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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/13/2024 in all areas

  1. I can make sure none of your posts are ever seen if you would like. One person has already been given a little vacation and I am not afraid to give him friends. We need to remember these are teenage kids and they will unfortunately do dumb things and things they will eventually regret. They don't need anonymous people on the internet trashing them, at least it won't happen on this website. If there are disciplinary actions that need to be taken that will be handled by coaches, schools, and the IHSAA, not here on IndianaMat.
    24 points
  2. Congratulations to Luke Penola for winning the mental attitude award at the state finals. Luke didn’t reach his goal of winning a state title but he walked out of the arena with his head held high. He is one of the best leaders, wrestlers, and people we’ve ever been around. We are forever grateful to of coached you and to have you in our Zionsville wrestling family.
    21 points
  3. So, I sit here at 4:40 am CST and I'm dead tired, but I can't sleep. I've already made the drive back to NWI, so that drive from hell is behind me. The hot dogs. Pretty damn good. The concession stand I used to buy my dogs made them to order, so, they were fresh. They grilled them on something, they had a nice char, nice buns even without yoga pants, a good overall product. Just one small gripe. They were expensive. $7 a pop for these bad boys. Oh well. 7 slices of pizza outta 8. Kinda a side note, I mentioned this in a reply, but I was told Hanover Central are looking into changing their hot dogs because of my review. One day my friends, we will have the hot dogs we deserve at all wrestling meets across the great state of Indiana! And, as always, thank you for reading.
    20 points
  4. This was an incredible weekend of wrestling, and the Brownsburg Bulldogs and coaching staff earned it. Congrats Coach Snyder and team. Love competing and coaching against you guys, and the purple dogs deserve all the praise and celebration. Brownsburg and Center Grove showed up and competed hard. Congrats to both of those great teams and coaching staffs. Coach Lorek Crown Point High School Wr.
    19 points
  5. I wish I could say that it’s almost time to go back to the Bank (I’m still not digging this “Gainbridge Fieldhouse” very much), but unfortunate scheduling with an inferior sport means that this year’s state finals will not be in Indianapolis, which definitely feels weird, but I’m sure the atmosphere will still be electric, as all Indiana state tournaments tend to be. I will not be present at the venue this year, not because it is too far away, but because Wabash College has a tournament scheduled for this weekend. So, instead of watching wrestling, I will be doing wrestling. Which sucks and doesn’t suck, for various different reasons that aren’t important to get into, because… …WE’VE GOT SOME PREDICTIONS TO MAKE!!! And like the many years prior, I intend of delivering the best, most accurate, most unbiased (Brady Ison is going to lose Friday night), and most informative predictions and analyses of the brackets going down in Evansville this weekend. The state finals write-ups are among the most difficult to write, with every single match crucial to the outcome of the tournament. No match is irrelevant when you have top eight matchups going down in the first round, title contenders clashing Saturday morning, and returning state champions meeting in the semifinals (c’mon, IHSAA, do better). Additionally, there are statistics everywhere on this site with all of the fun stuff that you numbers nerds like to look at, so I won’t sit here and crank out percentages and things like that. Instead, I’m going to give a brief preface of how I’m going about each weight class, and then I’ll get right into it. Placing the top eight wrestlers in order would take far too long, and I have to get work done for college and cut weight for a college competition, so I won’t be bothering for any placements from 5th through 8th. Instead of placing my predictions at the start of each weight class, I think it would make more sense if I did those at the end of each section, so I’m going to begin with every Friday night death draw that I see. A death draw for the Friday night round will be classified as any two top eight wrestlers wrestling against each other. There are some gross matches happening Friday night that aren’t necessarily “death draws” by this measure, and I will still talk about those matches, but I am going to stay firm with this definition to keep things consistent. I am going to talk about things round by round, giving my thoughts on most matches happening in the winner’s side, and after I am done talking about those matches, I will end the segment with my top 4 predictions. To make things a little fun, I will give a dark horse pick for every weight class too. These aren’t going to be wrestlers that are necessarily going to make it far, but I want to highlight a lower ranked wrestler in each wrestler that could potentially make it far, or at the very least give a higher ranked wrestler a run for their money. I will choose some of these guys to place top 4, and others I will still predict to lose Friday night, but not without a fight. With everything out of the way, let the most accurate predictions in the state commence: 106: This weight class has nothing too ugly in terms of draws, but there are several notable Friday night matches to take a look at. #9 Rex Moore and #13 Teigan Newell should be a lot more competitive, though. Moore took his lone loss of the season this past weekend against #7 Julianna O’Campo, and in a pretty convincing 7-1 loss. On the contrary, Newell is off of an upset win over #11 Alonzo Chantea, and I think the momentum is on Newell’s side to pick off another upset win here. Alonzo Chantea will be looking to stop a historic run from Julianna O’Campo, who is still looking to become the first female state placer in the men’s IHSAA State Finals, and after a beatdown against Moore, I think that history can be made. That being said, Chantea is a senior at 106 and should not be taken lightly. On the bottom half of the bracket, #10 Heather Crull is another female wrestler looking to make history, but to do so she will have to get through #14 Mason Goelz. Despite being the lower ranked wrestler here, I think Goelz is an underrated competitor that can pull an upset here, and I’m going to pick him to do so. I know I’m rooting against history here, but Goelz has been competitive against the top wrestlers in the state, while Crull has been relatively untested this year, and got beaten quite convincingly against Schoettle in their semi-state rematch. The last Friday night match at this weight is #8 Talon Jessup and #15 John Bissmeyer. Bissmeyer has put together a pretty solid season this year, and has results that indicate that he could put up a fight here, but Jessup won their sole meeting up the year 12-1, and I think it will be hard to overturn such a wide margin. Saturday morning will see Schoettle against Newell at the top of the bracket. Schoettle has been nothing short of dominant this post season, and I think he will overcome the rapidly improving Crown Point Bulldog. Next, we will see Malone vs. O’Campo. I think we learned at semi-state that Malone is grossly underrated, and could even contend for a title this year, so I am going to take Malone in a pretty dominant win here. The bottom half of the bracket contains Boyd vs. Goelz, which I think Boyd should win easily, and then Jones and Jessup, which Jones should also win with little trouble, evidenced by his 10-4 decision over him earlier in the year. The semifinals is where things get ugly. Schoettle and Malone will meet in the semis, which in my opinion are two question mark wrestlers that may or may not be on the level of Boyd and Jones. Malone lost 5-1 earlier this year, but did pick up a big win at semi-state over #4 Brady Byrd, and is fully capable of beating the top guys. It seems like Monrovia’s lightweights in general are showing great momentum during the post season, and I think I’m going to pick Malone to pull the upset here. On the bottom half, we have the first of many terrible semifinal matches, with the #1 and #2 in the state toeing the line. There are a lot of interesting statistics to note leading up to this match. Both wrestlers are undefeated. Both have seemingly not struggled yet this season, even against quality opponents. One is a freshman. One is a senior and returning state placer. That being said, Boyd is a super experienced freshman, with a Pan Am gold to his name, as well as a solid Fargo run this summer. I think the freshman will get it done in the semis over Jones, but it should be close and fiercely competitive. The winner of this match will likely take home gold at this weight class, while the loser should cruise to a 3rd place finish. Dark Horse: Royce Malone I’ve already picked Malone making the finals, but I think there’s a world where he wins gold this weekend. He got placed in a tough spot at semi-state drawing #4 Brady Byrd, but he pulled through and got the win 6-2, before taking home a semi-state title at the toughest semi-state in Indiana. Additionally, Malone has given Boyd his only tough match of the year, losing 10-6. If anybody in this bracket, in my opinion, is going to beat Boyd, it’s going to be Malone. Predictions: Jensen Boyd Royce Malone Mason Jones Peyton Schoettle 113: DEATH DRAW: #4 Jalen May vs. #8 Caleb Schaefer We have a freshman vs. senior death draw for our first bad pull of the tournament. #4 Jalen May is a two-time state placer looking to improve on his fourth place finish in 2022, but he will first have to overcome #8 Caleb Schaefer, who has consistently risen through the rankings this year, and has some close matches with the top guys at 113, including 2 point losses to both #1 Revin Dickman and #2 Nate Rioux. May was undefeated until the semi-state finals, where he lost 4-1 to #3 Ayden Bollinger, and he is looking to avenge an underperformance from last year, where he placed 7th. Schaefer has wrestled a much tougher schedule than May, and in my opinion, will be much more prepared for the challenge at this point in the season. I don’t like to pick too many upsets when making predictions, because picking too many upsets is a great way to screw your predictions up, but I’m going with the freshman