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RAJR

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  1. Like
    RAJR reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Tallinn is beautiful in August   
    More people from Indiana have Googled Estonia over the past few days than ever before and with good reason. After this weekend Indiana will have four representatives at the Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. For those of you that want a little geography lesson, Tallinn is the largest city and capital of Estonia. Estonia is a country that has about 1.3 million people and is about half the size of Indiana. It is a very historical city and sits on the Baltic Sea.  Wikipedia has a lot of great information Tallinn and Estonia, just click here for that info.
    Now onto the wrestling part, which is why you’re here. Last week Alara Boyd was dominant in her quest to make her first Junior World Team at Women’s Nationals in Texas. After medaling twice as a cadet she is looking for her third world medal in as many tries this year.
    The men duked it out this weekend in Raleigh this past weekend looking to join Boyd in Tallinn. Lucas Davison had an immense advantage sitting out until the second day already in the best of three finals. Brayton Lee was the top seed in the challenge tournament in an extremely deep weight class. Lastly, Mason Parris decided a couple weeks ago to start training for the event and with his Fargo placement last year was given the three seed. The tournament brackets were small due to a limited number of qualifiers. Most brackets were 8 man or less with a couple that had around 10 competitors.
    Parris’ path to Estonia was quite unique to say the least. Not only was entering the trials a late decision, the top two wrestlers from the Junior Open did not come to the trials. That left the weight wide open as Anthony Cassioppi was considered a big favorite to win the weight.
    Parris had one match on Saturday where he defeated Virginia Tech’s John Borst 7-4. That put him in the best of three finals against Wiconsin’s Trent Hillger with whom he defeated during the NCAA season. In the first match of the best of three series Hillger topped Parris 7-6 after a late flurry of action that almost gave Parris the win. The second an third matches were quite different as Mason go after it early with a tech fall in the second match and a pin in about a minute in the last match.
    Lucas Davison saw North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman in the finals. Whitman was an NCAA qualifier last year for the Tar Heels as a true freshman. Davison dominated the first match 9-0 with a big 8 point first period. In the second match he wrestled a little more conservatively and won 5-0. Not only will Davison have Indiana friends on the Junior World Team, his Wildcat teammate Yahya Thomas is also on the team.
    Brayton Lee had quite the weekend to say the least. Brayton employed quite a unique strategy all weekend long and while it took a few more hairs off his dad Brett’s head it worked out well in the end. He started Friday out with a late tech fall of Justin McCoy who wrestles for Virginia. After that match the drama began. In the challenge bracket semi-finals he faced off with rival Jacori Teemer. They have wrestled three times before and every match was pure pandemonium. This match would be no different. Teemer raced out to a 7-0 lead in the first period on a couple snatch singles and pushout. At the start of the second period something changed…that being Lee broke the ice. He scored 12 straight points to take the lead and ended up winning 12-9.
    In the bracket finals Lee had Peyton Robb who was a redshirt for Nebraska last year. This time Robb raced out to an 8-2 lead late in the first period before rattling of four late points to close the gap to 8-6 at the break. The second period once again was all Lee as he racked up 11 more points to win 17-6.
    Next up for Lee would be Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso who made quick work of him in Vegas. Lee was prepared to not give up a leg lace, but early on may have forgotten about leg defense. Sasso came out hungry and was up 6-0 after the first period. Another early score in the second period it looked like the match would be cut early due to a tech fall. However, Mr. Lee had other plans. He kept the pressure on and started to crack the ice with constant pressure and heavy hands. Lee started with one takedown, then another with a turn, then a pushout and for good measure two more takedowns to eventually break Sasso. The final score was 11-8 after 11 straight points by Lee.
    The final match had a little less drama as you could tell Sasso was still tired both mentally and physically from the first one. Sasso got an early push-out, but Lee rattled off another 8 points to win convincingly 8-1 and earn his trip to Tallinn. On the weekend Lee scored 47 points in the second period while only allowing 7(3 to McCoy and 2 each to Teemer and Sasso).
