Here we are again, anxiously awaiting another great day of wrestling at this years’ Peru Regional! As I’ve said before, I coach kids that will wrestle Saturday so I won’t be predicting the winners or the advancers in every weight class, but I’ve done some digging and have seen a lot of these kids wrestle so I’ll share some well-prepared thoughts and opinions! I’m sorry I got so long winded! I LOVE THIS STUFF! Enjoy!
106: Ranked wrestlers: JC Herring – 2nd in the FWSS/13th in the State and Peyton Lechner – 4th in the FWSS/17th in the State
Wrestling fans you do NOT want to miss this class of little studs! This bracket has everything from decorated veterans to rising stars and a couple that could sneak up and surprise some folks. For starters (as I’ve said before) JC Herring is a BEAST, not to mention a very nice kid; needless to say, I’m a huge fan. JC is a two-time regional champ, and a 2016 State Qualifier at this weight and it would be tough to bet against him to repeat a trip to the Bank. I’m sure the other veteran in this class, Mr. Lechner from Western who is a two-time regional finalist would love nothing more than to have a shot to avenge his 2 losses to Herring but he will have to get through the young stud Trey Sturgill to get that chance. Sturgill will have to watch Johnson from Marion as he’s had a great freshman season as well. *First round match to watch: Lenoir from Kokomo (21-17) who is a returning SS Qualifier and Butcher from North Miami (22-10) who was the runner up to Sturgill at both the Peru Sectional and the TRC Championships. *Semi-final barn burner: Lechner and Sturgill
113: This class is may be the toughest to predict as there are multiple kids that could do some damage! Seth Anderson from Peru is a two-time sectional champ and is looking to punch his first ticket to the SS. I’m very intrigued by the Brooks of Wabash and Ciscell of Western match up as these two freshmen are having GREAT rookie campaigns and both are wrestling well enough to represent their schools in the FW SS. On the bottom of the bracket is the freshman HHC Champ and Sectional Champ Pearson from Eastern who is on fire with a 20-2 record. He will be tough to bet against for the top spot on the podium. *First round match to watch: Dyson from North Miami (30-8) versus Chauhan from Oak Hill (27-5). Dyson is the 2017 TRC Champ and Chauhan is the reigning CIC champ as well as the Western Open champ *Semi-final barn burner: Anderson verses the winner of the Dyson/Chauhan match. Either one of these three young men could end up in the finals.
120: Ranked wrestler: Jabin Wright – 2nd in the SS/6th in the State
When it comes to his resume and accolades, Jabin Wright seems to be standing head and shoulders above this field of wrestlers this weekend. Besides his above stated rankings, he is a two-time State Qualifier and a THREE time (yes 3) Regional Champ! The young man who is arguably the 2nd best kid in the bracket might be returning FW SS Qualifier and reigning CIC Champ Courland Smith from Miss with his impressive 21-2 record. Young Smith won’t be uncontested as his first round match with Barnett from Southwood will be a dandy. Barnett is the 2017 TRC Champ and after dropping a semifinal match in sectional, I know he will be on a mission to avenge his disappointing finish last weekend. *First round match to watch: Matchup of conference champs Smith from Miss (21-2) and Barnett from Southwood (31-10). *Semi-final barn burner: Bottom bracket match between the winners of the Smith/Barnett match and the Stefanatos/Wilson match.
126: Ranked wrestler: Hunter Cottingham – 8th in the SS and 16th in the State
This is a VERY interesting weight class with a can’t-wait-to-see finals match. On the top side of the bracket you have the always strong Kasey Deardorff from North Miami. Kasey is in very familiar territory; as a junior he has been to the FW SS twice in as many tries, has been a TRC champ in all three attempts and is the reigning regional champ. This kid is SOLID to say the least. On the bottom side of the bracket you have the other end of the spectrum. Coach Shephard and his team have done an excellent job with the freshman Cottingham as he sports a phenomenal 36-1 record and has himself ranked in the state in his first year of high school in a very tough weight class. If this finals match does take place, it will be a great one! One person trying to throw a monkey wrench in that finals match happening is Jaylon Gibson from Marion. Jaylon is a returning FWSS qualifier and a reining Western Open champ as well as a Whitko invite champ. He and Deardorff’s semi’s match will be a MUST SEE. *First round match to watch: No one match stands out. *Semi-final barn burner: Kasey Deardorff (32-7) and Jaylon Gibson (36-4). Again, a MUST SEE.
