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    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2021 NCAA D1 Nationals Preview   
    By Drew Hughes
    This year there will be 13 Indiana guys competing in St. Louis across 8 different weight classes. This puts only 7 other states ahead of us for the number of qualifiers. Out of these 13 qualifiers only 1 of them is not from the Big Ten.
    Drew Hildebrandt will be competing in the 125-pound bracket for the Central Michigan Chippewas. This will be Drew’s 3rd NCAA tournament appearance and has earned the 4th seed. The Penn High School graduate also won his 2nd MAC title to qualify for the tournament and is undefeated on the season.
    Nick Lee will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Penn State and will be in the hunt to win a national title. Lee comes into the tournament as the 2nd seed just like he was last year for the cancelled championships. The Evansville Mater Dei graduate is 8-1 on the season with his 1 loss coming in the Big Ten finals to the 1st seed Eierman.
    Chad Red will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Nebraska where he will be looking to All-American like he has at every NCAA tournament he’s wrestled in. Red comes into the tournament as the 8th seed with his only losses this year coming from the 1st and 3rd seeds of the tournament. As most people have seen, the New Palestine grad has always showed up for the big show.
    Cayden Rooks will be competing in the 141-pound bracket for Indiana where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. Rooks earned an at-large bid to qualify for the tournament and will be the 32nd seed. Cayden is a Columbus East High School graduate where he won 2 state titles.
    Graham Rooks will be competing in the 149-pound bracket for Indiana, and this was his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. After a 6th place finish at the Big Ten tournament, Rooks earned himself the 21st seed. Graham is also a Columbus East grad and is the older brother of previously mentions Cayden Rooks. 
    Brayton Lee will be competing in the 157-pound bracket for Minnesota, and this was his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. After being seeded 7th for last year cancelled tournament Lee will be 1 spot higher at the 6th seed this year. The Brownsburg native is coming off of an impressive 3rd place Big Ten finish.
    Jake Tucker will be competing in the 165-pound bracket for Michigan State, and it is a little controversial to claim him for Indiana. Tucker went to Mount Carmel High School in Illinois BUT has lived in Lowell Indiana his entire life. Since he has an Indiana driver’s license, I think it’s only fair we get to claim the now 2-time NCAA qualifier. Tucker earned the 25th seed after finish 6th place at the Big Ten tournament.
    Joe Lee will be competing in the 165-pound bracket for Penn State where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. The Evansville Mater Dei grad will be the 23rd seed of the tournament after placing 8th at Big Tens. While Joe didn’t get a top 8 seed like his brother Nick, he does still have 1 more state title then his older brother.
    Donnell Washington will be competing in the 174-pound bracket for Indiana where he will be wrestling in his first NCAA tournament. The Portage grad has really proved himself this year and will be the 9th seed. Washington is coming off a 6th place Big Ten finish and holds a win over the 3rd seed.
    Drew Hughes (also the person writing this article) will be competing in the 174-pound bracket and is the 32 seed. This will be his 4th NCAA tournament and holds one of the worst records in the entire tournament at 3-7 on the year. All that we can know for sure is that the Lowell High School grad is going to choose top and probably get hit for a few stalling calls.
    Lucas Davison will be competing in the 197-pound bracket for Northwestern, and this will be his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Davison is coming into the tournament as the 12th seed after placing 5th at Big Tens. The Chesterton native will be looking to become an All-American just like his dad was back in the day.
    Thomas Penola will be competing in the 197-pound bracket for Purdue, and this will be his 2nd time qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Penola qualified for last years cancelled tournament at 285-pounds. This year he’s down a weight and earned himself the 19th seed of the tournament. The Zionsville High School graduate finished 7th at the Big Ten tournament.
    Mason Parris will be competing in the 285-pound bracket for the Michigan wolverines, and this will be his 3rd NCAA tournament. Parris will be the 2nd seed of the tournament for the 2nd year in a row. The Lawrenceburg native has placed 2nd at the big ten tournament the last 2 season and will be looking for a rematch of the Big Ten finals in the NCAA finals. 
  2. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2021 NCAA D2 Preview   
    By Drew Hughes
    The NCAA D2 national tournament has always been a tough tournament to qualify for but this year it was even harder. Due to Covid, the NCAA decided to reduce the number of participants by 27% meaning that while in a normal year there would be 180 qualifiers, this year there are only 132. To put that into perspective, the D1 tournament will still have 330 competitors this year giving them almost 200 more spots then the D2 tournament. Even with this reduced field there will be 4 Indiana natives competing in St. Louis this weekend.
    Christian Mejia of McKendree University will be competing in the 125-pound bracket. Mejia comes into the tournament with an 8-1 record and will face 8 seed Cole Jones of MSU Moorhead in the first round. In High School Christian wrestled for Elkhart Memorial where he was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.