    This year is the third time we have had multiple representatives in the same age group and style at a World Championships. The two other times were when Angel Escobedo and Reece Humphrey both represented the USA at the University Championships in 2010 and the Senior Championships in 2013. Before this weekend Indiana has had six others qualify for the Junior World Championships: Leroy Vega(1999), Matt Coughlin(2006), Angel Escobedo(2007), Andrew Howe(2009), Jason Tsirtsis(2013), and Stevan Micic(2015). Micic and Howe both brought home bronze medals.
    On the senior side of things three Indiana natives had solid days on the mat. Kayla Miracle fresh off claiming her third straight spot on a U23 team made quick work of Desiree Zavala spending less than two minutes on the mat total in two matches. She pinned Zavala in 1:10 in the first match and almost broke a sweat in a 34 second tech in the second. She clinched a spot in Final X where she will face Mallory Velte in the best of three series for a spot on the senior world team. Last year Velte won the series in three matches and went on to win a bronze medal at the World Championships.
    On the men’s side of things Riley Lefever and Ben Harvey came into the challenge bracket as a 5 and 7 seed respectively. Both exceeded seed expectations and placed 3rd and 4th. For Lefever he lost to Ohio State’s Kollin Moore in his first bout. He beat three-time All-American Tim Dudley in his first consolation match then avenged his loss to Moore for 3rd place.
    Harvey faced Mark Hall first round and dropped that match. He defeated Stacey Davis and Geno Morelli in the consolations before falling to Nick Becker in the 3rd place bout.
    Overall Indiana had a great few days on the mat and will be well represented at the world level. Currently we have five representatives on teams with the cadet teams determined in a couple weeks and both Hildebrandt and Miracle two wins from earning their spots at Final X. Both girls will be at Final X in Lincoln on June 15th.
  2. Like
    RAJR reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Indiana natives in the hunt for World Team spots   
    The spring is always “rather throw you than know you’ season and while our state freestyle and Greco championships are complete the regional and national events are just getting started. Last week saw two Indiana natives make the World Team for women. Kayla Miracle, now wrestling out of Iowa City, won the U23 Trials along with Yorktown’s Alara Boyd making her first Junior World Team.
    This weekend we will have the Junior World Team Trials and the final spots for the seniors for Final X determined in Raleigh, North Carolina. There will be a handful of Indiana natives looking to make the World Team and we’ll highlight them for you here.
    Junior Men’s Freestyle
    Bracket Link
    Three Indiana natives from the class of 2018 will be looking to join Alara Boyd in Tallinn, Estonia in mid-August. Leading the way will be Lucas Davison who will not wrestle until the best of three series on Saturday. He won the Junior Open, thus giving him an automatic berth in the finals. His biggest competition will be Arizona State’s Kordell Norfleet and North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman. Note that Indiana fans saw Whitman at the Dream Team Classic last year against Mason Parris.
    Speaking of Parris, it seems as if he will be entered at heavyweight. He did not wrestle at the open and thus could see his seed affected by that. He also has very limited freestyle credentials, but he is training with Adam Coon, so that should help him. His biggest competition will be Iowa’s Anthony Cassioppi who is sitting until the best of three on Saturday. Cassioppi is also a two-time IHPO champion if you’re keeping track at home.
    Brayton Lee is another contender for a trip to Tallinn at 70kg(154lbs). He was second at the open to Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso and should come in as the challenge tournament top seed. Lee’s budding rival, Jacori Teemer, looks to be dropping to 65kg which will make this weight a little “easier.” However, he will have to fend off Missouri true freshman All-American Brock Mauller along with Peyton Robb, and former Dream Teamer Jared Franek. Even without Teemer this is still a really tough weight class.
    Thomas Penola had a great redshirt season for Purdue and continued doing well with a 6th place finish in Vegas. At 86kg, he will have to navigate a deep field of top level talent. Currently he is not registered, so we won't know for sure until Friday morning if he is attending the event.
    The schedule for Juniors starts on Friday at 10am with the challenge tournament. The winner of the challenge tournament will wrestle Saturday in the best of three series against the Junior Open champion.
