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Article: Rochester Regional Preview

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By Chad Hollenbaugh

IndianaMat Senior Writer



#15 Cavanaugh – Penn (24-7)

Kazmierczak –SBSt.Joseph (32-6)

Greene – Triton (29-7)

Zahl – SBAdams (22-8)


Records are deceiving here, at first glance this appears to be a balanced class of flyweights. Penn’s Kory Cavanaugh is the clear favorite due to the tough schedule that the Kingsmen wrestle. Cavanaugh is ranked 15th in the state and his losses are all to ranked kids. Triton’s Greene is intriguing because he wrestled 113 all season before a sectional cut to 106.


Rochester Royal Rumble (Match of the Day) – Malichi Greene vs. Joey Zahl – This battle looks to be even on paper and the winner will possible avoid an early morning date with Cummings or Triana next week.



Fans should be treated to a reunion of sorts in the finals at 113. Drew Hildebrandt is a clear front runner but fellow St. Joe County resident Adam Davis has quietly put together an outstanding frosh season for Culver Academy. The third ranked Hildebrandt should breeze here, he has too much experience for the young Eagle. Davis will be fun to follow as he continues his state series run.


Royal Rumble – Aaron Brooke vs. Bryton Goehring (South Bend Riley) – Brooke has the far better record but Riley’s Goering has wrestled a much better schedule. Should be an early morning donnybrook with the winner earning a trip to Merrillville.


#3 Hildebrandt – Penn (28-0)

Davis – CMA (29-5)

Brooke – Bremen (36-4)

DeVault – Plymouth (18-7)



#9 Hatch – Warsaw (36-1)

#10 Hartman – SBClay (41-0)

Hardesty – Mishawaka (27-6)

Tyler – SBWashington (20-5)


The finals at 120, should Warsaw’s #9 Kyle Hatch and Clay’s #10 Jake Hartman hold chalk, will be one of the marquee match ups of the day. With a combined record of 77-1, regional supremacy should be a whale of a match. Both are hammers in their top game so the margin might comedown to an escape, reversal or even an overtime scenario.


Royal Rumble – The potential 3rd/4th place match between Washington’s Tondrew Tyler and Mishawaka’s Ryan Hardesty should be filled with scoring as both these young men fight for the right not to face a regional champ next week.



After a promising freshman campaign, Wawasee’s Tristin Ponsler struggled last year and didn’t even qualify for regionals. Much like Austin Powers, Ponsler has found his mojo this season. He looked very sharp in the sectional finals where he defeated state ranked John Hunting of Rochester. These two should face off again this week.


Royal Rumble – Season survival will be on the line in the first round when Penn’s Jarrett Selis and Plymouth’s Cody Allmon do battle. The outcome between these to savvy vets should be very close in this deep weight class.


Ponsler – Wawasee (38-1)

#20 Hunting – Rochester (32-5)

Allmon - Plymouth (28-7)

Beaver – Mishawaka (18-13)



Another very deep and talented weight class with very little separation at the top. Valley’s Devin Childers has a state ranking and state experience. Riley’s Austen Laughlin has had an outstanding season with a conference and sectional title to add to his third place finish at Al Smith. Rishod Cotton of Clay has taken losses to both by the narrowest of margins. Throw in Bremen’s Joey Bailey, who wrestled most the season at 138, and you have a real meat grinder here.


Royal Rumble – Both semifinal matches should be wars. I love the talent in this class.


#15 Childers – Tippy Valley (37-1)

Laughlin – SBRiley (41-4)

Cotton – SBCotton (36-6)

Bailey – Bremen (35-3)



Wow! The great wrestling continues in this weight class where any of six grapplers have a legitimate shot at making the finals. Penn’s Cameron Beam was the titlist at Mishawaka and Culver’s Triston Rodriguez took the crown at Plymouth. Tippy Valley’s Wyatt Nelson is wrestling as well as I have ever seen him in his senior season. Rochester’s Josh Heckathorn and South Bend Adams’ Tarvis Evans are studs. Culver Academy’s young Miles Krintz will look to continue his season.


Royal Rumble – First round tilts featuring Nelson/Beam and Heckathorn/Evans would be the equal of final matches in many of the regionals around the state. Great weight class.


#17 Rodriguez – Culver Community (33-1)

Beam – Penn (9-0)

Krintz – CMA (28-9)

Evans – SBAdams (27-7)



A couple of super sophs headline the 145 class where Adams’ Tavonte Malone is the big dog. Not far behind is his conference rival Kassius Breathitt. Malone won by a single point in the sectional final. Rochester’s Justin Schroder had a disappointing Al Smith tourney but is wrestling lights out right now. He was very impressive in shutting out Culver Academy’s Noah Trevino last Saturday.