over the senior in this match. More notable Friday night matchups include #14 Mario Orueta vs. unranked Bradyn Volz, who is criminally underappreciated and will make a deep run this weekend. Yep, that means taking out Orueta along the way, which I believe he will do. Volz had a fantastic semi-state win over #12 Nathan Reyes, dominating 9-3, demonstrating that he is at a new level at this point in the season, and will look to place high. Speaking of Nathan Reyes, he will take on #13 Brady Harper Friday night. Harper is really good, much better than his #13 ranking indicates, and I think he will emerge victorious over Reyes. To conclude the Friday night round, #16 Kaleb Salazar gets an unfortunate draw against Nate Rioux. Salazar is a senior that qualified at 106 last year, and it is a tough pull for him that he will be the heavy underdog against the multiple time Fargo All-American. Saturday morning actually looks pretty fair for this weight class. Bollinger will meet up against the red-hot Volz, and despite Volz’s momentum, I think Bollinger is too experienced and too talented at the moment to fall victim to an upset. Next, Dickman will face Harper, and the returning champ should put that match away quite dominantly. Schaefer will face #11 Blake Getz Saturday morning, where I believe Schaefer will continue to perform well and take out the New Castle semi-state champ. In their last meeting this season, Schaefer walked away with a 4-2 victory, so I think that this match will competitive, but Schaefer favored. Lastly, we have a pretty fireworks match with Rioux and #5 Gavin Lewis toeing the line. Lewis was one of the hottest freshman coming into the season this year, but there have been a couple opponents this year that have made Lewis look more human. That being said, he will not be an easy out for Rioux, but Rioux is a highly credentialed athlete in this field, and I believe that he is adamant on another chance against Dickman, so give me Rioux in a very, very close match. In the semis, I see both Dickman and Rioux getting things done against Bollinger and Schaefer, respectively. The rematch is inevitable, and while I believe that Rioux is doing everything he can to finally get one against Dickman, it’s extremely hard to pick against a guy that is ELEVEN and zero against his opponent in the past two seasons. Give me Dickman as the repeating champ, while Bollinger takes 3rd for the second year in a row. Dark Horse: Gavin Lewis Lewis is already ranked 5th in the state, so considering him a dark horse is maybe unfair, especially with an unranked freshman in Volz looking to have a podium run of his own. However, Lewis is the only wrestler in this bracket I see with potential to spoil a sixth Dickman vs. Rioux match this season. You should seriously think about Lewis when making your own predictions this weekend, because Rioux is going to have to bring his A-game to avoid an upset here. Don’t sleep on Crown Point at this weight class. Predictions: Revin Dickman Nate Rioux Ayden Bollinger Caleb Schaefer 120: DEATH DRAW: #2 Seth Aubin vs. #7 Isaac Ash What a tough pull for both competitors. #2 Seth Aubin made himself known as a title contender at the Al Smith tournament this year with a shocking upset victory over returning state champion #5 Charlie Larocca. That being said, he has also shown some weakness this season, taking an upset loss to unranked Cameron Woods from Portage at sectionals, and losing in dominating fashion to #1 Gavin Jendreas in both of their meetings this year. #7 Isaac Ash, on the other hand, looks to be on a mission, avoiding a death draw at semi-state by upsetting #4 Preston Haines at regionals. Not that it would have mattered, though, since he went and beat #3 Ty Henderson anyways in the semifinals of semi-state. For two upsets over top four opponents in the past couple of weekends, he gets rewarded with another one to determine if he places again or not. I think Ash is the heavy favorite in this match given the momentum that lies on his side, but Aubin is capable of winning against the best guys in this bracket, and should not be overlooked. The next intriguing bout at this weight is #21 Tommy Frazier vs. unranked Henry Faurote of Bellmont. Frazier was a qualifier last year, but struggled at the beginning of the year. Now in the post season, Frazier seems to be picking up steam, but he will be tested Friday night by a freshman who is picking up some steam of his own, making the Fort Wayne semi-state finals in his very first season. I think Frazier will end up winning, but Bellmont may have a star on their hands that will perform very well in seasons to come. #14 Jett McGuire and #15 Kaid Jackson get fortunate draws, giving them what seems to be a 50/50 chance to come home with a medal, indicated by their proximity in rankings, at least. However, Jackson has lost twice to McGuire this season, and has struggled this post season with two losses to the previously mentioned Faurote. With this in mind, I’ll take McGuire to win this Friday night matchup. Ty Henderson finds himself against Cameron Woods, who is unranked and the heavy underdog, but both of these wrestlers are finding themselves at the state tournament for the first time after improving massively on their previous seasons. It’s unfortunate that two of the hottest wrestlers in the bracket have to meet Friday night, but I would not consider Woods an easy out for Henderson. I’m picking Henderson, for sure, but I don’t think it will be as convincing of a win as many others might think. Saturday morning has some fun matchups at this weight. Jendreas will dominate Frazier, although they’ve had a competitive meeting in the past, with Jendreas winning in 2022 7-3 at the Al Smith. I can’t see how anybody but Jendreas is the man to beat in this weight class, with his impressive performances over almost everybody at this weight. The next Saturday morning bout is Larocca and McGuire, which Larocca should win pretty easily. Below that is #6 Tanner Tishner and Henderson. Tishner has been extremely competitive against the best guys every year, but it always seems that the state tournament doesn’t bring out the best in him. If the best version of Tishner shows up, expect this match to be razor-close. If not, Henderson will definitely win. I’m going to pick Henderson to win anyways, but this should be a great way to start the second round of the state tournament. The last match happening in the second round at this weight is Ash and #10 Chayce Yant. Yant looked great en route to a semi-state title in New Castle, but I think Ash has looked great-er, and I believe that Ash will make it to the semifinals for the second year in a row. In the semis, we have a really disgusting semifinals meetup with Jendreas and Larocca butting heads for a chance under the lights, despite the fact that both of them have been under the lights before. Larocca is of course the returning champ, but it seems impossible at the moment to root against Jendreas. He has been lights out this season, and I think he will definitely win, although Larocca looks to be picking up momentum at the right time with two dominant wins over Ash the past two weekends. On the bottom of the bracket, we have Henderson and Ash going for a rematch. I think that despite Henderson’s loss to Ash, his resume of wins this year, and the closeness of Ash’s win over him at semi-state makes him a slight favorite here, and I’m going to take Henderson in the rematch to put him under the lights. For gold, it should be Jendreas, but Henderson has shown that he is dangerous, and if Henderson does win this match, I would imagine it would be by fall. For third, I think Larocca beats Ash in their third rematch of the post season. Dark Horse: Cameron Woods I think that Henderson will probably beat Cameron Woods. Still, I think that it’s worth mentioning that Woods has beaten #2 Seth Aubin, #8 Aiden Dallinger, #11 Maximus Quiroz, and #18 Adiran Origel all in the past couple of weekends. There might not be a single wrestler in any bracket this weekend that has overperformed his expectations than Woods, and for this reason, I think he is a dark horse with potential to make a deep run through this tournament if he can stun Henderson in the Friday night match. 126: DEATH DRAW: #2 Landon Hawkins vs. #5 Neal Mosier In his first trip to the state tournament, #2 Landon Hawkins gets a tough test Friday night against returning state placer #5 Neal Mosier. That being said, Mosier is coming off of an uncharacteristic 4th place finish at semi-state, losing to Union City’s Bradin Daniel’s and #16 Drew Waldon, both in overtime bouts. He still shouldn’t be considered done for in this Friday night death draw, but Hawkins has been pretty dominant this year, and will be the heavy favorite. DEATH DRAW: #4 Braylon Reynolds vs. #8 Gavin Bragg In a classic senior vs. freshman death draw, #4 Braylon Reynolds pulls #8 Gavin Bragg. Bragg is a returning state qualifier looking to find his way into the placement rounds on Saturday, but Reynolds has been beating state placers well before his high school debut, and should be considered a favorite going into this match. Both wrestlers have several losses this year to some of the best guys in the state, and for Reynolds, some of the best guys in the country as well, so both have had their fair share of battles, and will be ready for a hard scrap come Friday. I’m taking Reynolds in a closer than expected match. Don’t let two death draws distract you all from some of the other Friday night matches going down at this weight class. Bradin Daniels went on a tear at the Fort Wayne semi-state, taking out Neal Mosier and #18 Cody Rowles along the way. He’ll see #12 Dylan Bennett in his Friday night match, a two-time qualifier that doesn’t want to walk away empty handed for a third time. I actually think that Bennett can win this match, and despite Daniels’ impressive semi-state run, I’m picking the Penn senior to finally earn himself a medal. #3 Luke Rioux and #9 Elijah Broady pull each other for an almost death draw. Broady took a minor upset loss to #13 Gunner Butt at semi-state, and he now finds himself against a 2022 state medalist who is hungry to avenge himself after a tough semi-state pull against eventual runner-up Jackson Heaston last year. I’ll take Rioux winning by a decent margin here. In a similar situation is Jay County senior Cody Rowles, who has qualified three times now, but pulls #7 Layne Horn in his Friday night match. Horn suffered