    Senior Greco-Roman
    One former and one current Indiana Hoosier will be wrestling on the Greco side of things. Current Hoosier sophomore Liam Cronin will be at 60kg, while former Former Hoosier upperweight Lucas Sheridan will be at 97kg where he has been one of the top guys in the country recently. 
    Senior Women’s Freestyle
    With Sarah Hildebrandt automatically advancing to Final X due to her silver medal at last year’s World Championships there is only one Indiana native to watch here. Kayla Miracle made the move from Kentucky to Iowa last year and it seems to have paid dividends. She won the US Open and thus will be in the best of three finals on Sunday. Just last week she earned what seems to be her 100th spot on a World Team by winning the U23 trials. She will be looking to make her first senior world team after advancing to Final X last year and losing to eventual world bronze medalist Mallory Velte.
    The schedule for the women’s freestyle portion begins on Saturday with the challenge tournament. The best of three finals will be on Sunday starting at noon.
    Senior Men’s Freestyle
    Men’s freestyle is always exciting and provides a great crop of dream match-ups throughout the weekend. This weekend we will have four guys with Indiana ties looking to earn a spot in Final X in either Lincoln, Nebraska or Piscataway, New Jersey.
    Current college star Ben Harvey is entered at 79kg after finishing 7th at the US Open. Harvey was a state runner-up at Cathedral and made the round of 12 for Army West Point this past season. He is currently a Junior and has one more year of NCAA eligibility left. The 79kg weight class is highlighted by the likes of three-time NCAA champion Alex Dieringer, three-time NCAA finalist Mark Hall, and freestyle extraordinaire Chance Marsteller. Harvey will likely be one of the lower seeds due to his US Open placement.
    Another state runner-up still making an impact is Riley Lefever. Before he won four DIII NCAA titles for Wabash he was a runner-up for Carroll High School…the one in Fort Wayne. He has been training in State College, Pennsylvania with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club for the past two years. He placed 6th at the US Open and is likely going to slot in at the 5th seed in the challenge tournament at 92kg. He will likely see Ohio State’s Kollin Moore in the round of 8 and then Hayden Zillmer in the semi-finals.
    Two others with ties to Indiana to keep your eye on is Indiana University All-American Nate Jackson. He is being coached by former three-time Indiana state champion Reece Humphrey at the New Jersey RTC. He will be entered at 86kg. Last, but not least we always like to keep tabs on Gable Steveson. Even though he is eligible for the Junior age group he has once again entered the Senior division. He didn’t wrestle at the US Open so he will get knocked down a little with his seed. The winner of the challenge tournament here will see Adam Coon in the best of three finals on Sunday.
    The schedule for the men’s freestyle will start with the challenge tournament bracket on Saturday and finish with the best of three finals on Sunday. The challenge tournament should be about a 7-10 man bracket for most weight classes. You can follow along on FloWrestling.com and as always check out our social media, especially Twitter(@IndianaMat) for updates throughout the weekend.
    Full Schedule
    Friday May 17
    Session I
    UWW Junior Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
    10:00 am – 2:00 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Greco-Roman: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
    10:00 am – 3:00 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
    Session II
    UWW Junior Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals, Consolation Rd. 3-Semis
    4:00 pm – 8:30 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Greco-Roman: Semi-Finals, Finals, Consolation Rd. 3-Semis
    4:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
    Saturday May 18
    Session III
    Senior Women’s Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1
    10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Men’s Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
    10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Session IV
    UWW Junior Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
    1:30 pm – 5:15 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Greco-Roman: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
    1:30 pm – 5:15 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
    Session V
    Senior Men’s Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals and Consolation Rd. 3, Cons-Semis.
    5:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Women’s Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals and Consolation Rd. 3, Cons-Semis.
    5:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Sunday May 19
    Session VI
    Senior Men’s Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
    12:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
    Senior Women’s Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
    12:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS) 
     
  3. Like
    RAJR reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2019 State Finals by the Numbers   
    Overall
    Rankings are always a heated debate amongst wrestling fans. Over the years we have always locked our rankings before sectional and let them ride throughout the state series. Every year we lose kids due to unforeseen circumstances and even the death draws at semi-state. However, they always prove to be quite accurate. This year we had the most ranked wrestlers in 175 or just under 78% in our final rankings. On top of that 206 of the wrestlers were in our state or semi-state rankings. Here is a breakdown by weight and highlight matches to watch on Friday night.