    Logan Bailey of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 149-pound bracket. The true freshman holds a record of 11-2 and will face 8 seed Jacob Ealy of Pitt-Johnstown in the first round. Bailey wrestled for Indianapolis Cathedral in High School where he was a 2-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up. In addition, Bailey was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2019.
    Dawson Combest of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 157-pound bracket. Combest comes into the tournament with a 10-2 record as well as being the 2 seed of the tournament. Combest has a bye first round but will face Caden Moore of Northern St. in the quarterfinals. Combest qualified for the cancelled 2020 tournament last year and was named an NWCA All-American as the 7th seed that year. In High School, Dawson wrestled for Columbus East where he was a 3-time state placer. Like Bailey, Combest was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2016.
    Gleason Mappes of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 184-pound bracket. Mappes comes to the tournament with a 6-6 record and will face the 4 seed Dan Fillipek of McKendree first round. Mappes also qualified for the cancelled 2020 national tournament. In High School Mappes wrestled for Center Grove and was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.
    The tournament will be on March 12-13 and the brackets can be found on track wrestling. Also, for those that are interested, all of the matched will be streamed live on the NCAA website.
    Click here for brackets
  3. Thanks
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2021 State Finals by the Numbers   
    We are closing in on another state finals in what has been an extraordinary year all around. However, with all the uncertainly around us, there is one thing that remains the same. That is the IndianaMat rankings are always top notch. This year Mike Reiser has upped the ante by getting 186 out of 224 qualifiers in the last set of rankings. Just a quick reminder that we lock the rankings before the first whistle at sectional and let them ride. We saw top wrestlers missing weight or getting hit with COVID quarantines, yet the rankings still held serve. There is only one match in the whole first round that puts two wrestlers that were not in the rankings against each other. Mike is still working on a perfect bracket of all ranked wrestlers making the state finals. This year 106, 132, and 170 all had 15 of 16 qualifiers in the rankings.
    As always we have created brackets with our rankings on them for you to download and use for all your pick’em purposes. This year we have two sets, one with just state rankings and one with both semi-state and state rankings. I would hold off printing any of these out as your official copies as there may be a couple more surprises added to the brackets this week.
    IndianaMat with semi-state and state rankings
    IndianaMat with state rankings ONLY
    Season by season ranked wrestlers advancing to state
    *Note Mike Reiser took over the rankings in 2012
    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
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Vicente Eckman- Goshen
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #7 Ashton Jackson(LaPorte) vs. #9 Liam Krueger(Columbus East)
    #5 Nathan Smith(Southport) vs. #25 Cody Rowles(Jay County)
    #4 Evan Seng(Evansville Mater Dei) vs. #20 Dylan Bennett(Penn)
    #2 Evan Dickey(Cathedral) vs. #16 Keegan Malott(East Noble)
    #1 Jeffrey Bailey(River Forest) vs. #19 Donnie Feeler(Crawford County)
    #8 Tanner Tishner(Western) vs. #10 Zac Dray(Warren Central)
    #13 Blake Zirkelbach(North Posey) vs. #22 Evan Cruz(Crown Point)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Drake Fritz- West Central
    Beau Brabender- Northridge
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #4 Kyrel Leavell(Warren Central) vs. #7 Reese Courtney(Center Grove)
    #15 Jared Brooks(Wabash) vs. #21 Bryce Denton(Penn)
    #1 Alex Cottey(Perry Meridian) vs. #16 Reed Egli(Evansville Mater Dei)
    #5 Hayden Brady(Garrett) vs. #9 Anthony Bahl(Crown Point)
    #14 Isaac Ward(Carmel) vs. #20 Joey Buttler(Whiteland)
    #6 Coy Hammack(Tell City) vs. #13 Dylan Driver(Westfield)

    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Nathaniel Hennessey- Seeger
    Tristian Vaughn- Harrison (WL)
    Travis Haug- Forest Park
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Logan Frazier(Crown Point) vs. #8 Carleton Perry(Warren Central)
    #3 Lane Gilbert(Sullivan) vs. #14 Justin Puckett(Northridge)
    #9 Tony Wood(Jay County) vs. #15 Braden Haines(Brownsburg)
    #1 Sergio Lemley(Chesterton) vs. #13 Keaton Morton(Perry Meridian)
    #4 Cole Ross(Evansville Mater Dei) vs. #21 Austin Lewis(Bluffton)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Brenden Dilley- Wawasee
    Devin Wible- Hobart
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Brady Ison(Brownsburg) vs. #7 Elijah Anthony(Frankfort)
    #1 Zeke Seltzer(Cathedral) vs. #17 Michael Tharpe(Center Grove)
    #8 Matteo Vargo(Penn) vs. #11 Logan Uhlman(Adams Central)
    #5 Sam Goin(Crown Point) vs. #23 Harper Dedman(Oak Hill)
    #4 Bryce Lowery(Roncalli) vs. #13 Jacob Bechert(Franklin Community)
    #3 Cheaney Schoeff(Avon) vs. #14 Blake Wolf(East Central).
