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Everything posted by Silvertone1696

  1. I know Eastern Michigan is hurting financially and had to make a cut, albeit a silly one considering the low end cost of wrestling in terms of all sports. Hard for me to understand why Toledo, Bowling Green, and Western Michigan don't revive with all the talent in the Midwest. Ball State...come on boys Worthen Arena would be a great venue.
  2. Hopefully FSN Indiana will expand their coverage in light of the ever increasing attendance and participation numbers...i understand covering the entire state championship would probably be a bit much to ask but expanding the coverage to increase at least the semifinals would be desirable. With the blind draw we often have some incredible matches when it comes down to the final four and as mentioned that type of draw often leads to some imbalanced brackets. I felt like we missed out with semis like @ 126 with Watts v Mendez, Rioux v Curtis...the implications of having a chance to be in the primetime spotlight often lead to some unbelievably inspiring matches worthy of TV.
  3. If i would have pulled out a sandwich like that before my match you can believe my old wrestling coach Walt Prochno would have had me eating sandwiches the next monday followed by copious amounts of stair laps whilst I yack in the trusty Rubbermaid located conveniently at the base of the concrete stairs near mezzanine entrance.
  4. Probably the deciding factor...'stache envy.
  5. Boos are part of the spectacle. What did you expect from the Donahue camp? A ho-hum? It was an unfortunate start to the match, but I also don't believe it was malicious...but it did change the dynamics of the bout.
  6. Take a drive around Crown Point and you will see the heavy investment the community has made in youth sports, it really is the class of the region in that regard.
  7. There were several great championship matches aired on FSN Indiana...but the 220 weight class was so satisfying for this region rat. I'm sure Aiken is a good kid but honestly that little injury timeout maneuver was a bit bush league, but clearly within the confines of the rules. He clearly wasn't suffering from any ailment aside from lactic acid build-up. I thought it was poetic justice that Fowler returned from that timeout a new man and on the strength of a sweet freight train blast double he threw Aiken to his back and won the whole darn thing for Coach Wadkins and Black Oak nation! Respect for BBurg and their heavy contingent on here, those boys come to wrestle. Thought the region represented well with Moran, Mendez, and Fowler. Special props to Brennan Cernus for knocking off Cottey as well.
  8. Ray Rioux of Avon wrestling insanely well right now, thought his 3-1 win over Curtis was enormous. Tall task in Mendez, wonder if he can shock the state. 132 has 4 great semifinalists. Shame the semifinals aren't on FSN Indiana
  9. 220 is full of tough friday night draws, Cornwell/Kidwell and Irick/Bailey are a couple death draws for sure.
  10. Yeah this is always one of my favorite events of the year, been attending the Merrillville/EC semi-state for the past 20 years since my brother lost in the blood round his senior year...up until the last couple because of my injury that has kept me from attending. I really appreciate the coverage you do @ontherise219 on local wrestling it is always first class work.
  11. Top 4 in order... 106 - Right off the bat you get an intriguing 4 v 1 matchup here and I think Bailey of River Forest will give Dominic Skees everything he can handle. And no slight to their potential blood round matchup but the winner of that match will be favored over the 2 v 3 matchup between a pair of unranked wrestlers. Cernus and Roberson are on the other side of the bracket in what would be a semifinal. Malik Hall is probably my 4th. Give me Cernus, Hall, Roberson, Bailey. 113 - Man you have to feel for senior Colin Reagan of Frontier, who has a devastatingly tough road to state as fellow senior Martin Cruz of Merrillville stands in his way. Reagan is a two time state qualifier, while Cruz would be making his first trip. I'm taking Cruz here in an ultra tight emotional win, and he likely faces of with Giovanni Diaz who has a favorable road to the semis. On the other side Moran is a relative automatic to the semis and really, would be heavily favored in any of his potential semifinal matchups, though the battle to be Moran's opponent in that match is intriguing. As it shows on the bracket Tattini, Fogarty, and Armstrong are 5,6,7 respectively in the rankings so look for an excellent scrap in that chunk of the bracket. I'm going to take a shot in the dark with Fogarty since Armstrong/Tattini have to battle it out first round while he faces #4 seed frosh Trevor Shammert in a match he will will be favored in. I'll take Moran, Diaz, Cruz, Fogarty. 