Royal Rumble – I’m keeping my eye on the semifinal matchup between Rochester’s Schroder and Riley’s Breathitt. It should be a doozy.


#14 Malone – SBAdams (29-2)

#20 Breathitt – SBRiley (28-8)

Schroder – Rochester (32-4)

Hochstetler – Penn (24-11)



This class is obviously top heavy with Tommy Forte and Jared Swank. They both have an excellent change to medal at state. Forte seems to be rounding into form as he stuck Swank last Saturday. Swank is a tough customer and will be back for more this week. Triton’s Stichter impressively beat Bremen’s Bollenbacher in the sectional final.


Royal Rumble – The finals match is state semifinal quality.


#1 Forte – Mishawaka (26-0)

#4 Swank – Penn (27-3)

Stichter – Triton (27-9)

Bollenbacher – Bremen (30-8)



Penn’s Denzyl Prentice has had an outstanding first full season in the Kingsman lineup as evidenced by his #9 state ranking. Triton’s Gage Waddle and St. Joe’s Norm Hezlip are not that far behind. The athleticism in this class will make many of the matches highly entertaining.


Royal Rumble – The potential semifinal matchup between Waddle and Hezlip will be epic. They matched up about six weeks ago in the same gym and Hezlip came away with an exciting one point victory.


#9 Prentice – Penn (26-2)

Waddle – Triton (26-6)

Hezlip – SBSt. Joseph (36-3)

Goering- SBRiley (33-8)



The Penn parade of champions will continue here as #3 ranked Joey Mammolenti should have little trouble with this field. Mishawaka’s Chase Deal had a nice upset win over James Malone of South Bend Riley last week. Triton’s Nate Spangle is the Plymouth sectionals best and looks to be the fourth Trojan to qualify for semistate.


Royal Rumble – A semifinal tilt between Caveman Deal and Triton’s Spangle has potential to be a good one. Deal is wrestling well at the right time and Spangle has a sterling record mostly fashioned at the 182 pound weight class.


#3 Mammolenti – Penn (29-2)

Deal – Mishawaka (24-9)

#20 Malone – SBRiley (36-9)

Spangle – Triton (33-3)



Penn’s top ranked Chase Osborn should dominate the field at 182. If he has to spend more than five minutes on the mat it would be surprising. That is not a knock on the rest of the field, it is a testament to how dominant Osborn has been this season. He should be tested again at semi state.


Royal Rumble – If the bracket holds, we should see a 3rd place matchup between Plymouth’s Jeremy Splix and Clay’s Mason Cao. These two battled in the semis of the McKee invite six week ago and Splix came away with a narrow one point win.


#1 Osborn – Penn (28-0)

Bell – Tippy Valley (35-2)

Splix – Plymouth (29-4)

Cao – SBClay (39-4)



The list of weight classes deep with talent is long at the Rochester regional this year and the 195 pound class is more evidence of the point. Wes Beck was dominating in the Plymouth sectional and Tanner Bradley battled to a slim one point victory Gabino Perez of South Bend Riley.


Royal Rumble – A semifinal matchup of Beck and Perez has great potential. Beck is a clear favorite but if he is looking past Perez he could find himself on the short end of a tight match.


#14 Beck – Rochester (36-3)

#16 Bradley – Mishawaka (20-3)

Perez – SBRiley (23-8)

Nolin – Warsaw (32-4)



#1 Woods – Penn (32-0)

Ernst – Mishawaka Marian (22-7)

Troxel – SBRiley (31-14)

Hess – Mishawaka (12-12)


Top ranked Kobe Woods is in much the same situation as his teammate Chase Osborn. He should dominate this field and not have to spend much time on the mat. Athletic, strong, experienced and technically sound, Woods is joy to watch on the mat. The battle here is for 2nd place.


Royal Rumble – I like the first round match up between big Andrew Brock of Warsaw and the .500 Caveman Jake Hess. Hess was able to clip him at the Al Smith Invite. He will have to repeat to continue his season.



Penn big man Cory Christman is a strong favorite to become the 7th Kingsman regional champion. His pin over Riley’s Brian Shaw makes me think he is peaking at the right time.


Royal Rumble – The semifinal matchup between Shaw and Jordan Shafer of Rochester is probably the most compelling contest in this bracket. Both are athletic heavyweights who like to score.


#9 Christman – Penn (27-3)

Shaw – SBRiley (24-9)

Shafer – Rochester (34-4)

Koebel – SBSt. Joseph (25-13)


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