    2019- 175
    2018- 179
    2017- 169
    2016- 175
    2015- 172
    2014- 171
    2013- 171
    2012- 170
    2011- 157
    2010- 159
    2009- 143
    106lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Chris Newman- Mt. Vernon
    Dominic Skees- Lafayette Central Catholic
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #5 Stephen Roberson- Crown Point vs. #11 Isaac Ruble- Bellmont
    #3 Alec Freeman- Evansville Mater Dei vs. #9 Elijah Anthony- Frankfort
    #16 Alex Ocampo- Central Noble vs. #6 Malik Hall- Merrillville
    #2 Brennen Cernus- Culver Academies vs. #20 Aidan Sprague- East Noble
    #7 Carlton Perry- Warren Central vs. #8 Logan Miller- Brownsburg
    #12 Blaze Garcia- Avon vs. #4 Suhas Chundi- Carmel
    113lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Harper Dedman- Oak Hill
    Jake Armstrong- Winamac Community.
    Landon Bertch- Bluffton
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #12 Preston Teusch- Huntington North vs. #14 Jacob Simone- Hamilton Southeastern
    #9 Gavinn Alstott- Floyd Central vs. #7 Martin Cruz- Merrillville
    #2 Zeke Seltzer- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #16 Jett Boots- Angola
    #4 Giovanni Diaz- Wheeler vs. #17 Kamariyon Nelson- Brownsburg
    #1 Jacob Moran- Portage vs. #5 Cole Ross- Evansville Mater Dei

    120lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    John Robinson- Delta
    Logan Galbraith- North Central
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #19 Beau Humphrey- FW Snider vs. #8 Trey Finnearty- Culver Academies
    #4 Brayden Lowery- Roncalli vs. #11 Tyler Conley- Avon
    #16 Jace Alexander- Wawasee vs. #17 Kade Zadylak- Norwell
    #2 Blake Boarman- Evansville Mater Dei vs. #10 Chris Stewart- Warren Central
    #12 Evan Beasley- Northridge vs. #14 Ty Haskins- Portage
    #5 Carson Eldred- Westfield vs. #6 Kysen Montgomery- Brownsburg
    126lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Brendon Mark- Mishawaka
    Hayden Shepherd- Western
    Jared Brown- Pendleton Heights
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #9 Chase Wilkerson- Mt. Vernon (Fortville) vs. #16 JJ Conway- Floyd Central
    #3 Hunter Watts- Jimtown vs. #15 Evan Burge- McCutcheon
    #12 Kane Egli- Evansville Mater Dei vs. #7 Logan Wagner- Zionsville
    #6 Lukasz Walendzak- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #14 Cade Meier- Bloomington South
    #5 Brock Peele- Portage vs. #2 Brayden Curtis- Yorktown
    132lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Aundre Beatty- Warren Central
    Eli Hickman- Rensselaer Central
    Hunter Brown- Cambridge City Lincoln
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #4 Geremia Brooks- Wawasee vs. #11 Clay Egli- Evansville Mater Dei
    #13 Seth Johnson- North Montgomery vs. #17 Logan Mosser- Adams Central
    #7 Logan Boe- Plainfield vs. #16 Reese Rodriguez- Hammond Morton
    #2 Alec Viduya- Roncalli vs. #15 Owen Krider- Carroll (FW)
    #10 Ricky Hegedus- Portage vs. #9 Drake Campbell- Brownsburg
    138lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    AJ Poindexter- Harrison (WL)
    Cameron Worley- Lafayette Jefferson
    Gabe Weeks- Mishawaka
    Treyton Mucker- Tell City
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Cayden Rooks- Columbus East vs. #20 William Fiechter- Southern Wells
    #3 Conner Gimson- Jimtown vs. #8 Drew Kreitzer- Brownsburg
    #4 Braxton Alexander- Wawasee vs. #5 Gabe Phillips- Centerville
    #15 Jaden Reynolds- Avon vs. #11 Dylan Goudy- Western
    145lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Kade Law- Columbus East
    Scottie Saylor- Carroll (FW)
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #8 Jacob Burford- Crown Point vs. #5 Antwaun Graves- Warren Central
    #20 Terrell Leavell- Lawrence Central vs. #10 Jacob Maldonado- Merrillville
    #3 Alex Mosconi- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #13 Jeffrey Harper- Penn
    #7 Jonathan Kervin- Floyd Central vs. #11 Jake Jenkins- Homestead