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Dominic Litchfield- Bellmont
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #3 Aidan Torres(Chesterton) vs. #15 Devin Frazier(Centerville)
    #9 David Pierson(Warren Central) vs. #24 Lakin Webb(Rensselaer Central)
    #8 Ben Dalton(Monrovia) vs. #11 Dylan Stroud(Manchester)
    #2 Ian Heath(Leo) vs. #17 Cade Meier(Bloomington South)
    #10 Cole Solomey(Kankakee Valley) vs. #16 Anthony Hughes(Lawrence North)
    #4 Kysen Montgomery(Brownsburg) vs. #22 Cameron Clark(Jay County)
    #7 Stephen Roberson(Crown Point) vs. #12 Brac Hooper(Carmel)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jarrett Forrester- Columbia City
    Kyle Carter- Rensselaer Central
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Delaney Ruhlman(Bloomington South) vs. #9 Bradley Conrad(Portage)
    #15 Brody Arthur(Oak Hill) vs. #19 Jared Brown(Pendleton Heights)
    #4 Gavinn Alstott(Floyd Central) vs. #5 Jace Alexander(Wawasee)
    #1 Jesse Mendez(Crown Point) vs. #18 Gavin Garcia(Brownsburg)
    #10 Hudson Harreld(Zionsville) vs. #21 Logan Hooley(Northridge)
    #14 Seth Lawson(Frankton) vs. #25 Julius Gerencser(Daleville) 
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Cameron Powell- Mishawaka
    Braden Nuest- West Central
    James Smith- Penn
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Jaden Reynolds(Avon) vs. #11 Max Naselroad(Alexandria Monroe)
    #2 Logan Wagner(Zionsville) vs. #24 Connor Gilles(Jeffersonville)
    #10 Ethan Kaiser(Chesterton) vs. #23 Sam Levitz(Prairie Heights)
    #6 Hunter May(Floyd Central) vs. #25 Brady McKivitz(Perry Meridian)
    #3 Hayden Watson(Center Grove) vs. #13 Eli Otto(South Dearborn)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Avery Wills- Eastern Hancock
    Chase Leech- Garrett
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #11 Aidan Hardcastle(Oak Hill) vs. #21 Aiden Farmer(Evansville Memorial)
    #2 Matthew Koontz(Perry Meridian) vs. #18 Aidan Pollitt(Valparaiso)
    #3 Javen Estrada(Crown Point) vs. #20 Ben Wolf(East Central)
    #7 Tyler Conley(Avon) vs. #8 Alex Currie(Adams Central)
    #1 Jajuan Anderson(Warren Central) vs. #23 Isaiah Ponce(Lake Central)
    #9 Evan Ulrick(Carroll (Fort Wayne)) vs. #10 Ben Phillips(Charlestown)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jakob Sheets- Perry Meridian
    Logan Farnell- Maconaquah
    Bradey Pittman- Plymouth
    Bray Emerine- Floyd Central
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #2 Brody Baumann(Evansville Mater Dei) vs. #16 Eli Hilger(Bishop Dwenger)
    #3 Andrew Wilson(Cathedral) vs. #8 Aaron Steenbeke(Penn)
    #1 Robert Major(Carmel) vs. #23 Jamaal Salary(LaPorte)
    #11 Landon Boe(Plainfield) vs. #14 Eli Johnson(Norwell) 
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 15
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jacob Graden- East Noble
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #13 Jajuan Dale(Perry Meridian) vs. #16 Jacob Kreager(Snider)
    #11 Codei Khawaja(Floyd Central) vs. #18 Aiden Sneed(Kankakee Valley)
    #1 Bryer Hall(East Central) vs. #19 Duke Myers(Bellmont)
    #5 John Purdy(Castle) vs. #8 Jacob Simpson(Hobart)
    #6 Sam Morrill(Columbus East) vs. #23 Spencer Phillips(McCutcheon)
    #4 Brodie Porter(Eastern (Greentown)) vs. #12 Shane Bates(Zionsville)
    #2 Pate Eastin(Penn) vs. #3 Tyler Fuqua(Franklin Community)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 9
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jett Thompson- Oak Hill
    Jake Sues- Lake Central
    Brandon Estepp- Warsaw
    Je'kwan Williams- Marion
    Johnny Weisheit- Franklin Central
    Hunter Page- Monroe Central
    Reid Schroeder- Southridge
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Drake Buchanan(Center Grove) vs. #16 Sam Peeples(Roncalli)
    #9 Dominic Pugliese(Tri-West Hendricks) vs. #10 Riley Woodall(Southmont)
    First round match-ups of unranked wrestlers:
    Jake Sues(Lake Central) vs. Jett Thompson(Oak Hill)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Ryan Bovard- East Central
    Chad Washburn- Kokomo
    Bazle Owens- Tippecanoe Valley
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #9 Ke'Shawn Dickens(Avon) vs. #12 Blake Heyerly(Adams Central)
