendleton Heights, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Hamilton Heights, Lawrence Central.
    11. Perry Meridian, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Decatur Central, Warren Central.
    12. Richmond, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Shenandoah, South Dearborn.
    13. Mooresville, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Avon, Mooresville.
    14. Bloomington South, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Jennings County, Northview.
    15. Jeffersonville, 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Jeffersonville, Southridge.
    16. Castle, 9 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: Castle, Evansville Central.

    High School News

    Perry Meridian Regional Preview

    It looks like a great day of wrestling this weekend at Perry Meridian with a lot of tough wrestlers. The deepest weights look to be 130lbs, 135lbs 140lbs and 160lbs.
    Champion: Freshman Jared McKinley Perry Meridian (43-0)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Aaron Davis Roncalli, Sophomore Kaleb Barajas Franklin Central, Freshman Alonzo Calloway Pike
    Best first round match:
    Alonzo Calloway Pike (23-7) vs. Cody Morgan Mt. Vernon (26-13)
    Champion: Sophomore Josh Kieffer Roncalli (35-4)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Jake Pedigo Ben Davis, Senior Jamel Hill Pike, Sophomore Michael Clem Perry Meridian
    Best first round match:
    Michael Clem Perry Meridian (27-13) vs. Kaleb Kemp Franklin Central (20-9)
    Champion: Sophomore Justin Kieffer Roncalli (39-1)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Seve Duncan Beech Grove, Junior Jake McCarthy Mt. Vernon, Senior Matt Mooreland Warren Central
    Best first round match:
    Jason Simmons Perry Meridian (25-8) vs. Seve Duncan Beech Grove (27-5)
    Champion: Senior Austin Marshall Southport (35-3)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Freshman Kirk Johnson Perry Meridian, freshman Joe Kieffer Roncalli, Junior Jake Williams Shelbyville
    Best first round match:
    Kirk Johnson Perry Meridian (32-8) vs. Zach Baghman Warren Central (21-16)
    Champion: Senior D'marcus Spencer Pike (33-3)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Senior Sampson Cook Perry Meridian, Senior Nick Odom Warren Central, Junior Jordan East Southport
    Best first round match:
    Sampson Cook Perry Meridian (30-3) vs. Joal Mogollon Mount Vernon (31-8)
    Champion: Senior Chris Goodwin Perry Meridian (40-3)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Josh Williams Mount Vernon, Senior Tommy Pearson New Palestine, Senior Forrest Romer Ben Davis
    Best first round match:
    Forrest Romer Ben Davis (26-11) vs. Kyle Ettner Franklin Central (24-10)
    Champion: Junior Jacob Tonte Perry Meridian (40-2)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior JR Corman New Palestine, Freshman Jonathan Decker Warren Central, Senior Travis Varga Greenfield Central
    Best first round match:
    Jacob Tonte Perry Meridian (37-2) vs. Josh Ramage Beech Grove (30-8)
    Champion: Senior Jacob Tasseff Perry Meridian (41-1)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Senior David Waldroup New Palestine, Junior Jake Bartley Roncalli, Senior Nick Gates Beech Grove
    Best first round match:
    Sterling White Decatur Central (21-8) vs. Nick Gates Beech Grove (17-8)
    Champion: Senior Blake Wood Perry Meridian (39-4)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Jake Jennings New Palestine, Senior Brian Larner Shelbyville, Senior Kris Williams Roncalli
    Best first round match:
    Mitchel Judkins Speedway (29-5) vs. Kris Williams Roncalli (19-15)
    Champion: Senior Brett Durphey Shelbyville (29-1)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Senior Cory Hudgins Perry Meridian, Senior Nick Holaway Greenfield Central, Senior Alan McNeal Southport
    Best first round match:
    Chris Hines Ben Davis (12-7) vs. Nick Holaway Greenfield Central (32-9)
    Champion: Sophomore Jordan Robinson Perry Meridian (30-4)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Junior Mike Phelps New Palestine, Junior Jake Hockenbury Decatur Central, Senior Michael Judkins Speedway
    Best first round match:
    Michael Judkins Speedway (28-8) vs. Dakota Gruell Greenfield Central (29-11)
    Champion: Junior Michael Johnson-Jones Warren Central (39-2)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Senior PeAire Hosea Pike, Freshman Andre Richards Perry Meridian, Senior Cruz Dyson Beech Grove
    Best first round match:
    Tyler Thompson Ben Davis (26-9) vs. Cruz Dyson Beech Grove (27-7)
    Champion: Senior Gabriel Berry Warren Central (39-0)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Senior Chris Schaefer Perry Meridian, Senior Antonio Halbert New Palestine, Sophomore Sam Balbach Mount Vernon
    Best first round match:
    Chris Schaefer Perry Meridian (35-5) vs. Gage Byrne Shelbyville (26-9)
    Champion: Senior Tony Bell Roncalli (35-7)
    Semi-State Qualifiers: Sophomore Alex White Warren Central, Junior Zach Kirages Franklin Central, Junior Vincent Parmer Southport
    Best first round match:
    Devin Schaefer Perry Meridian (25-14) vs. Zach Kirages Franklin Central (11-9)
    It looks like a lot of good wrestling this weekend and the field is pretty balanced with Perry Meridian getting 12 through to semi-state, Roncalli with seven, Warren Central and New Palestine both with six, Pike and Southport both with four. Good luck to all the wrestlers this weekend

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