    #6 Jorden Douglass- Attica vs. #4 Aiden Warren- Perry Meridian
    #14 Ryan Rasler- Prairie Heights vs. #12 LJ Burdon- Plainfield
    152lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 12
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Cody McCune- Huntington North
    Isaiah Mohmed- Wheeler
    Mathew Mangus- Zionsville
    Noah Hollendonner- Crown Point
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #3 Cooper Noehre- Greenfield-Central vs. #15 Ellisston Ross- Bloomington South
    #10 Cole Cervantes- Griffith vs. #11 Eric Hiestand- Yorktown
    #7 Nathan Conley- Avon vs. #2 Elliott Rodgers- Indianapolis Cathedral
    #9 Sam Fair- Perry Meridian vs. #5 Jake Schoenegge- Columbus East
    160lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Abel Verbeek- Lowell
    Braden Welch- Culver Academies
    Drew Sailors- Rochester Community
    Gabe Sollars- Evansville Mater Dei
    Jaymiere Johnson- Hammond Gavit
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #6 Jackson Pettigrew- Columbia City vs. #18 Hayden Lohrey- Shenandoah
    #2 Jordan Slivka- Indianapolis Cathedral vs. #19 Joe Parrish- Homestead
    #11 Jon Ruble- Bellmont vs. #12 Jake Lowe- North Montgomery
    170lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 14
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Bryce Buckley- Eastern (Greentown)
    Delton Moore- Manchester
    Jason Streck- Merrillville
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #11 Kyle Saez- Westfield vs. #6 Macartney Parkinson- Evansville Mater Dei
    #7 Derek Blubaugh- Bloomington South vs. #10 Logan Hart- Carmel
    #5 Elijah Mahan- Roncalli vs. #14 Thierry Jean-Baptiste- Brownsburg
    #16 Colin Kwiatkowski- Valparaiso vs. #18 Zane Gilbreath- Rochester Community
    #1 Nick South- Columbus East vs. #13 Josh Lowe- North Montgomery
    182lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Austin Leech- Garrett
    Jacob Combs- Hagerstown
    Zachary Flynn- Jasper
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #7 Mason Winner- Jay County vs. #19 Devontay Moore- North Central (Indpls.)
    #17 Noah Perez- LaPorte vs. #3 Levon Bellemy- Edgewood
    #1 Carson Brewer- Avon vs. #15 Noah Brown- Penn
    #14 JD Farrell- Fishers vs. #6 Jake Lone- NorthWood
    #5 Evan Bates- Chesterton vs. #9 Trizton Carson- Danville Community
    195lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 13
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Chandler Chapman- Jay County
    Griffin Stine- Martinsville
    Kyle Krummen- East Central
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #9 KJ Roudebush- Tipton vs. #17 Dakari Kenny- Pike
    #5 Nick Willham- Greenwood Community vs. #12 Austin Lane- Perry Meridian
    #2 Ewan Donovan- Hebron vs. #8 Stewart Mossholder- Oak Hill
    #7 Cale Gray- Norwell vs. #18 Ethan Potosky- Crown Point
    220lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 10
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Christian Graft- Huntington North
    Cullen Browning- Northeastern
    Damari Dancy- Portage
    Grant Johnson- New Prairie
    Josh Howell- Terre Haute South Vigo
    Reese Wicker- Churubusco
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #6 Joey Kidwell- West Lafayette vs. #4 Kyle Cornwell- Elwood Community
    #3 Andrew Irick- Hamilton Southeastern vs. #10 Drew Bailey- Merrillville
    #13 Will Stewart- South Spencer vs. #9 Jayden Elwood- Leo
    285lbs
    Number of Ranked Wrestlers Qualifying: 11
    Unranked qualifiers:
    Aidian Rea- Heritage Hills
    AJ Jones- Madison-Grant
    Logan Swallow- Monroe Central
    Matthew Munoz- Jeffersonville
    Sam Jones- Perry Meridian
    Vince Yoder- Fairfield
    First round match-ups of ranked wrestlers:
    #1 Jamichael Watts- North Central vs. #19 Anthony Atria- Merrillville
    #17 Crae Kunkleman- Hamilton Southeastern vs. #2 Yehezquel DeVault- Penn
    #18 Will Crider- Harrison (WL) vs. #10 John Harris- Roncalli
    First round match-ups of unranked wrestlers:
    Matthew Munoz- Jeffersonville vs. Vince Yoder- Fairfield