    #8 Matt Lepper(Carroll (Fort Wayne)) vs. #15 Wyatt Willman(North Posey)
    #6 Harris Eason(Franklin Community) vs. #16 Ibrahim Khaoucha(Northridge)
    #4 Johnny Parker(Cathedral) vs. #10 Gage DeMarco(Chesterton)
    #3 Connor Barket(West Lafayette) vs. #11 Max Broom(Hamilton Southeastern)
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Peyton Kendall- Penn
    RJ Dilbone- Fremont
    Coy Brames- Angola
    Nolan Skaggs- Franklin Community
    Ian Clifford- Columbia City
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #7 Jack Taylor(New Castle) vs. #17 Julante Hinton(Northrop)
    #3 Jason Streck(Merrillville) vs. #14 Kelton Farmer(Evansville Memorial)
    #5 Josh Howell(Terre Haute South) vs. #12 Jacob Raub(Lafayette Jefferson) 
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Jacob Sommer- Elkhart
    Brock Donati- Penn
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #8 Mariere Omonode(West Lafayette) vs. #22 Makhi Watts(North Central)
    #7 Matthew Munoz(Jeffersonville) vs. #9 Brandon Villafuerte(Angola)
    #1 Braydon Erb(Western) vs. #5 Jacob Johnson(Franklin Community)
    #4 Antone Alexander(Franklin Central) vs. #6 Hunter Whitenack(New Prairie)
    #2 Reeve Muncie(Carroll (Fort Wayne)) vs. #17 Amara Kaba(Pike)
    #13 Edgar Decker(Gavit) vs. #18 Mihail Platonov(Westfield)
  4. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Eldred ready for last run at state   
    A little brotherly love has fueled Westfield’s Carson Eldred to wrestling greatness.
    Eldred set a goal his freshman year to beat his older brother Evan’s school record for pins and career wins.
    “I asked Carson his freshman year what his career goals were going to be,” Westfield coach Phil Smith said. “We knew he was going to be pretty special. He said he wanted to beat his brother, Evan’s career pin record and wins record.”
    Carson broke the pins record at his school during the Mooresville tournament this season. He’s five wins away from the career wins record.
    “I told him after the tournament that he broke the record,” Smith said. He was like ‘uh, that’s cool.’ “
    His reaction points to the type of person, and wrestler Eldred is. He doesn’t get emotional during the highs, or the lows.
    “He can keep a stone face no matter what,” Smith said. “You don’t know what he’s going to do out on the mat. Every time he wrestles, he wants to prove something. He always wants bonus points and falls. He doesn’t get too up or too down.”
    Eldred seeks perfection in everything he does. His grade point average is 4.15. He hasn’t missed a day of school in four years. He has never missed a wrestling practice.
    “He’s honestly the best wrestler I’ve coached,” Smith said. “He’s the most gifted wrestler I’ve had, without a doubt. He absolutely hates to lose. In everything we do he hates losing. It doesn’t matter if it’s sprints, drills, wrestling the coaches or anything else. He will do whatever it takes to win at any cost.”
    Currently Eldred is ranked No. 4 at 120 pounds. He is a sectional and regional champion and will take on Southport’s Khua Thang in the first round of the New Castle semistate on Saturday. He is 36-1 on the season with his lone loss coming at the hands of Cathedral’s No. 1-ranked Zeke Seltzer.
    Part of the reason behind Eldred’s success is his early training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His father owns a Jiu Jitsu training facility and he learned from a young age some of the keys of the sport.
    “Jiu-Jitsu helps with my movement in wrestling,” Carson said. “I haven’t done it much in a while, but when I was younger, I trained a lot with my family. It really helps you when you’re in uncomfortable positions. You don’t panic and you can find a way out of them.”
    Carson is most comfortable in scrambles. His unorthodox style makes him dangerous in any position.
    “He can ride anyone on top,” Smith said. “He scores a lot of his points from the top position. He’s a talented mat wrestler. He finds points from the bottom position as well and has some crazy reversals. He’s really refined his craft to be a great wrestler from any position.”
    After the high school season is over Eldred will likely not wrestle competitively again. He will attend Purdue University where he is a direct admit to the engineering program.
