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  1. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Union City’s Daniels raises his game, heading to State Finals   
    Bradin Daniels became the first Union City Junior/City wrestler to qualify for the IHSAA State Finals in a dozen years when the junior won the 126-pound title at the 2024 Fort Wayne Semi-State.
    Before the Feb. 10 accomplishment, the last Indian to punch his ticket to the state tournament’s last stage was Kyle Walters at 160 in 2011-12, a season in which he want 40-4.
    As a Union City assistant coach, Walters has been in Daniels’ corner along with Indians head coach Kevin Lawrence.
    “He’s just a hard worker,” says Walters of Daniels. “He’s worked for it all season.”
    Away from the mat, Lawrence owns a construction company and Walters is a software engineer.
    Because of NBA All-Star Game activities, the site of the State Finals has been moved this year from Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to the Ford Center in Evansville.
    The first round is Friday, Feb. 16. There will be two sessions (152-285 and 106-144). First-round survivors compete Saturday, Feb. 17.
    Daniels heads to the Pocket City at 38-2 on the season.
    Union City is a Randolph County school with an enrollment around 250.
    “I did it for these guys over here,” says Daniels, who pointed to the UC faithful that came to cheer Saturday at Allen County Memorial Coliseum and saw him defeat NorthWood junior Will Hahn (pin in 2:42), Marion freshman Hixon Love (6-0 decision), Delta senior Neal Mosier (6-5 overtime decision) and Jay County senior Cody Rowles (8-4 decision). “I did it for my coaches. I did it for me. I did it for my family (including parents Devon and Samantha Daniels and brothers Gage and Blayne).
    “They all knew I had it in me. This year it changed.”
    Says Lawrence, “it was more the way he wrestled. He’s more patient now then he was before. He now knows that all he has to do is win a match. He doesn’t necessarily have to do it all in the first period.
    “He can wrestle a three-period match now and go six minutes.”
    Daniels said he became serious about wrestle in sixth grade.
    “I placed second at Middle School State and I was like ‘Wow!,’” says Daniels. “My freshman year I missed weight at sectional and last year I got in my head because I had to face the No. 1 seed.”
    Daniels gave himself a pep talk going into 2023-24.
    “I told myself there’s nothing stopping me this year,” says Daniels. “You’re going to go and win it whether you like it or not.”
    Gage and Blayne Daniels both wrestled for UC.
    “They’re over there rooting me on,” says Bradin. “They tell me that no matter what else is going on, just wrestle.”
    Other season highlights for the youngest Daniels boy include winning his second Tri-Eastern Conference championship (pinning Winchester junior Isaiah Spurlin in the finals) and placing first for the second straight Bill Kerbel Invitational at New Haven (beating Northfield freshman Elijah Gahl by 13-0 major decision for the crown).
    Daniels also earned his first Jay County Sectional title (besting Rowles 4-0 in the championship bout). He placed second at the Jay County Regional (losing to Rowles by fall in the finals) then won the Fort Wayne Semi-State.
    As a sophomore, Daniels was a sectional runner-up and came in fourth at regional and did not place at semi-state.
    Bradin came in third at the past two East Central Indiana Classic tournaments.
    “He’s always had the ability,” says Lawrence. “Little things here and there he was able to put together this year.
    “That’s been the difference.”
    The past two seasons, Daniels competed at 126. He began the current season at 132, but continued to lose weight and went back to 126.
    Union City’s Matt Taylor placed fourth at the State Finals in 1991.
    Besides Taylor in 1990 and Walters in 2012, other state qualifiers include Kyle Anderson in 2007, Zach Woodbury in 2004, Jim Garrett in 1992 and Rob Bousman in 1987.
  2. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Patience and Perseverance have paid off for Byrd   
    When Brady Byrd was young, he would wake up early, pack his wrestling gear in his parent’s vehicle and make the long journey to whatever tournament they could find. Often, hours later, he would return with a couple of losses to show for his effort.
    “Brady started wrestling in fifth grade,” his father, Sean said. “Every tournament around us was at least an hour drive. Normally he would go 0-2. But he kept doing it and kept doing it. Sometimes he would even move up weight classes just to get matches.”
    While the losses piled up, so did Byrd’s determination. If wrestling was easy, he might not have ever fallen in love with the sport. The losses helped build him into one of the best wrestlers in Washington High School history.
    “That prepared me,” Brady said. “Not a lot of kids at this level have been on the losing side like I have. It took me a long time before I started to see success. For the longest time my worst sport was wrestling. Being on that losing side taught me to never shy away from anything. I was not going to quit just because I wasn’t good at it. That’s never a valid reason to quit. You have to get better. That’s the only option.”