120 - While I do think this class may have some upsets, I really thinks Bettich stands above the field here and takes the title down. Tolin of Chesterton makes for a heckuva blood round matchup for regional champion Ty Haskins of Portage. I'm going stick with Haskins in an ultra tight SV type of win. Trey Finnearty of Culver Academies probably gets through without much trouble to be Haskins opponent in the semis. Jace Alexander deserves a mention as the #16 state, but his path to a state semifinal with Bettich is a tough customer in regional champ and #7 SS Tyler Brubaker of McCutcheon. Brubaker pinned Braden Nuest of West Central in that Logansport Regional final in 2:21, so he is wrestling well right now. I still like Alexander to step in and make it the semis, but Bettich takes that one by 6-8 point decision. Give me Bettich, Finnearty, Haskins, Alexander. 126 - Yeah, Mendez. It is quite unfortunate for Brock Peele of Portage to have Mendez standing in his way. With Peele's 4th and 7th places previous finishes at state, he figures to shake up the state brackets from a lower seed as this unfortunate draw will likely drop him to 3rd, though what a time for the senior Peele to step up a pull a big upset over the super frosh. I remember attending the Merrillville SS a few years ago when Steven "Bam" Lawrence finally got over the hump and pulled off the shocker vs Jacob Covaciu. I like Burge and Mark's chances to wrestle their way to the other semifinal matchup, and I have Burge there. Give me Mendez, Burge, Peele, Mark 132 - Really tough potential blood round matches here, with seniors Andres Moreno of Lowell (7th @ 113 last year) and Reese Rodriguez of Morton (2 time state qualifier @ 126) headlining those potential bouts. If he makes it through to the semis he would like get the winner of a showdown between juniors Nate Hadary of Penn and Elijah Hickman of Rensselaer. I'll take Hickman because he is a fellow Jasper county resident, and also because his confidence is likely high after winning the Logansport Regional by tech fall over Isaac Switzer of Lafayette CC. On the other side RIcky Hegedus looks to keep it rolling after his regional championship win over Rodriguez, which he won by a score of 12-8. He likely gets senior SS #6 Brayden Ruiz of New Prairie, who must get through Switzer to get there. Hegedus has wrestled some elite talent this year and fared pretty well, beating #11 state Clay Egli of Mater Dei 2-0 and losing to #5 state Logan Bailey of Cathedral. Look for Hegedus to battle it out in semis with Geremia Brooks of Wawasee, who for me is the man to beat. Brooks would edge Bailey by the same 5-4 score at the Al Smith before suffering his only loss to state #3 ranked Matt Gimson of Jimtown by a 12-9 decision. I'll take Brooks, Moreno, Hegedus, Hickman. 138 - This will be a tale of two sides of the bracket, as it looks a bit imbalanced with the two highest ranked wrestlers meeting in the semis in SS #1/state #4 senior Wawasee's Braxton Alexander and SS# 3/state #18 junior Tyson Nisley of LaPorte. The number 2 ranked wrestler in the EC SS, senior Gabe Weeks of Mishawaka, has faced both wrestlers losing 9-4 to Alexander and winning 10-5 over Nisley. Weeks will have to knock off a pair of DAC studs to punch his ticket, and I really think Rivera of Merrillville will give him everything he can handle before falling. I have unranked AJ Poindexter of Laffy Harrison finding a way through to meet weeks in the other semifinal. Give me Alexander, Weeks, Nisley, Poindexter. 145 - I like the balance in this weight class, and it should line up to be a very entertaining final between senior #8 state/#2 SS Jake Burford of Crown Point and junior #6 state/#1 SS Jorden Douglass of Attica. Burford certainly has the edge in strength of schedule, but Douglass is a fine wrestler for the tiny Attica Red Ramblers. However in order to reach said finals, Burford will have to get through junior Jacob Maldonado of rival Merrillville. Should be noted though that Maldonado's first round match is with Shawn Hollis of Lowell, who battled Maldonado close before falling in a SV 4-2 final. Burford has won twice over Maldonado earlier in the season by scores of 5-0 and 4-2, but beating a close rival three times in one year is no picnic. In the other semifinal against Douglass, it should be a pretty epic section of the bracket as I think the first round match between a pair of seniors in Park of Lake Central and Watts of Hammond Morton starts things off with a bang. Winner of that match likely faces of with Penn senior Jeffrey Harper. Harper and Burford did wrestle earlier in the year, with Burford taking it 5-2. Burford also has beaten Park three times by decision 10-3, 16-4, and 9-7. I'll take Douglass, Burford, Maldonado, Watts. 