    “It’s going to be a little tough,” he said. “I’ve been wrestling since I was in kindergarten. It’s been a big part of my life. It will be a hard adjustment not interacting with teammates or getting a chance to wrestle in front of fans again and have people cheering for you. It will be different. But I’m excited to focus on my schooling as well.”
    For now though, the focus is on getting to that state championship match.
    “I’m just following in my brothers’ footsteps,” Eldred said. “They both (Dillon and Evan) made it to state. I want to outdo them.”
  5. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Indiana Wrestling Season Preview: 165-285   
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana wrestling team begins the season this week with the Michigan State Open on Nov. 2. The Hoosiers will host their first dual on Nov. 22 against North Dakota State.
    IU head coach Angel Escobedo said he has been pleased with the dynamic between the freshmen and upperclassmen.  
    "The one thing we have been trying to gain in the program is for it to be a lot more competitive to make the team," Escobedo said. "Our freshmen are pushing our upperclassmen and knocking on the door of beating them, which is good. It is going to elevate everyone and that is what we are looking for this season."
    165 POUNDS
    165 will likely be Davey Tunon or Dillon Hoey. Both have experience in the lineup. The Hoosiers will look for one of these guys to step up and be the guy at this spot. Tunon tallied a record of 10-5 last season and Hoey went 4-11 on the season. The Hoosiers will be looking to fill the void left by national qualifier Bryce Martin, who graduated.
    174 POUNDS
    Jacob Covaciu is the expected starter at 174. He is the leader of the team and the only returning NCAA qualifier from last season. Coach Escobedo said he is hungry and working the hardest he has ever seen him work. He wants to be an All-American and a National Champion and he is training for that. Covaciu posted a record of 17-14 last season and won five bouts in dual matches. Covaciu helped the Hoosiers beat No. 12 North Carolina at the South Beach Duals last season with an 18-5 major decision. Covaciu won the Edinboro Open last season and finished second at the Cleveland State Open. Covaciu has been ranked 30 by TrackWrestling in their preseason rankings. 
    184 POUNDS
    Jake Hinz will be moving up from 174. He was in the lineup a couple matches last year. He has made a big jump over the summer and it will be exciting to see what he can do. He has the potential to be an NCAA qualifier. Hinz finished in second at the Greyhound Open last season.
    197 POUNDS
    Jake Kleimola or Spencer Irick will be the expected starters at 197. Kleimola finished in eighth-place at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. Kleimola and Irick are going into their last year of competing and both will be looking to make nationals for the first time in their careers.
    285 POUNDS
    Rudy Streck will start the season at heavyweight. Streck was the starters for the first half of last season. He is experienced and has one year under his belt. The Hoosiers will look for him to build on that experience from last year.
  6. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Indiana Wrestling Season Preview: 125-157   
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana wrestling team begins the season this week with the Michigan State Open on Nov. 2. The Hoosiers will host their first dual on Nov. 22 against North Dakota State.
    IU head coach Angel Escobedo said he has been pleased with the energy at the start of the season.
    "We have a new focus," he said. "When you get a lot of new guys they are hungry. They want to change the program and elevate it and elevate themselves. That has been the theme of the room, how great can I be and that has been great to see. They are putting in extra work because they want to be great. We have fresh bodies and fresh mind and they are motivated."
    125 POUNDS
    125 will be very competitive between returner Liam Cronin and transfer Brock Hudkins. Cronin finished with a 17-13 overall record and was in and out of the lineup with Elijah Oliver. Cronin finished fourth at the Hokie Open and second at the Cleveland State Open. This past summer he was one spot away from making the U23 World Team in Greco Roman. Hudkins is a transfer from Northern Illinois and a two-time national qualifier. Hudkins was ranked No. 26 by TrackWrestling. Both guys are motivated and hungry, are putting in extra work and they understand someone is right behind them. They are trying to outwork each other and it is creating a good dynamic with good competition.
    133 POUNDS
    133 is a little up in the air. Kyle Luigs will be coming down from 141. Luigs went 19-16 last season with a highlight win by fall at Iowa against No. 12 Max Murin. Luigs wrestled for the Hoosiers at the Big Ten Championships. Cayden Rooks will be redshirting at 133. Jonathan Moran will also be in the mix. Moran redshirted last season.
    141 POUNDS
    Paul Konrath will be moving up from 133. He cut a lot of weight last year and this is more of his natural weight. Konrath posted a record of 20-11 last season with a 5-5 dual match record. At the South Beach duals Konrath beat No. 4 Tariq Wilson of NC State. The Hoosiers are looking for Konrath to have a great season. Konrath was ranked No. 27 by TrackWrestling.
    149 POUNDS
    Graham Rooks will be the starter at 149. Rooks was the best freshman last year, as he posted a record of 15-7. Rooks won the Cleveland State Open at 149 last season. He beat multiple guys that qualified for NCAAs on the season last year.
