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  1. 6 points
    By STEVE KRAH stvkrh905@gmail.com Real adversity meets opportunity. That’s the story of Jacob Linky. The wrestling room at Warsaw Community High School is filled with pulsing music and coaches barking instructions as more than three dozen Tigers get after it. One wrestler — junior Linky — goes through the workout, rehearsing his moves with his workout partner, cranking out pull-ups and running laps around the room. But without the sounds heard by the others. Linky lives in a world that is mostly silent. Without his cochlear implants, Linky can’t hear much of anything. There was one incident where smoke alarms went off all over the house where Jacob now resides with Nrian and Brenda Linky. It was 3 a.m. “Jacob slept through the alarm,” says Brian Linky, Jacob’s legal guardian. “I woke him in the morning.” The young man was not born deaf. Now 18, Jacob was about 5 and in native Africa — Lake Volta, Ghana, to be exact — when he lost his hearing at the hands of his father. “We were slaves,” says Jacob, speaking of his early childhood through interpreter Rebecca Black. “We helped my dad in his fishing business. “I didn’t used to be deaf. My dad hit by head a whole bunch. That’s how I became the way I am.” His father demanded that young Jacob dive into very deep waters full of dangerous creatures. “I felt a pop in my ears,” says Jacob. “I was a kid.” His native language was Twi, but he didn’t hear much that after his hearing was gone. Growing up the second oldest of seven children, Jacob has a brother who was born to another family, rejected and traded to his father. It was a life that is difficult to imagine for those in the U.S. “My mom didn’t do anything wrong,” says Jacob. “She fed me.” Wanting the best for Jacob, his mother placed him in an orphanage. He eventually came to live in Warsaw when he was adopted by Andy and Dawn Marie Bass and began attending the fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary in Warsaw. He received hearing aids and then implants. “I’m thankful the Basses adopted me and brought me here,” says Jacob. “I now live with the Linky family.” Following grade school, Jacob went on to Edgewood Middle School in Warsaw and was introduced to wrestling. “I knew nothing (about the sport),” says Jacob. “I played around.” Drive and athletic prowess allow Jacob to excel on the high school mat. “At times his feisty side comes out because of that past,” says Warsaw head coach Kris Hueber. “He’s channeled it well and we’ve been able to harness well most of the time. “He has days where he is cranky and fired up, You know that he’s drawing from stuff that no one else has.” After missing his freshmen season, Jacob made an impact with the Tigers as a 145-pound sophomore, advancing to the East Chicago Semistate. “This year, I’d like to go all the way to State,” says Jacob, who spent the summer pumping iron and continues to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein while packing more muscle on a 5-foot-7, 160-pound frame. “(Jacob) fell in love with the weight room,” says Hueber. “There is not much on him that is not muscular. He’s one of those guys with his energy level he needs to be active. As an athlete, he is a remarkably gifted human being. He’s able to do things no one else in the room can do. Between strength, balance and agility, he is uniquely gifted.” Ask Jacob what his best quality is as a wrestler and says speed. His quickness and and strength come into play in the practice room with larger practice partners — 170-pound Brandon Estepp, 182-pound junior Mario Cortes and 195-pound senior Brock Hueber. “I don’t like to wrestle light persons,” says Jacob. “It makes me work hard to wrestle the big guys.” Warsaw opened the 2019-20 season Saturday with the Warsaw Invitational and Jacob went 5-0 with four pins. Sign language and lip-reading help him navigate life as a teenager and athlete. When Jacob wrestles, Black circles the mat to maintain eye contact and relay information to him. “She always looks where my head is,” says Jacob. “She always gets sweaty.” Who gets sweatier during a match? “Me,” says Jacob, thrusting a thumb at his chest. “I’m a harder worker.” Black has been around Jacob since he was in eighth grade. “I feel privileged to be involved in his life,” says Black. “He’s an amazing person. He just is.” Hueber has come