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Y2CJ41

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  1. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from midgetman for a article, 2022 IndianaMat Award Winners   
    Mr. Gorilla: Jesse Mendez- Crown Point
    1st Runner-up: Zeke Seltzer- Cathedral
    2nd Runner-up: Brody Baumann- Mater Dei
     
    Miss Gorilla: Catie Campbell- North Montgomery 
    1st Runner-up: Cailin Campbell- North Montgomery
    2nd Runner-up: Riley Dempewolf- McCutcheon
     
    Assistant Coaching Staff of the Year: Crown Point
    4A Coach of the Year: Branden Lorek- Crown Point
    3A Coach of the Year: Chris Cooper- Columbus East
    2A Coach of the Year: Tim Myers- Bellmont
    1A Coach of the Year: Clint Gard- Rochester
    Girls Coach of the Year: Brad Harper- Penn
     
    4A Wrestler of the Year: Gabe Sollars- Mater Dei
    3A Wrestler of the Year: J Conway- Floyd Central
    2A Wrestler of the Year: Christian Carroll- New Prairie
    1A Wrestler of the Year: Marshall Fishback- Rochester
     
    Past Award Winners
    1A Coach
    2015- Tony Currie
    2016- Brett Smith
    2017- Gary Black
    2018- Chuck Fleshman
    2019- Tony Currie
    2020- Cody Moll
    2021- Neal Stahly
    1A Wrestler
    2015- Sawyer Miller
    2016- Evan Ellis
    2017- Eli Stock
    2018- Noah Cressell
    2019- Silas Allred
    2020- Isiah Levitz
    2021- Hayden Filipovich
    2A Coach
    2015- Trent McCormick
    2016- Mark Kerrn
    2017- Trent McCormick
    2018- Frank Bumgardner
    2019- Chad Shepherd
    2020- Paul Gunsett
    2021- Nick Kraus
    2A Wrestler
    2015- Brock Hudkins
    2016- Brock Hudkins
    2017- Mason Parris
    2018- Brayden Curtis
    2019- AJ Fowler
    2020- Clayton Fielden
    2021- Isaac Ruble
    3A Coach
    2015- Brad Harper
    2016- Darrick Snyder
    2017- Chris Johl
    2018- Matt Schoettle
    2019- Sean McGinley
    2020- Sean McGinley
    2021- Adam Wolf
    3A Wrestler
    2015- Chad Red
    2016- Blake Rypel
    2017- Joe Lee
    2018- Asa Garcia
    2019- Jordan Slivka
    2020- Eli Dickens
    2021- J Conway
    4A Coach
    2021- Greg Schaefer
    4A Wrestler
    2021- Jesse Mendez
    Girls Coach of the Year
    2021- Jeremy Goodlett
    Mr. Gorilla
    2015- Tommy Forte
    2016- Chad Red
    2017- Andrew Davison
    2018- Brayton Lee and Mason Parris
    2019- Asa Garcia
    2020- Silas Allred
    2021- Alex Cottey
  2. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from FCFIGHTER170 for a article, 2022 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic Information   
    This year Indiana has the privilege of having a full squad at the Rose Bowl of Wrestling, the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic. This page will have a lot of information on this year's event.
     
    Dates
    Thursday March 24
    Wrestler check-in, practice, and banquet
     
    Friday March 25th
    Afternoon- Wrestler media session
    6:00pm Indiana vs. WPIAL
    8:00pm USA vs. Pennsylvania
     
    Location
    Peters Township High School
    121 Rolling Hills Drive
    McMurray PA 15317
     
    Host Hotel
    Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe
    1000 Corporate Dr.
    Canonsburg, PA 15317
     
    Tickets
    Click here to purchase tickets
     

    Roster
     
    Team Indiana
    120lbs Braxton Vest- Westfield
    126lbs Matteo Vargo- Penn
    132lbs Elijah Anthony- Frankfort
    138lbs Ben Miller- Lakeland
    145lbs Hayden Watson- Center Grove
    152lbs Tyler Jones- Warren Central
    160lbs J Conway- Floyd Central
    170lbs Brodie Porter- Eastern
    182lbs Landon Buchanan- Jimtown
    195lbs Connor Barket- West Lafayette
    220lbs Juan Grange- Penn
    285lbs Mike Platonov- Westfield
     
    Coaches
    Cooper Samuels- Floyd Central
    Tom Griffin- Westfield
    Jerimiah Maggart- Jimtown

    Team USA
    132lbs Zeke Seltzer- Cathedral
    138lbs Jesse Mendez- Crown Point
  3. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Jack Ogden for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Hot Diggity Dog Elijah Anthony focused on a state medal   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Elijah Anthony is hoping the fourth time is the charm.
     
    Anthony, a senior wrestler at Frankfort High School, has qualified for state three years in a row. Each time, he’s fallen just short in his Friday night round. He has not placed yet at the state meet.
     
    “He has got to be one of the best state qualifiers that has never placed,” Frankfort coach Steve Cook said. “He has probably had the toughest draw on Friday night, three years in a row. He’s wrestled someone that has placed in the top three of the finals every single year.”
     
    Anthony didn’t have high expectations during his freshman campaign at state. He was wrestling with a broken hand. He drew Mater Dei’s Alec Freeman in the Friday night match. Freeman won 9-1 and went on to place third in the weight class.
     
    “From the get-go I’ve expected to place every year at state,” Anthony said. “My freshman year I had a broken hand, and I knew it would be really tough to place. But my sophomore and junior years I really felt like my coaches took me to a different level, and when I didn’t place it really got in my mind.”
     
    Anthony drew Avon’s Cheaney Schoeff for the Friday night round of state in 2020. It was a close match, with Schoeff escaping with a 7-5 victory. Schoeff then went on to finish second in the weight class.
     
    Last season Anthony drew Brownsburg’s Brady Isom on Friday night. The two battled for six minutes, with Isom emerging with a 1-point victory, 3-2. Isom ended up placing third, and yet again, Anthony went home without placing.
     
    This season Anthony is hoping his fortune starts to change.
     
    “I’ve really tried to focus on all the little things this year,” Anthony said. “I focus on every single match. I work hard in every single practice. I’m just ultra-focused right now.”
     
    Cook can see that focus every day in the Frankfort wrestling room.
     
    “I’ve never met anyone like Elijah,” Cook said. “When he sets his mind to something, he’s going after it. Wrestling is his life.”
     
    Anthony says he’s consumed with wrestling these days.
     
    “All of my time is devoted to wrestling,” he said. “After practice I go help with the middle school team. When I get home, I study film. My whole life is wrestling right now.”
     
    A month ago, Anthony got a scare that he thought might end his wrestling season. He was driving and he lost control of his vehicle. He ended up jumping a curb, knocking down a few trees and coming very close to hitting a telephone pole.
     
    “I seriously had no idea if I was going to wrestle again after that,” Anthony said. “I remember just thinking what if this is the end of my season. I was super nervous about that.”
    As it turned out, Anthony did not have any serious injuries from the wreck. He was hoping to wrestle that same weekend, but due to the circumstances he didn’t make weight for that meet. He was back on the mat the next week.
     
    Currently Anthony is 30-0 on the season and ranked No. 6 in the 132-pound class.
     
    Anthony wrestles at the Central Indiana Academy of Wrestling. There, his usual practice partner is the No. 1-ranked grappler in the 132-pound class – Zeke Seltzer.
     
    “I might have to wrestle Zeke in semistate. I really can’t wait to wrestle him.”
     
    Anthony’s wrestling style is like a pit bull that just never stops attacking. He’s aggressive, takes lots of shots and keeps his foot on the gas the entire match. He has learned to stay in better position when attacking as well.
     
    “He’s very aggressive,” Cook said. “He’s non-stop from the whistle. He’s always on the attack, for sure.”
     
    After high school Anthony would like to wrestle in college. He wants to study education and become a high school math teacher. He said his ultimate goal is to coach wrestling.
     
    Anthony started wrestling when he was four but didn’t like it at first. He ended up quitting for a while. He took the sport back up in fourth grade and has been hooked ever since.
     
    “I was in fourth grade and I started going to watch the state finals matches every year,” he said. “I watched Chad Red and Nick Lee, and all those big matches. When I made it there myself, I thought that was the coolest thing. Now, it’s all about business. If I get back to state, I’m there to win it. That’s my mentality.
     
    “I really love wrestling. In this sport there is always something more. You accomplish one goal, and there is another one that comes up. I love that challenge.”
  4. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Jager15 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Buttler looking to sprout under the lights   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Whiteland junior Joey Buttler has a knack for gardening. Yes, gardening.
     
    It’s an unusual skill for a teenager in 2022. For Buttler, however, it just makes sense.
     
    Buttler likes to see the literal fruits of his labor. He enjoys knowing the work he puts into something will pay off in the end. He is quite proud of the fact that this year he was able to grow 27 different types of tomatoes. He was able to tend to his apple trees and pear trees, his blueberry, blackberry and honeyberry plants with great success as well. His labor paid off with a bounty of fresh food.
     
    “I really got into gardening a few years ago,” Buttler said. “I was thinking about how people grow their own food and how cool that is. It’s exciting to me to see all the things you can do with your own garden.”
     
    It just makes sense, knowing Buttler’s passion for working hard and seeing that work pay off, that he also gravitated to the sport of wrestling. 
     
    Buttler started wrestling a little later than many elite-level grapplers. He got into the sport in seventh grade. He’s felt he was behind other competitors in technique and skill. He decided to work as hard as possible to close that gap.
     
    Saturday Buttler won the Evansville semistate at 126 pounds. He is currently ranked No. 4 in the state and has a 32-1 record.
     
    “I love wrestling,” Buttler said. “I like the fact that you’re going to get what you deserve, whether you agree with it or not. Luck favors the person who works the hardest. It’s a sport where you really work in silence. I like that. And when you achieve your goals, you aren’t happy because of other people’s reactions, you’re happy because you did something for yourself.”
     
    Buttler focused his offseason training on technique. He felt his strength was there with anyone in the weight class, but felt he was lagging behind on the technical side. So, he watched videos, went to different wrestling academies such as Wright Way Wrestling, Outlaws and Contenders. 
     
    “I lacked experience compared to a lot of the other guys I go up against,” Buttler said. “I’ve really dialed in on technique. The experience aspect is starting to equalize between me and other kids. I feel a lot more natural now.”
     
    Whiteland coach Anthony Meister says Buttler is the hardest worker in the room.
     
    “He’s always asking questions,” Meister said. “He’s eager to learn. If he could, he would practice seven days a week.”
     
    Another interesting aspect of Buttler’s is that he has an uncanny ability to retain information. That has helped him accumulate a 4.2 GPA and it helps him learn technique quicker than most others on the mat.
     
    “I feel fortunate that I’m naturally gifted in school,” Buttler said. “Information comes into my brain and for some reason I don’t forget it. The ability to not forget things has helped me in wrestling. I can retain knowledge. I watch wrestling content and I don’t ever get tired of it. I keep taking in the information and I am able to retain it.”
     
    Buttler will square off against Adams Central’s Gavin Cook (30-7) on Friday night in the state finals.
     
    Last year Buttler placed eighth at 113 pounds. He’s hoping to improve on that this year.
     
    “My goal is to win state,” he said.
     
    This season Buttler will have a teammate with him at state, something he went at alone in the 2021 campaign. Elijah Brooks qualified at 132 pounds. Brooks and Buttler are practice partners. Last season Brooks got a concussion right before sectional and wasn’t able to compete in the tournament. This year Brooks broke his ankle in December but was able to recover in time to wrestle in sectional.
     
    Brooks is currently 9-6 on the year.
     
    “Eli has made me a better wrestler,” Buttler said. “It’s really cool having him there with me. It was unfortunate he didn’t get the chance last year.”
     
    Meister sees a lot of similarities in the two wrestlers.
     
    “They are both overall good kids and grinders in the room,” Meister said. “I took over the program and this is the first class I’ll have for four years. I put a lot of pressure on them in hopes of turning the program around. I don’t have any seniors on the team, but our club level, middle school and high school numbers are going up and these guys are a big reason why.”
     
    After high school Buttler wants to wrestle in college. His ultimate goal is to win an Olympic medal.
  5. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Jack Ogden for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Buttler looking to sprout under the lights   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Whiteland junior Joey Buttler has a knack for gardening. Yes, gardening.
     
    It’s an unusual skill for a teenager in 2022. For Buttler, however, it just makes sense.
     
    Buttler likes to see the literal fruits of his labor. He enjoys knowing the work he puts into something will pay off in the end. He is quite proud of the fact that this year he was able to grow 27 different types of tomatoes. He was able to tend to his apple trees and pear trees, his blueberry, blackberry and honeyberry plants with great success as well. His labor paid off with a bounty of fresh food.
     
    “I really got into gardening a few years ago,” Buttler said. “I was thinking about how people grow their own food and how cool that is. It’s exciting to me to see all the things you can do with your own garden.”
     
    It just makes sense, knowing Buttler’s passion for working hard and seeing that work pay off, that he also gravitated to the sport of wrestling. 
     
    Buttler started wrestling a little later than many elite-level grapplers. He got into the sport in seventh grade. He’s felt he was behind other competitors in technique and skill. He decided to work as hard as possible to close that gap.
     
    Saturday Buttler won the Evansville semistate at 126 pounds. He is currently ranked No. 4 in the state and has a 32-1 record.
     
    “I love wrestling,” Buttler said. “I like the fact that you’re going to get what you deserve, whether you agree with it or not. Luck favors the person who works the hardest. It’s a sport where you really work in silence. I like that. And when you achieve your goals, you aren’t happy because of other people’s reactions, you’re happy because you did something for yourself.”
     
    Buttler focused his offseason training on technique. He felt his strength was there with anyone in the weight class, but felt he was lagging behind on the technical side. So, he watched videos, went to different wrestling academies such as Wright Way Wrestling, Outlaws and Contenders. 
     
    “I lacked experience compared to a lot of the other guys I go up against,” Buttler said. “I’ve really dialed in on technique. The experience aspect is starting to equalize between me and other kids. I feel a lot more natural now.”
     
    Whiteland coach Anthony Meister says Buttler is the hardest worker in the room.
     
    “He’s always asking questions,” Meister said. “He’s eager to learn. If he could, he would practice seven days a week.”
     
    Another interesting aspect of Buttler’s is that he has an uncanny ability to retain information. That has helped him accumulate a 4.2 GPA and it helps him learn technique quicker than most others on the mat.
     
    “I feel fortunate that I’m naturally gifted in school,” Buttler said. “Information comes into my brain and for some reason I don’t forget it. The ability to not forget things has helped me in wrestling. I can retain knowledge. I watch wrestling content and I don’t ever get tired of it. I keep taking in the information and I am able to retain it.”
     