    157 POUNDS
    Fernie Silva will be going up from 149. Joey Sanchez will also be in the mix after coming off a redshirt. The plan is to use the first few tournaments to determine a starter. Also Diego Lemley will compete for a spot at 157.  Sanchez finished in third place at the Greyhound Open. Silva lost a tight 8-7 decision against No. 1 Anthony Ashnault.
    Tomorrow look for 165-Heavyweight in our season preview part two.
  7. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2019 Super 32 Preview   
    Over 40 of the best wrestlers from Indiana are heading to North Carolina to take on the Super 32 Challenge this weekend. If you have been living under a rock, this is the toughest high school tournament in the country and some brackets that feature over 150 wrestlers. You will see future NCAA All-Americans not place here and even potentially see some future NCAA Finals matches. Indiana’s representatives feature 35 guys that have qualified for state including five state champions.
    History Lesson
    Indiana has only had four grapplers take home a belt: Ethan Raley in 2010, Jared Brooks in 2011, Chad Red in 2014, and Blake Rypel in 2015. The first placer was in 2008 when Camden Eppert took 3rd. No Indiana native has placed three times in the high school division, but six wrestlers have placed twice(Blake Rypel, Chad Red, Jason Tsirtsis, Brayton Lee, Joe Lee, and Drew Hughes). Since 2015 Indiana has placed five wrestlers each year at the Super 32 with many others being a round or two from placing.
    Click here for a listing of all the past Super 32 placers.
    The Contenders
    This tournament is deep, REALLY deep and placing here is a huge accomplishment. Some of the weights feature as many as 15 of the top 20 ranked kids so placing top 8 is an extreme accomplishment.
    The top contender to bring back a belt is #2 ranked Jesse Mendez. He is fresh off an impressive performance at Who’s #1 and the favorite for a title. Potential match with his first opponent from Who’s #1, Ryan Jack, is off as he has pulled out. Jesse will still be challenged by the 13 others that are nationally ranked in this weight class.
    State champ and the only returning Super 32 placer, Brayden Littell is going to look to finish higher than 8th this year. He has shown he can bang with the best and is not flying under the radar this year like he was last year. He’ll likely be seeded which should make his path a little easier to finish higher on the podium
    Zeke Seltzer is rolling along this spring, summer, and fall with impressive performances throughout the off-season. He was runner-up at Fargo and then won a loaded weight class at this year’s IHPO. He is in the mix to make a deep run this year. The 120lbs weight class is one of the deepest there is, but he is battle tested and ready to do some damage in Greensboro.
    Matt Lee is another one to watch from Indiana. While he will be forgoing the high school season he will be taking one more shot at placing at the Super 32. He has the tools to bring back a belt and could make his last high school event memorable with a title.
    Under the Radar
    Folks in Indiana know these names, but the following guys are ones I have a sneaky feeling will make deep runs and potentially place in this event. Every year Indiana has a few guys surprise everyone with great performances. Look no further than Nick South’s run to the finals last year or Brayden LIttell finishing 8th in a loaded weight.
    Elliott Rodgers is someone we all know and know he’s as tough as they come, but nationally he isn’t as well known. Rodgers’ ability to ride is huge in an event with shortened periods on the first day and in the consolations. He also has a knack to find a way to win. Don’t be surprised to see him finishing high here.
    Colton Drousias is an Indiana guy that wrestles in Illinois during the high school season. He has had national success placing at Fargo in 2018. He was a state champion in Illinois last year, so he has the tools to make the podium in Greensboro.
    Evan Bates has a very good shot at bringing back some hardware. He burst onto the scene at Fargo placing in both styles after a 3rd place finish at state last year. He’s known now and should make a deep run at 195lbs. The upper weights are as loaded as ever, but usually do not field as deep of a field as the lower and middle weights.
    Graham Calhoun has wrestled every where and always shown he is a contender at any tournament he enters. He has been in and out of the national rankings and beaten a lot of the best guys in the country. This could be his year to bring back a medal.
    Five state runner-ups from this year all should have deep runs here. Alex Cottey, Alec Viduya, Blake Boarman, Ray Rioux, and Cooper Noehre are all solid grapplers that could make a surprise appearance on the podium. Cottey and Boarman have both had some national success and could surprise some people here. Rioux is an extremely dangerous wrestler that cannot be overlooked by the top guys. Viduya has been in the mix nationally and always wins matches at the big events. Noehre had a breakout season last year and is one that has the tools to place here.
    Others to watch
    There are many others than I’m gonna keep my eye on that may just find their way to day two and the podium after the dust has settled.