    Now, Byrd is the first Fargo double All-American to ever come out of the prestigious Maurer Caughlin Wrestling Club. Byrd finished third in freestyle this year and seventh in Greco-Roman. He is currently ranked No. 5 in the state at 106 pounds and has his sights set on taking the top of the platform at the state finals. He’s come a long way – but it was never easy.
    “The biggest thing with Brady, is that a lot of guys see him now, succeeding and being a good wrestler,” Washington coach Aaron Cissell said. “But nobody looks deep enough to see all the struggles and tournaments where he would lose. He stuck with it. It’s all paying off now. He has overcome all of that and fought to be successful.”
    Brady started wrestling 106 pounds as a freshman. At the time he weighed just 91 pounds. He’s always been a smaller guy. This, his senior season, is the first time he’s had to cut any weight at all. And even now, the cut is minimal.
    Sean, his dad, was a state placer in high school.
    “I placed seventh my senior year at 112 pounds,” Sean said. “Our styles are similar except that I was all heart and toughness and didn’t have technique. Brady is heart, toughness and has excellent technique.
    “I was a Region guy who was coached by Hall of famer Walt Prochno Kankakee Valley. Brady wrestles the region style in southern Indiana - tough and gritty.”
    Brady agrees that toughness and grit are keys to his success.
    “The grit is what makes me successful,” Brady said. I’ve always had it. A lot of kids don’t like to wrestle me. I stay in their face and stay physical.”
    Injuries have plagued Brady in his young career. He has suffered an ankle and a knee injury but has bounced back from both.
    “Brady is the most determined and hardest working guy I’ve ever seen,” Cissell said. “He is tough in all areas.”
    Brady owns Washington’s winning percentage record, but he wants to set the school’s win record and pin record this season. Both are well within his grasp. He also wants to become the third wrestler from his school to qualify for the state finals (Mark Kelsey did it in 1984 and Aaron Brower in 2003). He also wants to become the first Washington wrestler to place at state.
    Brady also does whatever is necessary to help his team. Coaches have learned to rely on him with helping teach moves in a way the other wrestlers can understand.
    “People really respect Brady,” Sean said. “So, when we are teaching moves, it’s better to have a Brady show them because he can speak their language and they really feed off of him.”
    Brady would like to wrestle in college and even the Olympics one day. He has excellent grades and was named to the Academic All-State Team. Outside of wrestling Brady enjoys competitive bass fishing, hunting and playing pickle ball.
    “Brady is the most determined kid you’ll ever meet,” Sean said. “He works hard at everything, and the work is finally starting to pay dividends.”
    Brady has started this young season off with 15 consecutive wins. He hopes for much more as the year goes on. He loves the sport and enjoys working at it.
    “Wrestling is one-on-one,” Brady said. “People call me crazy because I train so much. I don’t like relying on other people to win. I like relying on myself. What I put in is what I get out.”
  3. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: It’s all about family for Smith/Banks bunch, Plymouth Rockies   
    It’s a word that appears on T-shirts.
    Teams shout it as they break huddles.
    It’s a closeness and a bond they’re building as they work together.
    Plymouth High School head wrestling coach Travis Smith has taken his blended brood of a wife, four boys and a girl and added the members of the Rockies program.
    “We’re like a big family,” says Travis. “I don’t know how many kids stay at my house on a regular basis.
    “I’ve raised my sons to be very loyal to each other. We don’t fight and bicker as a family. I discipline as needed. They don’t argue with each other. I don’t allow that.
    “Because of the family environment we’ve had the privilege of being involved in together we welcome everybody else.”
    It’s a welcoming atmosphere.
    “We draw people to us as a family,” says Travis. “That’s why kids want to be around because of security, safety and they know they can trust us.
    “We’re going to ride and die with them everyday.”
    After a few years as a volunteer under Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Famer Bob Read, Smith took over and 2022-23 is his third season in charge at Plymouth.
    Travis is married to Cortney Smith.
    “She’s the glue,” says her husband.
    Their family includes Gavin Banks (22), Dominic Smith (19), Caydn Smith (16), Wesley Smith (16) and Angel Smith (13).
    Gavin Banks (Class of 2018) and Dominic Smith (Class of 2021) are former Plymouth wrestlers, Rockies assistant coaches and Lincoln Junior High head coach and assistant respectively.
    Caydn Smith (152 pounds) and Wesley Smith (145) are juniors on the PHS squad.
    Angel Smith is an eighth grader who will help launch girls high school wrestling at Plymouth in 2023-24.
    Caydn and Wesley appreciate the close atmosphere of Plymouth wrestling.