to appreciate that Jacob has the ability to be both competitive and light-hearted. “He’s ornery still, but in a good way,” says Hueber. “He has not been able to out-grow being a kid. I love that.” While Jacob’s background and circumstance are different than his Tiger mates, Hueber says he’s “just one of the guys.” “(They) don’t treat him differently in any way,” says Hueber. “They love being around him because of his charisma and personality. He’s a really great teammate.” Hueber says working with Jacob has helped others recognize their influence. “They might be able to goof off for two minutes and snap right back,” says Hueber. “If (Jacob) misses one line of communication, there’s a lot that he’s got to recover from.” This means that workout partners need to be focused and attentive as well — not just for themselves but to also help Jacob. Hueber notes that Jacob has to concentrate and keep focused on his interpreter in class (his current favorite class in English and he is looking forward to Building Trades in the future) and practice. “There are probably times when he’s looking for a break,” says Hueber. “He’s on and he’s full-wired all day. That’s taxing mentally for sure.” Brian Linky works in payment processing at PayProTec in Warsaw and Brenda Linky is the special needs coordinator for Warsaw Community Schools. The Linkys have two sons who played basketball at Warsaw — Zack (now 28 and living in Calfiornia) and Ben (now 22 and attending Indiana University). Taking in Jacob means they have a teenager in the house again. “He’s been nothing but polite,” says Brian Linky. “He’s hard-working around the house (mowing the lawn, making his bed, walking the dog and cooking his own meals). He has friends over. He’s very happy.” As for the future, Jacob is considering joining the football team next year (he has never played the sport). He turns 19 in May. A brother, Christian, lives in Virginia and communicates with Jacob and family in Africa through text. “We’re going to save up so we can visit our parents in Africa,” says Jacob. Right now, he is doing life as an Indiana teenager and wrestling is a big part of it. Real adversity meets opportunity.
  2. 3 points
    By JEREMY HINES Thehines7@gmail.com Carmel senior Suhas Chundi isn’t one to brag about his accomplishments – and there is plenty to brag about. His GPA is astronomical. His SAT score was close to perfection. He doesn’t want either of those actual numbers published because it’s just not something he thinks needs attention. Chundi isn’t just gifted in the classroom though – he’s also a superb wrestler with state championship aspirations. Last season Chundi placed fourth at 106 pounds. He enters the 2019-2020 campaign as the No. 2 ranked 113 pounder in the state – but has already made weight at 106. Chundi’s success in academics, and in wrestling comes from his work ethic. “Academics and wrestling are a lot alike,” Chundi said. “I was born with a little bit of natural intelligence, but I’m not any Rain Man genius or anything. I had to put in the dedication, figure out what to do and follow the plan. It helped me be successful. “Wrestling is the same way. I don’t have a lot of natural talent, but I listen to my coaches, try to learn what they are telling me and follow their plan.” On the academic side Chundi spent the summer preparing for the Biology Olympiad. Out of over 2,000 applicants, the top 20 are chosen to go to the Biology camp. In that camp there are days of learning, doing labs and taking tests. At the end there is over nine hours of testing and the top four students get selected to represent the United States in the Biology Olympiad. Chundi was one of those top four and went on to place 25th in the world at the event in Hungary. “I think saying he’s insanely smart is an understatement,” Carmel wrestling coach Ed Pendoski said. “I’ve coached guys that have went to Northwestern, Cornell and the Navy Academy. But Chundi is on a different level. He’s applied to Harvard, Cornell, Stanford and a school that’s part of Northwestern that you have to apply to just to see if you can get the admissions application. “I asked the head of our science department if the Biology Olympiad was a big deal. He said it is ‘out of your mind big,’ and said that it will set his plate forever.” Pendoski had one bit of advice for Chundi as he left for the Biology competition. “I told him if