    Alec Freeman and Eli Dickens from Mater Dei are both solid wrestlers that have shown they can compete with the best. Logan Bailey has had a fantastic off-season and his ability to ride and turn could pose a hazard for his opponents. Mason Winner had a good GFC this past weekend and like others he is good on the mat which can make a huge difference here. Brock Ellis has had national success and going to be down at 145lbs.
    Some incoming freshmen to watch are Sam Goin of Crown Point, Christian Carroll of Penn, and Sergio Lemley who will go to Mount Carmel. They will have tough roads to hoe, but should be on the podium in Greensboro during their careers.
    Where to Watch
    You can watch the action starting on Saturday on FloWrestling.org. Brackets will be on Arena.FloWrestling.org. You can also check out @IndianaMat on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
    Indiana also has many wrestlers in the elementary and middle school divisions that hit the mat on Sunday. You can find all the entries and other tournament information at Super32.com.
    Indiana Entries
    Weight Name School 106 Sam Goin Crown Point, IN 113 Alexzander Cottey Perry Meridian H.S. 113 Cole Ross Evansville Mater Dei 113 Sergio Lemley Mount Carmel 120 Braden Haines Brownsburg high school 120 Christian White New Palestine High School 120 Colton Drousias Chicago - Mount Carmel 120 David Pierson Warren Central High School 120 Giovanni Diaz Wheeler high school 120 Landon Bertsch Bluffton 120 Riley Bettich Crown Point High School 120 Zeke Seltzer Indianapolis Cathedral 126 Alecsander Freeman Mater Dei High School 126 Brayden Littell Center grove 126 Hayden Watson Center Grove High School 126 Kysen Montgomery Brownsburg 126 Stephen Roberson Jr Crown Point 132 Blake Boarman Evansville Mater Dei 132 Jesse Mendez Crown Point 132 Raymond Rioux Avon High School 138 Anthony Poindexter Jr. Harrison High School 138 Aundre' Beatty Warren Central High School 138 Drake Campbell Brownsburg 138 Logan Bailey Cathedral High School 145 Alec Viduya Roncalli 145 Brady Mckivitz Perry Meridian High School 145 Brock Ellis Chesterton High School 145 Jaden Reynolds Avon High School 145 Kailan Keith Ben Davis 152 Brice Coleman Warren Central High School 152 Matthew Lee Lee Homeschool 152 Nick Buchanan Coldwater 152 Tristen Hood Harrison (WL) 160 Christian Carroll Penn High School 160 Cooper Noehre Greenfield Central  160 Eli Dickens Mater Dei 160 Elliott Rodgers Indianapolis Cathedral 160 Isiah Levitz Prairie Heights 170 Graham Calhoun Plymouth 182 Joseph Walker Mishawaka High School 182 Mason Winner Jay County High School 195 Evan Bates Chesterton High School 195 Robert Bowman Mount carmel high schol  
  8. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Hoosiers Add Two-Time NCAA Qualifier Brock Hudkins   
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana wrestling program and IU head coach Angel Escobedo have announced the addition of Brock Hudkins.  
    Hudkins, a native of Danville, Ind., started his collegiate career at Northern Illinois where he twice qualified for the NCAA Championships at 125 lb.
    At Danville Community High School, Hudkins posted a perfect 83-0 record as a junior and a senior. Hudkins was a four-time state qualifier and two-time State Champion.
    "We are excited to bring Brock Hudkins back to Indiana," IU head coach Angel Escobedo said. "A two-time NCAA qualifier, Brock will add national level experience to our team."
    Brock Hudkins
    Danville, Ind. | Danville Community High School
    Weight Class: 125
    Intended major at IU: Pre-Physical Therpay
    2X NCAA Qualifier
    4X State Qualifier in High School
    3X State Placer
    2X State Champion
    Won Sagamore Conference, Hendricks County, Sectional, Regional and Semi-States titles all four years.
    Team captain from 2013-16, MVP three years in a row
    "I think what Angel is doing at Indiana is special," Hudkins said. "I believe in what he is trying to accomplish and I think he's the guy to do it. He can get me to the next level I'm looking for. Angel has been to the highest level and knows what it takes. A big thing that stands out is the culture change he is trying to make. Not many people realize what he had to do as far as isolating himself from the culture he was surrounded by, to accomplish his dreams and how much time and effort he had to put in by himself. I can relate to that on many levels and believe he's making this place better for all the guys who are tired of dreaming and ready to be something greater than their thoughts.
     "I really connected with the coaching staff and believe it's the best fit for me," Hudkins added. "When I think about IU I see myself not only accomplishing my degree and graduating, I see myself not pursuing my dream of a national champion, but accomplishing it. I believe with this team, these coaches, the academic staff I will have, I will be put in a situation where I'll have no other choice but to win and be successful in all aspects of life."
  9. Like
    Jayruss reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Bellemy looking to make an impact in the Hoosier State   
    LeVon Bellemy isn’t running – he’s surviving.