an upset loss last year in this round, and I’m sure he will be looking to make a statement run this weekend, after coming into the state tournament ranked first in the state. The last relevant Friday night match is #10 Matthew Maldonado and #16 Drew Waldon. Waldon is the underdog here, but did pick up a big win over Mosier in the 3rd place match at semi-state, proving that he is much more capable than his ranking indicates. Still, Maldonado has put together a solid season that I think shows he is capable of making it on the podium this weekend, so I’m choosing him to do so in a very competitive Friday night bout. Saturday morning starts off with a bang, as Hawkins and Reynolds meet each other in the first round. Hawkins is 2-0 on the year against Reynolds with 2-0 and 5-2 wins, and I don’t believe that Reynolds has shown enough improvement since then for me to pick an upset here. Below these two is a much less brutal match, with Rioux and Bennett taking each other on. I expect Rioux to dominate to the semifinals. New Castle semi-state champ Gunner Butt takes on Layne Horn, where I think Horn will be wrestling with something to prove, and should win this match by a decent margin. Butt is a returning state placer, however, and is coming off of an upset with over Elijah Broady at semi-state, so there’s a chance that Butt doesn’t make it so easy on Horn. The last quarterfinal matchup of the bracket is Maldonado and #1 Isaiah Schaefer. Schaefer is undefeated against Indiana opponents this season, and I don’t suspect that he will be dropping any matches en route to the finals. The semifinals will see Hawkins and Rioux wrestle each other, for the first time this season. I think Rioux definitely has upset potential here, but I don’t think he’s ready to beat Hawkins here. Similarly on the bottom, Horn looked competitive at semi-state, losing only 2-0 to Hawkins, but Schaefer will likely be too much for him. Now, let’s talk about Schaefer vs. Hawkins. Both have yet to drop a match against an Indiana opponent and have very similar results against common opponents. Who wins? Schaefer has placed 7th in two attempts at the state tournament, but those results are a little deceptive. Schaefer pushed two-time state champion Ashton Jackson to a double overtime bout last year, and has demonstrated competitiveness against the elite guys in the bracket. Additionally, he carries a #13 ranking in the nation (FloWrestling), showing that he has had success on the nation level as well as the state level. Hawkins has not shown the same success at the nation level, but he has been beating the top guys in Indiana well before his high school debut, showing that he is ready to contend with Schaefer. I think this match is going to come down to the wire, and with a lack of further insight to make a prediction here, I think I am going to play it safe and go with Schaefer. Hawkins is a phenomenal top wrestler, and top wrestling skills are definitely valuable in matches that are expected to be incredibly close, but remember that Schaefer earned himself a reversal and three nearfall against Jackson last year, who is a phenomenal top wrestler himself. If Hawkins can maintain his dominance on top, I think he can walk away as the champion here. However, if Schaefer can get away and push his neutral wrestling, I think he can steal a takedown or two against Hawkins. For the 3rd place match, I think that Rioux has been impressive enough to pick him over Horn, who has been impressive himself, but I think Rioux has been very consistent this year, and should put that match away. Dark Horse: Gunner Butt I think that despite wrestling a very game Layne Horn in the quarterfinals, Butt has both the results from last year, where he placed 6th at 106, and the more recent results, including his semi-state championship that included an upset win over Broady, to make a deep run in this bracket. Even if he doesn’t win his quarterfinal match, I can see him contending for a 5th place finish, and at the very least, he should greatly out-place his #13 ranking. Predictions: Isaiah Schaefer Landon Hawkins Luke Rioux Layne Horn 132: DEATH DRAW: #7 Carter Fielden vs. #8 Sonny Sessa #8 Sonny Sessa pulled off a big upset win in the ticket round when he eliminated #6 Guillermo Rivera from the state series. Rivera had beaten him twice this season before that match. Now, he finds himself as a victim of yet another death draw, this time against #7 Carter Fielden. If this match sounds familiar to you, then it would be because this very Friday night match went down last year at 120 lbs, with Fielden winning the match. Sessa is on a revenge tour, and I think that he has a slight edge going into this match, so despite being slightly outranked here, I think Sessa can get it done and find himself on the podium. I know that many people might lean on Fielden winning, owning a 5-2 decision on him earlier in the season, but Fielden also lost 11-4 to Rivera in the very same tournament. It seems that Sessa has improved greatly since Al Smith, and I expect it to show Friday night. There aren’t a ton other Friday night matches in this weight class that seem competitive, with most bouts having a massive favorite. One match to note is #13 Keith Parker vs. #20 Cole Vandygriff. Vandygriff found himself against #14 Cameron Volz in the ticket round, but he found a way to pull the upset and wrestle all the way to second place at the New Castle semi-state. Parker has had some solid results this season, but doesn’t have any wins to indicate that he should be considered a favorite. I’m going to give the edge here to Parker, but this match should be fiercely competitive. I also think that #2 Tylin Thrine and #10 Quinten Schoeff has the makings of a match that is far closer than many people might expect. Thrine is still on an undefeated streak beginning his freshman year, and Schoeff is coming off of a lower than expected performance at semi-state, taking 4th. However, Schoeff has wrestled tough against some of the best guys at this weight, and Thrine has let several opponents this season keep it close with him. I think Thrine wins, of course, but I’m not sure it will be a blowout. The quarterfinals at this weight are pretty predictable in my opinion. #3 Hayden Demarco and #4 Eddie Goss will meet in the quarters for an Al Smith rematch. Demarco manhandled Goss for a major decision win in that match, and while I don’t think the result will be as one-sided, I can’t imagine Demarco losing this match. #5 Jackson Bradley will likely continue his undefeated streak this season with a win over Parker. Lastly, both Hockaday and Thrine should win their quarterfinal bouts to set up for one of the most disgusting semifinal matchups of the tournament. Hockaday is currently ranked #18 in the country, while Thrine spent much of this season ranked at 126 before it was confirmed that he would be competing at 132. There’s a lot on the line in this match. Hockaday is a two-time state champion looking to make it three titles in three tries, setting him up to win an elusive fourth state title. Thrine has one state title to his name, taking out Logan Frazier in the process in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. As of now, Thrine has yet to drop an official high school match, giving him a chance to become a very rare undefeated four time state champion. That being said, Hockaday has demonstrated significant talent on the greatest stages in high school wrestling, and I actually think that Hockaday will win this match by a significant margin. Thrine is clearly capable of pushing Hockaday, but he will need to be his very best to stand a chance against who is likely the best P4P high schooler in Indiana right now. On the other side of the bracket, we have another match with quite high of stakes. Demarco and Bradley are both undefeated on the season, and one of them will have to relinquish that zero at the end of their record. That being said, I really don’t see Demarco settling for anything less than a state finals appearance in his senior campaign, and he should win this match. The finals and 3rd place match should be pretty determined, with Hockaday and Thrine taking 1st and 3rd respectively, and Demarco and Bradley taking 2nd and 4th. Dark Horse: Keith Parker Parker put together a great semi-state that included a win over #10 Quinten Schoeff. He has been competitive all year, and now finds himself in a great spot to claim his first medal. I also think that there’s a world where he goes the extra mile and pushes Bradley for a chance to compete in the semis. I think that Parker is for sure a potential 4th placer. Predictions: Jake Hockaday Hayden Demarco Tylin Thrine Jackson Bradley 138: We don’t have any death draws for this weight class, but that doesn’t mean that Friday night won’t deliver some fire matchups at 138. #10 Luke Reid and #11 Chase Stephens has the potential to be an excellent match. Reid is slightly higher ranked, but Stephens has some fantastic wins on his resume, and notably upset Parker Reynolds at semi-state last year to make himself a state qualifier for the first time. I’m picking Stephens here to get a state medal in his second try. Another match that I think has upset potential is #5 Wesley Smith vs. #13 Justice Thorton. Thornton was the runner-up at the Evansville semi-state, surviving a death draw against #16 Seth Syra, and following it up with a win over #14 William Vander Luitgaren. Smith is a state placer at 145 the year before, but has yet to face a difficult state ranked opponent not named Clinton Shepherd, so he is a little bit of a question mark in this bracket in my opinion. I really think that Thornton has the potential to pull an upset here, and I think I’m going to lock in my upset pick here: Thornton over Smith in the Friday night match. Now, there’s another match in this bracket that I will be invested in praying for an upset. LaPorte junior Josh England pulled off an upset over #19 Drake Fritz in the ticket round match to find himself at the state finals for the first time, and he will see state veteran #3 Brady Ison in the first round. Ison is of course much more accomplished, but you already know that I will be rooting for the man in orange and black. The quarterfinals have the top four wrestlers in the weight class fairly dispersed, with #2 Kyrel Leavell seeing Stephens in the quarterfinals, #4 Tony Wood seeing Thornton in his quarterfinal bout, Ison matching up against #12 Linkin Carter, and #1 Clinton Shepherd