    Buttler will square off against Adams Central’s Gavin Cook (30-7) on Friday night in the state finals.
     
    Last year Buttler placed eighth at 113 pounds. He’s hoping to improve on that this year.
     
    “My goal is to win state,” he said.
     
    This season Buttler will have a teammate with him at state, something he went at alone in the 2021 campaign. Elijah Brooks qualified at 132 pounds. Brooks and Buttler are practice partners. Last season Brooks got a concussion right before sectional and wasn’t able to compete in the tournament. This year Brooks broke his ankle in December but was able to recover in time to wrestle in sectional.
     
    Brooks is currently 9-6 on the year.
     
    “Eli has made me a better wrestler,” Buttler said. “It’s really cool having him there with me. It was unfortunate he didn’t get the chance last year.”
     
    Meister sees a lot of similarities in the two wrestlers.
     
    “They are both overall good kids and grinders in the room,” Meister said. “I took over the program and this is the first class I’ll have for four years. I put a lot of pressure on them in hopes of turning the program around. I don’t have any seniors on the team, but our club level, middle school and high school numbers are going up and these guys are a big reason why.”
     
    After high school Buttler wants to wrestle in college. His ultimate goal is to win an Olympic medal.
  6. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from RAJR for a article, 2022 State Finals by the Numbers   
    Overall
    The rankings have been a staple of IndianaMat since day one. We have always prided ourselves in having accurate rankings throughout the season. This year Mike upped his game and went to 20 ranked wrestlers in November and December. Then in January upped it to the top 25. With 25 ranked wrestlers he was able to include a lot of what was previously on our watch list. This gave recognition to many more hard-working athletes. As with last year, there was quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the season and we have made it this far with the rankings continuing to hold strong.
     
    As always, we locked the rankings before sectional and let them ride. We do not update them based on draws or state series victories. This year Mike has outdone himself with 190 of the 224 wrestlers being ranked. For the first time ever, we had a perfect weight class! At 152lbs every state qualifier was ranked in the state. Another first this year is there are no Friday matches that do not include at least one ranked wrestler. In total, 78 of the 112 matches on Friday are between two ranked wrestlers.
     
    We have our every popular brackets that are new and improved that include state and semi-state rankings in them. This year we have two sets, one with just state rankings and one with both semi-state and state rankings. 
     
    Click here for the Info Center with links to download the brackets
     
    Season by season ranked wrestlers advancing to state
    *Note Mike Reiser took over the rankings in 2012
    2022- 190
    2021- 186
    2020- 180
    2019- 175
    2018- 179
    2017- 169
    2016- 175
    2015- 172
    2014- 171
    2013- 171
    2012- 170
    2011- 157
    2010- 159
    2009- 143
     
    106lbs
    *As of Wednesday Donnie Feeler has been replaced by Cameron Meier in this weight class
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Seth Aubin (Hobart) 
    Cameron Meier (Bloomington South)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Jake Hockaday (Brownsburg) vs. #21 Tamir Halevi (Carmel)
    #2 Jeffrey Bailey (River Forest) vs. #15 Ayden Bollinger (Delta)
    #11 Julianna O'campo (New Haven) vs. #4 Gavin Jendreas (Crown Point)
    #16 Heather Crull (Northeastern) vs. #5 Luke Rioux (Avon)
    #6 Isaiah Schaefer (EV.  Mater Dei) vs. #13 Oliver Wilson (North Central)
    #7 E'Shawn Tolbert (Portage) vs. #9 Levi Johns (Bluffton) 
     
    113lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Bowen Keith (Cowan)
    Peter Nguyen (Guerin Catholic)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Evan Dickey (Cathedral) vs. #17 Dylan Bennett (Penn)
    #7 Easton Doster (New Haven) vs. #4 Evan Seng (EV.  Mater Dei)
    #14 Eddie Goss (Center Grove) vs. #5 Tanner Tishner (Western)
    #6 Jackson Heaston (Indian Creek) vs. #13 Wyatt Davis (Rochester)
    #10 Trevor Schammert (Hobart) vs. #18 Braden Getz (Roncalli)
    #12 Johnny Cortez (Lake Central) vs. #16 Gavin Thompson (Carmel)

    120lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Dominic McFeeley (Cascade)
    Guillermo Rivera (Lake Central)
    Jared Dunn (Princeton)
    Jayden Lewis (New Prairie)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Lane Gilbert (Sullivan) vs. #24 Elliott Cornewell (FW Bishop Dwenger)
    #7 Noah Lykins (Columbus East) vs. #19 Neal Mosier (Delta)
    #9 Christopher Bohn (Munster) vs. #13 Braxton Vest (Westfield) 
    #10 Aden Reyes (Cathedral) vs. #5 Hayden DeMarco (Chesterton)
     
    126lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Gavin Cook (Adams Central)
    Keegan Schlabach (Lakeland)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Logan Frazier (Crown Point) vs. #11 Keaton Morton (Perry Meridian)
    #3 Aidan Sprague (East Noble) vs. #16 Michael Tharpe (Center Grove)
    #5 Kamariyon Nelson (Castle) vs. #7 Tony Wood (Jay County)
    #6 Blake Wolf (East Central) vs. #17 Beau Brabender (Mishawaka)
    #12 Isaac Ward (Carmel) vs. #25 David Maldonado (Merrillville)
    #14 Griffin Ingalls (Fishers) vs. #2 Matteo Vargo (Penn)
     
    132lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13 
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Bryce Denton (Penn)
    Eli Brooks (Whiteland)
    Mason Stanley (Rensselaer Central)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Brady Ison (Brownsburg) vs. #6 Elijah Anthony (Frankfort)
    #3 Cheaney Schoeff (Avon) vs. #11 Michael Major (Carmel)
    #4 Anthony Bahl (Crown Point) vs. #24 Jasper Graber (Northridge)
    #8 Brevan Thrine (New Castle) vs. #9 Wyatt Krejsa (Center Grove)
    #10 Landon Bertsch (Bluffton) vs. #12 Zar Walker (Mishawaka)
     
    138lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Allan Maggard (Columbia City)
    Evan Roudebush (Bloomington South)
    Ike O'Neill (Westfield)
    Lucas Clement (Merrillville) 
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Cole Solomey (Kankakee Valley) vs. #5 Cash Turner (Edgewood)
    #8 Carson Johnson (Mt.  Vernon (Fortville)) vs. #16 Cameron Clark (Jay County)
    #11 Dillon Tuttle (Delta) vs. #12 Luke Gonzalez (Cathedral)
    #18 Wesley Harper (Penn) vs. #4 Gavin Garcia (Brownsburg)
     
    145lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Brayden Baker (Garrett)
    Denny Wendling (Frontier)
    Gunnar Krause (Knox)
    Nate Lommock (Terre Haute South)
    Nayl Sbay (Carmel)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #4 Brody Arthur (Oak Hill) vs. #6 Nick Tattini (Crown Point)
    #7 Blaze Garcia (Brownsburg) vs. #11 Brac Hooper (Zionsville)
    #9 Rider Searcy (East Central) vs. #13 Anfernee Oliver (Ben Davis)
     
    152lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 16
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    None
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Sam Goin (Crown Point) vs. #12 Corbin Walston (Lawrenceburg)
    #2 Anthony Rinehart (Zionsville) vs. #20 Kenneth Bisping (Lowell)
    #3 Delaney Ruhlman (Bloomington South) vs. #23 Austin Brickey (Carroll (FW))
    #5 Hunter May (EV.  Mater Dei) vs. #4 Alex Currie (Adams Central)
    #6 Tyler Jones (Warren Central) vs. #15 Tristen Hood (Harrison (WL))
    #7 Kody Glithero (Roncalli) vs. #22 Aidan Costello (Hobart)
    #10 Nick Cicciarelli (Brownsburg) vs. #17 Chase Leech (Garrett)
    #13 Mitchell Betz (Western) vs. #14 Tyce DuPont (Tell City)
     
    160lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Zachary Huckaby (Perry Meridian)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 J Conway (Floyd Central) vs. #22 Bradey Pittman (Plymouth)
    #2 Kade Law (Columbus East) vs. #7 AJ Steenbeke (Penn)
    #3 Cody Goodwin (Crown Point) vs. #9 Chris Newman (Mt. Vernon (Posey))
    #4 Landon Boe (Avon) vs. #19 Caleb Carter (Merrillville)
    #8 Duke Myers (Bellmont) vs. #17 Chase Wagner (Zionsville)
    #11 Leo Calderon (Centerville) vs. #23 Jared Landez (Carroll (FW))
    #13 Kaden Lone (NorthWood) vs. #16 Charlie Euson (East Central)
     
    170lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Braxton Russell (Delta)
    Ethan Popp (Harrison (WL))
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Brody Baumann (EV.  Mater Dei) vs. #16 Anthony Cashman (Warren Central)
    #2 Codei Khawaja (Floyd Central) vs. #12 JJ Braun (Cathedral)
    #5 Landon Buchanan (Jimtown) vs. #17 Jesse Herrera (Highland)
    #6 Benjamin Phillips (Charlestown) vs. #7 Ryan Cast (Hamilton Southeastern)
    #8 Eli Johnson (Norwell) vs. #22 Isaac Valdez (Mishawaka)
    #9 Aiden Farmer (EV.  Memorial) vs. #25 Clifton Johnson (North Central)
     
    182lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Alex Rose (Terre Haute South)
    David Nash (East Central)
    Jaquan East (Kokomo)
    Kooper Kinsler (Delphi)
    Trey Tobias (NorthWood)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Orlando Cruz (Crown Point) vs. #20 Tommy Hannon (Bishop Chatard)
    #5 Hunter Page (Monroe Central) vs. #9 Gunner Henry (Brownsburg)
    #6 Jake Sues (Lake Central) vs. #10 Luke Hansen (Roncalli)
     
    195lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Armen Koltookian (Concord)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Gabe Sollars (EV.  Mater Dei) vs. #19 Jackson Ingenito (Daleville)
    #2 John Purdy (Castle) vs. #8 Jacob Behm (Fremont)
    #3 Connor Barket (West Lafayette) vs. #24 Ryan Bovard (East Central)
    #4 Wyatt Willman (North Posey) vs. #14 Alex Deming (Rochester)
    #5 Aataevon Jordan (Franklin Central) vs. #9 Christian Chavez (Mishawaka)
    #6 Will Clark (Crown Point) vs. #18 Ronin Hammond (Perry Meridian)
    #7 Gage DeMarco (Chesterton) vs. #17 Max Broom (Hamilton Southeastern)
     
    220lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jackson Weingart (Cathedral)
    Justin Lewis (Roncalli)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Christian Carroll (New Prairie) vs. #24 Royce Deckard III (Center Grove)
    #2 Nathan Critchfield (EV.  Mater Dei) vs. #15 Jordan Cree (Rensselaer Central)
    #3 Juan Grange (Penn) vs. #7 Kelton Farmer (EV.  Memorial)
    #4 Blake Heyerly (Adams Central) vs. #16 Jacob Long (Noblesville)
    #5 Tommy Morrill (Columbus East) vs. #10 Paul Clark (Crown Point)
    #17 Chance Harris (FW Concordia) vs. #22 Devin Kendrex (Mt.  Vernon (Fortville))
     
    285lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
     
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Josh Clark (New Haven)
    Liam Begley (Crown Point)
     
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Hunter Whitenack (New Prairie) vs. #8 Nate Johnson (Center Grove)
    #5 Jacob Johnson (Franklin Community) vs. #14 Theodore Sparks (Merrillville)
    #6 Mihail Platonov (Westfield) vs. #20 Ian Clifford (Columbia City)
    #7 Ashton Hartwell (Columbus East) vs. #15 Trey White (Portage)
    #9 Makhi Watts (North Central) vs. #13 Brayden Jellison (Elkhart)
    #10 Marshall Fishback (Rochester) vs. #17 Hunter Brahnam (Frankton)
     
  7. Thanks
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Sig40 for a article, 2022 East Chicago Semi-State Pick'ems   
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    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from RAJR for a article, 2022 Evansville Semi-State Preview   
    After a year away, WE ARE BACK AT THE FORD CENTER!!! Like true lovers - Triple B and The Crescent City couldn’t be kept apart!!!
     
    Without further ado - WELCOME TO TRIPLEB’s EVANSVILLE SEMI-STATE SPECTACULAR PREVIEW House keeping items -
     
    Here is the link for the Indianamat Semi-State Hub -
     
    From our former inside man Markio - Ford Arena info:
    ● Parking and general information about the arena can be found at www.thefordcenter.com ● Wrestlers can enter the arena at 7:30am for weigh ins. Wrestlers and coaches will enter at the interior ticket office lobby (to the far right of the main lobby doors) to check in and head back. You will pick up your credentials here.
    ● The only coolers allowed are for wrestlers and must enter at the check in table through the interior ticket lobby. NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK for anyone else is allowed inside unfortunately. Not my rules, just standard building policy.
    ● Public doors open at 8:00am CST. Enter on Main Street through the main lobby. We will look to create a separate door/entrance for those that already have tickets. $12 dollars for all session ticket, $10 for finals only.
    ● There is NO onsite parking. Please do not have any team vehicles attempt to park in the loading dock or attached outer lot. These are reserved spots.
    ● There is no public Wi-Fi.
    ● Please do not jump over the dasher walls to access the floor. They try to control access to the floor, so you need to enter from the lower level hallway under section 103. You wouldn't jump the wall at Banker's Life would you? lol
    ● The hospitality room for officials, etc. will be in the Corner Club. Enter from the main lobby and hang a right at lower level hallway.
    ● If you are going to set up a camera please do not have the cord running across the aisle. You will be made to unplug any cords running across an aisle.
    ● We will have full concessions available throughout the day. Coffee and hot chocolate are also available all day as well. (get the bbq pork nachos, huge and awesome)
    ● There is no smoking on or in the Ford Center property, this includes e-cigarettes. ● Brackets will be updated throughout the day and posted on several of the 170 or so TVs located all over the arena. The brackets end up kind of small, but hey, they are everywhere and pretty cool.
    ● Lastly,if you are a wrestler that loses please don't kick,throw,or punch Ford Center property. We had a kid break off a door handle last year.Sent the bill to the school.
     
    Nestled between two days of absolute Love (3B’s birthday on Thursday and Valentine’s Day on Monday) 224 grapplers will be battling to GAIN 56 tickets to the Bridge in Indianapolis next weekend!!
     