    He’s surviving a life growing up in one of the most dangerous parts of the country, Davenport, Iowa – part of the notorious Quad City area. He’s surviving a life where his family either ends up in prison or shot – and sometimes both. He’s surviving, because that’s what he does.
    He’s not running, he’s fighting. He’s fighting to show a person can overcome circumstance. He’s fighting to show there is hope. Sometimes the greatest warriors are the ones that can travel the more difficult road and escape their demons. That’s what Bellemy is doing – and that’s how he ended up in Ellettsville, population 6,677.
    When asked what he is trying to overcome, Bellemy says simply “everything.”
    Bellemy’s story is a unique one. His athletic ability has saved him time and time again back in Davenport, as has the guidance of family, particularly his uncle Clyde Mayfield. Uncle Clyde gave LeVona job in his health food store – and he made sure LeVon knew the value of hard work and discipline. Under Clyde’s direction, Bellemy excelled in school and athletics.
    In Davenport, with a crime rate 116 percent higher than the national average, hard work and discipline wasn’t quite enough. When LeVon's brother was shot in May, something had to change. That’s when his cousin, Pauli Escebedo stepped in and offered Bellemy an escape. LeVon moved to Ellettsville to live with Pauli and her husband, Indiana wrestling coach Angel Escebedo.
    “They have been great to me,” Bellemy said. “Angel is a good guy who is trying to better me. He lets me know what I’m doing wrong and right.”
    When Bellemy moved to Indiana, sports were an afterthought.
    “I was focused on getting out of there and finding something better,” he said. “Things got hectic at home, and very bad for me there. I wasn’t worried about football or wrestling. I was worried about getting out.”
    Bellemy has made an immediate impact on Edgewood High School. As a star running back he rushed for over 1,700 yards and scored 27 touchdowns this season. Edgewood improved from 3-7 last year and 1-9 the year before that to finish with a record of 8-4 in 2018.    
    “I can’t think of a more opposite place for LeVon to land,” Edgewood wrestling coach Greg Ratliff said. “He’s going from Davenport to Ellettsville. It is a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. The second LeVon got here the rumors started swirling about who he was. Everyone wanted to meet the new guy.
    “Both the wrestling and the football team got to know him quickly and made him feel at home. We let him know that here, he is family. He has fit in extremely quickly.”
    Football is Bellemy’s first love. He’s getting Division I college looks and plans to play at the next level. But, Bellemy is also a gifted wrestler.
    Bellemy wrestled as a freshman in Iowa, but then decided to try his hand at basketball as a sophomore.
    “I hated basketball,” he said. “I knew I had to go back to wrestling. Wrestling is football without the ball. It helps you so much with football, as far as mentally and physically. Mentally you are the toughest kid on the block if you wrestle. Wrestling gets your mind right. It teaches you not to give up. Physically, with the double leg and the driving through people, it helps you tackle and run over people.”
    Bellemy returned to the mat for his junior season. He ended up placing seventh in Iowa’s biggest class in the state tournament.
    “My goal in Indiana is to win state,” Bellemy said. “That’s my only goal in wrestling. I’ve been doing my research. I’ve been studying the competition.”
    Ratliff can see that happening.
    “He is a pure dynamite athlete, honestly,” Ratliff said. “I got to see a little bit of him wrestling this summer. Sometimes I was thinking, man, this kid is wrestling against LeVon well, but then I would look at the scoreboard and see LeVon would be up 10 points or more. He’s explosive. I’m yelling for him to just get an escape before a period ends, and before you know it he’s getting a reversal and nearfall points.”
    Daily life in Ellettsville is a lot different than what Bellemy was used to in Davenport.
    “The thing to do here is to sit in the IGA grocery store parking lot and talk,” he said. “That’s really the main thing we do. We sit in that parking lot for hours and talk. In the summer we will go swimming, but other than that – that’s all we do.
    “Ellettsville is a small town. There is a big difference with the people and how they act. It’s a whole new atmosphere. There are no negatives around here.”
    But, for as much as LeVon needed Edgewood, Edgewood has needed LeVon.
    “He gets along with everyone here,” Ratliff said. “He can talk to anyone. He talks to the athletes, the band students and those not involved with anything. He is a positive influence on everyone he comes in contact with. He’s a hard worker and others see that. They see how he can overcome anything and be a success. That motivates everyone.”
    LeVon didn’t run away from Davenport because he feared the fight. In fact, his family talked him into leaving because they knew that’s exactly what he would want to do – fight for his family. His family told him that to win the fight, he had to get away.
    “I feel like I have to succeed,” Bellemy said. “I know the situation my family at home is still in. My only way out is through school and sports. It drives me every single day. I have nothing to do but find the best way to provide for my family and fight for them.”
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