getting the toughest of it against #6 Gavyn Whitehead. Despite all four wrestlers taking on competitors with previous state experience, I don’t think an upset is likely for any of them. The semifinals will be more interesting, though. Shepherd and Ison find themselves on the same side for a freshman vs. senior match to decide who wrestles under the lights. Ison is an underdog here, losing twice to Shepherd this season, but both bouts were very close, and I’m sure Ison is eager to end his senior campaign on top of the podium. I still think the freshman gets it done, but this semifinal match will be fantastic. Leavell and Wood fight for the other spot under the lights, and I don’t think you can count out Wood in this match. Although freestyle, Wood actually owns the latest victory between the two, meaning that he is certainly capable of replicating this result. I’m going to play it safe and choose Leavell to return to the finals match for the second time in his career, but don’t be shocked if Jay County finds themselves a finalist this year. In the finals, I think that I will once again choose Shepherd as the winner, although this prediction is much more of a safe prediction, given that Shepherd won their last match up at Al Smith, but Leavell is an incredibly dangerous opponent with some seriously impressive wins during the course of his high school career, both in the state of Indiana and on the national scene. For third, I think that Ison beats Wood in a tight match. Dark Horse: Justice Thornton I won’t say much about this dark horse pick, because I already have him exceeding his ranking with an upset win in the Friday night match, but I think that Thornton can make a run for 5th in this bracket. Predictions: Clinton Shepherd Kyrel Leavell Brady Ison Tony Wood 144: There is not a single unranked wrestler at this weight class. Every wrestler is dangerous and looking to compete for a medal, and there are several matches in the Friday night round that are going to be interesting for this wildly unpredictable and wide open weight class. #8 Branson Weaver and #10 Brody Hagewood are two returning qualifiers looking to claim their first medal, and I think that it could be an incredibly close bout. Both wrestlers could reasonably win this match, but I think I’m going to opt for the lower ranked Hagewood, who has wrestled some of the better guys at this weight tough and has a number of solid wins himself on the year. #16 Bryce Doss is a returning medalist that will have to get through #3 Jeffrey Huyvaert to claim a second medal. Huyvaert shed blood in the semi-state finals last weekend against #4 Zar Walker, and we will see in this Friday night match if Huyvaert is ready to get his first title, or if the rest of the field might be too much for him. The last notable Friday night match is #12 Marlone Kirksey and #7 Dillon Graham. Kirksey has been impressive this year, improving greatly since last season to find himself at the state tournament, but Graham has successfully medaled in every trip he has made to the state finals. It’s hard to root against that, so I’ll go with Graham in this match. The quarterfinals at this weight are downright disgusting. Part of that is due to a minor upset at semi-state, where Walker solidified himself as a title threat with a win over the record breaking Huyvaert of New Prairie. Walker is rewarded with a matchup against #2 Parker Reynolds, who has dominated every Indiana opponent he has faced not named Reese Courtney. I think that Walker looked incredible in his finals match against Huyvaert, as well as every match before that, so I’m going to say that Walker continues his hot streak against Reynolds and makes it into the semis. #4 Christian Arberry has improved a lot since his 8th place finish last year, and he should cruise to the semis with a win over Hagewood. Next, we have an absolutely evil Saturday morning bout with #1 Reese Courtney and Jeffrey Huyvaert. Huyvaert looked like the man to beat throughout the entirety of this season, breaking the Indiana record for the most takedowns in the single season, but Courtney has managed to remain undefeated in the chaos that is 144 this season, and I suspect that he will put the rising sophomores dreams to a halt in this match, squeaking by with a one point decision. Lastly, Dillon Graham will find himself in a quarterfinal bout against #5 Easton Doster. Doster is undefeated on the year, but hasn’t wrestled someone of Graham’s caliber yet this season, so this should be a good indicator of whether Doster is yet another title contender at this weight class. Graham is a quality wrestler at this weight, but he has taken several close losses against the tougher wrestlers at the weight, and has yet to find a win against someone in the top five this season. With that in mind, I’m picking Doster to make the semifinal round. The unpredictability continues as Walker and Arberry meet on the top half of the bracket. Arberry is definitely a title contender, taking Reese Courtney to overtime twice this season, but Walker seems on a mission, and I’m slightly biased towards picking an East Chicago semi-state wrestler to go all the way, so I’m taking Walker in an electric semifinal bout. On the bottom half, I think that Courtney gets it done quite comfortably against Doster to make the finals. Walker and Courtney is then the finals match that I have arrived at. There are honestly five different potential finals matches that could happen at this weight, but I think that these two will ultimately end up under the lights. I’ve already picked Walker to make two upsets at this weight, so I’m not going to think too hardly about this match: ZAR WALKER GOES ALL THE WAY AND WINS A STATE TITLE. As for 3rd place, I think that Arberry puts away Doster and takes bronze. Dark Horse: Marlone Kirksey Kirksey has had some close matches with some really good guys in this bracket, and I think that his Friday night bout against Dillon Graham is doable. Additionally, if he is able to make an upset against Graham, Doster is one of the better quarterfinal matches that he could ask for. Look for Kirksey to turn some heads this weekend with at the very least, a highly competitive Friday night match against one of the veterans of the field. Predictions: Zar Walker Reese Courtney Christian Arberry Easton Doster 150: There are several competitive Friday night matches to get this bracket started. New Castle semi-state champ #8 Braden Getz pulls #11 Alex Smith, and despite the proximity in ranking, I think that Getz should get this match quite handily. That being said, Getz has had a weird post season run, taking 2nd and 4th at sectionals and regionals, respectively, due to a pair of injury defaults and a bizarre 8-2 loss to #20 Moses Stevenson. I still don’t think that Smith has had impressive enough of a season to pull the upset here. #5 Wesley Harper pulls #12 Brock Hagewood, and I think while Harper had a pair of close matches at semi-state, he should be solid enough to get past Hagewood, evidenced by a 5-3 win over Hagewood earlier in the year. #6 Tyler Vanover and #16 Cooper Fettig is a pretty sneaky Friday night match, with Fettig having a great semi-state tournament that ended in a close 5-4 loss to Getz. I think Vanover wins, but it should be close. Lastly, New Haven’s Aidan Elkins enters the bracket as an unranked semi-state champ, picking up a notable win over Hagewood in the process. For #13 Chase Kasprzak, however, you have to imagine that he picks up a great draw here, being the favorite per the rankings. Kasprzak isn’t coming in with the momentum, however, losing both of his matches after the ticket round by fall. I’m going to pick the breakout star from the Fort Wayne semi-state to claim a medal this weekend. There is a clear favorite in this weight class, and it is #1 Wyatt Krejsa. He will see #10 Christopher Bohn in the first round of the second day, and while Bohn has grown tremendous growth since last year, I find Krejsa too formidable of an opponent for him to overcome. The next quarterbracket will feature Getz and #9 Kaptur Nowaczyk. Nowaczyk survived a death draw at semi-state, taking out #7 Caydn Smith to punch his ticket for the very first time. I actually think that Nowaczyk will make a run here and beat Getz to make the semis. On the bottom half of the bracket, Harper and Vanover will contend for a semifinal spot. I imagine this match will be as close as they get, but I think Vanover will have the slight edge here and pull the minor upset to make the semis. In the last quarterbracket, I think that #2 Hunter May will end Elkin’s dream run with a convincing win. The semis are pretty easy to figure out, with Krejsa beating Nowaczyk, and May beating Vanover, both matches by a decent margin, to set up for a semi-state finals rematch. If you saw the result of the semi-state finals, however, you’d know that May is the huge underdog in this match, and will have to wrestle terrifically to have a chance. For 3rd, I think Vanover will get it done over Nowaczyk, who’s been slightly less consistent than Vanover. Dark Horse: Kaptur Nowaczyk Coming into this tournament, I think that Nowaczyk will clearly outplace his ranking, but I see him getting as high as 3rd place this weekend. I’m going with Vanover to win the 3rd place match, but it should be incredibly close, and will likely be decided by less than two points. If not 3rd, I’m obviously still picking Nowaczyk as a surprise semifinalist. Predictions: Wyatt Krejsa Hunter May Tyler Vanover Kaptur Nowaczyk 157: DEATH DRAW: #1 Beau Brabender vs. #7 Mason Day What happens when you blunder a perfect season with a single loss to the #2 guy in the state? You get placed in a death draw– and that’s exactly what #1 Beau Brabender will face, when he wrestles #7 Mason Day in the Friday night match. Day is very good, and shouldn’t be considered a heavy underdog in this match. He took his sole Indiana loss in an upset against #9 Asher Ratliff, although he did pick up an upset of his own against #6 Silas Stits in the regional finals. I think Brabender will hold firm and survive for the win, but Day is a very strong #7 in the state. There are lots of ranked matchups happening in the Friday night round. Many of them have pretty convincing favorites, but there are a couple that could potentially go either way. Silas Stits pulls #10 Griffin Van Tichelt for his tournament life, and I think he will win in an extremely close bout. #8 Gavin Davis wrestles #12 Aidan Kincaide, who picked