    Let’s not pull any punches, Evansville is the toughest Semi-State in the state. There were kids getting sent home at regionals that could have placed at state and the same will happen this weekend. It will be absolute Carnage, Chaos, and Heartbreak. 176 Semi-State ranked wrestlers, 107 of whom are also state ranked will take to the Ford Center Saturday with more excitement than the pre-teens at the Jo-Jo concert the night before. We have the potential to feature, 4, yes 4 #1 vs. #2 state ranked wrestlers. We also have 7 of the 14 #1 ranked wrestlers in the state in our semi-state.
     
    How does this work - The exclusive Evansville Championship Selection Committee (ECSC) spent 2 days in hard deliberations over their Ford Fab 4 picks. Each member selected their ballot, points were accumulated, and from there the picks started falling into place.
     
    Article features:
     
    The Charles Barkley “Turrible” Draws - ticket round matches that shouldn’t be happening in the ticket round!
     
    The Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Best first round matches!
     
    The Built Ford Tough Locks - Any weight class where the pick for champion was unanimous, makes it a Ford Tough Lock. This year we have, what may be a record, 6 yes 6 FORD TOUGH LOCKS!
     
    Ford Fab 4 - After the picks were gathered, points distributed, and the dust settled, we’ll have the Ford Fab 4.
     
    A big shout out to Navy80, BigToe19, Grenadier12, and The DONNIE BAKER for their contributions. I will add some commentary throughout from our great pickers.
     
    What if I didn’t agree with the ECSC or I thought they made a terrible error? Then have no fear - The TripleB Guarantee will help you sort out the madness.
     
    Without further ado—--------LET’S FREAKIN’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
     
    106: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 9/12
    106 is usually dubbed the future stars weight and this year is no different as 3 wrestlers from 3 blue blood programs look to get the action going early . Jake Hockaday has been #1 ranked all year but fell to Avon’s Luke Rioux at Sectionals. Rioux also won a wild match at team state over Mater Dei freshman Isaiah Schaefer, who’s dad won a state title as a freshman at 100lbs. Remember the NWO Wolfpack and their song that went - Don’t turn your back on the Wolfpac, you might end up in a body bag. A little extreme but don’t turn your back on Donnie Feeler of the Crawford County Wolfpack, or you’ll end up on your back! The senior will look to spoil the 3 way feature.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Feeler might get tested right out of the gates against #20 Brennan Leonard of Martinsville. In the lower bracket Floyd Central’s Rollin Douglas will clash against Reitz’s Caleb Reed. 2 great opening round matches at 106!
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - There will be a lot of Mooresville Regionals messing up brackets and our first turrible draw is #6 Schaefer vs #10 Charlie LaRocca of Center Grove. Being stuck behind Hockaday and Rioux has done this Trojan no favors. Both of these guys are podium placers, and one will be buying a ticket next weekend. That’s turrible!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Big Toe says don’t sleep on Larocca and Vincenne’s Ty Henderson, Henderson is a gamer and wrestles all year long. Henderson will have the winner of Feeler/Leonard
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Hock gets the nod, with Rioux/Schaefer tied for second. Feeler slides in at 4th
    1st - Jake Hockaday Brownsburg, 2nd - Luke Rioux Avon(gets the nod for holding a W already), 3rd - Isaiah Schaefer Evansville Mater Dei 4th - Donnie Feeler Crawford County
     
    113: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 5/14
    113 has 14 ranked Semi-State grapplers locking up, and our first FORD TOUGH LOCK in Brownsburg Sophomore Preston Haines. Currently ranked 3rd in the state, the Bulldog hopes to keep Brownsburg’s Semi-State and State championship aspirations rolling with a semi-state championship. 4 top ten wrestlers, outside of Haines, will be hot on his heels as this weight
    class is absolutely loaded. Mater Dei’s Evan Seng is a returning state placer, Liam Krueger from Columbus East is a returning state qualifier.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Two state ranked wrestlers will go at it in round one with the winner being the favorite to advance out of the quarter bracket. Both #6 Jackson Heaston of Indiana Creek and #23 Logan Bickel of Cascade has had great years but one of them will come to halt early, another bracket of Mooresville playing games.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Whenever two top ten kids are going at it for a spot at state on the line, I’m sorry, but it’s a turrible draw. Corydon Central Senior Bryson Rowley was undefeated heading into last weekend. A match up with Krueger from East ended in a nightmare for Rowley as he now has Haines in the ticket round!!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Close to a Turrible draw but not making the cut was Center Grove’s Eddie Goss and Liam Krueger. The #14 ranked Goss would be a favorite to make state at some other semi-states and even in another quarter bracket, but the tough draw of Krueger might be too much here.
     
    Ford Fab 4 - LOCK Haines, followed by Seng, with Krueger and Heaston splitting votes.
    1st - Preston Haines Brownsburg, 2nd - Evan Seng Evansville Mater Dei, 3rd Liam Krueger Columbus East, 4th - Jackson Heaston Indian Creek
     
    120: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 10/14
    You thought 113 looked good? 120 is dirty….. A state champ and #1 ranked wrestler not favored to win. 14 semi state ranked wrestlers. 10 state ranked wrestlers. Multi state medalists and qualifiers. A quarter bracket to die for. Logan Miller looks to put a stamp on his high school career, Lane Gilbert looks to make that next step. This could be a preview of next weekend, under the lights!
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker: Let’s just go to the bottom half of the bracket; Gilbert, Ellis, Courtney, Lykins, Kessinger, Syra, Egli. All 7 ARE RANKED IN THE STATE!! 3 ARE IN THE TOP 10 Here comes the BOOM!! Castle’s Logan Ellis and Center Grove’s Reese Courtney will get things going, congrats winner you just have a world medalist waiting for you in the quarters. Then in a rematch of the Hoosier Hills Conference Championship, Noah Lykins and Vince Kessinger. Lykins owns a convincing W, but Hitman Kessinger can deliver a death blow in a second! The last opening match is Avon Freshman Seth Syra and Mater Dei Senior Reed Egli. Both have been
    wrestling since they came out of diapers, both come from blue blood programs, this match should be good’un.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Just stay put, you are looking at potentially SSR #3 Courtney vs SSR#2 Gilbert in the blood round and SSR#4 Lykins vs #5 Egli also in the blood round. Turrible, Turrible, Turrible…. But guess what? Would either be favored against Miller or Blake Zirkelbach? I don’t know, this weight class is just too much!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Hey…. don’t go anywhere yet…. If I haven’t hyped it enough, Big Toe says “The whole group. **Loaded**
     
    Ford Fab 4: Gilbert got the nod, barely, followed by Miller with Lykins and Zirkelbach splitting
    1st - Lane Gilbert Sullivan, 2nd - Logan Miller Brownsburg, 3rd Noah Lykins (higher state ranking) Columbus East, 4th Blake Zirkelbach North Posey
     
    TripleB GUARANTEE - Logan Miller…. Champ…. Bank on it
     
    126: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 9/12
    2 significant things about 126. The first was that many years ago I was in a bar in Crawfordsville Indiana with my running mate Tyson Skinner when I was called over to a table. The group asked me if my name was TripleB and then told us to have a seat. I drank free, listened to Castle and Mater Dei parents rib each other and learned about the next great Castle run, they had these kids that would fuel the re-emergence of Castle on the state scene. They told me to remember the names KT Nelson, Ashton Hayhurst, and John Purdy (A very true story). And while it’s taken some time for it to sort out, here we are and Coach Bob Harmon has his 3 hammers altogether.
     
    The other significance of 126 is that after acting like he was asleep, strumming through used boat books, Donnie Baker came alive, and I mean A-L-I-V-E! “Justice Thornton, TripleB, Justice Thornton! The greatest thing to come out of Columbus Indiana since Thadeus Douglas Baby!”
    Yeah weird, anyway, the match everyone will be watching will be the semi-final of returning state placer and SSR #1 Joey Buttler (oh and Donnie just chanted “ Joey! Joey! Joey” over and over as we discussed this match) and Castle’s KT Nelson who medaled as a freshman.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - 3 matches featuring state ranked dudes will be in the first round of 126. #16 Michael Tharpe vs #23 Landon Horning with winner the favorite to punch their ticket (but the TripleB Guarantee will be an unraked upset - just wait). #13 Donnie Baker’s upset special Justice Thornton of Columbus North vs. #20 Branson Weaver of Owen Valley will
    duke it out to see who gets Braden Haines in the ticket round. Lastly #5 KT Nelson vs. #18 Caleb Wyss. Wyss has already shown he’s game with a win at sectionals over Buttler. A scrappy Nelson vs a scrappy Wyss could prove to be the opening match of the day.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - SSR #4 Justice Thornton vs SSR #2 Braden Haines is unfortunate, both of these dudes could be on the podium next week and both would be favored if they fell in some other quarter brackets. Sir Charles is not pleased!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Thornton has been mentioned several times but the fact that he’s got a grinder to even get to the semis means you should sleep on him. Also Tell City’s Kelby Glenn has been a mainstay in Southern Indiana for 3 years now, he would need a big win over Joey Buttler, can the Tell City grappler do it?!?!?!
     
    Ford Fab 4: A grinder of a bracket, both Nelson and Buttler recieved 2 first place votes with Haines getting the 5th. Nelson just barely nudged Buttler out in the voting.
    1st - KT Nelson, Castle 2nd Braden Haines, Brownsburg 3rd Joey Buttler, Whiteland, 4th Michael Tharpe Center Grove
     
    TripleBGuarantee - I have a trusted confidant named “The Professor” and when The Professor goes out of his way to text me about a kid, I listen. Harrison May will upset the upper bracket and punch his ticket to GainBridge!
     
    132: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 7/12
    Let’s just cut to it…. This weight is all about NC State signee and 2x state runner up Avon’s Cheaney Schoeff and his big rival Brady Ison of Brownsburg. It’s the battle of #TheCounty rivals. Ever since Darrick Snyder took the reins of Brownsburg wrestling, Brownsburg and Avon matches have been lit. Ison/Schoeff embodies all that is Brownsburg/Avon. And who knows it the outcome even matters. Last year Ison wins at Semi-State and Schoeff again achieves state runner up?!?!?!? Why is that? Because Zeke Setlzer was waiting at state and guess who’s waiting this year? Zeke Fricking Seltzer! All of that being said, Coy Hammack is a returning state semi-finalist and 2x state qualifier. I wouldn’t overlook him.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Upset Alert - unranked regional champ Nathan Anderson has under the radar Eli Brooks of Whiteland. Brooks is ranked #6 in the semi-state but injuries have cost him most of his junior season. Can Brooks pull the Saturday Upset Special?
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Ayden Amento, now a 2x Turrible draw victim, and Odin Fortune are the Castle Regional Champ and runner up and both are state caliber wrestlers. But in a land of “bad draws” they got the worst draws ever, Schoeff and Ison. What a gut punch! Also Center Grove Sophomore Wayne Kresja has had a great year, any time you got 33-4 for a team like Center Grove, that’s nails. Will that schedule and room have him ready for Coy Hammack in the ticket round? We will find out!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Kresja, as mentioned above, Center Grove wrestles a murders row of a schedule. Hammack will earn every point in that match. Also Bloomington South Senior Ethan Roudebush is ranked in the state and should be the “favorite” vs Brooks, but the voters like Brooks.
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Ison just outscored Schoeff and Brooks just outscored Roudebush
    1st - Brady Ison Brownsburg, 2nd - Cheaney Schoeff Avon, 3rd - Coy Hammack Tell City, 4th Eli Brooks Whiteland
     
    138: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 7/12
    For a number of reasons, we could label 138 as REDEMPTION! The first reason being 3 of the favorites were all victims of turrible draws a year ago - Reese Fisher was a regional champ and hit state champ Kysen Montgomery in the ticket round. Cash Turner was also a regional champ a year ago and drew state semi-finalist Brady Ison and Ashton Hayhurst, another regional champ a year ago, ran into eventual state runner up, Hayden Watson. See why Evansville is the toughest semi-state?
     
    The rest of the weight class features it all - a wide open quarterbracket, turrible draws, curtain jerkers, and hammers. This weight might be the most competitive, open weight in the field.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - The top/middle quarterbracket is the bracket up for grabs and we get started early as SSR #8 Silas Stits and SSR #9 Evan Roudebush (A Donnie Baker Super Frosh) kicks things off. Stits owns a 8-2 win over Roudebush already, but Roudebush owns a win over Fisher, and Fisher has beaten Stits, now you see why this quarterbracket is no joke!
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Floyd Central Junior Lou Knable has had a great season, going 30-4 and only losing the best of the best. Ranked #4 in the semi-state, he should be prohibitive favorite for state but runs into Ashton Hayhurst in the quarters. Turrible, turrible, turrible
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Along with Knable, #10 ranked Keegan Williams is battle tested, ford tough some might even say, but has #4 ranked Gavin Garcia in the quarters. The hometown kid pull an upset Saturday??
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Another close vote, a testament to the toughness of Eville, Garcia nips Hayhurst, followed by Turner, Fisher/Stits/Roudebush all tie!
    1st - Gavin Garcia Brownsburg, 2nd Ashton Hayhurst Castle, 3rd Cash Turner Edgewood, 4th Reece Fisher Columbus East
     
    145: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 7/12
    Our next lock, Center Grove’s Hayden Watson takes center state at 145. 145 also features another prediction of an unranked wrestler getting out over ranked wrestlers. The top of this bracket is loaded with 5 of the 8 wrestlers state ranked. That should make for some good matches!
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - State ranked wrestlers right off the bat! #13 Afernee Oliver and #11 Alex Smith will have to put it all on the line to get a W Saturday. On paper the winner will be the favorite out the quarterbracket, but the ECSC went a different route. In another battle of state ranked wrestlers, #7 Blaze Garcia will wrestle #20 Nick Akers of North Posey. Garcia was the recipient of a Turrible draw last year and hopes to be the turrible draw this year! Another #4 over #1 has been predicted also, SSR #14 and Regional Champ Lee Spencer (nice name) takes on SSR #3 Braedon Spears.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Bloomington South Senior Nicholas Castellucio is 19-2 and a regional champ but a draw with Blaze Garcia couldn’t be what the BHSS team was hoping for. This match isn’t a lock, either wrestler can win!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Anfernee Oliver, Ben Davis both Oliver and his opponent Alex Smith are state ranked but the ECSC like Lody Cheatham or Borden. Also the bottom bracket is really wide open and don’t be too surprised to see Nate Lommock punching his ticket also.
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Our second LOCK Hayden Watson gets all the love, even though I barely talked about him in the preview. Sorry Hayden! Blaze Garcia was a clear 2nd and after that 4 different wrestlers got votes with Spears and Cheatham leading the way.
    1st - Hayden Watson Center Grove, 2nd - Blaze Garcia Brownsburg, 3rd - Braedon Spears (My Boy! #TripleBTrained!) Plainfield, 4th - Lody Cheatham Borden
     
    152: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 7/11
    A returning State runner up and state semifinalist highlights the field at 152. This was also almost the first chalk weight (where all the voters pick the same 4) but Donnie Baker always has to be the outlier. Also look out for late starter Andre Merritt, the Whiteland transfer to Center Grove in mid season has jumped out onto the scene. 4 very serious medal contenders next weekend kind of take the flames out of hype discussion. May and Ruhlman should be a banger!
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Before May gets there, the Wildcat will have to go through the always game Jude Barger of Franklin. Coach Tonte will have his Grizzly Cubs ready to go, can Barger pull off the upset of the tourney? Another 4 over 1 alert and Coach Coop is on the clock
    again, #14 ranked Tyce DuPont of Tell City will take on unranked, regional champ Eli Pollitt of Columbus East. East has had tons of changes to their lineup all season long. Pollitt wasn’t even in the original sectional bracket and his teammate, Tony Ruiz-Tapya, was ranked in the SS. Dupont is the favorite, can Pollitt pull it off?
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - 1 Turrible Draw as SSR #4 Luke Robards loses to Hunter May last week and draws Delaney Ruhlman in the ticket round. I mean really, when will the IHSAA just let me seed the brackets? This is robbery!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Both have been mentioned but BT19 has pointed out that Robards and Barger are both upperclassmen who won’t go down without a fight.
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Ruhlman out points May followed by Cicciarelli and Merritt
    1st - Delaney Ruhlman Bloomington South, 2nd - Hunter May Evansville Mater Dei, 3rd Nick Cicciarelli Brownsburg, 4th Andre Merritt Center Grove
     
    TripleB GUARANTEE: Wouldn’t it be sweet if Hunter May came out in a Mater Dei/Floyd Central inspired Plaid singlet w/ Maroon and yellow color Scheme? Don’t bank on that though, but do bank on Hunter May Semi-State Champ baby!!!!
     