152 - Another case of imbalance here as the two top dogs in this weight class would meet in a semifinal, with those two wrestlers being sophomore #8 state/ #1 SS Brock Ellis of Chesterton and senior #10/#2 Cole Cervantes of Griffith. Ellis beat Cervantes handily 17-5 in their only meeting of the season. Cervantes has just one other loss on the season, and that belongs to SS #4 Tyler Turley of Hobart, though they did wrestle 4 times and Cervantes won the other 3 matches albeit by close decision. Turley would have to come through to the finals for a rematch being on the other side of the bracket, however his entire road there is fraught with perilous matches. He starts it off with a grind of a match vs SS #9 junior Noah Hollendonner of Crown Point, which would set up a match with Logansport Regional champ soph Spencer Phillips of McCutcheon. Should he make it through that he does have a winnable match in the semis vs SS #7 senior Isaiah Mohmed of Wheeler. I am putting Mohmed in the semis but clearly Penn Regional champ soph Drew Mason of Mishawaka or #5 SS Jacob Beehn of Portage could slide in here as well. I'll take Ellis, Turley, Cervantes, Mohmed. 160 - Well this class is essentially the Donnell Washington show, and while there are some good wrestlers here I really don't see anyone in the field that can honestly pull a shocker...but that's simply a credit to the senior D Wash and not at all a knock on the rest of the field at 160. He's wrestling in peak form right now, pinning all three opponents at the Hobart Regional in the first period including SS #6 Jaymeire Johnson from Hammond Gavit in the final. Johnson has a heckuva battle in the blood round should he win his opening match with soph Jason Tankersley of Winamac. Love seeing the small schools like Winamac, Attica, and North White representing, but here at the SS we really start to see the benefit of wrestling a tough schedule and you start to throw out the records really because just looking at a couple match-ups like frosh Jacob SImpson of Hobart (24-8) and senior Koaldon Kerr of Attica (33-5). Simpson is 7th in the SS while Kerr is unranked because Attica is quite rural and at the mercy of their geographical footprint, as most of the schools nearby are 1A schools with a few 2As sprinkled in, and so you get some inflated records. Not to dismiss Kerr, because regardless 33 wins is an impressive accomplishment...and as a matter of fact I'll ride the Red Rambler to the blood round. Unfortunately waiting for him will likely be super frosh Braden Welch of Culver Military, who is wrestling out of his mind as he devastated the field at the Penn Regional, winning all three matches by first period fall including a 47 second championship victory over soph Brandon Estepp of Warsaw. What does he receive for snagging a regional runner-up? An unfortunate draw as junior and #2 SS Abel Verbeek of Lowell will toe the line opposite Estepp in that first round battle. Look for Verbeek to face off with senior and state #13 and SS #3 Brock Merkel of Harrison WL. Kind of a toss-up here so I'll take the senior Merkel as my pick to have his chance at Washington. Merkel hasn't wrestled most of the field here so he will be a wild card, but he showed he's in prime condition as he also pinned all three opponents in the first period. Lastly I wanted to highlight the opening round match between junior #9 Garcia of Penn and junior #8 Matt Neff of LaPorte...who I have riding into the semis where I have him falling to the red-hot frosh Welch. Neff has beaten Verbeek 7-2 and other fellow EC SS participant Chesterton's Gavin Layman (4-0) but split a pair with SS #10 Nick Taborski of Crown Peezy...winning once by pin but dropping a 9-5 decision. Unfortunately for Taborski he opens with the super frosh Welch. Give me Washington, Welch, Merkel, and Neff. 170 - If you ask me this has to be one of the most exciting weight classes that EC will offer up, with several different scenarios all likely to play out. Headlining the field will be the two Penn Regional championship contestants, with winner #4 state/#2 SS Joseph Walker of Mishawaka and #2/#1 Graham Calhoun of Plymouth...who suffered his first loss in the 4-3 decision. Those two did wrestle earlier in the season, with Calhoun winning that bout by an 8-7 decision. Walker has only lost one other time this season, and actually that was an impressive match nonetheless as he dropped a 2-1 decision to top ranked Nick South of Columbus East. South is one of the best wrestlers in the state in my opinion, regardless of class with a 2nd place finish at the Super 32 and an impressive 10-5 victory over Donnell Washington. Luckily Walker and Calhoun are on opposite sides of the bracket. My hometown Kankakee Valley's own sophomore Aiden Sneed has had a good season at 31-5, and has flirted with the bottom of the SS rankings for much of the season...but the key is that Sneed is wrestling his best matches of the season here lately as he won the CP regional with a pair of pins in the first two matches, including the semifinal win by fall (2:28) over fellow EC SS entry senior Luke Lenig of New Prairie and the impressive upset victory over #16/#4 soph Colin Kwiatkowski of Valparaiso by a 10-6 decision. Kwiatkowski will likely be in a tight blood round contest with #7 SS senior Josh