the guy from Poland finishes higher than him, don’t bother coming home,” the coach said jokingly. Last season Chundi had 15 losses but come tournament time he was clicking on all cylinders. He won sectional and regional, got runner-up in the New Castle semistate and eventually placed fourth in state at 106 pounds. “I want to be a state champion this year,” Chundi said. “But I also want to share the podium with most of my teammates. I want Carmel to become a wrestling school this year.” Chundi is one of the team leaders for the Greyhounds – which is unusual for a guy competing in the smallest weight class. Chundi is 5-2, 106 pounds but Pendoski said the team listens to him. “He’s a lot of fun to be around,” Pendoski said. “He has a huge personality inside of the wrestling room. He really does a good job of leading by example.” This season Chundi will be one of the rare seniors at 106, which Pendoski hopes will help him have a strength and maturity advantage over the field. “He’s a late bloomer,” Pendoski said. “He’s really trying to elevate his game this year.” Chundi’s parents moved to the United States from India two years before he was born. He visits India frequently and really enjoys the trips. “Things are more rugged in India,” Chundi said. “It’s fun getting a taste of that culture and being able to visit family.” The Carmel senior has proven he can succeed on the mat, or in the classroom. He’s also an outstanding teammate, according to Pendoski. “I really can’t think of a better example of an ultimate teammate,” Pendoski said. “From helping give a guy a ride, to community service, to cutting weight – he does it all. When his career ends in February, Suhas Chundi will be on to bigger and better things and will excel at whatever he does.”
  3. 2 points
    Subscribe on itunes | Subscribe on Google Play Music Rex Brewer and Dane Fuelling discuss the previous week's wrestling action.
  4. 1 point
    By STEVE KRAHstvkrh905@gmail.com Bolstered by the bond of teammates and the backing of family and coaches, Ian Heath continues to give it his all on the high school wrestling mat. The 132-pound junior at Leo enjoys workouts and meets with about a dozen other Lions, appreciates all the support from his parents and sister and gets guidance from a staff led by a seasoned head coach. “Everything you do is for your team and for your family,” says Heath. “We’ve got a small team. We’re super close and would do anything for each other. It makes you want to wrestle harder when you do it for guys you’ve bonded with. I really enjoy how close we are. “It’s like a big group of brothers.” Ian is the son of Shane and Kelli Heath and the older brother of Anna. Shane is Fort Wayne Police Department detective and former Norwell High School wrestler, Kelli a DeKalb County probation officer and Anna a Leo eighth grader. “They’ve supported me through everything,” says Ian. “Me and my dad have been on so many road trips. My mom has stayed up so many late nights washing clothes. My little sister helps clean mats at the high school. “It’s a family effort for sure.” Rod Williams is in his 30th season of coaching high school wrestling in Indiana. It’s his fifth in charge at Leo. He was head coach at East Noble and Norwell and before that an assistant at his alma mater — DeKalb (Class of 1986). Among his East Noble grapplers was Taylor March, who won 163 matches with a state titles, two runners-up and a third-place finish. Danny Irwin, who is now head coach at West Liberty (W.Va.) University, wrestled for Williams at Norwell. Danny’s brother, Matt Irwin, was in junior high when Williams led the Knights program and went on to win a state title. Williams wrestled for Logansport and head coach Joe Patacsil then moved to DeKalb as a senior and worked with head coach Russ Smith. He grappled at Manchester College for head coach Tom Jarman. “I was blessed with outstanding coaches,” says Williams, who is assisted this season at Leo by Chad Lothamer, Tad Davis and son Logan Williams. Heath says Rod Williams trains wrestlers to defeat the best. “You work to beat the top 1 percent and you’ll beat everybody else anyways,” says Heath. “We focus at Leo on proper technique that’s going to beat the best guys.” Heath and his mat brothers take that message of being relentless to heart. “(Williams) preaches that to the team,” says Heath. “That’s what we try to live by at Leo. “It