    160: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 9/15
    There’s loaded weight classes and then there’s 160lbs. Not only does 160 feature a tournament high 15 SS ranked kids (good job TripleB, you animal) but also features the #1, #2, and #4 ranked wrestlers in the STATE!! Sound the Sirens!! #1 and defending state champion J Conway has already battled #2 Kade Law this season and Law’s Panther-like speed wasn’t fast enough as Conway escaped like a Pirate with his gold in OT. Now throw in Landon Boe and this weight is off the chain. Can Boe cause a QUAKE? Would it be an upset? All 3 are multi-time state qualifiers and have 4 medals between them.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - No bathroom breaks at the halfway point, b/c this weight features 3 curtain jerkers and a first round Turrible draw as we have #1 vs #5 in the STATE going at it in the first round….. Did I mention this weight is crazy good? We’ll slow ourselves into things with #20 Aiden Reynolds vs. #25 Michael Hutchinson, Hutch upset #5 Weems at sectionals. Does he have more of that magic? I think I remember a kid that wasn’t favored to go to state back in the day, Quinn Harris maybe?? If anybody knows how to pull the upsets, it’s coach Harris! Next we have SSR #12 Griffin Ison of Brownsburg and state ranked #12 Jeb Pretchel of Jasper this is only brought up b/c of team points. Snyder will have the Bulldogs ready to go don’t be surprised to see an upset here. The last match is the one on paper that looks most shocking, #1 Conway vs #5 Weems. Weems seems to be battling an injury, and that’s unfortunate b/c that landed him in the this killer draw
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Two top ten state ranked wrestlers will go at it in the ticket round. Luke Kemper put together an undefeated regular season but the last two weeks he hasn’t been able to solve Chris Newman from Mt. Vernon, that leaves the Evansville Central Junior with Landon Boe in the quarters.
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Hutchinson has a tall task in Newman, but never count him out. Pretchel is ranked in the state also and does anybody remember Jordy Faulks?
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Conway was almost a lock but one voter likes Law in the rematch. Boe is a clearcut third favorite, followed by Newman.
    1st - J Conway Floyd Central, 2nd - Kade Law Columbus East, 3rd - Landon Boe Avon, 4th - Chris Newman Mt. Vernon
     
    170: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 8/12
    Was last year’s 160lb state championship not one of the best finishes ever? Champ Brody Baumann is up a weight and back to defend his crown. He’s also our third FORD TOUGH LOCK! We also have another chance at the top two wrestlers in the state going at it as Floyd Central’s Codei Khawja will look to get some revenge on Baumann after Baumann won 8-3 at the Mater Dei classic. This will be a semi final match…. Yes we are so good at Evansville we get #1 vs #2 in the semis. Ben Phillips is another returning medalist and should meet the winner in the finals. Can the Pirate pull off the W? This also just the third weight where #1, #2, #3, and #4 ranked SS guys are predicted to get out.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - Two seniors that probably feel like they got the best draw they could are Ian Madden of Evansville Central and Chase Hostetler of Bloomington North. Both have put together solid senior campaigns and both want one more chance to be on the
    floor in Indy! Two state ranked wrestlers will also be going at it in the first round; Whiteland’s #19 Vincent Tinoco will take on #21 Tristan Statler with the winner getting Khawja.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draw - Not sure it’s a Turrible Draw, when seeding an 8 man tournament this would be the correct quarterfinal match up, so along with the SSR #1,#2,#3, and #4 wrestlers predicted to get out we also have SSR #4 vs SSR #5 in a match up for birth to state! Evansville Memorial Senior Aiden Farmer is a returning state qualifier and ranked 9th in the state vs. Freshman hammer Caden Brewer who’s ranked 10th in the state. This match will be great and Trips might have taken the Freshman, but I was the only one. Mattyb remember that!!!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Madden, Brewer, Tinoco - anything can happen at Evansville. I haven’t said that yet but we’ve witnessed crazy upsets over the years! Also don’t sleep on Ben Phillips. I think him and Joey Buttler have been slept on over and over and all they have done is get on the podium at state and then follow that up with solid senior years. Call them the Dangerfield Twins, No Respect!
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Our third of a possible record 6 LOCKS Wildcat Brody Baumann leads the field, followed by Phillips, Khawja, and Farmer
    1st -Brody Baumann Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Ben Phillips Charlestown, 3rd - Codei Khawja Floyd Central, 4th - Aiden Farmer Evansville Memorial
     
    182: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 8/12
    182 brings us a big rematch, now Brownsburg fans keep your pants on, as the prohibitive favorite actually lost last weekend. Center Grove’s Drake Buchanan is a returning state runner-up and was humming along until running into Brownsburg’s Gunnar Henry last weekend at Regionals. Henry, another Donnie Baker Super Frosh, knocked off Buchanan. Despite that, ECSC still went with Buchanan in the rematch. Buchanan was almost a lock but Donnie Baker looked up from his boats-4-sale catalog and quietly and confidently said “Henry”. 3 former state qualifiers highlight this field, that after hammers Henry and Buchanan, could be wide open.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - A quarterbracket of fun! Semi State Champ Clay Martin from Mater Dei, #24 Luke Bullock of Mooresville, #17 Jerry McBee of Owen Valley, and unranked but dangerous Jared Slocum of Columbus North will all be going after that golden ticket!
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Floyd’s Bray Emerine was a SQ has a frosh last year. He’s been hampered by injuries and in battles of returning State Qualifiers the last two weeks, Bray has
    came up short to Reid Schroeder. That has set up, what could be, an exciting blood round match between Bray and Gunnar Henry. Both are ranked top 10 in the state and up until last weekend Emerine would have been the favorite. Throw in the fact that they are former training partners at Invicta and long time friends and this match will have it all. Don’t think for a minute either will have a hard time going after it b/c they are friends.
     
    Columbus East’s Jaden Durnil has had some big wins this year and all of his losses are close. Last year he lost to SQ Dominic Pugliese 9-8. After wrestling 195 most of the year, he dropped to 182 for the state tournament and has won sectionals and regionals and appeared to be cruising to state. Then Henry/Buchanan happened and then the draws of stupidity happened and now Durnil has returning state runner up Drake Buchanan. Turrible, turrible, turrible
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Along with Emerine, BigToe says don’t look past Cascade Junior Liam Farmer, Farmer has cut his teeth in the tough Hendricks County area and definitely be game. He’ll have to get through Reid Schroeder and Mitchel Happe if he wants to get to the Big Show!
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Another close “chalk” weight, aside from one vote for Mater Dei’s Clay Martin. The ECSC likes Buchanan, Henry, Schroeder, and McBee
    1st - Drake Buchanan Center Grove, 2nd - Gunnar Henry Brownsburg, 3rd - Reid Schroeder Southridge, 4th - Jerry McBee Owen Valley
     
    Donnie Baker Bet the Boat Guarantee - Gunnar Henry wins the rematch
     
    195: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 7/13
    Our next LOCK comes at 195 in returning state champ, Evansville Mater Dei’s Gabe Sollars. We will also see the next chapter in #1 vs #2 as Sollars and Castle’s John Purdy has been tearing up the Southwest part of the state this year. Purdy won the first match 4-3 with Sollars winning the last 2 by scores of 9-4 and 5-0. Butttttt don’t count out returning medalist Wyatt Willman, who dropped a tight 2-1 match to Purdy last weekend.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - Gotta plug my boy….who’s had a run of absolutely awful draws - Sollars, Sollars, and now Purdy, but Madison Junior Van Skinner is very capable of winning any match. A frosh/soph state champ, Skinner will have to be very game to knock off Purdy!
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Did I mention Skinner? Okay moving on, SSR #4 and SR #10 Sammy Saunders hit a roadblock last weekend in unranked Colten Hubbell of Edgewood. This
    has now set up a ticket round match with Saunders and Jeffersonville Senior Evan Clayton whos SR #12 and SSR #5. Two seniors, one goes to state and one goes home!
     
    Don’t sleep on…. Whiteland Junior Sam Allen. He’s just gained eligibility and is definitely state worthy, can he knock off Willman in the ticket round? Also Jakobe Leavell of Pike is 22-4 and has a win over #22 Bryce Crump. Admittedly, most Northern schools don’t get the love they deserve as I never get info about them. Is Leavell a sleeping monster???
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Another flirtation with a “chalk” weight but a solo vote for Clayton stopped it from happening. Sollars (LOCK), Purdy, Willman, Saunders
    1st - Gabe Sollars Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - John Purdy Castle, 3rd - Wyatt Willman North Posey, 4th - Sammy Saunders Terre Haute North
     
    220: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 8/12
    ATTENTION ALL READERS, ATTENTION ALL READERS after 12 weights we finally have a “chalk” weight! *EDIT* Donnie Baker woke up from his nap, snorted, yelled “Garron By God Jenkins” and fell back asleep…. No chalk…. 4 state top ten ranked wrestlers highlight this field and 2 of them will be going at it in the ticket round! Indiana newcomer Nathan Critchfield has been causing damage all over The Crescent city and surrounding areas. The Mater Dei senior looks to keep it going this weekend, can anybody stop him?
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerker - #11 Zac Inzerello, a senior from Castle steps on the line against #25 Nolan Skaggs, a senior from Franklin and returning state qualifier. Skaggs has went back and forth with Royce Deckard 3 from Center Grove. After dropping last weekend, Skaggs finds himself behind the 8 ball this weekend. Whoever wins this match has the Mammoth from Columbus, Tommy Morrill.
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Jasper’s Ashton Schuetter is ranked 8th in the state and only had two losses heading into the state tournament to Inzerello and Critchfield. A loss to Floyd Central’s Garron Jenkins last weekend set up the ticket round match of Schuetter and Critchfield. A turrible draw for the Jasper Senior.
     
    Don’t sleep on…. The aforementioned Jenkins, the Floyd Senior, hasn't been around a lot in High School but has been a wrestler for years. After stepping back on the mat this year, he’s had some big wins and a great senior campaign. He has Memorial Junior Kelton Farmer. They were supposed to wrestle at The Mater Dei Classic, but an injury to Jenkins prevented that. Keep an eye on this match.
     
    After reading through this bracket I can see any of 9 guys qualifying for state, after Critchfield it’s really wide open. These ticket round matches could be good ones.
     
    Ford Fab 4 - The LOCK Critchfield, Morrill and Deckard were all unanimous and Farmer was close
    1st - Nathan Crichfield Evansville Mater Dei, 2nd - Tommy Morrill Columbus East, 3rd - Kelton Farmer Evansville Memorial , 4th - Royce Deckard 3 Center Grove
     
    Donnie Baker Bet the Boat Guarantee Garron Jenkins senior run lasts more weekend as he joins his Floyd teammates in Indianapolis
     
    285: State ranked/Semi State ranked = 6/11
    Our last weight and we get our last lock and our first chalk! Leighton Jones dropped a tough state semi-finals match last year and seems dialed in to win a state title this year, the ECSC agree! This is a competitive field, but all seems to be spread out. Can Evansville’s James Ralph spoil the Mooresville love fest? The Wildcat has some big wins, but appears to be the sleeper in this field as others love the Johnson and Johnson crew from the Mooresvile Regional.
     
    Barry Horowitz Best Curtain Jerkers - No Curtain jerkers! Wow! Go grab some pork nachos and get ready for the quarters!
     
    Charles Barkley Turrible Draws - Another Nah…….
     
    Don’t sleep on…. James Ralph/Nate Johnson - a great SSR#4 vs SSR#5 match Ralph is the favorite but Nate Johnson could easily win this match as well.
    Undefeated Beau Noland has slid under the radar, can this North Knox senior crash the party Saturday? This will be his third trip to Evansville, so he has experience!
     
    Ford Fab 4 - Our last LOCK, Leighton Jones of Brownsburg leads an incredibly tough field. You might find all 4 of these guys on the podium next week.
    1st - Leighton Jones Brownsburg, 2nd - Jacob Johnson Franklin, 3rd - James Ralph Evansville Mater Dei, 4th - Ashton Hartwell Columbus East (TripleBTrained!)
     
    Man we made it…….let’s end w my favorite - food recommendations
     
    Hilltop Inn - Fried Brain sandwiches. Brains aren’t your thing? Turonis is a local pizza place that’s dynamite. Like German? Gerst Haus is phenomenal. Want to head out for some adult beverages? Go to Franklin St, Gerst Haus is there and a number of other watering holes and
    great restaurants. I’m never up early enough for Breakfast so I have no clue. I hear the nachos at the Ford are great and worth the $. And a tradition on the way home is Stoll’s Country Diner - lights out fried chicken and down home buffet.
     