Warmick of Portage, should Warmick handle felow senior SB Riley's #10 SS David Sheley. Warmick has had an up and down season with the 16-9 record, and likely battled injuries that reduced his match totals but he seems to be wrestling well as of late. His Hobart regional championship win over soph #8 SS Jason Streck of Merrillville probably wasn't an upset but the win by fall in 2:42 was certainly a surprise to this fan. I like Kwiatkowski to advance here and try to shock the state vs Walker...though I certainly am not predicting it. Looking back at Sneed's path, if he wins his favored 1st round match vs Twin Lakes senior Kaleb Cauble...he's in for a heckuva battle in the blood round. Jason Streck probably thought he would be favored as 2 seed in his opening match, but unfortunately for him the Penn regional had more than just the two hammers Walker and Calhoun...as #12/#3 soph Eli Pack of CMA was also in the field and fell to third place after a 9-3 semifinal loss to Walker. He would take out that frustration on Sheley in the 3rd place match, winning by fall in just 39 seconds. I'll take Sneed in a nail-biter, though mostly through hometown love as opposed to logic. The finals between Calhoun and Walker alone will be worth the price of admission here, and I'll take Calhoun to rebound. Give me Calhoun, Walker, Sneed, and Kwiatkowski. 182 - This will be a tale of broken hearts in this class, as we have some blood round matches that figure to light up the gymnasium. Part of the reason for the imbalanced field was a monumental Mishawaka Sectional upset as senior Alex Castro of Wawasee pulled off a 6-5 decision over previously unbeaten super frosh #4/#2 Andrew Donahue of CMA. This led to a semifinal match at the Penn regional with #2/#1 junior Jacob Laplace of Mishawaka, which would be a truly epic battle that Donahue would take with a 1-1 UTB victory. Senior #15/#5 Noah Brown did give Donahue quite a battle in the finals of that regional losing a 6-5 decision. Should both wrestlers win their favored matches, Brown will face off with Hobart Regional champ junior Khris Walton of Merrillville who won his title with a 4-3 decision over soph Cameron Smith of Hobart. Smith's blood round opponent would be the aforementioned Donahue, a tall order for the Brickie wrestler. One section of the bracket provides us a couple interesting matches, especially Attica's unranked Jack Hargan and his 33-2 record vs upset specialist Castro. Hargan was pretty impressive at the Logansport Regional, winning all three matches by fall with two in the first period and his championship pin in 3:04 over Logan's own, junior Joshua Manfred, who gets the unfortunate 1st round draw with LaPlace. Hargan's blood round opponent will likely be LaPorte senior #17/#6 Noah Perez, and with the unfamiliarity its hard to gauge this match. I have Hargan simply because I always root for the sub-500 student enrollment schools, and also because the young man is rolling. The final blood round match is a freaking doozy as Laplace will do battle with #5/#3 soph Evan Bates of Chesterton...and how unfortunate for the young Trojan wrestler to draw the top ranked Laplace after Bates pinned his way to the CP regional title match where he promptly dispatched of Perez by tech fall. My picks here are Laplace claiming the title, followed by Donahue, Brown, and Hargan. 195 - Looks like another weight class with the top two wrestlers likely meeting in the semis, as senior #2/#1 Ewan Donovan of Hebron and fellow senior #6/#2 Rockne Hurley of Penn. Hurley suffered just his second loss on the season in the Penn Regional final...dropping a 12-7 decision to upstart senior SS #10 James Snyder of Triton, who was perhaps a relative unknown before the tournament being from 1A Triton. However a Penn Regional title can change that in a hurry. Snyder opens with a winnable match as he will be heavily favored to knock out Munster senior Jonah Clark (5-5 record), but his blood round match will be a battle because fellow Crown Pizzle senior #18/#3 Ethan Potosky will present him with perhaps his most difficult opponent this year (no disrespect to Hurley). I'm going to stay on the Snyder train and ride him into the semis where his opponent is rather tough to predict. An opening round match between senior #14/#8 Damien Rodriguez of Wawasee and soph SS #5 Bobby Babcock of Hobart is a tough draw for both wrestlers, especially Babcock as Rodriguez is about as tough a 4 seed as you can get, but I'll take Babcock in light of his momentum and regional title. Likely meeting the winner of that match will be New Prairie senior SS #5 Grant Johnson...who I have taking that match and moving on to the semis to face Snyder. Donovan is obviously the odds on favorite here but look out for his blood round match that will feature either Merrillville senior #20/#4 Seyi Akinwumi or unranked senior Jacob Trefarn of CMA, who has just one loss on the season and claimed 3rd at the Penn Regional via a 9-4 decision over Rodriguez. I