    Says Caydn, “We try to create strong bonds with everybody on the team.”
    Says Wesley, “We all motivate each other. Nobody (outside the team) really sees that side and what we have to do to prepare for matches. Having those guys in the room are big supporters.”
    Travis Smith started at Valparaiso High School and finished at North Judson-San Pierre Junior/Senior High School, grappling for the Bluejays and graduating in 2001.
    “I was mediocre in school,” says Travis. “When I became a grown man and started training for (Mixed Martial Arts) and Jiu-Jitsu I got the opportunity to train with a lot of good wrestlers. That’s how I ended up being able to pass that on.”
    The owner of Hybrid Combat Club — an MMA gym in Plymouth that teaches Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai and houses the Hybrid Wrestling Club — has witnessed a mat progression in his family.
    “Gavin was the rough draft,” says Travis of the son he adopted when the boy was very young. “Gavin and Dominic didn’t get the resources that Caydn, Wesley and Angel have.
    “(Caydn and Wesley) have been able to piggyback off the mistakes we made coming up together. I didn’t have a lot of experience when I was younger so I had to grow with them as a coach.”
    With 85, Banks is in the top 10 on the Rockies all-time career wins list.
    “My dad and I watched a lot of YouTube and I wrestled a lot of club matches,” says Gavin of his experience in learning the sport. “A lot of it came from at-home work.”
    Gavin assesses his younger brothers.
    “Wesley and Caydn are very knowledgeable, technical wrestlers,” says Gavin. “Wesley is more savvy when it comes to wrestling. He’s stingy and hard to score on. Caydn is a strong, athletic kid who can do a lot.”
    Gavin says having a large arsenal is helpful, but the successful wrestlers have go-to moves.
    “Being great at a few things is much better (than being OK at many),” says Gavin.
    Dominic has learned that the fluidity of Jiu-Jitsu moves translate well to wrestling.
    A club, junior high and high school wrestler at Plymouth, Dominic had Read as head coach his first three seasons and his dad took over his senior year.
    It was his “one-more mentality” that Dominic appreciated about Read.
    “Uno Mas. He said it all the time,” says Dominic. “You’ve always got one more.”
    He says it was a dream to wrestle for his father.
    “He’s a great coach,” says Dominic.
    He recalls Gavin as a wrestler.
    “The big thing that everybody remembers is how natural he was,” says Dominic. “He was always so calm. He never had a worry in the world. He was always ready. We was never going to quit.
    “He was always present in a match.”
    Dominic says each brother has wrestled with this own style.
    “Caydn’s a very, very nasty wrestler,” says Dominic. “He doesn’t care who you are he’s going to press you. Overall, the kid is just mean.
    “Wesley is a very, very technical wrestler. He’s always in good position. He’s always ready for anything coming at him.”
    Caydn describes his strengths as a wrestler.
    “I can just go,” says Caydn. “My cardio is really solid.”
    Caydn subscribes to the idea of less is more.
    “Perfect a few moves and stick to those,” says Caydn. “Just find different ways to hit those moves.”
    Wesley talks about his stinginess and mat approach.
    “I don’t give up a lot of points,” says Wesley. “I don’t give up on my position. Some kids don’t know when to bail and when to fight for position.”
    Angel started grappling about the time she started school.
    “I was born into wrestling and I was always at tournaments with my brothers so I thought I should try it,” says Angel. “I started when I was very young and I’m glad I did because it progressively did get harder.
    “My brothers are very good at teaching a bunch of stuff on my feet. Wesley’s very technical on his feet. A lot of stuff that I do I’ve implemented from Wesley.”
    Angel takes the quote “Don’t Quit - if you re already in pain, already hurt — get a reward” and uses it to drive her.
    “I’ve always thought of that during very tough matches,” says Angel. “When I’m beat up and I feel broke. Getting a reward after that is the greatest feeling.”
    Mishawaka’s 32-team Al Smith Classic which concluded on Dec. 30 saw Plymouth junior Anthony Popi (285) come in second. Wesley Smith placed third at 145 and Caydn Smith lost in the “ticket” round at 152.
    In the Northern Lakes Conference meet Saturday, Jan. 14 at Goshen, top Rockies placers were Wesley Smith (36-1) first at 145, Popi (34-2) at 285, Caydn Smith (30-6) second at 160, sophomore Christopher Firebaugh (26-10) third 132, junior Alonzo Chantea (21-8) fourth 113, junior Seth Wright (22-8) fourth 138 and senior Matthew McCrum (22-9) fourth at 182.