  4. Like
    RAJR reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Frankton = Family   
    By JEREMY HINES
    Thehines7@gmail.com
    Frankton wrestling coach Courtney Duncan walked in on the first day of practice carrying something a little bit unusual. The Frankton wrestling coach wasn’t holding a whistle, or uniforms. He was holding index cards. He passed one out to each kid in the room and told them to write down why they came out for wrestling.
    When Duncan read the answers, he knew he had a pretty special team.
    “Almost every kid put that they wrestle because it builds family and relationships,” Duncan said. “I didn’t have the kids put their names on the card, but that told me right then and there that they get it. It’s not about wins and losses. It’s about trusting each other and being loyal to each other.”
    Frankton, a small school of 480 students just north of Anderson, had one of the best Class A teams in the state last year. Coach Duncan really thought that they could have fared well at the team state tournament, but they did not get an invite. This year, that has changed. Frankton will be one of the teams competing for the Class A title.
    “We are really excited about team state,” Duncan said. “This is where we wanted to get as a team. We thought we had a chance last year, but this year we’re going in hoping to prove we belong. We have more kids out than we’ve probably ever had. The kids are excited and they all really look forward to the tournament.”
    One of Frankton’s hammers is junior 170 pounder Cody Klettheimer. Last season Klettheimer was one of two Frankton grapplers to advance to the individual state tournament.
    “We are looking forward to team state,” Klettheimer said. “Our goal is to win it. But we also think we can win our sectional, regional and maybe even our semistate.”
    That isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for Frankton. The team has four returning wrestlers who advanced to at least the ticket round of semistate last year. Klettheimer and senior David Delph advanced to state. Senior Dru Berkebile lost in the ticket round at semistate as did junior Cole Baker.
    The Eagles have other wrestlers, like senior Grant Geisinger, that are hoping to do well in the tourney this year. Geisinger lost to Cathedral’s Elliott Rodgers on a last second takedown in the opening round of regional. Rodgers went on to place fourth in state.
    “Grant has really developed,” Duncan said. “He has had a taste of success now, and he’s ready to make a run.”
    Frankton has the luxury of depth this year, something the school hasn’t really ever had before. There were over 30 kids go out for the team.
    “I have options this year,” Duncan said. “We are able to move kids around. We are able to make strategic lineup decisions. We have backups at just about every spot in our lineup.”
    Another major team strength is the bond the wrestlers have.
    “We all love being around each other,” Klettheimer said. “We know what we want to get to, and we push each other to the limit in the room. Even drilling we are starting to go 100 percent on everything. And, when we’re not wrestling, we are all hanging out together. We’ve became very close.”
    Frankton has improved its strength of schedule over the last several years, hoping it will create better wresters.
    “Our kids believe,” Duncan said. “They believe in each other, and they believe in themselves. We have a tough schedule, but it doesn’t matter what size school you come from, you still put your wrestling shoes on the same way. We are realizing by facing these larger, stronger schools, we can compete with anyone.”
    Klettheimer said the team’s motto is “Take No Prisoners.” The Eagles are good, and they want to prove it. Team state can’t come fast enough for this tight knit group.
    “We’re ready to see what we can accomplish,” Duncan said. “I think we can do something pretty special.”
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