132: When it comes to post season action this is the most inexperienced group of the day, thus making it what I’ll call the most wide-open “anybody’s to win” bracket we’ll see in Peru. There is one athlete that appears to lead the way in this bracket and that’s Eastern’s freshman Tytus Morrisett. Morrisett comes into this meet as a Sectional Champ with a 31-5 record and is a force to reckon with. Bullock from Mac had a great showing winning the TRC Championship at this weight but it was Forrest from Peru who was victorious in a hard-fought battle for the sectional title. *First round match to watch: Dylan Goudy from Western (27-12) and Wyatt Fletcher North Miami (27-5) *Semi-finals barn burner: Morrisett of Eastern (31-5) and Bullock of Mac (28-8). Bullock will push him till the end for sure.
138: This group looks to be led by returning FW SS qualifier and sectional champ from Marion Lorenzo Trevino. On the bottom side the Peru champ Kintner seems to be peaking at just the right time as he’s been on top of the podium in both the TRC Championships and the Peru sectional in the past two weeks. *First round match to watch: Macaully Miller of Northfield (17-8) is looking very solid and strong right now and he will face CIC Champ Keith Evans of Oak Hill (21-13). Should be a tight one till the end. *Semi-final barn burner: Cartner Kitner of Peru (22-9) and Aren Turner of Eastern (25-10)
145: This crazy bracket has two young men that are both two-time FW SS Qualifiers in it, which is exciting BUT…they have unfortunately found each other going head to head in the first round! Wyatt Dyson of North Miami is one and the other one is Cole Ridgeway of Oak Hill, both on the top side of this bracket. Ridgeway won the Western Invite where he beat Eli Elkins of Eastern, but then as the season progressed Elkins emerged as the #1 seed at Sectional…then “out of the bushes” came Western’s Carter Ciscell as the 4th seed who beat the #1 seed Elkins in the semis and then pinned the #2 seed Ridgeway from OH in the finals to win the sectional title! Also in the top side of that bracket is the Peru Champ who is also on a role, Collin Meggison of Manchester (27-7) is fresh off of two first place finishes at the TRC Championships and the Peru sectional. *First round match to watch: Definitely has to be the above mentioned match of Dyson of NM (28-12) and Ridgeway of OH (23-9). *Semi-Final barn burner: IF it happens will be the heated rematch between Ciscell of Western (14-5) and Elkins of Eastern (21-7)
152: Ranked wrestler – Christian Bratcher 6th in the FW SS and 13 in the State.
This weight class is one that I’ll call loaded for sure, having 4 guys that have all been to the FW SS, 2 of them multiple times! Christian Bratcher is the only undefeated (and ranked) wrestler in the field. As a junior he is a two-time FW SS qualifier and owns a major decision victory over Hetzner of Eastern. Hetzner is certainly a formidable opponent as a two time regional finalist and a three time FW SS qualifier and is the reigning Hoosier Heartland Conference Champ. In this bracket we also have returning FW SS qualifier and TRC Champ Layne Evans of Northfield. Layne was beaten by the other returning FW SS qualifier Wade France of Manchester as France stepped up and avenged his earlier season 2 losses by Evans. *First round match to watch: Layne Evans of Northfield (31-2) and Donavan Shepherd of Western (25-13). No opponent should ever overlook a young man with the last name of Shepherd from Western! That family and that team simply knows how to win! *Semi-final barn burner: Christian Bratcher of EB (35-0) and Layne Evans of Northfield (31-2). With darn near 70 wins between these two men this year, neither of them have any interest in losing this match!
160: Ranked wrestler – Noah King 8th in the FW SS
160 at the Peru sectional will be a fun one this year as well. Manchester’s super sophomore Delton Moore has had a phenomenal season and the past two weeks has been atop the podium at both the TRC Championships and the Peru Sectional in dominating fashion, winning by fall in the TRC Finals and by a quick tech fall in the sectional finals. In that top side of the bracket in the semis Moore might see a familiar foe in returning FW SS and former Sectional Champ Michael Ford of Northfield. The bottom of the bracket is highlighted by returning FW SS qualifier Noah King of Oak Hill who is having a great season earning a 28-5 record thus far. *First round match to watch: Micheal Ford of NHS (23-10) and Kevin Lenahan of WE (28-11) *Semi-final barn burner: Moore and the winner of the above first round match
170: Ranked wrestlers: Jordan Rader – 3rd in the FWSS and 15th in the State. Brody Hardcastle – 4th in the FWSS and 19th in the state. Quentin Moore – 5th in the FWSS
Where to start… how bout I start with saying WOW WHAT A WEIGHT CLASS! These guys have been beating each other up all year. The mighty Jordan Rader from Peru is the only previous State Qualifier in the group, as well as highest ranked in the class and owns the best record. Coach Hobbs and Coach Fuller have to be proud of how this kid is wrestling! Brody Hardcastle of Oak Hill is a former Sectional and Regional champ and a two time FW SS qualifier and has won the CIC this year along with winning the Western Invite where Hetzner of Eastern and Carson of Western (who won the Whitko invite) competed as well. I have no doubt that future hall of famer Coach King has Brody ready for action. Evan Cardwell of Northwestern is having a very solid junior campaign. He is a returning FW SS qualifier and is a Conference champ from this year. The Manchester Monster Moore is a THREE time FW SS qualifier, a former Sectional, Regional and TRC champ is fresh off of a win by fall over Cardwell but having dealt with back to back losses to Rader at conference and sectional. *First round match to watch: Jordan Rader of Peru (32-2) and Trevon Carson of Marion (29-5). Carson is tough and NO one expected Carson to be a ‘4’ coming into regional. This will be a great match. *Semi-final barn burner: Quentin Moore of Manchester (29-5) and Brody Hardcastle of OH (29-3). You do NOT want to miss this match!!!!!!!