up a big win over #4 Silas Foster at semi-state. Both wrestlers have had great results this season, and I think that this match could seriously go either way. I’m going to pick the senior with previous state experience to win a tight one against the stud freshman. The second day of state is where this bracket starts to fall apart. Brabender and Betz meet at the top of the bracket in the quarterfinals for an absolutely disgusting early matchup. Despite Betz’s loss over Pellot earlier in the year, I’ve been confident in his wrestling ability for a while now, and I still believe that he has what it takes to be the champ at this weight class. His resume of wins is overall stronger than Brabender’s too, so I’m going to pick Betz to win the first quarterfinal of the bracket. Next, we have Cashman and Stits. They are 1-1 against each other, both in 5-4 decisions, so you know that this match is going to be incredibly down to the wire. Cashman certainly has the momentum going into this weekend, with a quite dominant post season run thus far, while Stits has taken a couple of losses, including an upset loss to Ratliff. Thus, I’ll pick Cashman to make it to the semis. Pellot and Foster is another gross matchup going down too early. Pellot has been fantastic this season, making a case to be the guy to beat this weekend, while Foster has taken a couple of losses in the past couple of weeks to lower ranked wrestlers. I’m going with Pellot to make the semis. Lastly, Davis and Ratliff square off to sneak into the last remaining spot. Davis has been competitive against every tough opponent he has wrestled this year, and despite Ratliff’s exceptional semi-state run, I’m going with Davis to take the match. For the semis, I think that Betz will take out Cashman in a highly competitive match. Cashman, as mentioned, has been wrestling like a title contender, so Betz will have to be on his A-game. As for the other semifinal match, I think that Pellot is the strong favorite to make the finals. As for the finals, I think that many fingers might point to Pellot as the winner. However, I think that Betz’s best form can pull the upset and find himself on top of the podium, and as much as a disservice I might be doing to those from the Region, I’m choosing Betz to stand on top of the podium. For 3rd, Cashman should beat Davis in a pretty convincing match. Dark Horse: Aidan Kincaide Kincaide is in a Friday night match that he could reasonably win, which is especially big for him, because I have Davis making the semis. With this in mind, if Kincaide can win Friday night, I have him making a pretty deep run through the bracket, likely ending in 4th place. Predictions: Mitchell Betz Adrian Pellot Anthony Cashman Gavin Davis 165: DEATH DRAW: #2 Waylon Cressell vs. #8 Oliver Hallett The Indian Creek sophomore has a tall task ahead of him, facing #2 Waylon Cressell Friday night. #8 Oliver Hallett suffered an upset loss to #14 Coy Bender at semi-state, and unfortunately for Hallett, I think that Cressell is a tier above most of the field in this weight class. DEATH DRAW: #4 Kaeb Stebbins vs. #7 Isaac Sinks #4 Kaeb Stebbins lost the rematch against #5 Duke Myers in the finals of semi-state, and for that, he is punished with a death draw against #7 Isaac Sinks. Sinks took third at the East Chicago semi-state, getting pushed in his ticket round match before getting pinned quickly by #1 Anthony Rinehart. I think that Stebbins has been great this year outside of his loss to Myers (which really isn’t even an underperformance by Stebbins given Myers’ resume), and he should take out Sinks to make the medal round. There are a couple of other Friday night matches worth highlighting. #15 Xavier Smith and #16 Jesse Derringer find themselves in a great spot to claim a spot on the podium, but I think the slight favorite to win here is Derringer. Derringer had an impressive semi-state run in which he tech falled Coy Bender and lost only 7-6 to #3 Evan Roudebush. That being said, Smith does own a major decision win over Derringer this season, giving this match a layer of unpredictability. I don’t really ever pick wrestlers to avenge such tough losses, but I think that Derringer is wrestling like one of the best wrestlers in the state, and I believe that he will prove it Friday night. There’s a pretty interesting Friday night match on the bottom half of the bracket with #6 Brant Beck and #10 Levi Abbott challenging each other for a medal. These two actually wrestled each other at semi-state last year, with Abbott winning 7-3, but with Rochester now going through the East Chicago semi-state, these two will meet in the first round. Beck has since avenged his loss against Abbott, winning 4-3 earlier this year, and I think he will repeat this result to claim his first state medal of his career. The story of this weight class is Anthony Rinehart and Waylon Cressell, and I don’t think anybody will be able to stop that match from happening. Duke Myers will wrestle Derringer to get to the semis, and I think despite Derringer’s momentum at this point in the year, Myers is wrestling solid enough to calm down the Brownsburg senior. Rinehart will see #17 Zack Huckaby, who he should beat quite easily. Similarly, Cressell will face off against Stebbins, who is much higher ranked than Huckaby, but should still be no match for Cressell. In the last quarterfinal match, Evan Roudebush will meet with Brant Beck. Roudebush has improved rapidly since last season, solidifying himself as the best wrestler at the weight that isn’t in the tier of Rinehart and Cressell, so I’m giving him the win here. Rinehart will beat Myers, and Cressell will beat Roudebush, giving us a rematch of the Al Smith finals under the lights, where I can only assume that Rinehart will repeat his Al Smith result. The match was incredibly close, and I think Cressell is talented enough to push Rinehart in this match, but I will err on the side of caution and pick the safer choice. For third, I think that Roudebush will win the rematch against Myers, but I don’t expect it to be a 5-0 shutout like it was last time. Expect a fun 3rd place match at this weight. Dark Horse: Jesse Derringer I’m starting to realize that I’ve been saying a lot of the same things in these dark horse picks that I’ve been saying in the write up itself, so I’ll keep it simple with this: Derringer can potentially make the semis and get his rematch with Roudebush, where we are looking at a potential 3rd place for Derringer, a massive overplacement for his #16 ranking. Predictions: Anthony Rinehart Waylon Cressell Evan Roudebush Duke Myers 175: DEATH DRAW: #4 Noah Clouser vs. #7 Ethan Popp Senior vs. senior. Both previous state qualifiers. Both ranked top eight in the state. And only one of them gets to end their career with a medal around their neck. These are the type of matches that make our state tournament exciting. #4 Noah Clouser opens as the favorite here, owning a stronger resume of wins than #7 Ethan Popp, and spending some time this season ranked #1, but Popp is no slouch himself, and with Clouser coming off of a slight upset loss to #5 Bray Emerine, I think that this match could be close. I’ll go with Clouser, but I don’t think Popp should be counted out. This weight class is possibly the most wide open in the state, rivaling 144 with a large amount of title contenders. The Friday night round contains many important matches that could dictate how the rest of the weight class goes. #11 Kyle Harden is leaps and bounds better than his ranking when he is wrestling to the highest of his potential, but he will be challenged immediately by #6 Braxton Russell. He opens this tournament as a question mark wrestler, having not wrestled most of the season, while Russell has been busy, putting together a solid season only brought down by an odd upset loss to #18 Cooper McCloy. Harden found himself on the bad side of a hot streak when #16 Michael White blew through the New Castle semi-state, losing only to #3 Brenton Russell. I’m going to retain my belief in Harden and pick him to win against Russell. Speaking of Michael White, he is rewarded for his efforts at semi-state with a top eight opponent and returning medalist in #8 Laish Detwiler. White has a great body of work to support him his season, including a win over #2 Chase Leech, and I think that he will pull the upset against Detwiler, who is a strong wrestler himself, but does not have momentum on his side. There are a couple of Friday night matches that could be worth mentioning here, but there is so much chaos that will be going down on the second day that I need to get right into it. Firstly, the top of the bracket starts out with Emerine and Harden. Emerine, aside from a loss to Waylon Cressell earlier in the year, has been nothing short of dominance, and if Harden can’t manage to bring the best version of himself to the state finals, I think Emerine will win. The next quarterfinal match is #1 Aidan Costello and Michael White. Despite White’s performances during the post season, I think Costello is talented enough to shut him down and advance to the semis. Russell has a slightly easier path per the rankings, seeing #13 Zymarion Hollyfield in the quarters. Hollyfield did take out #10 Cameron Crisp in the ticket round, who managed to challenge Costello in the regional finals, so Hollyfield won’t make it easy for Russell. Still, I see Russell advancing to the semifinal round. The last quarterfinal match isn’t pretty: Chase Leech and Noah Clouser, both title contenders and both ranked top four in the state. Leech is a scarily underrated wrestler with the potential to take out some of the best Indiana has to offer, and I think he will win against Clouser to set him up with a rematch against Brenton Russell. If you click on Leech’s Trackwrestling profile and scroll through his significant wins, you will probably see that Leech is going to win this semifinal match, with an astounding amount of wins over the senior from Warren Central. On the top half of the weight class, Costello will square off against Emerine, in what I think will be an incredibly close match. However, Costello is a highly dangerous wrestler and can end the match at any moment, and I think that ability will bring him far against Emerine. Thus, the finals is yet another rematch of the Al Smith finals (jeez, this Al Smith tournament sounds hard). Costello and Leech ended their bout in overtime, where Costello emerged victorious. However, I suspect that Leech will be