have Donovan, Snyder, Hurley, and Johnson moving on. 220 - Another weight class loaded with intriguing blood round matchups, and one where the top two wrestlers are on opposite sides of the bracket. I can't wait to see how Calumet senior and #2 state / #1 SS AJ Fowler performs as he looks like a man on a mission to rectify his loss to top ranked Jacob Bolte of Columbus East next week at the state finals. First things first though, and the draw did him no favors after his runner-up finish at the Hobart Regional, as he faces a likely blood round matchup with Penn Regional champ junior Johnathan Thomas (#17/#4) of SB Adams. I have him facing off with CP Regional champ junior Bryer Stoner of Lowell, who I have coming out of his four man section of the bracket in which all the wrestlers are unranked. The CP regional actually did not feature a ranked wrestler for 220, but Stoner did punctuate his journey with a 35 second pin for the championship over CP senior Frank Keller. If Stoner and Fowler were to meet in semis, it would be a rematch of a Fowler win by fall in 4:31. I have Fowler moving on. Hobart Regional champ senior Drew Bailey of Merrillville, who scored a tight 4-3 victory for the title over Fowler, should be heavily favored in his opening bout and figures to lock into a battle with senior Adam Berta of Penn for a spot in the semis. Bailey will prove to be a bit too much for Berta, and that would likely mean a semifinal vs #6/#2 senior Joey Kidwell (excellent football family too) of West Lafayette. Could go either way on this one obviously but I'm taking Kidwell in a tight one. A couple matches to consider...Ewan Donovan did win a 5-2 decision earlier this season over Kidwell, giving Kidwell his only loss, Bailey has two victories over Thomas this season, albeit very tight ones (4-3 & 8-7 SV). Fowler did pin Bailey in an earlier matchup this season, earning the fall in 5:31. I'm gonna go with Fowler, Kidwell, Bailey, and Stoner. 285 - Likely here on paper we will have a championship bout with junior #2/#1 Yehezquel Devault of Penn and undefeated senior #5/#2 Alex Cartwright of LaVille. Those two would have an epic championship bout in the Penn Regional final, with Cartwright coming out ahead 2-1. This is rather unfortunate news for Crown Point regional champ senior Nick Garcia (#13/3) of Lake Central, who would see Devault in the blood round should both wrestlers advance as expected...this would be a rematch which Devault won the first time 1-0. I have Devault squeaking by once again to face #18/#5 Will Crider of Harrison, who wouldn't face a ranked wrestler until he meets up with Devault. The Crider boys always bring it so expect him to give Devault everything he can handle. Cartwright will likely get the winner of a rematch between Merrillville senior #19/#4 Anthony Atria and Lowell senior and SS #8 Chandler Austgen. Atria won the first match 7-3...and i have him moving on to battle it out with Cartwright. I like Cartwright to rep the small schools and take it down. I have Cartwright, Devault, Crider, and Atria. Thank you for slogging through my write-up, I feel i am especially ready for Saturday now after all this research. Good luck to all participants.
  12. Obviously it wasn't murderers row at Bloomington South @ 132, but a shoutout to unranked super frosh Ian Giesler (28-5) of Jasper who won the title comfortably over Gabriel Recknor (29-8) of Terre Haute South by a 12-2 major decision. He faces a tall task however in a potential blood round matchup with Drake Campbell (33-8) of Brownsburg. Kind of an under the radar match-up in which Campbell will be noticeably favored but could have his hands full.
  13. Aiden Sneed of Kankakee Valley had a great day at 170. Sneed suffered a couple tough losses to end the regular season and fell out of the SS rankings. However he has been perfect in the postseason and improved his record to 31-5 after rolling up a couple pins and then knocking off state #16/ SS #4 Colin Kwiatkowski by decision 10-6. Sneed is just a sophomore, so the future is bright for this young wrestler. No KV wrestler has ever placed higher than 6th at state, but to get there expect the blood round at SS for 170 to be chock full of epic bouts. The top four from this class in the SS rankings were all from the Logansport/Penn regionals, so some lower seeds will be tough outs.
  14. It's also hard to believe Kane Egli has 8 losses this year. Just goes to show what a dogfight of a schedule Mater Dei wrestles.
  15. Kind of surprised gave up his bracket spot but then again surely Casebolt and Boarman have seen each other a number of times with DC being from Castle and and BB from Mater Dei and Casebolt must have elected to skip any rematch
  16. Littell over Tolin and Bettich not Seltzer...sorry that was my mistake bad slip there. Brayden Littell of Center Grove is every bit a top contender/thee top contender at 120. I can't edit it out now so I'm left with my mistakes. Again my bad no slight intended.