    The Rockies host the Plymouth Sectional Jan. 28. The IHSAA tournament continues with the Penn Regional Feb. 4 and East Chicago Semistate Feb. 11 and concludes with the State Finals Feb. 17-18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
  4. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2022 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic Information   
    This year Indiana has the privilege of having a full squad at the Rose Bowl of Wrestling, the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic. This page will have a lot of information on this year's event.
    Thursday March 24
    Wrestler check-in, practice, and banquet
    Friday March 25th
    Afternoon- Wrestler media session
    6:00pm Indiana vs. WPIAL
    8:00pm USA vs. Pennsylvania
    Peters Township High School
    121 Rolling Hills Drive
    McMurray PA 15317
    Host Hotel
    Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe
    1000 Corporate Dr.
    Canonsburg, PA 15317
    Click here to purchase tickets

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

    Team USA
    132lbs Zeke Seltzer- Cathedral
    138lbs Jesse Mendez- Crown Point
  5. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Peru’s May hopes to reap dividends of varied mat experience   

    An increase in aggressiveness and confidence has Peru High School’s Jalen May shooting for high achievement in his second high school wrestling season.
    The son three-time IHSAA State Finals Placer Nic May (sixth in 2000-2001 at 103 pounds; third at 112 in 2001-02 and second at 112 in 2002-03, losing in the finals to Lawrence North’s Reece Humphries), Tigers sophomore Jalen May gets plenty of encouragement and pointers from his father.
    “He always tells me to work hard,” says Jalen of his father who is No. 2 on the all-time Peru win list at 159-5 (2005 graduate Daric Fuller is tops at 168-16). “He would do anything to wrestle again. He tells me all the work will be worth it. Only I know how hard I can push myself.
    “We have a mat in our basement and try to wrestle around four times a week and focus on one move.”
    Jalen May went 25-6 at 106 as a freshman in 2020-21. Along the way he topped eventual state champion Ashton Jackson 7-4 at the Western Triple Dual.
    “That shows Jalen can wrestle at that level,” says Andy Hobbs, Peru’s head coach since 1996.
    May lost in the “ticket” round at the 2020-21 Fort Wayne Semistate.
    “My freshman year I was a little naive,” says May, who is currently 25-3 as a sophomore 106-pounder. “That semistate opened my eyes.
    “I’m a lot more aggressive (since last high school season) and my confidence has gone up. I used to be scared to wrestle certain people and now I’m always ready to go.
    “I always try to stay positive in the practice room, on meet days or while I’m working out to lose a little bit of weight.”
    In 2021-22, May lost in the 106 semifinals of Mishawaka’s Al Smith Classic to Crown Point freshman Gavin Jendreas (May beat Jendreas 1-0 at the 2021 IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open aka IHPO) and placed third.
    “It went alright,” says May. “I expected to do better. I know I’ll see (Jendreas) again this year.”
    Hobbs and his staff want to keep May challenged.
    “I’m getting ready for the state tournament,” says May. (Coaches) like me to have good matches. They’d rather me have a good match and lose than pin the kid in 30 seconds.”
    Hobbs, a 1986 Tipton High School graduate, coached Nic May and saw him go to Ken Chertow camps in the off-season.
    Jalen May, who says he really increased his drive for wrestling in the seventh grade, has gone to Chertow and Jay Robinson camps, travel team practices, club practices in Kokomo and with Central Indiana Academy in Indianapolis.
    “Jalen has had a lot more experiences (than his father),” says Hobbs. “He’s doing all the right things. He’s getting all the experience it takes to make a run at it.
    “He’s well-rounded wrestler and just a very fluid athlete. He’s wide open. We’re trying to get him to expand the playbook. He can do so many things. It’s a simple sport, but it’s really difficult.”
    May says his go-to takedown move is a high-crotch.
    His regular workout partner this season has been junior Cooper Baldwin (138).
    “It helps you a lot (to drill with a bigger athlete),” says May. “When I do wrestle somebody my size it’s a lot easier.”
    How does May benefit Baldwin?
    “Cooper is hard-working,” says May. “I have really good technique. I help him with that. He’ll feel my aggressive side.”
    Like the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals, May has bumped up in weight to try to help the Tigers and challenge himself.
    “It got me a little better wrestling bigger kids in six-minute matches,” says May.
    Jalen is the oldest of Nic and Ashley May’s four children ahead of brother Josh, sister Mischalay and brother Nicholas Jr. The family resides in Peru.
    Post-high school plans for Jalen currently call for wrestling and studying law in college.
    “My grandma (Jodi May) works at a law firm in Kokomo and one of our assistants Dustin Kern is a city attorney in Peru,” says May. “I’ve always thought it’s cool. It’s a very interesting job.”