    Have a great time Saturday, I thoroughly enjoy the Evansville Semi-State experience. I’ll be there slumming around, feel free to say hey, you can’t miss me! Good luck to all my coaching buddies and all 224 grapplers. Use this to pump you up and get mad bc you were slighted and parents have fun with this as we at IndianaMat are just trying to bring attention to our favorite sport, wrestling!
    See everybody at the FORD and onto The Bridge!
  9. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from gsmith58 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Feeler's ready for one last ride   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    No matter what happens in the next couple of weeks, Brandon and Donnie Feeler are going to end a journey the same way they started it – together.
     
    Donnie Feeler is a senior 106-pounder from Crawford County. Brandon is his father and the only coach he has ever had.
     
    “Our situation is a little unique,” Brandon said. “I’ve coached him since he was five years old. We’ve been on this journey for many, many years. It means a lot to both of us, to say the least.”
     
    Brandon still remembers the day Donnie came home from school, waving a flyer about wrestling around and begging to be able to be part of it.
     
    “Donnie was a big fan of WWF wrestling back then,” Brandon said. “He would constantly watch it on TV. At the time we lived in Scottsburg and he brought home this flyer about wrestling – thinking it was going to be jumping off the ropes like they did in WWF. I explained to him what it was, and he was still really eager to go.”
     
    So, Donnie joined wrestling and Brandon started coaching the sport. Brandon had a background in grappling, but he was learning wrestling at the same time he was teaching it to Donnie.
     
    The two dived headfirst into the sport. Brandon would drive Donnie to tournaments across the country. They would have hours together in the car, in the hotels and in the restaurants. They formed a strong bond through the sport.
     
    “Me and my dad, we’ve had our differences,” Donnie said. “But the sport has really grown us closer. It’s not just me out there. It’s him too. We go through the same emotion and the same stress. It’s not easy being a coach of a son. There are times when I just don’t want to train. But it’s good to have a coach that keeps after me and keeps me going.”
     
    Last year Donnie did something that no other kid in the history of his school has accomplished. He qualified for the state tournament.
     
    “There were a lot of emotions when he won his ticket round match,” Brandon said. “He punched his ticket. That was just a real proud moment.”
     
    Qualifying for state put a new fire in Donnie. He didn’t win his Friday night match, but he started working harder than ever before. He and his dad went to tournament after tournament last summer. They hit the mat hard and pushed like never before. The problem was all that wrestling started to burn Donnie out. He questioned whether he wanted to go on.
     
    “I was just burnt out,” Donnie said. “I was exhausted from the off-season wrestling. I just didn’t want to do it anymore.”
     
    Qualifying for state also came with some high expectations for Donnie. His focus seemed to change, according to his dad.
     
    “To some degree he was wrestling for all the wrong reasons,” Brandon said. “He was trying to be the best wrestler for an audience, not for himself. He contemplated whether he even wanted to wrestle his senior year. He did some soul searching and came back with some confidence. He was ready to unlock his potential.”
     
    Donnie said that renewed vigor came from having some talks with his dad.
     
    “That relationship with my father, and just speaking with him and listening to what he had to say – that really helped me regain my focus,” Donnie said.
     
    This year Donnie is coming off a regional championship. He is Crawford County’s first regional champion, and now he’s a two-time champ. He’s ranked No. 12 at 106 pounds and currently has an unblemished 20-0 record. His goal ultimate goal is to be his school’s first-ever state placer in wrestling.
     
    Crawford County has just a handful of wrestlers on the team. In practice Donnie’s only choice is to go up against guys weighing 120-152. But that’s OK. He embraces the David vs. Goliath philosophy. He likes being the underdog. He likes coming from a small school and wrestling the big programs. He likes being counted out.
     
    “I want to win it all,” Feeler said. “But no matter what happens I’m going to give it my all. If all else fails, we gave it a good run and had a fun four years.”
     
    For Brandon, the next few weeks will mark the end of a journey.
     
    “We started his career together and we’re going to finish it together,” Brandon said. “It’s going to be an emotional time, for sure. But we’ve had a heck of a ride.”
  10. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from AJ for a article, High School Wrestling Weekly Season 3 Episode 14   
    Rex Brewer and Dane Fuelling take a look back at the regionals, and are joined this week by guests Cody LeCount and Jacob Gray, coaches at Delta.
  11. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Adam S for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Multiplicity of moves favors East Noble senior grappler Sprague   
    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com

    It may not be for everyone, but the way Aidan Sprague approaches wrestling has been good for him.
    “I’m pretty funky and I move on my feet,” says Sprague, an East Noble High School senior. “I’m not the strongest one out there, but I can use my technique and that works in my favor.”
    During Sprague’s prep career, the Knights’ postseason path has gone through the Westview Sectional (2019, 2020 and 2021) and West Noble Sectional (2022), Goshen Regional and Fort Wayne Semistate.
    As a 106-pound freshmen in 2019, Sprague placed second at sectional and regional, fourth at semistate and was a State Finals qualifier.
    As a 113-pound sophomore in 2020, Sprague was a sectional regional champion, semistate runner-up and placed sixth at State.
    As a 120-pound junior in 2021, Sprague took sectional, regional and semistate titles and placed sixth at State.
    As a 126-pound senior, Sprague heads into the 2022 Fort Wayne Semistate at 35-0 with sectional and regional titles to his credit.
    Sam Riesen is in his fourth season as head coach at East Noble after 10 years in charge at Churubusuco High School.
    Sprague, a University of Indianapolis commit, tries to follow the coaching staff’s directive during his matches.
    “I really cut a lot of people and they just want me to look as sharp as I possibly can on my feet,” says Sprague. “I get most of my tech falls like 20-5.
    “They want me to get as many takedowns as I can. I love it because I have a good mindset about it. It gets me in better shape. I’m drilling different types of takedowns almost like it’s like a practice.”
    How many takedowns are in Sprague’s bag of tricks?
    “I do five or six consistently,” says Sprague. “Then I’ll throw some tricky ones out there every once in a while.
    “It’s important to have a lot of stuff. When you only have one or two good things you become one-dimensional. That’s really when people can game plan against you. If everybody knows I have a good dump, they’re not going to let me tie up.
    “It’s so much harder to wrestle someone if they have multiple good moves.”
    Sprague grew up in Kendallville and began wrestling in the sixth grade. When he did not place in the middle school conference meet as a sixth or seventh grader, he spoke with his father Adam about becoming more serious about the sport and put basketball aside.
    As an eighth grader, he was a conference champion and a state qualifier.
    “Aidan is just an extremely focused, driven kid,” says Riesen. “He sets his mind to a goal and really gives everything he can to accomplish it.”
    Sprague plans to study Social Studies at UIndy with plans on being a teacher and coach.
    “It’s awesome to see a young guy going into education at a time where you don’t see colleges filled with people graduating with degrees in teaching,” says Riesen. “It’s exciting to see that.
    “He and his brother have super-supportive parents (in Adam and Susan Sprague, who both teach in the West Noble system).”
    Aidan Sprague is a three-sport athlete — outside linebacker and team captain in football, wrestling and pole vaulter with a personal best of 12-foot-6 on the track and field team.
    Alex Sprague is a 170-pound freshman wrestler and is also in band.
    “His parents are running them all over,” says Riesen. “They find the time to get them to wrestling practices all over the area during the off-season.
    “They go that extra mile to make sure he gets everything he needs.”
    Aidan has traveled to Indianapolis Cathedral to train with the Outlaws.
    While Riesen doesn’t name captains, Sprague has essentially filled that role.
    “He’s a natural leader,” says Riesen. “The team has followed him in a lot of ways — like in terms of attitude. He’s a light-hearted kid but he gets focused when he needs to. That really rubs off on the team.”
    “He’s pretty special in the fact that he doesn’t just have one go-to move. He’s constantly scoring and looking at different techniques and takedowns.
    “In practice, he’s just always innovating and trying new things.”
    East Noble assistant coach Austin Moore, a State Finals qualifier at Central Noble in 2017 and 2018, is a frequent workout partner for Sprague.
    “They do a lot of play wrestling, water wrestling — whatever you want to call it,” said Riesen. “They wrestle through and find different positions.
    “There’s really a lot of spots where he’s pretty comfortable.”
    Aidan Sprague is a three-sport athlete (outside linebacker and team captain in football, wrestling and pole vaulter with a personal best of 12-foot-6 on the track and field team.
    Alex Sprague is a wrestler and is also in the school band.
    “His parents are running them all over,” says Riesen. “They find the time to get them to wrestling practices all over the area during the off-season.
    “They go that extra mile to make sure he gets everything he needs.”
    Aidan has traveled to Indianapolis Cathedral to train with the Outlaws.
    While Riesen doesn’t name captains, Sprague has essentially filled that role.
    “He’s a natural leader,” says Riesen. “The team has followed him in a lot of ways — like in terms of attitude. He’s a light-hearted kid but he gets focused when he needs to. That really rubs off on the team.”
    “He’s pretty special in the fact that he doesn’t just have one go-to move. He’s constantly scoring and looking at different techniques and takedowns.
    “In practice, he’s just always innovating and trying new things.”
    East Noble assistant Austin Moore, a State Finals qualifier at Central Noble in 2017 and 2018, is a frequent workout partner for Sprague.
    “They do a lot of play wrestling, water wrestling — whatever you want to call it,” said Riesen. “They wrestle through and find different positions. There’s really a lot of spots where he’s pretty comfortable.”
    “His freshmen year we butted heads a little and had some debates on which way he should go in terms of being more funky or more traditional.”
    As Sprague has progressed and enjoyed success, the coaching staff has resisted pigeon-holing the wrestler and let do what feels and works best for him.
    Riesen says the first eight minutes of practice are devoted to “roll around” — which allows the athletes to try different positions and finishes and figuring out how to get out of certain spots.
    “I think it really has helped a lot of our kids,” says Riesen. “One thing we do really well as a staff is allow kids to explore different wrestling positions and options and figure out what works for them.”
    Popular among other wrestlers, Sprague has been called “The People’s Champion.”
    “He’s a great kid beyond being an obviously very talented wrestler,” says Riesen. “He’s been an awesome kid to have these last four years.”
     
  12. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from MUSKEEWRESTLING for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Multiplicity of moves favors East Noble senior grappler Sprague   
    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com

    It may not be for everyone, but the way Aidan Sprague approaches wrestling has been good for him.
    “I’m pretty funky and I move on my feet,” says Sprague, an East Noble High School senior. “I’m not the strongest one out there, but I can use my technique and that works in my favor.”
    During Sprague’s prep career, the Knights’ postseason path has gone through the Westview Sectional (2019, 2020 and 2021) and West Noble Sectional (2022), Goshen Regional and Fort Wayne Semistate.
    As a 106-pound freshmen in 2019, Sprague placed second at sectional and regional, fourth at semistate and was a State Finals qualifier.
    As a 113-pound sophomore in 2020, Sprague was a sectional regional champion, semistate runner-up and placed sixth at State.
    As a 120-pound junior in 2021, Sprague took sectional, regional and semistate titles and placed sixth at State.
    As a 126-pound senior, Sprague heads into the 2022 Fort Wayne Semistate at 35-0 with sectional and regional titles to his credit.
    Sam Riesen is in his fourth season as head coach at East Noble after 10 years in charge at Churubusuco High School.
    Sprague, a University of Indianapolis commit, tries to follow the coaching staff’s directive during his matches.
    “I really cut a lot of people and they just want me to look as sharp as I possibly can on my feet,” says Sprague. “I get most of my tech falls like 20-5.
    “They want me to get as many takedowns as I can. I love it because I have a good mindset about it. It gets me in better shape. I’m drilling different types of takedowns almost like it’s like a practice.”
    How many takedowns are in Sprague’s bag of tricks?
    “I do five or six consistently,” says Sprague. “Then I’ll throw some tricky ones out there every once in a while.
    “It’s important to have a lot of stuff. When you only have one or two good things you become one-dimensional. That’s really when people can game plan against you. If everybody knows I have a good dump, they’re not going to let me tie up.
    “It’s so much harder to wrestle someone if they have multiple good moves.”
    Sprague grew up in Kendallville and began wrestling in the sixth grade. When he did not place in the middle school conference meet as a sixth or seventh grader, he spoke with his father Adam about becoming more serious about the sport and put basketball aside.
    As an eighth grader, he was a conference champion and a state qualifier.
    “Aidan is just an extremely focused, driven kid,” says Riesen. “He sets his mind to a goal and really gives everything he can to accomplish it.”
    Sprague plans to study Social Studies at UIndy with plans on being a teacher and coach.
    “It’s awesome to see a young guy going into education at a time where you don’t see colleges filled with people graduating with degrees in teaching,” says Riesen. “It’s exciting to see that.
    “He and his brother have super-supportive parents (in Adam and Susan Sprague, who both teach in the West Noble system).”
    Aidan Sprague is a three-sport athlete — outside linebacker and team captain in football, wrestling and pole vaulter with a personal best of 12-foot-6 on the track and field team.
    Alex Sprague is a 170-pound freshman wrestler and is also in band.
    “His parents are running them all over,” says Riesen. “They find the time to get them to wrestling practices all over the area during the off-season.
    “They go that extra mile to make sure he gets everything he needs.”
    Aidan has traveled to Indianapolis Cathedral to train with the Outlaws.
    While Riesen doesn’t name captains, Sprague has essentially filled that role.
    “He’s a natural leader,” says Riesen. “The team has followed him in a lot of ways — like in terms of attitude. He’s a light-hearted kid but he gets focused when he needs to. That really rubs off on the team.”
    “He’s pretty special in the fact that he doesn’t just have one go-to move. He’s constantly scoring and looking at different techniques and takedowns.
    “In practice, he’s just always innovating and trying new things.”
    East Noble assistant coach Austin Moore, a State Finals qualifier at Central Noble in 2017 and 2018, is a frequent workout partner for Sprague.
    “They do a lot of play wrestling, water wrestling — whatever you want to call it,” said Riesen. “They wrestle through and find different positions.
    “There’s really a lot of spots where he’s pretty comfortable.”
    Aidan Sprague is a three-sport athlete (outside linebacker and team captain in football, wrestling and pole vaulter with a personal best of 12-foot-6 on the track and field team.
    Alex Sprague is a wrestler and is also in the school band.
    “His parents are running them all over,” says Riesen. “They find the time to get them to wrestling practices all over the area during the off-season.
    “They go that extra mile to make sure he gets everything he needs.”
    Aidan has traveled to Indianapolis Cathedral to train with the Outlaws.
    While Riesen doesn’t name captains, Sprague has essentially filled that role.
    “He’s a natural leader,” says Riesen. “The team has followed him in a lot of ways — like in terms of attitude. He’s a light-hearted kid but he gets focused when he needs to. That really rubs off on the team.”
    “He’s pretty special in the fact that he doesn’t just have one go-to move. He’s constantly scoring and looking at different techniques and takedowns.
    “In practice, he’s just always innovating and trying new things.”
    East Noble assistant Austin Moore, a State Finals qualifier at Central Noble in 2017 and 2018, is a frequent workout partner for Sprague.
    “They do a lot of play wrestling, water wrestling — whatever you want to call it,” said Riesen. “They wrestle through and find different positions. There’s really a lot of spots where he’s pretty comfortable.”
    “His freshmen year we butted heads a little and had some debates on which way he should go in terms of being more funky or more traditional.”
    As Sprague has progressed and enjoyed success, the coaching staff has resisted pigeon-holing the wrestler and let do what feels and works best for him.
    Riesen says the first eight minutes of practice are devoted to “roll around” — which allows the athletes to try different positions and finishes and figuring out how to get out of certain spots.
    “I think it really has helped a lot of our kids,” says Riesen. “One thing we do really well as a staff is allow kids to explore different wrestling positions and options and figure out what works for them.”
    Popular among other wrestlers, Sprague has been called “The People’s Champion.”
    “He’s a great kid beyond being an obviously very talented wrestler,” says Riesen. “He’s been an awesome kid to have these last four years.”
     