182: Ranked wrestlers: Noah Cressell – 4th in the FWSS and 13th in the State. Blaney Harrison – 5th in the FWSS and 15th in the State. DaShaun Barbary – 6th in the FWSS and 20th in the State
This is truly another WOW weight class. These top three are battle tested and READY to go! The AWESOME Apache Noah Cressell is a returning FW SS qualifier and is straight up tough. He looks tough…he wrestles tough…and according to Coach Jake O’neil he practices tough. Next on the bill is Oak Hill’s Blaney Harrison. Blaney is a former Sectional, Regional and Conference champ and is sitting on a 30-1 record, having only felt defeat at the hands of the mighty Cressell by major decision earlier in the season at the Western Invite. The next guy to mention is the battle tested Dashaun Barbary from Kokomo. He is a two-time FW SS qualifier and is a two time regional finalist and will fight with Cressell till the end to earn his third trip back under the lights in Peru Saturday. *First round match to watch: No one match stands out. *Semi-final barn burner: Noah Cressell (35-1) and DaShaun Barbary (30-5) The only time today you will see two STATE RANKED men meet in the SEMI-FINALS!
195: Ranked wrestler – Aaron Sedwick – 6th in the FWSS
Maconaquah’s mighty Brave Aaron Sedwick is a returning Regional and current Sectional Champ and TRC Champ and is sporting a near perfect 32-1 record. ON the bottom of the bracket is Kokomo’s Gavin Herrera who is a two-time FWSS qualifier and is hot off his upset win over top seeded Tony Fuller of Oak Hill in the sectional finals. If this match takes place it will be a GREAT final between these two men. *First round match to watch: Victor Lee of Marion (32-10) and Sedwick of Mac. Lee, with his shocking 4th place performance last week is the reigning Western Invite champ and owns a win by fall of sectional finalist Sammons of Wabash. This kid is only a sophomore, so I’ll be paying close attention to him!
*Semi-final barn burner: Sedwick Mac (32-1) and Fuller of OH (28-5)
220: Ranked wrestler – Nick Fox – 8th in the FW SS
This weight class is possibly going to produce an AMAZING finals matchup between OH Sectional Champ Nick Fox of Kokomo (31-5) who is a two time regional finalist and FWSS qualifier and Reigning Peru Sectional champ and Conference Champ Max Clark of Northwestern who is also a returning FWSS Qualifier and is currently boasting a perfect 27-0 record!! There are two first round matches that will be ones not to miss…in the top side returning FWSS qualifier Josh Gadd of Marion (28-8) and TRC Champ Cavin Beavers (28-9) will be great as well as Jackson Bush of EB (21-8) and Collin Silvers of Mac (29-10). All 4 of those young men are capable of punching their ticket to Fort Wayne in this first round. *First round match to watch: Mentioned above. *Semi-finals barn burner: For the first time I’m going to have to say both. The two champs will have their hands full with either of the winners of the first round bouts I’ve highlighted above.
285: Ranked wrestlers: Evan Ellis – 1st in the FWSS and 2nd in the State. Owen Perkins – 3rd in the FWSS and 6th in the State.
This weight class has the highest two ranked wrestlers in the tournament…yes in the same class. These two GIANTS are men among boys to say the least and are VERY familiar with each other. Evan Ellis of Eastern is 35-0 and is a 3 time FWSS qualifier and a two time state Medalist placing 8th as a sophomore and 3rd last year. Owen Perkins of Oak Hill is also a 3 time FWSS qualifier and a 2 time State Qualifier and is sporting a 29-3 record…having only lost to Evan Ellis this year. This is definitely the year that the fans will NOT want to leave prior to the heavy’s wrestle because you do not want to miss this match! *First round match to watch: Peru Sectional Champ Avery Jones of Peru (27-9) and Marion’s Gabe Watkins (21-3) *Semi-finals barn burner: None. There are some really good wrestlers in this class but the Ellis and Perkins are just that dominant. Best of luck to you all!