comes back to wrestling hard the whole time." “It’s not about doing just enough to win. That’s not what Coach Williams wants.” What Williams appreciates about Heath is his willingness to always give his best effort. “Everybody wants to be a champion,” says Williams. “Very few people are willing to pay the price. (Heath’s) motor never stops." “We always say we want to be extremely stubborn on our feet, relentless on top and explosive on bottom. He never stops wrestling.” As for Heath’s place on the team, his head coach sees him as a leader with his work ethic. “He leads by example,” says Williams. “He’s very encouraging of the other guys." “A lot of the other wrestlers feed off his intensity.” Heath had his first mat experiences in first grade, but really began to take the sport seriously in middle school. He has traveled extensively since then and competed with coach Bryan Bailey the Indiana Outlaws Wrestling Club and trained with coach Kevin English and Elite Athletic Club among others. “In the off-season, we travel everywhere,” says Heath. “It’s a different practice every night." “(English) told me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and embrace the whole grind of the sport.” Spending so much time in so many different wrestling environments has taught Heath many ways to attack and defend. “I really enjoy new technique,” says Heath. “When it comes down to it, I have my fundamentals I stick to. “But I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve.” Heath went 41-6 as a Leo freshman and was a qualifier for the IHSAA State Finals at 120. As a sophomore, he went 44-3 and placed fifth at 126. He is off to a 5-0 start as a junior. At 90-9, Heath is No. 2 on the all-time victory list at Leo. With nearly two seasons left in his prep career, he seems sure to go well past 2007 graduate Chad Friend (112-13) for No. 1. “It’s not as important to me as getting as good as I can,” says Heath. “I’m not chasing records." “I have a passion and love for the sport. Everyday I go to practice I get to do what I love." “It makes it easier to get through the tough times.” His regular workout partners are senior Clayton Jackson (138) and junior Jacob Veatch (126) as well as Logan Williams. Jackson and Veatch present contrasting styles. “Clay is very fundamental,” says Heath. “He has very good defense. He stays in good position all the time. “If I’m going to score on him, it has to be perfect technique.” Jackson and senior Tom Busch (285) serve as team captains. Heath describes Veatch as “super funky” and flexible. “I have to be even more fundamental (against Veatch),” says Heath. “I have to finish quick and start if I’m going to finish the takedown on Jake." “I’ve got great partners.” The Leo schedule includes the New Haven Super 10 on Dec. 21, the North Montgomery Holiday Tournament Dec. 27-28 (duals on Friday and individual format on Saturday) and the Class 2A Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals. Four of eight Northeast Eight Conference schools — Leo, Bellmont, Columbia City and Norwell— will compete. “Everything you do is working toward the middle of February,” says Heath. “I take every match one match at a time. But State’s always on my mind." “There’s nothing compares to being on the floor at Bankers Life.” Heath has already experienced what it’s like on Friday night of the State Finals with the Parade of Champions leading up to first-round matches. “We’re all in the (Indiana) Pacers practice gym and it’s quiet,” says Heath. “You know in about 20 minutes it’s ‘go time.’ (Wrestlers are) getting their mind right before they step out there." “One of the coolest things I’ve got to experience is that walk.” He has the chance to make the walk a couple more times before heading off to college where he hopes to continue as a wrestler. While their time together at Leo has not been that long, the coach and the athlete actually met several years ago. A Herff Jones salesman, Williams was introduced to Heath when he was a toddler and around the Norwell program where Ian’s aunt was then a manager. One day when Williams had the Heisman Trophy with him, he and Ian posed with it for a photo. The youngster told the coach he was going to be a wrestler. “I’d like to coach him some day,” says the coach’s reply. All these years later, it is happening. “Ian is a great young man,” says Williams. “It’s an honor to coach him.”