  13. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Gonzo for a article, 2022 Semi-State Information Center   
    Date: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.
    Admission: $10 (Final session only); $12 (Season ticket).
    Advancement: The top four place winners in each weight class advance to the state finals.
    Videostream: A bundled package that includes access to all four semi-state sites as well as next weekend's state finals is available via IHSAAtv.org for $25. Access to all four semi-states only is available for $15. If you have a FloPro+ plan, you may also view the livestream at FloWrestling.com.
     
    State Finals Pairings Show
    The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT (one hour). Hosted by Greg Rakestraw and Mike Goebel.
     
    1. East Chicago Central (John C. Baratto Athletic Center) | 9 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Crown Point, Hobart, Logansport, Penn.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    EastChicago.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    2. New Haven (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum) | 8:30 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Goshen, Jay County, Maconaquah.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    FortWayne.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    3. New Castle (New Castle Fieldhouse) | 9 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Frankfort, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Richmond.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    NewCastle.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    4. Evansville F.J. Reitz  (Ford Center) | 8 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville, Mooresville.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    Evansville.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    All-Time Pick'em History
    Click here to see where you stand in the all-time history of IndianaMat(and even BEFORE) pick'ems
     
    Podcasts
    Gorilla Radio Episode 126 talking about East Chicago
    Gorilla Radio Episode 127 talking about Evansville and 106-145 at New Castle
    Gorilla Radio Episode 128 talking about 152-285 at New Castle and Fort Wayne
     
    Articles
    Evansville Preview by Dustin Bentz
  14. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Adam S for a article, 2022 Semi-State Information Center   
    Date: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.
    Admission: $10 (Final session only); $12 (Season ticket).
    Advancement: The top four place winners in each weight class advance to the state finals.
    Videostream: A bundled package that includes access to all four semi-state sites as well as next weekend's state finals is available via IHSAAtv.org for $25. Access to all four semi-states only is available for $15. If you have a FloPro+ plan, you may also view the livestream at FloWrestling.com.
     
    State Finals Pairings Show
    The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT (one hour). Hosted by Greg Rakestraw and Mike Goebel.
     
    1. East Chicago Central (John C. Baratto Athletic Center) | 9 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Crown Point, Hobart, Logansport, Penn.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    EastChicago.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    2. New Haven (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum) | 8:30 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Goshen, Jay County, Maconaquah.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    FortWayne.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    3. New Castle (New Castle Fieldhouse) | 9 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Frankfort, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Richmond.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    NewCastle.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    4. Evansville F.J. Reitz  (Ford Center) | 8 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville, Mooresville.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    Evansville.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    All-Time Pick'em History
    Click here to see where you stand in the all-time history of IndianaMat(and even BEFORE) pick'ems
     
    Podcasts
    Gorilla Radio Episode 126 talking about East Chicago
    Gorilla Radio Episode 127 talking about Evansville and 106-145 at New Castle
    Gorilla Radio Episode 128 talking about 152-285 at New Castle and Fort Wayne
     
    Articles
    Evansville Preview by Dustin Bentz
  15. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from pzenthoefer for a article, 2022 Semi-State Information Center   
    Date: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.
    Admission: $10 (Final session only); $12 (Season ticket).
    Advancement: The top four place winners in each weight class advance to the state finals.
    Videostream: A bundled package that includes access to all four semi-state sites as well as next weekend's state finals is available via IHSAAtv.org for $25. Access to all four semi-states only is available for $15. If you have a FloPro+ plan, you may also view the livestream at FloWrestling.com.
     
    State Finals Pairings Show
    The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT (one hour). Hosted by Greg Rakestraw and Mike Goebel.
     
    1. East Chicago Central (John C. Baratto Athletic Center) | 9 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Crown Point, Hobart, Logansport, Penn.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    EastChicago.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    2. New Haven (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum) | 8:30 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Goshen, Jay County, Maconaquah.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    FortWayne.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    3. New Castle (New Castle Fieldhouse) | 9 am ET
    Feeder Regionals: Frankfort, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Richmond.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    NewCastle.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    4. Evansville F.J. Reitz  (Ford Center) | 8 am CT
    Feeder Regionals: Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville, Mooresville.
    TrackWrestling Brackets
    IndianaMat Brackets
    Evansville.pdf
    Pick'ems Link
     
    All-Time Pick'em History
    Click here to see where you stand in the all-time history of IndianaMat(and even BEFORE) pick'ems
     
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  16. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from DrSugarBritches for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Hot Diggity Dog Elijah Anthony focused on a state medal   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Elijah Anthony is hoping the fourth time is the charm.
     
    Anthony, a senior wrestler at Frankfort High School, has qualified for state three years in a row. Each time, he’s fallen just short in his Friday night round. He has not placed yet at the state meet.
     
    “He has got to be one of the best state qualifiers that has never placed,” Frankfort coach Steve Cook said. “He has probably had the toughest draw on Friday night, three years in a row. He’s wrestled someone that has placed in the top three of the finals every single year.”
     
    Anthony didn’t have high expectations during his freshman campaign at state. He was wrestling with a broken hand. He drew Mater Dei’s Alec Freeman in the Friday night match. Freeman won 9-1 and went on to place third in the weight class.
     
    “From the get-go I’ve expected to place every year at state,” Anthony said. “My freshman year I had a broken hand, and I knew it would be really tough to place. But my sophomore and junior years I really felt like my coaches took me to a different level, and when I didn’t place it really got in my mind.”
     
    Anthony drew Avon’s Cheaney Schoeff for the Friday night round of state in 2020. It was a close match, with Schoeff escaping with a 7-5 victory. Schoeff then went on to finish second in the weight class.
     
    Last season Anthony drew Brownsburg’s Brady Isom on Friday night. The two battled for six minutes, with Isom emerging with a 1-point victory, 3-2. Isom ended up placing third, and yet again, Anthony went home without placing.
     
    This season Anthony is hoping his fortune starts to change.
     
    “I’ve really tried to focus on all the little things this year,” Anthony said. “I focus on every single match. I work hard in every single practice. I’m just ultra-focused right now.”
     
    Cook can see that focus every day in the Frankfort wrestling room.
     
    “I’ve never met anyone like Elijah,” Cook said. “When he sets his mind to something, he’s going after it. Wrestling is his life.”
     
    Anthony says he’s consumed with wrestling these days.
     
    “All of my time is devoted to wrestling,” he said. “After practice I go help with the middle school team. When I get home, I study film. My whole life is wrestling right now.”
     
    A month ago, Anthony got a scare that he thought might end his wrestling season. He was driving and he lost control of his vehicle. He ended up jumping a curb, knocking down a few trees and coming very close to hitting a telephone pole.
     
    “I seriously had no idea if I was going to wrestle again after that,” Anthony said. “I remember just thinking what if this is the end of my season. I was super nervous about that.”
    As it turned out, Anthony did not have any serious injuries from the wreck. He was hoping to wrestle that same weekend, but due to the circumstances he didn’t make weight for that meet. He was back on the mat the next week.
     
    Currently Anthony is 30-0 on the season and ranked No. 6 in the 132-pound class.
     
    Anthony wrestles at the Central Indiana Academy of Wrestling. There, his usual practice partner is the No. 1-ranked grappler in the 132-pound class – Zeke Seltzer.
     
    “I might have to wrestle Zeke in semistate. I really can’t wait to wrestle him.”
     
    Anthony’s wrestling style is like a pit bull that just never stops attacking. He’s aggressive, takes lots of shots and keeps his foot on the gas the entire match. He has learned to stay in better position when attacking as well.
     
    “He’s very aggressive,” Cook said. “He’s non-stop from the whistle. He’s always on the attack, for sure.”
     
    After high school Anthony would like to wrestle in college. He wants to study education and become a high school math teacher. He said his ultimate goal is to coach wrestling.
     
    Anthony started wrestling when he was four but didn’t like it at first. He ended up quitting for a while. He took the sport back up in fourth grade and has been hooked ever since.
     
    “I was in fourth grade and I started going to watch the state finals matches every year,” he said. “I watched Chad Red and Nick Lee, and all those big matches. When I made it there myself, I thought that was the coolest thing. Now, it’s all about business. If I get back to state, I’m there to win it. That’s my mentality.
     
    “I really love wrestling. In this sport there is always something more. You accomplish one goal, and there is another one that comes up. I love that challenge.”
  17. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from buttler73 for a article, 2022 Regional Wrestling Brackets   
    1. Hobart | 9 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: East Chicago Central, Portage.
    Hobart-1.pdf
     
    2. Crown Point | 8 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: Crown Point, LaPorte.
    Crown Point-1.pdf
     
    3. Penn | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Mishawaka, Plymouth.
    Penn-1.pdf
     
    4. Logansport | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Lafayette Jefferson, Twin Lakes.
    Logansport-1.pdf
     
    5. Goshen | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Elkhart, West Noble.
    Goshen-1.pdf
     
    6. Carroll (Fort Wayne) | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), New Haven.
    Carroll-2.pdf
     
    7. Maconaquah | 9:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Peru, Oak Hill.
    Maconaquah-1.pdf
     
    8. Jay County | 8:30 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Delta, Jay County.
    Jay County-1.pdf
     
    9. North Montgomery | 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Crawfordsville, Frankfort.
    North Montgomery-1.pdf
     
    10. Pendleton Heights | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Elwood, Indianapolis Arsenal Technical.
    Pendleton Heights-1.pdf
     
    11. Perry Meridian | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Shelbyville, Southport.
    Perry Meridian-1.pdf
     
    12. Richmond | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: South Dearborn, Tri.
    Richmond-1.pdf
     
    13. Mooresville | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Avon, Mooresville.
    Mooresville-1.pdf
     
    14. Bloomington South | 8 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Bloomington North, Southridge.
    Bloomington South-1.pdf
     
    15. Jeffersonville | 9 am ET
    Feeder Sectionals: Jeffersonville, Jennings County.
    Jeffersonville-1.pdf
     
    16. Castle | 8 am CT
    Feeder Sectionals: Castle, Evansville Central.
    Castle-1.pdf
     
     
    Pendleton Heights.pdf Penn.pdf Perry Meridian.pdf Richmond.pdf Bloomington South.pdf Carroll.pdf Castle.pdf Crown Point.pdf Goshen.pdf Hobart.pdf Jay County.pdf Jeffersonville.pdf Logansport.pdf Maconaquah.pdf Mooresville.pdf North Montgomery.pdf Maconaquah-1.pdf
  18. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from rgreenwood3636 for a article, #WrestleLikeAGirl with Jeremy Hines: O'neill family grows from wrestling   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Warren Central senior Kiersten O’Neill has had quite an illustrious wrestling career. She recently won her third Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state title and did so in dominating fashion. Not bad for a girl that doesn’t like to wrestle, really doesn’t enjoy practicing and sometimes doesn’t even get along with her coach.
     
    “Yeah, I don’t really like wrestling, per se,” O’Neill said. “But I love the environment of the sport and the energy it holds. That’s what keeps me attached to it.”
     
    O’Neill’s coach is her own father, Jake.
     
    “It doesn’t surprise me that she says that,” Jake said. “If you ask most coaches/ dads, it’s tough coaching your own kids. As a coach you hold your athletes to high expectations and not that I don’t do that as a dad, but when they fall short of those expectations it can bleed into home. It’s tough to draw those lines and keep those frustrations in the room and on the mat and not let it affect what’s going on at home.”
     
    Jake has always pushed Kiersten to be her best in the sport – and, although at times she’s gotten frustrated with her dad as a coach, she sees it has been in her best interest.
     
    “My dad and I would get into it a lot,” Kiersten said. “Coach and wrestler, father and daughter is a very different dynamic. There have been points where I was like, this is too hard, I can’t do that. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I think if he wasn’t as present as he is though, it wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t have the successes I’ve had.”
     
    Kiersten’s brother started wrestling when he was 4 years old. He ultimately decided that wasn’t the sport for him.
     
    “I made my son wrestle when he was four,” Jake said. “By the time he was a freshman he ended up playing basketball and that’s about the same time Kiersten was like, dad, I’ll wrestle. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re probably going to be pretty good, too. I think she was six at the time.
     
    “Her journey in wrestling gave me a perspective on women’s wrestling that I never had before and I wouldn’t have had if she didn’t wrestle.”
     
    Kiersten won the state meet as a freshman, then placed second as a sophomore. She won as a junior and last weekend she beat her opponent 17-3 in the championship.
     
    She would like to wrestle in college and eventually she would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and coach wrestling.
     
    For Kiersten, and for many of the female wrestlers we write about in these articles, there becomes an unusually strong bond between opponents. Kiersten’s best friends are wrestlers on rival schools.
     
    “Cailin and Catie (Campbell) are my best friends since I started wrestling,” Kiersten said. “We live far apart but we always make sure we see each other. I talk to them every day. It’s been great to experience that with other people that share your same interests. I think if you watch the finals you can see my reaction after Caty won her state title. I was screaming ‘That’s my best friend’.”
     
    Kiersten also plays soccer. She admits that her wrestling aggression sometimes gets her in trouble on the soccer field.
     
    “Yeah, I’ve had quite a few yellow and red cards,” she said. “Soccer, to me, is a lot of running. But the aggression I get from being a wrestler definitely helps me. I’m not exactly proud of my yellow and red cards, I just think I underestimate my strength some against girls that don’t wrestle.”
     