better prepared for the rematch, and given his consistency and overall body of work, I think that he can overcome Costello and take home a title for Garrett. For 3rd place, catch Emerine pulling an upset of his own over Russell. Seriously, I think Emerine is a sneaky title contender in this weight class, and while I believe he is too highly ranked for me to consider him a dark horse, I want to say it right here before anything happens this weekend. Dark Horse: Kyle Harden As I said before, the talent is there. He’s been there, done that with a 6th place medal to conclude his freshman campaign. If he’s healthy, he can make a legitimate title run this weekend. If not, he will still likely put together a solid performance that will contradict his #11 ranking. Predictions: Chase Leech Aidan Costello Bray Emerine Brenton Russell 190: DEATH DRAW: #3 Luke Penola vs. #4 Vinny Freeman There has to be one of these every year. #3 Luke Penola placed 3rd last year at 182, while #4 Vinny Freeman placed 6th at 182. Only one of these grapplers will walk away this weekend with a second medal. It’s not a complete heartbreaker, as Freeman is only a sophomore, but the pressure is on for Penola, who is a senior looking to cap with career with a state title. Penola is coming off of two consecutive losses to #5 Noah Weaver, while Freeman is coming off of a loss at semi-state to #7 Kenneth Bisping. With this in mind, I think Penola will win this Friday night match and advance to the next day. Bisping beat Freeman 14-8, and Penola defeated Bisping in the Al Smith finals 8-4, so I think there might be a little bit of a gap between these two wrestlers, despite their proximity in rankings. There are plenty of interesting Friday night match to get this sneakily competitive weight class started. #11 Colin Casad looked great last weekend at semi-state, punching his ticket for the first time and losing only 1-0 to #2 Kaden McConnell. He’ll see #20 Elias Cressell for the first round, a senior who blew through his semi-state bracket with a finals win over #14 Eli Coolman. I think that both wrestlers have turned a corner this post season, and both can reasonably find themselves winning a medal this weekend. I’m taking Casad to make the 4-over-1 upset over Cressell. Next, #16 Aleksandr Tatum and #25 Colin Whetsel find themselves in a favorable Friday night matchup, with both newcomers to the state tournament and both very young. Despite being the higher ranked wrestler, Tatum lost earlier in the season to Whetsel by fall, and it seems likely that this result could repeat itself. The Hobart freshman has improved a lot this season, but I’ll stick with Whetsel to sneak into the medal rounds. Lastly, while not likely to be a toss-up match, #23 Donovan Blair is now a two-time state qualifier and has never medaled, but he sees McConnell in the Friday night match, likely putting an end to the Wawasee senior’s career. Let’s just get into it. #1 Gunner Henry. #3 Luke Penola. Saturday morning. This matchup is potentially the toughest quarterfinal match of the entire tournament, with both wrestlers having outstanding careers up to this point. Both wrestlers have placed 3rd at the state tournament, and only one of them will be in a position to place as high this year. Henry has been nothing short of impressive this past year, putting together an outstanding off season that included a top eight finish at Super 32, a Central Regional championship— and a loss at Freestyle state to Luke Penola. I don’t like to talk too much about freestyle results when talking about the state tournament, but it should definitely be noted that Penola is capable of winning this match still. Henry has been the man to beat in this weight class, and I think he will overcome Penola and remain the man to beat, but there are several names in this weight class that will be after his #1 ranking. The next quarterfinal is a surprising one with two opponents outside of the top eight. I think Casad will make a surprise run at this weight class and take out Whetsel to find himself in the semifinals. The third Saturday morning bout will be #6 Noah Terry vs. Kenneth Bisping. Bisping has been on it this post season, while Terry was beaten quite convincingly by Henry at semi-state, a tough result after pushing Henry to an 8-7 decision earlier in the season. I like picking Bisping here to make the semifinals. Lastly, we have another pretty tough quarterfinal match, with McConnell and Weaver challenging for the last semifinal spot. McConnell is very good; he is a returning runner-up and has been extremely competitive with Henry this post season, dropping two one point decisions. However, Noah Weaver has proven himself to be the real deal, and I really think that he can go the distance in this weight class. This really feels like a match that would be easy to go with McConnell, but I’m going to lock in Weaver to pull the upset here and advance in the tournament. It wouldn’t be the first upset he’s made this post season. For the semis, I see Henry dominating Casad to make his first finals appearance, while Weaver beats Bisping in a much closer than expected match. Then, we’ll see Henry and Weaver in the finals. This is such an intriguing matchup to me. Both wrestlers have spent time in the national rankings this season, demonstrating that this finals matchup in another tier above some of the rest. I want to pick Weaver to go all the way, and we know that Henry is not invincible to Indiana opponents, but I’m going to remain firm on Henry. The third place match will be a rematch between Casad and Bisping, where I think Bisping caps off his career with a win over Casad. Dark Horse: Colin Whetsel This is a #25 ranked wrestler that I believe has a legitimate shot of breaking through to the semifinal round. As mentioned before, he has a win via first period fall over Aleksandr Tatum, his first round match, and Colin Casad, while in the midst of the best he’s ever wrestled, is a very feasible match for Whetsel, compared to many of the other monsters at this weight. They don’t share any common opponents this season besides Noah Weaver, who put both wrestlers away in the first period, so this dark horse pick isn’t much more right now than a hunch. Predictions: Gunner Henry Noah Weaver Kenneth Bisping Colin Casad 215: DEATH DRAW: #5 Alex Deming vs. #8 Jackson Weingart This is a pretty ugly draw for two seniors with state medals to their name. #5 Alex Deming found himself on the bad end of an upset loss against #12 Jayden Bartozek, which was an especially brutal loss, with #2 Cole Chicoine meeting him in the third place match. On the other hand, #8 Jackson Weingart won a tough, tough 215 bracket at the New Castle semi-state, dominating #6 Brandon Johnson and #13 Wyatt Woodall. Weingart has had a very unusual year, taking shocking losses this year by fall to #7 Kameron Kauffman and unranked Andrew Troy of Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. However, Weingart also has some fantastic wins this season, and gave #1 Will Clark his toughest match of the year, losing 8-7 at Al Smith. I’m picking Weingart to make a deep run at this tournament, and for Deming, that means the #5 ranked senior will be ending his tournament run early. There’s only one death draw in this bracket, but there is another one that seems especially brutal as well. Will Clark sees #9 Devin Kendrex in the Friday night round. Kendrex placed 5th last year, and has had a very up and down season, winning an electric regional finals match against Johnson, but lost to him in the 3rd place match at semi-state to set himself up with the toughest pull he could ask for. Clark has looked more beatable this year than last year, and Kendrex is an incredibly dangerous athlete with explosive potential, but I don’t believe that the upset will happen here. Wyatt Woodall, who took Kendrex out in the semi-state semifinals, is rewarded with a meeting with returning state runner-up Cole Chicoine. Chicoine looks to be closing in on Clark, and I believe that he will put Woodall away en route to a finals appearance. #18 Travis Henke and #19 Parker Hart find themselves in a great spot to earn the first medal of their career. Henke is coming off of an especially great performance at semi-state, taking the Fort Wayne semi-state title with wins over Manchester’s Preston Duffy and a huge upset over #3 Keegan Martin. I’m picking Henke to earn his spot on the podium this weekend. The last notable Friday night match is Brandon Johnson vs. Jayden Bartozek. As mentioned before, Bartozek is coming off of a big upset over Alex Deming, and I think he has shown potential to pull another upset, and additionally, an upset that would not even be as great as his upset over Deming, given the rankings of both Deming and Johnson, at #5 and #6 respectively. I think Johnson will pull through here, but I’m not going to count Bartozek out yet. The second day opens up with a meeting between #11 Caden Brewer and Cole Chicoine. Brewer is coming off of a semi-state championship, although his weight class included less ranked wrestlers than you’d typically expect from the Evansville semi-state. Despite this, Brewer has shown glimpses of performances far past his ranking, and I think he will be a tough match for Chicoine. Still, I don’t imagine Chicoine loses this early in the tournament. The next quarterfinal features Johnson and Henke, where I think Johnson will overwhelm Henke and find himself in the semifinals for the final run through the state tournament. The third Saturday morning match will be Will Clark vs. Keegan Martin, which is an incredibly unfortunate matchup so early in the tournament. I think Clark is a clear favorite to win this matchup, with a 9-2 win over Martin earlier in the year, but it is still tough to see Martin fighting a losing battle so early in the tournament after a great season thus far. The last match of the second round will be #4 Julante Hinton and Jackson Weingart. Hinton is a great athlete with loads of state experience, making his fourth trip in four years to the state tournament, and coming home with a state medal last year for the first time. I think that Hinton will challenge Weingart, but Weingart has demonstrated a level of talent at this weight that makes me think he can go far, so I’m choosing Weingart to pull the upset against Hinton. In the semis, we have two very interesting matches will be deceptively competitive. Johnson has an exciting style that can challenge Chicoine on his way