  5. 1 point
    Y2CJ41

    Triples with TripleB

    Our newest weekly article is a quick hit look at the week ahead and a recap of the previous week. TripleB will give you three things you need to know, three events to watch for this week, and three questions with someone in wrestling. 3 Things You Need to Know 1. New Coaches look to make an impact 40 programs have new coaches at the helm this season, including 5 ranked teams. will it be business as usual or will there be a disruption in the force?? #7 1A Eastern(Greentown)- Zach Pence #2 1A Southridge- Kurt Collins #18 Franklin- Jim Tonte #17 Portage- Andrew Bradbury #5 Warren Central- Matt Krulik 2. Post Season Dynasties There’s dominant, then there’s #PainTrain dominant. Brownsburg is a phenomenal 16-0 at IHSWCA Dual Team State Championships and have won the last 4 in a row. Can the Bulldogs add a ring to their thumbs this year?? Brownsburg Coach Darrick Snyder, “At Brownsburg we take a lot of pride in our performance at dual state. We want to be the best team in the state. We put a huge emphasis on dual state because we know that shows the best team” Cathedral needed 4 leaf clovers and all the luck of the Irish last year as Jordan Slvika and Elliott Rodgers turned in monumental efforts to lock up individual state championships and help Cathedral rally for a 3rd consecutive big old Indiana plaque at Bankers Life. Will the luck of the Irish be on their side for a fourth consecutive title? Indianapolis Cathedral Coach Sean McGinley, “Look for the Irish to struggle a bit out of the gate. However, if we do our jobs and keep getting better each week, by tournament time we feel we will be one of the few teams that people are talking about with a chance to bring home a team state championship.” 3. How will the football runs impact early season matches? 7 of the top 10 preseason ranked teams are still alive as Indianapolis Cathedral, Evansville Mater Dei, Warren Central, Roncalli, Carmel, Merriville, and Hobart all played in regional games on Friday night. Will these ranked hammers stumble out of the gate as teams patiently wait for football players to wrap up, get healed, and get in wrestling shape? Look for the holiday tournaments before some of these teams are fully loaded. Merrillville, Carmel, Mount Vernon(Fortville), Hobart, and Adams Central will all be playing this week at semi-state. 3 Feature Matches 1. Opening dual of the season! The Battle for the Paddle; Madison at Southwestern Since the incarnation of the Battle, Madison has ran the tables winning all nine duals. What this match has lacked is over all dual excitement as forfeits on both sides have been an issue, but the scuttlebutt is that this year both teams will be bringing full line ups into the Dual and Southwestern is hoping to keep the paddles in Hanover! 2. Crown Point vs Portage Portage graduates 4 state qualifiers and new coach Andrew Bradbury jumps right into the frying pan in this Region kick off dual. Returning state qualifiers Ty Haskins and Damari Dancy will look to keep this dual close but on paper Crown Point appears to be too strong. Lead by returning state champ Jesse Mendez, with 5 freshman and 2 sophomores in starting lineup, the Bulldogs will look to rack up bonus team points early and often! 3. Capital City Classic Through the years Triple C is one of the toughest opening weekend tournaments with teams like Beech Grove, Perry, Warren, Bloomington North, Mishawaka, and North Central winning the very first one. Perry Meridian looks to be the front-runner for the 38th annual Capital City Classic.This years line up includes - Beech Grove, Franklin Central, Greenwood, Indian Creek, Jeffersonville, Perry Meridian, Plainfield, Westfield 3 Questions with Mike Reiser 1. What is your background in wrestling? I wrestled for Coach Jim Wadkins at Calumet High school. I graduated in 2001 and was a part of some successful teams. We were three-time team sectional champs, two-time regional champs, and two-time Lake Athletic Conference champs. Individually I was a two-time sectional champ and two-time semi state qualifier. 2. Why do rankings, it seem very stressful and thankless, what drives you to do rankings? There are times that the rankings can be stressful, but I learned early on that you can’t make everyone happy. I love doing the rankings both semi state and state. I think it is the best job in the state it has given me a lot of opportunities to broadcast and do the gorilla radio. 3. What do you do when you are not neck deep in wrestling? When I am not doing the rankings and going over results, I work my actual job which is a Project Manager for an Environmental Company. I also coach my 2 daughters in softball which is becoming a full time job also.
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