    Jake really enjoys watching Kiersten on the soccer field, where he can relax and be a dad and not a coach.
     
    “Her wrestling absolutely comes out in soccer,” Jake said. “She’s very competitive, aggressive and physical. She is fearless. It all spills out on the soccer field and it’s fun to watch. The other girls aren’t nearly as aggressive as her. Our athletic director was a professional soccer player. When he saw her play he was like ‘woah’. He was blown out of the water with the competitive edge she plays with. I enjoy every minute of watching her play.”

    In wrestling, Kiersten is excited for what the future for girls is like in the state. Every year the numbers increase. If she had one piece of advise for girls just starting out in the sport it would be to stick to it.
     
    “You just have to stick to it,” she said. “You can’t give up, even when it’s hard. I know it gets hard and I’ve not enjoyed that time. But stick it out. Push through. It will be worth it in the end.”
     
  19. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from hirsej for a article, #WrestleLikeAGirl with Jeremy Hines: O'neill family grows from wrestling   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Warren Central senior Kiersten O’Neill has had quite an illustrious wrestling career. She recently won her third Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state title and did so in dominating fashion. Not bad for a girl that doesn’t like to wrestle, really doesn’t enjoy practicing and sometimes doesn’t even get along with her coach.
     
    “Yeah, I don’t really like wrestling, per se,” O’Neill said. “But I love the environment of the sport and the energy it holds. That’s what keeps me attached to it.”
     
    O’Neill’s coach is her own father, Jake.
     
    “It doesn’t surprise me that she says that,” Jake said. “If you ask most coaches/ dads, it’s tough coaching your own kids. As a coach you hold your athletes to high expectations and not that I don’t do that as a dad, but when they fall short of those expectations it can bleed into home. It’s tough to draw those lines and keep those frustrations in the room and on the mat and not let it affect what’s going on at home.”
     
    Jake has always pushed Kiersten to be her best in the sport – and, although at times she’s gotten frustrated with her dad as a coach, she sees it has been in her best interest.
     
    “My dad and I would get into it a lot,” Kiersten said. “Coach and wrestler, father and daughter is a very different dynamic. There have been points where I was like, this is too hard, I can’t do that. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I think if he wasn’t as present as he is though, it wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t have the successes I’ve had.”
     
    Kiersten’s brother started wrestling when he was 4 years old. He ultimately decided that wasn’t the sport for him.
     
    “I made my son wrestle when he was four,” Jake said. “By the time he was a freshman he ended up playing basketball and that’s about the same time Kiersten was like, dad, I’ll wrestle. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re probably going to be pretty good, too. I think she was six at the time.
     
    “Her journey in wrestling gave me a perspective on women’s wrestling that I never had before and I wouldn’t have had if she didn’t wrestle.”
     
    Kiersten won the state meet as a freshman, then placed second as a sophomore. She won as a junior and last weekend she beat her opponent 17-3 in the championship.
     
    She would like to wrestle in college and eventually she would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and coach wrestling.
     
    For Kiersten, and for many of the female wrestlers we write about in these articles, there becomes an unusually strong bond between opponents. Kiersten’s best friends are wrestlers on rival schools.
     
    “Cailin and Catie (Campbell) are my best friends since I started wrestling,” Kiersten said. “We live far apart but we always make sure we see each other. I talk to them every day. It’s been great to experience that with other people that share your same interests. I think if you watch the finals you can see my reaction after Caty won her state title. I was screaming ‘That’s my best friend’.”
     
    Kiersten also plays soccer. She admits that her wrestling aggression sometimes gets her in trouble on the soccer field.
     
    “Yeah, I’ve had quite a few yellow and red cards,” she said. “Soccer, to me, is a lot of running. But the aggression I get from being a wrestler definitely helps me. I’m not exactly proud of my yellow and red cards, I just think I underestimate my strength some against girls that don’t wrestle.”
     
    Jake really enjoys watching Kiersten on the soccer field, where he can relax and be a dad and not a coach.
     
    “Her wrestling absolutely comes out in soccer,” Jake said. “She’s very competitive, aggressive and physical. She is fearless. It all spills out on the soccer field and it’s fun to watch. The other girls aren’t nearly as aggressive as her. Our athletic director was a professional soccer player. When he saw her play he was like ‘woah’. He was blown out of the water with the competitive edge she plays with. I enjoy every minute of watching her play.”

    In wrestling, Kiersten is excited for what the future for girls is like in the state. Every year the numbers increase. If she had one piece of advise for girls just starting out in the sport it would be to stick to it.
     
    “You just have to stick to it,” she said. “You can’t give up, even when it’s hard. I know it gets hard and I’ve not enjoyed that time. But stick it out. Push through. It will be worth it in the end.”
     
  20. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from NORSEMEN Coach for a article, #WrestleLikeAGirl with Jeremy Hines: O'neill family grows from wrestling   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Warren Central senior Kiersten O’Neill has had quite an illustrious wrestling career. She recently won her third Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state title and did so in dominating fashion. Not bad for a girl that doesn’t like to wrestle, really doesn’t enjoy practicing and sometimes doesn’t even get along with her coach.
     
    “Yeah, I don’t really like wrestling, per se,” O’Neill said. “But I love the environment of the sport and the energy it holds. That’s what keeps me attached to it.”
     
    O’Neill’s coach is her own father, Jake.
     
    “It doesn’t surprise me that she says that,” Jake said. “If you ask most coaches/ dads, it’s tough coaching your own kids. As a coach you hold your athletes to high expectations and not that I don’t do that as a dad, but when they fall short of those expectations it can bleed into home. It’s tough to draw those lines and keep those frustrations in the room and on the mat and not let it affect what’s going on at home.”
     
    Jake has always pushed Kiersten to be her best in the sport – and, although at times she’s gotten frustrated with her dad as a coach, she sees it has been in her best interest.
     
    “My dad and I would get into it a lot,” Kiersten said. “Coach and wrestler, father and daughter is a very different dynamic. There have been points where I was like, this is too hard, I can’t do that. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I think if he wasn’t as present as he is though, it wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t have the successes I’ve had.”
     
    Kiersten’s brother started wrestling when he was 4 years old. He ultimately decided that wasn’t the sport for him.
     
    “I made my son wrestle when he was four,” Jake said. “By the time he was a freshman he ended up playing basketball and that’s about the same time Kiersten was like, dad, I’ll wrestle. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re probably going to be pretty good, too. I think she was six at the time.
     
    “Her journey in wrestling gave me a perspective on women’s wrestling that I never had before and I wouldn’t have had if she didn’t wrestle.”
     
    Kiersten won the state meet as a freshman, then placed second as a sophomore. She won as a junior and last weekend she beat her opponent 17-3 in the championship.
     
    She would like to wrestle in college and eventually she would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and coach wrestling.
     
    For Kiersten, and for many of the female wrestlers we write about in these articles, there becomes an unusually strong bond between opponents. Kiersten’s best friends are wrestlers on rival schools.
     
    “Cailin and Catie (Campbell) are my best friends since I started wrestling,” Kiersten said. “We live far apart but we always make sure we see each other. I talk to them every day. It’s been great to experience that with other people that share your same interests. I think if you watch the finals you can see my reaction after Caty won her state title. I was screaming ‘That’s my best friend’.”
     
    Kiersten also plays soccer. She admits that her wrestling aggression sometimes gets her in trouble on the soccer field.
     
    “Yeah, I’ve had quite a few yellow and red cards,” she said. “Soccer, to me, is a lot of running. But the aggression I get from being a wrestler definitely helps me. I’m not exactly proud of my yellow and red cards, I just think I underestimate my strength some against girls that don’t wrestle.”
     
    Jake really enjoys watching Kiersten on the soccer field, where he can relax and be a dad and not a coach.
     
    “Her wrestling absolutely comes out in soccer,” Jake said. “She’s very competitive, aggressive and physical. She is fearless. It all spills out on the soccer field and it’s fun to watch. The other girls aren’t nearly as aggressive as her. Our athletic director was a professional soccer player. When he saw her play he was like ‘woah’. He was blown out of the water with the competitive edge she plays with. I enjoy every minute of watching her play.”

    In wrestling, Kiersten is excited for what the future for girls is like in the state. Every year the numbers increase. If she had one piece of advise for girls just starting out in the sport it would be to stick to it.
     
    “You just have to stick to it,” she said. “You can’t give up, even when it’s hard. I know it gets hard and I’ve not enjoyed that time. But stick it out. Push through. It will be worth it in the end.”
     
  21. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Coach G for a article, #WrestleLikeAGirl with Jeremy Hines: O'neill family grows from wrestling   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Warren Central senior Kiersten O’Neill has had quite an illustrious wrestling career. She recently won her third Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state title and did so in dominating fashion. Not bad for a girl that doesn’t like to wrestle, really doesn’t enjoy practicing and sometimes doesn’t even get along with her coach.
     
    “Yeah, I don’t really like wrestling, per se,” O’Neill said. “But I love the environment of the sport and the energy it holds. That’s what keeps me attached to it.”
     
    O’Neill’s coach is her own father, Jake.
     
    “It doesn’t surprise me that she says that,” Jake said. “If you ask most coaches/ dads, it’s tough coaching your own kids. As a coach you hold your athletes to high expectations and not that I don’t do that as a dad, but when they fall short of those expectations it can bleed into home. It’s tough to draw those lines and keep those frustrations in the room and on the mat and not let it affect what’s going on at home.”
     
    Jake has always pushed Kiersten to be her best in the sport – and, although at times she’s gotten frustrated with her dad as a coach, she sees it has been in her best interest.
     
    “My dad and I would get into it a lot,” Kiersten said. “Coach and wrestler, father and daughter is a very different dynamic. There have been points where I was like, this is too hard, I can’t do that. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I think if he wasn’t as present as he is though, it wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t have the successes I’ve had.”
     
    Kiersten’s brother started wrestling when he was 4 years old. He ultimately decided that wasn’t the sport for him.
     
    “I made my son wrestle when he was four,” Jake said. “By the time he was a freshman he ended up playing basketball and that’s about the same time Kiersten was like, dad, I’ll wrestle. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re probably going to be pretty good, too. I think she was six at the time.
     
    “Her journey in wrestling gave me a perspective on women’s wrestling that I never had before and I wouldn’t have had if she didn’t wrestle.”
     
    Kiersten won the state meet as a freshman, then placed second as a sophomore. She won as a junior and last weekend she beat her opponent 17-3 in the championship.
     
    She would like to wrestle in college and eventually she would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and coach wrestling.
     
    For Kiersten, and for many of the female wrestlers we write about in these articles, there becomes an unusually strong bond between opponents. Kiersten’s best friends are wrestlers on rival schools.
     
    “Cailin and Catie (Campbell) are my best friends since I started wrestling,” Kiersten said. “We live far apart but we always make sure we see each other. I talk to them every day. It’s been great to experience that with other people that share your same interests. I think if you watch the finals you can see my reaction after Caty won her state title. I was screaming ‘That’s my best friend’.”
     
    Kiersten also plays soccer. She admits that her wrestling aggression sometimes gets her in trouble on the soccer field.
     
    “Yeah, I’ve had quite a few yellow and red cards,” she said. “Soccer, to me, is a lot of running. But the aggression I get from being a wrestler definitely helps me. I’m not exactly proud of my yellow and red cards, I just think I underestimate my strength some against girls that don’t wrestle.”
     
    Jake really enjoys watching Kiersten on the soccer field, where he can relax and be a dad and not a coach.
     
    “Her wrestling absolutely comes out in soccer,” Jake said. “She’s very competitive, aggressive and physical. She is fearless. It all spills out on the soccer field and it’s fun to watch. The other girls aren’t nearly as aggressive as her. Our athletic director was a professional soccer player. When he saw her play he was like ‘woah’. He was blown out of the water with the competitive edge she plays with. I enjoy every minute of watching her play.”

    In wrestling, Kiersten is excited for what the future for girls is like in the state. Every year the numbers increase. If she had one piece of advise for girls just starting out in the sport it would be to stick to it.
     
    “You just have to stick to it,” she said. “You can’t give up, even when it’s hard. I know it gets hard and I’ve not enjoyed that time. But stick it out. Push through. It will be worth it in the end.”
     
  22. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Frank Ingalls for a article, #WrestleLikeAGirl with Jeremy Hines: O'neill family grows from wrestling   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    Warren Central senior Kiersten O’Neill has had quite an illustrious wrestling career. She recently won her third Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state title and did so in dominating fashion. Not bad for a girl that doesn’t like to wrestle, really doesn’t enjoy practicing and sometimes doesn’t even get along with her coach.
     
    “Yeah, I don’t really like wrestling, per se,” O’Neill said. “But I love the environment of the sport and the energy it holds. That’s what keeps me attached to it.”
     
    O’Neill’s coach is her own father, Jake.
     
    “It doesn’t surprise me that she says that,” Jake said. “If you ask most coaches/ dads, it’s tough coaching your own kids. As a coach you hold your athletes to high expectations and not that I don’t do that as a dad, but when they fall short of those expectations it can bleed into home. It’s tough to draw those lines and keep those frustrations in the room and on the mat and not let it affect what’s going on at home.”
     
    Jake has always pushed Kiersten to be her best in the sport – and, although at times she’s gotten frustrated with her dad as a coach, she sees it has been in her best interest.
     
    “My dad and I would get into it a lot,” Kiersten said. “Coach and wrestler, father and daughter is a very different dynamic. There have been points where I was like, this is too hard, I can’t do that. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I think if he wasn’t as present as he is though, it wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t have the successes I’ve had.”
     
    Kiersten’s brother started wrestling when he was 4 years old. He ultimately decided that wasn’t the sport for him.
     
    “I made my son wrestle when he was four,” Jake said. “By the time he was a freshman he ended up playing basketball and that’s about the same time Kiersten was like, dad, I’ll wrestle. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re probably going to be pretty good, too. I think she was six at the time.
     
    “Her journey in wrestling gave me a perspective on women’s wrestling that I never had before and I wouldn’t have had if she didn’t wrestle.”
     
    Kiersten won the state meet as a freshman, then placed second as a sophomore. She won as a junior and last weekend she beat her opponent 17-3 in the championship.
     
    She would like to wrestle in college and eventually she would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and coach wrestling.
     
    For Kiersten, and for many of the female wrestlers we write about in these articles, there becomes an unusually strong bond between opponents. Kiersten’s best friends are wrestlers on rival schools.
     