for a second appearance under the lights. I’m still set on Chicoine making it through, but Johnson will be a tough challenge. The other semifinal bout is Clark and Weingart, which was as close as it gets when they met earlier this year. I’m sticking with Clark, because his resume has been too good over the years to think that he’ll drop a match like this in the final moments of his career, but it is certainly possible. Holding onto the same logic, I think Clark will figure things out and remain the champion of this weight class with another win over Chicoine. For 3rd, I expect another repeat of the result between Weingart and Johnson, with Weingart taking 3rd in his final year. Dark Horse: Jackson Weingart Not much to say. Title contender. Could end his career on top of the podium. Watch out. Predictions: Will Clark Cole Chicoine Jackson Weingart Brandon Johnson 285: There are surprisingly no death draws in this bracket, even after an absolutely loaded East Chicago semi-state that featured the #1, #2, #3, #5, and #6 ranked wrestlers in the state. #3 Aramis McNutt got a favorable draw as the 4th placer out of semi-state with a first round match against #10 Juan Cruz, who won the Fort Wayne semi-state. I think that Cruz is good, for sure, but McNutt is a returning placer that has the potential to go deep in this tournament, and I’m picking him to get the 4-over-1 victory. #1 Paul Clark sees #22 James Hartleroad in the Friday night match, a tough pull for the 16U Fargo champion that has struggled to replicate the same level of success in folkstyle. Clark is a heavy favorite, but Hartleroad’s Greco abilities make this matchup a little scary for the Crown Point senior. #8 Hosia Smith has had a rollercoaster of a career, losing in the ticket round last year after taking 5th the year before. Smith has perhaps some of the best wins in this entire bracket, stealing a win last year over eventual champion Leighton Jones, and I think that he will win over #11 Justin Brown, a senior from Floyd Central that lost 8-6 to Smith earlier in the season. The best version of Smith is a dangerous wrestler in this bracket, but if he doesn’t wrestle his best, I could also see Brown stealing this match back and getting a medal in his sole trip to the state finals. Finally, in a match that should be much closer than the rankings indicate, #5 Anthony Popi sees #23 Ethan Dodson in the Friday night match. I’ve heard from a certain user on this website not to underestimate this heavyweight, and despite an inconsistency in results this year, Dodson has a win this season over Hosia Smith, and lost only 5-3 earlier this season to Popi. Popi himself is coming into this tournament with a big win over McNutt, so I think that Popi gets it done and medals this year, but I’ve been warned not to overlook the Fort Wayne Snider heavyweight. The first round of day two features a match between Clark and #16 Oluwagbenga Orisadare. Orisadare has shown time and time again that he is much better than his ranking, upsetting #9 Maximus Forrester at sectionals and challenging #4 Nate Johnson this post season with two close decision losses. Despite this, Clark is a national threat at heavyweight, and I think he will shut down the Avon senior from going further than the quarterfinals. Next, McNutt and Smith will clash Saturday morning, where I truly think this match can go either way. I’m not going to think too much about it, and choose the Region rat to represent the 219 and find himself in the semis for the first time. The third quarterfinal features Popi and #7 Austin Hastings, where I think Popi should ride his momentum from semi-state and get the job done to reach the semifinals. Lastly, #2 Brady Beck and #4 Nate Johnson is a brutal Saturday morning bout with two wrestlers with great potential. I think that Johnson has been outstanding this year, but Beck was able to really challenge Clark at semi-state, making me think that if anyone is going to dethrone Clark, it will be Beck, so I’ll unhappily say Beck (I only say unhappily because I an extremely close to picking Nate Johnson to make the finals). The semifinals should be simple enough, with Clark getting it done over McNutt, and Beck winning against Popi. The finals should definitely be Clark, but I know that the finals between Clark and Beck at semi-state was controversially close, so I’ll remain firm with Clark with the knowledge that an upset can certainly happen here. For third, I think McNutt reverses his 4th place result at semi-state and gets Popi back. Dark Horse: Hosia Smith This wrestler truly can win against anybody in this bracket. He is a returning medalist and has beaten the best in this weight class for years. We’ll just have to see who shows up this weekend. Predictions: Paul Clark Brady Beck Aramis McNutt Anthony Popi At 22 pages, this concludes my state finals write-up. I’m a senior in college, and I’m not really sure what my next move is going to be. I have aspirations to continue pursuing writing in graduate school, but I could also veer in the direction of getting out into the world and integrating myself into the work world. I don’t know what the future means for these write-ups. I love doing these write-ups, and I think this work has partially informed what I might pursue as a career in the future. That being said, I might not be able to return next year with these previews, so I want to say thank you for the users of this website that have stopped and read my work over the years. It’s been fun, and I really hope that I can return next year with more stuff to read, but we’ll just have to see. Thanks Indianamat.
    19 points
  6. Just a grateful post! Are we not blessed as fans, what a weekend! We seen a ton of indiana #1's go down, the 1st girl on the podium and Brownsburg take over as the new chiefs of the state! It is going to be a fun ride! As the season goes on i don't think we give enough credit to coaches, refs and media for their countless hours of devotion to the sport of wrestling for these kids! Can't thank you all enough! We do great at getting in an uproar with peoples post about how great their team is etc. Trying to get people worked up and hating. These kids that wrestle are all (typically) incredible athletes and better humans! They are competitive but grow a bond like no other sport. A prime example is crown point and bburg, we all know the history but what alot of people don't see is the bonds. Cp and burg kids love being around each other when not competing! We need to at times get better at not being upset with one side or the other because of ppl's post and just be excited indiana has nationally ranked teams! How great is it having 3 top 30 nationally ranked teams? I'm grateful for it and I'm grateful for how 99% of our athletes behave! Its truly something to be grateful for. Post on recruiting all the time, I know my 2 cents won't make a bit of difference but recruiting isn't a thing and I truly believe that people want to be a part of something special. When you have team cracking nationally ranked status and schedule kids and parents want to be a part of it and not only that typically these programs have coaches, community support and same goals. We all have heard saying about "if you are around 5 millionaires you will be the 6th" or "you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with" field of dreams "if you build it, they will come". We have to stop hating on programs like the burg, cg and cp. They have all built it right and they come. Im grateful we can travel outside of the US and have teams competing nationally to be recognized in the country. Here is to freestyle season, let's get excited for lace season as my son says! Its a beautiful time of the year! Fargo is getting closer. Time for world team and fargo dreams! Grateful for opportunity. Good luck to all our summer athletes! Thank you to all you coaches, refs, media, Especially indianamat for all the countless hours and effort you put in to these kids to help make indiana wrestling better and the sport to grow! Let's all build! Grateful for you all! Congrats to all the athletes who competed this past weekend and if you didn't reach your goals time to get back to the drawing board and work, if you are graduating this sport will stick with you for the rest of your life and you are a better person for doing it! College or workforce will love you! Keep your heads held high with pride, wrestling is life for all of us, but there is a bigger purpose for our life! Keep your eyes on the prize and hes got you! Thank you indiana wrestling
    18 points
  7. Was the 8 under the lights in the parking lot?
    17 points
  8. Watching this Iowa vs Wisc dual and Rathjen takes injury time as he’s getting taken down. Official gives the injury time, Rathjen continues after a short break and doesn’t give the 3 pt td. Reminds me of one of my biggest issues watching wrestling this weekend. Coaches allowing their kids to take a time out when the going gets tough. Weak. One of the countless things that separates wrestling from the stupid sports like basketball, no timeouts when it’s getting real, you have to deal with it. Dissapointing the programs that are ok with taking a breather for that mental break when adversity has set in.
    16 points
  9. If anything the IHSAA takes from State Finals being held this year in Evansville to bring back to Indy next year . KEEP THE FLAMES and Smoke for introductions of the Wrestlers. So ….. Bad As* !!! Can’t wait to see some pictures for the wrestlers and in the background .
    15 points
  10. Wow, I can't believe this topic is already 2 pages long & noone has mentioned... Julianna Ocampo! This fierce competitor not only made history but is a tremendous inspiration for all young girls everywhere. Congratulations young lady, you deserve it!
    15 points
  11. Reminder to everyone on here, including myself, that we are grown adults speaking on high school kids. From the looks of it, there’s been some jabs and shade thrown on some threads, and it’s never that serious. It’s just wrestling. Sometimes it’s okay and necessary to take a step back from the board and just watch. This is for discussion about the sport, it becomes something completely different when everyone is throwing shots at each other, making claims about programs, and making remarks about kids. This is meaningful to those participating whether as a wrestler or coach, but there is far more to life than high school wrestling.
    15 points
  12. dwise