  17. The Crown Point regional usually distinguishes itself as one of the better in the state, headlined by the 6 Duneland schools. The DAC had a bit of a down year, however, as Chesterton and Valparaiso both had relatively down squads this year. Wheeler, Hanover Central, and Lowell always have a few wrestlers in the mix...and this year is no different. Teams entered: Boone Grove Chesterton Crown Point Glenn Hanover Central Hebron Kankakee Valley Knox Lake Central LaPorte Lowell Michigan City New Prairie North Judson-San Pierre Valparaiso Wheeler Handicapping the first few classes... 106 - Stephen Roberson (28-2) of Crown Point is certainly the man to beat in this weight class. He has been steady in the top 2 or 3 in the EC SS, and will be the highest ranked wrestler in the field. His biggest challengers will likely be familiar foe as his Duneland counterparts litter the field. Roberson opens with the only other non-frosh as he faces off with fellow sophomore Nathan May (28-10), who presents as relatively tough 4 v 1 match-up. Look for a second round match with promising Chesterton frosh Luke Stento (26-11) and a rematch with EC SS #8 Johnny Cortez (27-10) of Lake Central whom Roberson has beaten comfortably twice, once by 1st-rd fall. Roberson's two losses are both to title contenders as he fell 7-2 to state #1 Alex Cottey of Perry Meridian and a 5-1 loss to state #4 Suhas Chundi of Carmel. 3rd place will likely be a match betwixt Stento and Valparaiso frosh Stefan Vitello (24-12), though Vitello probably has the toughest test in his first round match as he faces off with Austin Motyka (20-5) of Kankakee Valley in a 4 v 1 match.. Vitello had a heckuva turnaround after he fell to a tough 5th place finish in the DAC championships, at which he lost a barn-burner 10-9 vs Cortez in the semis and followed that with a harsh 11-2 loss to Stento. He would finish off the day on a high note, beating fellow CP regional contestant Brecken Joseph (16-14) of LaPorte, who gets Cortez 1st round. Vitello would turn all that around at the LaPorte sectional. His two second round pins were impressive, first beating May in the semis then avenging the loss to Stento emphatically with the fall. Looking forward to the potential rematch that would likely be for a coveted 3rd seed to avoid a number 1 seed hammer at SS. 113 - This is another class with a top contender that separates himself from the field, this time being Giovanni Diaz (28-1) of Wheeler, #4 State #2 EC SS. Diaz placed 8th last year at state at 106 and has had another tremendous year, with his only loss being to 120 EC SS #1 Riley Bettich of Crown Point by a score of 3-1. His 1st round match-up will be of zero excitement as he draws one of the two forfeits of the 1st round along with Nick Tattini (27-9) of Crown Point, who gets a bye even as a #2 seed because the LaPorte sectional had just two participants at 113 pounds. Tattni will likely face off with Chris Merrill (33-9) of Chesterton, who does draw a pretty tough #4 seed in upstart sophomore Michael Denvit (21-5) of Kankakee Valley. Still that's a tall order for Denvit to knock off the senior Merrill, who won the LP sectional with a 51 second pin of Dusty Young (29-14) of New Prairie. Young will get a tough #3 seed in Isaiah Ponce (22-12) of Lake Central, and I don't figure Young survives in that matchup as Ponce has wrestled a tough schedule and owns a couple good wins. At the Al Smith, a great midseason barometer, Zeke Seltzer of Cathedral rose to the occasion and knocked out several of the CP regional participants. He drew Ponce in the 2nd round and won by fall in 3:08. He would see Merrill the very next round and proceeded to win by tech fall 18-3. Seltzer would win it all over Martin Cruz of Merrillville, and Cruz is right back at it with the other top contender Jacob Moran of Portage at the Hobart regional. Most rankings have Moran as #1 and Seltzer #2 and then Diaz at #4 so this will be a great class to watch at the EC SS, even with Seltzer being at New Castle for SS I believe. Nick Tattini would fall in the 2nd round of the Al Smith, dropping it 4-2 to EC SS #6 Brodie Fogarty of Mishawaka. Fogarty would lose by a 54 second fall the next round to Cruz. So look for Merrill-Tattini and Ponce-Diaz in the 2nd round. At the DAC tournament, we would get a lot of key matchups that factor into play. Ponce would knock off Tattini in the 1st round 9-0, before losing to Cruz next round 14-5. Moran would beat Cruz 10-4 in the finals. Moran reached the finals by beating Merrill by fall in 3:14. In the consolations, Ponce would win fairly big over Merrill 21-10 before falling to Tattini 4-0. All three of the contenders are capable of an upset but I think Diaz is at another level. What will be interesting is who he gets to face in the final. Merrill beat Tattini in a 5-3 decision on Dec 6th, and with Merrill being a senior and Tattini a frosh we definitely have an experience factor. I like Tattini to bounce back here as I like how he has been wrestling, though Diaz did handle him in the sectional final by a score of 11-0. Merrill would have to reverse that big 21-10 loss in conference tourney vs Ponce to take the valued #3 spot. I'm not sure he totally turns it around, and I'll take Ponce as my 3rd place. 