    “Cailin and Catie (Campbell) are my best friends since I started wrestling,” Kiersten said. “We live far apart but we always make sure we see each other. I talk to them every day. It’s been great to experience that with other people that share your same interests. I think if you watch the finals you can see my reaction after Caty won her state title. I was screaming ‘That’s my best friend’.”
     
    Kiersten also plays soccer. She admits that her wrestling aggression sometimes gets her in trouble on the soccer field.
     
    “Yeah, I’ve had quite a few yellow and red cards,” she said. “Soccer, to me, is a lot of running. But the aggression I get from being a wrestler definitely helps me. I’m not exactly proud of my yellow and red cards, I just think I underestimate my strength some against girls that don’t wrestle.”
     
    Jake really enjoys watching Kiersten on the soccer field, where he can relax and be a dad and not a coach.
     
    “Her wrestling absolutely comes out in soccer,” Jake said. “She’s very competitive, aggressive and physical. She is fearless. It all spills out on the soccer field and it’s fun to watch. The other girls aren’t nearly as aggressive as her. Our athletic director was a professional soccer player. When he saw her play he was like ‘woah’. He was blown out of the water with the competitive edge she plays with. I enjoy every minute of watching her play.”

    In wrestling, Kiersten is excited for what the future for girls is like in the state. Every year the numbers increase. If she had one piece of advise for girls just starting out in the sport it would be to stick to it.
     
    “You just have to stick to it,” she said. “You can’t give up, even when it’s hard. I know it gets hard and I’ve not enjoyed that time. But stick it out. Push through. It will be worth it in the end.”
     
  23. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from FCFIGHTER170 for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Peru’s May hopes to reap dividends of varied mat experience   
    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com

    An increase in aggressiveness and confidence has Peru High School’s Jalen May shooting for high achievement in his second high school wrestling season.
    The son three-time IHSAA State Finals Placer Nic May (sixth in 2000-2001 at 103 pounds; third at 112 in 2001-02 and second at 112 in 2002-03, losing in the finals to Lawrence North’s Reece Humphries), Tigers sophomore Jalen May gets plenty of encouragement and pointers from his father.
    “He always tells me to work hard,” says Jalen of his father who is No. 2 on the all-time Peru win list at 159-5 (2005 graduate Daric Fuller is tops at 168-16). “He would do anything to wrestle again. He tells me all the work will be worth it. Only I know how hard I can push myself.
    “We have a mat in our basement and try to wrestle around four times a week and focus on one move.”
    Jalen May went 25-6 at 106 as a freshman in 2020-21. Along the way he topped eventual state champion Ashton Jackson 7-4 at the Western Triple Dual.
    “That shows Jalen can wrestle at that level,” says Andy Hobbs, Peru’s head coach since 1996.
    May lost in the “ticket” round at the 2020-21 Fort Wayne Semistate.
    “My freshman year I was a little naive,” says May, who is currently 25-3 as a sophomore 106-pounder. “That semistate opened my eyes.
    “I’m a lot more aggressive (since last high school season) and my confidence has gone up. I used to be scared to wrestle certain people and now I’m always ready to go.
    “I always try to stay positive in the practice room, on meet days or while I’m working out to lose a little bit of weight.”
    In 2021-22, May lost in the 106 semifinals of Mishawaka’s Al Smith Classic to Crown Point freshman Gavin Jendreas (May beat Jendreas 1-0 at the 2021 IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open aka IHPO) and placed third.
    “It went alright,” says May. “I expected to do better. I know I’ll see (Jendreas) again this year.”
    Hobbs and his staff want to keep May challenged.
    “I’m getting ready for the state tournament,” says May. (Coaches) like me to have good matches. They’d rather me have a good match and lose than pin the kid in 30 seconds.”
    Hobbs, a 1986 Tipton High School graduate, coached Nic May and saw him go to Ken Chertow camps in the off-season.
    Jalen May, who says he really increased his drive for wrestling in the seventh grade, has gone to Chertow and Jay Robinson camps, travel team practices, club practices in Kokomo and with Central Indiana Academy in Indianapolis.
    “Jalen has had a lot more experiences (than his father),” says Hobbs. “He’s doing all the right things. He’s getting all the experience it takes to make a run at it.
    “He’s well-rounded wrestler and just a very fluid athlete. He’s wide open. We’re trying to get him to expand the playbook. He can do so many things. It’s a simple sport, but it’s really difficult.”
    May says his go-to takedown move is a high-crotch.
    His regular workout partner this season has been junior Cooper Baldwin (138).
    “It helps you a lot (to drill with a bigger athlete),” says May. “When I do wrestle somebody my size it’s a lot easier.”
    How does May benefit Baldwin?
    “Cooper is hard-working,” says May. “I have really good technique. I help him with that. He’ll feel my aggressive side.”
    Like the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals, May has bumped up in weight to try to help the Tigers and challenge himself.
    “It got me a little better wrestling bigger kids in six-minute matches,” says May.
    Jalen is the oldest of Nic and Ashley May’s four children ahead of brother Josh, sister Mischalay and brother Nicholas Jr. The family resides in Peru.
    Post-high school plans for Jalen currently call for wrestling and studying law in college.
    “My grandma (Jodi May) works at a law firm in Kokomo and one of our assistants Dustin Kern is a city attorney in Peru,” says May. “I’ve always thought it’s cool. It’s a very interesting job.”
    Peru’s remaining schedule includes the Three Rivers Conference meet Saturday, Jan. 22 at Maconaquah. The Tigers’ IHSAA state tournament series path goes through the Jan. 29 Maconaquah Sectional, Feb. 5 Maconaquah Regional, Feb. 12 Fort Wayne Semistate and Feb. 18-19 State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  
  24. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from Mason Jones for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Unorthodox style proves successful for Lake Central’s Sues   
    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com

    Jake Sues does not wrestle in what many call a conventional way.
     
    But the 182-pound senior at Lake Central High School has used his unique style for mat success in his final two prep seasons.
     
    In 2020-21, Sues went 22-7 and placed eighth at the IHSAA State Finals after finishing first at the Crown Point Sectional, third at the Crown Point Regional and third at the East Chicago Semistate.
     
    Through Dec. 29-30 Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka, where Sues placed fifth, he is 19-5.
     
    “I’m awkward to wrestle,” says Sues. “Funky might be a better word to describe it. I’m very different from the standard wrestler.
     
    “Being funky kind of found me. Being weird is what worked so I rolled with it. I’ve always been kind of a defensive wrestler. I make other people uncomfortable.”
     
    Lake Central head coach Luke Triveline has watched Sues use his unorthodox approach and his long limbs to his advantage.
     
    “We have a coaching style, but we try to push individualism,” says Triveline, a 2003 LC graduate who is in his 14th season coaching in the Indians program and fifth as head coach.
     
    “He’s good at using his length and body top against kids. He’s not a super-aggressive kid. If he keeps it close, he knows when to push the pedal and look to score.”
     
    At 6-foot-3, Sues is taller than most of his opponents.
     
    “I like to put people super far away,” says Sues. “When they try to shoot, they have to go a far distance. People give pressure then I hit my moves from there.”
     
    By forcing his foe to the end of his reach, he can use a slide-by, collar tie, ankle pick, front head lock or other move.
     
    Sues, 18, came to the sport as a Hal E. Clark Middle School sixth grader. By freshmen year at Lake Central, he was 170 and over 6-foot. Sues qualified for semistate as a freshman, but his record was well below .500. As a sophomore, he did not get past regional.
     
    He grew too much after his sophomore year to stay at 170 and bumped up to 182.
     
    “He’s not very intimidating-looking in general. He’s not super muscular. He’s a pretty intelligent wrestler when it comes to keeping himself in matches against pretty tough kids.”
     
    Though looks may deceive, Sues is very strong.
     
    “He spends a lot of time in the weight room,” says Triveline. “You’re not going to push him around.
     
    “Putting on size looks cool, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a better athlete.”
     
    Triveline is the owner of Fitness Evolution Strength and Conditioning in Crown Point and trains Sues in the wrestling off-season.
     
    “We spend time working on him as an athlete,” says Triveline. “Being able to use strength in the joint angles that are conducive to wrestling and looking good with your shirt off are two different things.”
     
    Mental strength has also increased for Sues.
     
    “I can recall the specific moment where he changed,” says Triveline. “His first two years (of high school), he never stopped talking. He was always chirping and running his mouth.
    One day, I just snapped. I couldn’t handle it anymore.”
     
    There was a talk between the athlete and coach.
     
    “Ever since then, he has put his head on straight and does what we ask him,” says Triveline. 
     
    “Jake’s one of the favorite wrestlers I’ve ever coached. He comes from a good family. He’s a hard worker.”
     
    The son of Rob and Cindy Sues, Jake has an older brother Ryan and younger sister Sarah. Ryan is a 2020 LC graduate and Sarah is a current sophomore swimmer for the Indians.
     
    Though undecided about what college he will attend or if he’ll wrestle there, Sues does enjoy his current Graphic Arts course. The career center class meets the first half of each school day and is taught by Jereme Rainwater.
     
    “We do all the printing for the high school like magazines or posters,” says Sues. “It’s a lot of working with machines. I’m good with deadlines and I keep everybody on-task as much as I can.”
     
    Senior Michael DeGrado (220) has long been a regular workout partner for Sues.
     
    “He helps me with my front head locks and defense,” says Sues. “I have to make sure that every detail is perfect or it won’t work. He has the strength and he’s pretty technical, too.”
     
    With the Al Smith Classic and the calendar turning to January, Sues and all other IHSAA wrestlers now get a two-pound allowance.
     
    Weight control has not been an issue for him.
     
    “Coach Luke has a lot of catch phrases,” says Sues. “One is ‘You’ve got to fuel your Ferrari.’ I’m pretty good about watching what I eat for the most part. I like to pick healthier options (like sugar-free cookies). I definitely have a sweet tooth.”
     
    Heading into the IHSAA tournament series, Lake Central looks forward to a Duneland Athletic Conference dual Jan. 5 vs. LaPorte, the Lake County tournament Jan. 8 at Hanover Central, DAC dual Jan. 12 vs. Merrillville, DAC meet Jan. 15 at Merrillville and DAC dual Jan. 18 vs. Crown Point. Then comes the Crown Point Sectional Jan. 29, Crown Point Regional Feb. 5, East Chicago Semistate Feb. 12 and State Finals Feb. 18-19 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
     
    “We see a lot of good competition,” says Triveline. “That prepares yourself for the postseason. Season accolades are nice. We don’t train our kids to be Mishawaka champs although that would be nice.
     
    “We want kids fighting for state placement.”
     
    That includes “funky” Jake Sues.
     
  25. Like
    Y2CJ41 got a reaction from NORSEMEN Coach for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Leighton Jones wrestling with diabetes   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
     
    “This will only make the ride harder, but don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals.”
     
    Those words have been etched into the mind of Brownsburg junior Leighton Jones since his life took an unexpected twist at a doctor’s office around midnight his sixth-grade year.
     
    That night, as he was coming home from a spring break vacation, he just didn’t feel right. He had spent the whole day sleeping. He felt dehydrated. He went to the bathroom five times in an hour. He knew something was wrong.
     
    His dad, Marshall Jones, had a suspicion what might be going on. He checked his young son’s blood pressure and immediately called his doctor. The doctor met with Leighton at 11 p.m. that same night. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
     
    “I was scared to death,” Leighton said. “I hated needles. I didn’t know what was going to happen. That’s when mom told me that this will only make the ride harder, but don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals. That meant a lot. That has helped me move on and still reach for what I want to accomplish.”
     
    Those words came back to Jones after a devastating defeat in the state meet last year. He had been rolling in the tournament. He pinned his way through sectional, regional and semistate before losing in overtime, one win from the championship match in the state meet.
     
    “I was as down as you could be after that loss,” Jones said. “I went up the huge elevator and coach (Darrick) Snyder was waiting for me. He hugged me and I cried on his shoulders. I never wanted to feel like that again.”
     
    So, like his mom told him – when things get difficult  he can’t let that stop him. Jones went out and won the third-place match by an impressive margin, 14-1. And from there he decided he was going to do everything in his power to claim the state title this year for himself, and to help Brownsburg win the team title.
     
    “He’s a one-of-a-kind heavyweight wrestler,” Brownsburg assistant coach Eric Lynn said. “He moves like a little guy. He doesn’t move like a heavyweight. And he’s really motivated right now. From his freshman year until now he’s improved in all aspects of wrestling. He’s well rounded. He wants to learn. He asks questions and he’s always ready to do whatever we ask.”
     
    Jones is a good student, an outstanding football player and a top-tier wrestler. That combination has led him to be one of the most highly recruited athletes in the state. He has already made visits to most of the schools in the Big Ten conference. He is keeping his options open at this point as to where he wants to go and what sport he wants to compete in.
     
    “I joke around about how great it would be to be in Leighton’s shoes,” Snyder said. “He has so much interest from Division 1 football and wrestling schools. It would be cool to be sitting in his shoes with all that interest he’s getting. There aren’t many days that go by that some college coach isn’t wanting to watch him work out or wanting to talk about him.”
     
    Although Jones has had an excellent wrestling career so far, the diabetes has certainly made it a bit more of a challenge. He must constantly monitor his blood sugar levels. He gives himself insulin injections five to six times a day. His coaches help monitor him and his parents are alerted when his levels are off as well.
     
    “If you’re stressed or if you get anxiety, your levels raise,” Jones said. “You go through practice, and you start feeling nauseous and get dizzy. You have to eat a really clean diet. You eat a lot of protein. You have to stay between the numbers, and often times that’s not likely. You take medicine if you get too low and feel light-headed. The medicine has side effects, too.”
     
    This year Jones has learned to keep his diabetes in a more controllable state – which has helped him in practice and in matches.
     
    “He has had to fight through some really tough times with diabetes,” Lynn said. “He does really well with it now.”
     
    Brownsburg is an absolutely loaded team this year. The Bulldogs have 12 wrestlers ranked in the top 20 of the state, 11 in the top 10 and eight in the top five. Freshman Jake Hockaday, senior Logan Miller and Jones are ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes. Sophomore Brady Ison is ranked No. 2 at 132 with classmates Preston Haines ranked No. 3 at 113 and Gavin Garcia No. 4 at 138.
     
    “This is a fun year for Indiana wrestling,” Snyder said. “We have three teams ranked in the top 25 in the country – and then you throw in Center Grove, who should be ranked. Our goal is to win a dual state title and an IHSAA state title.”
     
    Jones has taken on a leadership role on the team and hopes his influence can be beneficial toward the lofty team goals.
     
    “Leighton is definitely one of my more special heavyweights I’ve ever coached,” Lynn said. “He’s a motivated kid. He is really driven this year and it’s helping everyone in the program.”
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