    Best Face Off Moments.

    Goss and DeMarco getting nose to nose at the Al Smith this year!
    15 points
  13. ray10x

    The Rioux Dynasty

    Just wanted to say the Rioux Fam appreciate all the kind words! Unbelievably proud of Luke and Nate for all their hard work and Luke for getting it done... even if he had to call me out in the interview afterwards!
    14 points
  14. Y2CJ41

    Crown Point State weekend

    Who thinks @DawgPoundRed should win IndianaMat Rookie of the Year award?
    14 points
  15. Dude, this is the emptiest I’ve ever seen a place. No way should it ever be here again.
    14 points
  16. Watching IhsaaTv from home . The Announcers for all 4 mats are perhaps the best I've ever encountered watching a large Tournament. They are all past wrestlers and very knowledgeable .
    14 points
  17. Anyone else listen to FRL? They gave Indiana some love today when they were answering questions from listeners. Ben Askren and Christian Pyles named us as a top 5 hardest state to win State in. Then they mentioned us as one of the best state championship atmospheres. And then they shouted out Ocampo for placing!
    13 points
  18. blueandgold

    Kyrel Leavell

    This is a nasty level of hating. Kyrel pinned and teched his way through John Hurrle, pinned his way through Marion County, pinned and teched his way to the Al Smith finals, got two falls in the matches Warren wrestled at Team State, pinned his way through sectionals, pinned and teched his way through regionals, pinned his way through semi-state, and teched his opening round at State, won his semis 9-3, and pinned the #1 in the finals… DOMINANT without a doubt.
    13 points
  19. He asked me how many would Fort Wayne have in the finals. Looks like we’re doing pretty good. I never believed in jinx’s before today. If I was the Crown Point staff I’d disassociate from this guy. Sheesh!
    13 points
  20. Beamaker

    Hartleroad

    Has a single wrestler ever had as significant an impact on the Indiana state tournament wrestling landscape as this young man did? His upset win Friday night made the seemingly impossible; possible. The shockwaves of that win changed the tournament landscape for the remainder of the weekend. Hats off to you big man! You opened the door for several things to happen! BB and CG should consider making this young man an honorary member of your roster this year…at the very least, cut off a small piece of each of your team trophies and mail them to Dekalb HS.
    12 points
  21. Y2CJ41

    Da Wayne > Da Region

    Looks like the Brinks truck will be taking a detour to da Wayne today. I hope they updated their Google maps to stop at Victory Bay! Way to go Easton, Chase, and Mitchell representing the area. Also shout outs to Cressell and Krejsa who have deep ties to da Wayne.
    12 points
  22. Thank you so much. If only that Krejsa kid didn't get lucky in their quarterfinals match, CJ could've won it all. I kid of course. CJ said Krejsa was the only kid that got faster as the match went on. Edit. I'm really proud of CJ because he fought through adversity at the beginning of the year. We lost my dad in late October, and he was a massive supporter of CJs wrestling career. He never missed any my son's matches.
    12 points
  23. Biggest jinx in the history of Indiana state wrestling. Good job DawgPoundRed
    12 points
  24. Everyone can have an opinion on whether or not Caden should have wrestled with his knee injury....or whether or not Preston should have wrestled with his completely torn ACL. At Brownsburg, we listen to doctors with medical degrees. After meeting with multiple doctors (who have medical degrees and aren't googling it), both wrestlers were told they could push through the season if they chose....and get it fixed after the season. It was their decision with guidance from their family. We will continue to listen to people who get paid to be actual doctors.
    11 points
  25. Didn’t want this to be known, but now the cats out of the bag. The injury occurred again over the summer late. The choice was to fix it and miss the season or to tape it up and try to grind it and repair it after season. He chose to wrestle as it couldn’t get any worse and to get it fixed now (after season). With that said, it popped out and back in Friday night. It freaked him out. It was slipping all weekend. If he doesn’t set it when it slips, it can go all the way out. Long story short, he didn’t make it through his placement match and we were ok with what he accomplished this season. With all of this said… He has wrestled CP 4 times. Cruz twice and Will Clark twice. You guys never had a single drink during those losses. Never took injury against those monsters. Lastly.. if you are questioning the toughness or integrity of my kid.. you have never met him or the rest of my family. We don’t roll like that. Feel free to call and discuss. The author of this post @Chris Coopercan attest for how tough my boys are. My oldest wrestled for him one summer. Busted his eye wide open at Disney. We glued it shut with super glue 5 times to ensure Columbus East got 6 every round. He still rocks his scar with honor. Proud of my son and proud of my state champs!!! Crazy how the only hate in this site over the last few days is directed to the big three. That’s the world we live in now… 10 years ago all you would see is love for kids and hard work. We live in a society where people hate everyone and everything. It’s just sad!!!! Matt Brewer 317-201-0644
    11 points
  26. People can look at it as CP blew it, but why not look at it as the state of Indiana is strong as a whole. The talent levels over the past decade has exploded in our state, and we are seeing it in the national and college level as well.
    11 points
  27. Got to imagine Aidan Kincaide will be in the mix after being a semi finalist at a high weight for a freshman.
    11 points
  28. More to come later kinda sad right now
    11 points
  29. blueandgold

    Kyrel Leavell

    Had it not been for the one loss he suffered at Al Smith to Shepherd, he’d be my pick for most dominant wrestler this season. Just absolutely insane strength on top and he wrestles with so much finesse. I’m happy he avenged that loss in top form, though. Congrats, Rello!
    10 points
  30. I will say on behalf of the Ford Center, we really did try and I personally worked my tail off for this one. As a wrestling fan I was pumped to see it coming to our place. I’m sorry the lighting wasn’t the greatest for the finals, it was the best we could do with what we had to work with while trying to keep that finals feel. Originally they were just gonna keep the sports lights on, but I didn’t think that felt right. Had a blast all weekend and had the best seat I’ve ever had for a wrestling finals weekend.
    10 points
  31. Check out WZBD’s photos and the radio call of Julianna’s historic win here
    10 points
  32. Peyton Schoettle. Great composure,desire,and will to win every position. Impressive performance the entire weekend. Congrats!!
    10 points
  33. If I noticed correctly there were first time school champs tonight. That’s awsome for their programs.
    10 points
  34. If you know who DawgPoundRed is please keep sharp objects away from him tonight.
    10 points
  35. Most impressive thing to me about Ocampo’s win was she was down 5 early and almost pinned, but just went back to plugging away. That’s the type of heart and fight we need to see out of all wrestlers.
    10 points
  36. Why is there glitter on some of the mats?
    10 points
  37. We are finally all set up and ready for tomorrow. Super pumped.
    10 points
  38. markio

    State Tickets

    Ticketmaster is working on the will call issue and I have been told that tickets will be available digitally on your phones and they are trying to fix the will-call issue. Let me add to this: I am just an ops guy here and do not work in the ticket office. I cannot fix your ticket issues as much as I would like to. I am back of house thankfully.
    10 points
  39. Man, what a difference two weeks make. No, I'm not talking about the hot dogs, I'm talking about security. At Sectionals, the EC security are pretty friendly and accommodating, come semi state, it's as if they are the last line of defense before all of humanity falls. I was careful not to look at security at all, less they decide to handcuff and taser me(in my opinion handcuffs and tasers only belong in the bedroom). I will say this, since I'm typing this review three days after the event, they obviously saved civilization. So, good job? Oh yeah, the hot dogs. Still not good, and still disappointing since they were amazing the three years previous. I guess they had to cut the hot dog budget to keep our asses from slipping back into the dark ages. 3.5 slices of pizza outta 8. Next week I drive my happy ass to Evansville and the Ford center. 5 hour drive (I think I can make it in 4.25) and I'm a Chevy guy. At least Evansville in is the correct time zone. Thank you for reading. Quick edit, Thank you Joe for the t shirt. The material and fit are top notch. The shirt gets 8 slices of pizza outta 8, and I will be wearing it this weekend.
    10 points
  40. Brewer PBJ?
    10 points
  41. This is showing my age but James Tannehill (sp?) was a big influence and figure in Indiana Wrestling when I competed and first started coaching. Saw him almost every weekend!
    10 points
  42. Since Red has been named Ill go with one of the legendary Brownsburg Bulldogs Ricky Clark. Who can’t forget that 3rd place match at the 2017 state finals!
    10 points
  43. Against the integrity of the rule and the sport, in my humble opinion. Being tired is not an injury and it takes away the advantage of the wrestler who has put in the work to keep up the pace for the entire match. I understand this is taking advantage of the way the rule is written, however if you believe it should include getting out of a not so favorable situation or taking a breather because you’re tired, we have a different definition of what an “injury” is.
    9 points
  44. That was Older brother’s nuts he hit!!! For all those times in the garage during Covid on the 10X10 Mat!!!
    9 points
  45. They came right out and said it at the coaches meeting in Fort Wayne in November. Anything that looks pre planned gets hit, and I back flips would be pre planned. Which is still freaking lame. There’s nothing unsportsmanlike about doing a little extra celebrating in the greatest moment of these kid’s careers as long as it’s not directed at the other kid or coaches.
    9 points
  46. Can we count Jackson Bradley as a Muncie Southsider? It’s about as close as we have left.
    9 points
  47. Cody Johnson and I did a pretty sweet secret handshake before our finals match. Some people liked it, some hated it
    9 points
  48. Soooo to the people who say that they are boring, don’t score points etc. do you want to explain why center grove scored the most total match points as a team? Or are you guys not ready to have that conversation yet?
    8 points
  49. I took the weekend to reflect and I thought about apologizing. But after reading all of the posts from posters who probably represent teams that didn't even place top 10 I will not apologize. If I get banned that's fine I'll make another name and come back stronger. We will be cheering on our Dogs who will be trying to all american and win national championship at all levels college. All of the haters good luck supporting all of the talent your programs are putting at the next level Congratulations to brownsburg and center grove it was only the 3 of us that could have won this weekend To everyone else: we will rebuild and grow from this but this weekend made me realize more then ever CP vs everyone! just like it has always been No one out works us.
    8 points
  50. In all fairness to DawgPoundRed, there are actually six Bulldogs in the finals. So he was close.
    8 points
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