120 - This will be a tale of two wrestlers who are quite familar with each other in conference rivals #3 state/#1 SS Riley Bettich (30-1) of Crown Point and #13 state/#3 SS Danny Tolin (33-3) of Chesterton. These two did just face off recently for the DAC conference title, with Bettich winning by fall in the second period. They also share a similar loss at the Al Smith in foe Zeke Seltzer who defeated by way of a fall in 2:39, and then knocked off Bettich in the championship by virtue of a 7-2 SV decision. Neither has a particularly tall task as both face #4 seeds with losing records. Matt Adamczyk (24-3) of Hebron opens up the day vs LaPorte sectional runner up Jacob Abbott (10-6) of New Prairie, which figures to be a decent first round match although I like Adamczyk to advance to face off against Bettich. Abbott was dispatched off quickly in the LP sectional final as Tolin needed just 10 seconds for the stick, so he will look to bounce back as an underdog at the two seed. Adamczyk had a tough sectional semifinal that saw him elect to injury default in the second period against fellow regional participant Sebastian Cortez (24-9) of Lake Central, who opens up with LaPorte soph Angillo Mitchell (11-17). I think Bettich will be a tall order for Tolin to knock off for the upset, this time of year anything could happen but it looks like Bettich is peaking at the right time and likely takes this one rather easily. I foresee a bit more drama in the 3rd place match with Adamczyk and Cortez as we will get another chance to see how the match plays out in its entirety, while also taking into account Adamczyk may be contending with an injury of some sort. Have to go with Cortez with that being said. 126 - This class will feature one of the top wrestlers in the state pound for pound, and this kid dynamite is only a freshman in Crown Point's (31-0) Jesse Mendez. He has come in with a lot of fanfare and the kid has done nothing but deliver and live up to the hype. One feather is his cap was certainly the Al Smith where he punctuated his championship by knocking off state #3 senior Hunter Watts of JImtown by a score of 5-2. In case you forgot Watts is the defending champion at 120 pounds, not to mention his 2nd place finish as a soph at 113 and 6th place finish as a frosh at 106. Mendez is the real deal and I thought his semifinal tech fall victory at the Al Smith was equally impressive over state #7/ SS #2 Logan Wagner of ZIonsville. Those were huge victories for the frosh and he has continued that momentum all the way through sectionals last week, where he dispatched of two fellow CP regional participants by beating Roger Anda (14-16) of Boone Grove by fall in just :50 and then taking out Ryan Russell (17-11) of Lake Central in the finals by fall in 1:15. J.J. Blount (20-11) of North Judson is the unlucky soul that gets Mendez 1st round. The match-up that figures to be Mendez's opponent in the semis could be a more intriguing bout though I'm expecting sophomore Brandon Bolin (28-14) of Chesterton will be favored to win over Hanover Central's frosh Skylar Iverson (15-14). Iverson lost a quick decision by fall to Russell in just 22 seconds at the CP sectional, but did rebound for 3rd by pinning Anda in 3:53. On the other side of the bracket LaPorte sectional champion Jak Krouse (22-9) of Valparaiso will open with Anda while Russell faces off with Christian Szalajko (29-10) of New Prairie. Look for a rematch between the DAC foes Krouse and Russell, who faced off for 5th place at the DAC championships with Russell coming away with a 7-3 victory. I'll stick by that result and predict Russell into the finals to be fodder for a Mendez championship. If those predictions hold up that would set up a 3rd place match between Bolin and Krouse, which would be a rematch of the sectional championship which Krouse must have won at the buzzer as it shows his fall coming at exactly 6:00. It should be noted that at the DAC conference meet Chesterton had a reserve wrestling at 126 in junior Ethan Mahaffey (6-3 entering the DAC meet), and Mahaffey had a pretty strong day and ended up finishing 4th. En route to this finish he would upset Russell 9-8 in the 1st round before falling in the semis by pin in just 20 seconds by the hammer that is Brock Peele of Portage. Mendez would beat Peele 6-0, btw, for the DAC title. Mahaffey would also score another upset by beating Krouse 6-0 to reach the 3rd place match. 