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  • Top 10 Stories of 2014


    By Chad Hollenbaugh

    IndianaMat Senior Writer

    1. Super 32 Kicks of 2014-15 Prep Season – New Palestine’s Chad Red led a strong contingent of Hoosier wrestlers with his championship performance at the premier pre-season tournament in the country. Red’s domination of the field at 126 has led to his current Flo ranking of #2 in the country. He is only the third Indiana product to win this event, joining Indian Creek’s Ethan Raley and Warsaw’s Jared Brooks. Red’s club teammate and fellow junior Blake Rypel finished a strong third at 182. The Cathedral product moved up to 195 for the high school season and is still dominant. He currently holds the # 8 ranking in the country at 195. East Noble’s Garrett Pepple and Lowell’s Drew Hughes also finished on the podium with fourth place finishes at 113 and 152 respectively.
    2. Three Cadet champs, Team Finishes 5th at Fargo – Late July always brings exciting wrestling news from the always beautiful Fargo, North Dakota. The Fargodome, on the campus of North Dakota state annually hosts the Cadet and Junior level freestyle and Greco national championship. The Indiana Cadet team had one of the finest performances in the states history as three Hoosiers won national freestyle titles. Mt. Vernon’s Paul Konrath followed up his high school runner-up performance with a freestyle national crown. Konrath’s victory vaulted him onto the national map. Perhaps no Indiana wrestler had a better 2014 than Chad Red. Red added a national championship in freestyle to his long list of accolades by winning the 126 pound class. The third Hoosier champ was Evansville Mater Dei’s Nick Lee. Lee dominated the field in Fargo in route to his championship. Penn’s Kobe Woods was a national runner-up and Westfield’s Evan Eldred placed 7th to help Indiana to a 5th place team placement.
    3. University of Indianapolis has Highest ever National Finish – Regional Coach of the Year Jason Warthen took seven Greyhound grapplers to Cleveland after winning their super regional for the first time in school history. After two days in Cleveland, UIndy returned to the Circle City with four All-Americans and the programs highest ever national finish.(8th) Scoring for the Greyhounds were Jeff Weiss who was 3rd at 165, Evan Wooding placed 5th at 285, Cameryn Brady garnered his third All-American honor with a 6th place finish and Evansville Reitz product Alex Johns placed 7th at the 125 pound class. Warthen has built the Greyhounds into a national power at the Division 2 level and while they will miss the fab four seniors, don’t expect the Greyhounds to be down for long.
    4. Lefever becomes first National Champ in Wabash’s History – When Fort Wayne Carroll’s Riley Lefever made his choice to follow his brothers and wrestle for the Little Giants of Wabash, Head Coach Brian Anderson knew he was getting an outstanding student-athlete. He probably had no idea that Lefever would run the table, finish 41-0, and become Wabash’s first ever National Champion. With a takedown at the edge in the first overtime period, Lefever defeated two time national finalist Brian Broderick of The College of New Jersey to claim the championship, 3-1. The future is very bright for Lefever as he contines to develop and mature as a wrestler. The humble Lefever thanked his older twin brother in typically humorous way when he stated, after winning the title, “without them beating the crap out of me every single day I wouldn’t be here right now.”
    5. Northwestern Jason Tsirtsis wins D1 Crown at 149 – Cardiac kid, Jason Tsirtsis, held his poise through three straight overtime victories in the 2014 NCAA national championships to become the first Northwestern freshman to ever claim the national crown. Tsirtsis used a nice trip on a single leg and worked to secure the ankle of Oklahoma State’s Josh Kindig in the first period of overtime to seal the victory. On his way to the top of the podium, the Crown Point product had to defeat a defending national champion in Kendrick Maple of Oklahoma as well as the number one seed, Drake Houdashelt of Missouri. The Houdashelt win avenged a defeat earlier in the season. Now a sophomore, Tsirtsis has picked up where he left off. He is ranked first in the country and is undefeated heading into the Midlands tournament.
    6. Indianapolis Cathedral Claims First IHSAA Wrestling State Championship – One of the most storied wrestling programs in the state earned its first state championship in school history. Cathedral rode the broad shoulders of state champion heavyweight Wesley Bernard and runner-up performances from Vinny Corsaro and Blake Rypel to earn that elusive first title. The Irish overcame a disappointing first round loss by Ben Harvey but got a third place finish from Breyden Bailey and seventh from Skylour Turner to add points to Cathedral’s total. With Rypel, Harvey, Bailey and Turner returning, the Irish will be in the hunt again in 2015.
    7. Yorktown Goes Back to Back, Franklin and Churubusco Win First Team Titles – Yorktown turned in a devastating performance to win its second straight team state dual title. The Tigers went 34-8 as individuals in route to defeating Lebanon, New Prairie and North Montgomery. Franklin Community Grizzly Cubs defeated Warren Central in round one and then edged defending team state champs Perry Meridian by one slim point before finishing the deal with a narrow three point victory over Evansville Mater Dei in the finals. The small school crown was claimed by the Sam Riesen led Churubusco Eagles. After defeating Bremen in round one, the Eagles built up a big lead on South Putnam and coasted to a victory. The state crown made the trip back to Turtletown when ‘Busco used a pin in the last match to break a tie against defending champ Adams Central.
    8. Hanover Central Produces another 3 time State Champion – Ten years ago, Hanover Central legend Andrew Howe was on his way to becoming a three time state champion for the Wildcats. A decade later, Stevan Micic matched Howe’s accomplishment when he bested Penn’s Zach Davis, 10-5. The Northwestern recruit became just the 33rd grappler in state history to win three or more titles. Micic was a perfect 137-0 in his final three seasons for Hanover Central.
    9. Robinson, LeCount, Wilson and Red Repeat as State Champs – Lake Central’s Gelen Robinson capped a 2nd straight undefeated season with his 2nd state championship. An impressive accomplishment that was just part of an amazing athletic career for this three sport stud. Perry Meridan’s Cody LeCount quietly put the cap on an amazing high school career with his second state title. LeCount won in his junior and senior seasons after finishing second during his sophomore year. Warren Central’s Deondre Wilson also won a second straight title when he bested Perry Meridian’s Brandon James. His junior year, Wilson bested Lowell’s Drew Hughes. The final two time champ was also the youngest. New Palestine’s Chad Red followed up his title at 106 in his freshmen year with a 6-2 win in his sophomore campaign at 120.
    10. Indiana Legend Andrew Howe Completes Outstanding College Career – In a college career that spanned six years, former Hanover Central great Andrew Howe capped an outstanding run by finishing second in the 2014 national championship last March in Oklahoma City. The runner-up finish matched his 2nd place finish during his freshman year when he competed for Wisconsin. Howe won the national title in his sophomore campaign with the Badgers and added a third place his junior year before transferring to Oklahoma.

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