132 - Another top heavy class, heavy hitter senior Andres Moreno (21-0) of Lowell will certainly be the man to beat. The state #6/SS #2, who placed 7th at 113, does have some injury concerns this year however...which came to a head at the Al Smith forcing Moreno to medically forfeit the highly anticipated match with state #3 Matt Gimson of Jimtown. Not sure what the injury is but hopefully Moreno is at or near 100 % this week, although I don't think Moreno will be seriously challenged this week...but Wawasee's Geremia Brooks (state #4) and Ricky Hegedus (state #10) of Portage will prove to be everything Moreno can handle at the EC SS. Looking to the semifinals, Moreno should cruise in facing an over-matched frosh Jack Madsen (12-18) of North Judson where he will face the winner of one of the better 1st round match-ups of the regional as a pair of seniors face off in Ben Bosold (20-11) of Lake Central and SS #6 Brayden Ruiz of New Prairie. The LaPorte sectional would feature a 2nd place finish for Ruiz, as he fell to Ethan Kaiser (29-11) of Chesterton by a 13-8 decision. Noteworthy is the DAC tournament here, as Kaiser didn't fare so well losing a match to Bosold in the consolation semis by fall in 1:54 before securing 5th place over fellow regional participant Jacob Dewes (20-16) of LaPorte by fall in 1:54. A bit of a wrench for handicapping this weight class has been the change in the line-up for Crown Point, as Colin Taylor has been ranked #8 or so in SS at this weight and also participated at Al Smith for his weight. However for the tournament it appears Taylor has moved up to 138 and opened the door for part time varsity starter Jacob Carter (14-6) to fill the 132 spot for CP. Carter would make the most of this opportunity, scoring a big semifinal win over Bosold by fall in 2:58 before falling in the finals to Moreno, also by fall in 1:17. Carter will draw Dewes in the first round and I have him moving on to meet Kaiser in the semifinals, who will need to beat Damian Ruoff (19-19) of Wheeler to get there. In the DAC semifinals, Kaiser would drop a 7-3 decision to Taylor so I really think we have a true toss up match here. I'm going to go with Kaiser after he rides the momentum of the LP sectional title. In the 3rd place match I have Carter rebounding to score a 3rd place finish over Ruiz of New Prairie. Will continue my research and handicap another handful tomorrow.
  18. I thought Crown Point had been a regional for some time now. Hasn't Portage rotated in as a host for regional as well?
  19. So Hobart took over for LaPorte as the other region regional? Any reason for that or just time for a switch? I know LaPorte had been a regional spot for some time.
  20. Excellent insight on the situation. I would like to see Highland, Griffith, and Calumet in this grouping if the Hammond 5 turns into the Hammond 2.
  21. A few numbers to consider from the East Chicago Central sectional, which saw a ton of FFs. Merrillville cruised to victory in racking up the highest team score state-wide, with 12 champions and then 2nd place for the two wrestlers that didn't win their weight class. Only complete line-up of the ten team field. 103 and 195 had just two wrestlers apeice for their classes. Hammond Gavit brought 12 wrestlers and had a champion at 160 in Jaymeire Johnson. One wrestler appeared to not make weight in the 195 weight class however, which as said previously left that class with just two wrestlers. Munster brought ten wrestlers, but I don't believe they have any kids ranked in SS...definitely a down year for the Mustangs but it should be noted the football team actually cancelled their JV season because of numbers. It appears to be a trying time in athletics for a proud school. Hammond Morton usually brings in at least a couple hammers and Reese Rodriguez proved that correct as the senior won by MD over Pejovski of Merrillville @ 132 pounds. Morton brought 8 wrestlers. Numbers for the other participants... Hammond Clark - 8 wrestlers Whiting - 6 East Chicago - 4 Gary West Side, Hammond Bishop Noll, and Hammond High brought just 3 wrestlers apeice.
  22. Dub-C? that made me chuckle Hoping for a speedy recovery.
  23. that growth spurt is a heckuva deal. When I was a soph I wrestled at 130 and I was 158 pounds by the fall and had grown 8 inches in less than a calendar year
  24. Merrillville just seems to churn out heavyweights. I see another Streck has made his way into the rankings also. Surprised to see such a lack of presence from Valparaiso. Usually have a good couple wrastlers in the lower weights. Very cool to see small schools like Frontier and Attica have some serious players. Seems like Reese Rodriguez has been wrestling for 8 years. Hope he gets some hardware this year.
  25. Ouch not one Kankakee Valley wrestler in the top 8 in any weight class. I was hoping to see some movement with the investment coach Burvan has made in the program. Lake Station/River Forest always has a solid wrestler or two in there. Is this the last in a long line of Fowler boys?
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