    Peru’s remaining schedule includes the Three Rivers Conference meet Saturday, Jan. 22 at Maconaquah. The Tigers’ IHSAA state tournament series path goes through the Jan. 29 Maconaquah Sectional, Feb. 5 Maconaquah Regional, Feb. 12 Fort Wayne Semistate and Feb. 18-19 State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  
  6. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Critchfield ready for one last go in Indiana   
    Nathan Critchfield was down – but he sure as heck won’t allow himself to be counted out.
    Critchfield wrestles through pain each and every day. He doesn’t complain. It has become a way of life for the Evansville Mater Dei senior.
    Critchfield wrestled his first three years of high school in Illinois. His best finish was third in the state meet in 2020. Then he got the news that would ultimately change his life – he had a tumor on his spine.
    “My back was hurting all year and moving into freestyle season I got it checked out that May,” Critchfield said.  “They just did a physical exam and I kept at it and kept wrestling. Then, in August of 2020 I was still in pain and I got checked out again. They told me I had a tumor on the inside of my spinal cord.”
    The news rocked Critchfield. He knew he was going to have to endure a grueling surgery and a long road to recovery. They wouldn’t know if the tumor was cancerous until after the surgery. The diagnosis was devastating – both physically and mentally for Critchfield.
    “Hearing about the tumor was shocking, to say the least,” Critchfield said. “It came at a time that was so crucial in my life. I was going into my senior year. That’s an important time in your social life and in your academics. Then hearing that you’re probably not ever going to wrestle again, that was a big hit.”
    Critchfield ended up sitting out his entire senior year to deal with his medical issues. He would have graduated in 2021 but will now graduate in 2022.
    His first back surgery was a 12-hour ordeal. The next week he ended up getting a MRSA infection in the incision that required another surgery.  He wasn’t out of the woods yet. The first surgery had caused his legs to not work properly. That required yet another surgery.
    “Between my legs and my back, I couldn’t walk for a few months,” Critchfield said.
    Critchfield tried to do a little drilling in wrestling in February, even though he says he wasn’t supposed to. His legs still weren’t working the way they were supposed to work In April he had another surgery to relieve the pressure in both of his legs.
    In the end, the tumor was not cancerous. And, although he’s still in pain, it’s something he has learned to live with.
    “This whole ordeal has made me a different kind of person,” Critchfield said. “I have really grown in my faith. I get reminded of it all every day when I go to practice. Both of my legs hurt and my back hurts. Wrestling really sucks with the pain – but I love doing it. I put myself through it because I don’t know what else I would do.”
    Critchfield doesn’t care if his opponents on the mat know about his bad back, or his issues with his legs.
    “People tell me not to let others know I’m hurting,” Critchfield said. “They say to not let your opponents know you’re not feeling your best. I don’t think that would give them an edge on me though. I think it gives me a little edge, actually. They are going to wrestle a guy knowing he’s going to feel like crap and he’s still not scared. They are about to wrestle a guy that has went through hell but is still out there ready to go. That’s got to mess with them more than it does with me.”
    Critchfield is currently ranked No. 2 in the state at 220 pounds. He joins a Mater Dei team that is loaded with ranked wrestlers this season.
    Mater Dei has two wrestlers currently ranked No. 1 in their weight classes, both are returning state champs in Brody Baumann and Gabe Sollars. Crtichfield is No. 2 at 220. Hunter May is No. 3 at 152 pounds. Isaiah Schaefer is No. 4 at 106. Evan Seng is No. 5 at 113 pounds, Ashton Hayhurst is NO. 8 at 145 and Reed Egli is No. 13 at 120 pounds.
    “This is my first year at Mater Dei and it’s been pretty fun,” Critchfield said. “It’s an interesting atmosphere and it’s a lot different than other schools. They put a lot of emphasis on wrestling for your school instead of for yourself. They have built a program and the whole community gets behind it. When you hear about the culture at Mater Dei, you never imagine how it really is until you’re a part of it.”
    Mater Dei coach Greg Schaefer is glad to have Critchfield on the squad.
    “Nathan is just a genuine, hard-working, hard-nosed kid,” Schaefer said. “He’s one of those guys that will be hard to outwork. He has a great attitude and seems to be extremely grateful doing what he’s doing.”
    Schaefer said a lot of the kids in the Mater Dei program don’t even know what all Critchfield has been through.
    “You wouldn’t even know that there was anything going on with him,” Schaefer said. “He doesn’t talk about it, and he doesn’t act like there’s any issues. It’s pretty incredible to think about what he’s been through and that he still maintains the attitude and desire to chase after his dream.”
    As far as Critchfield’s wrestling abilities, Schaefer describes him as a big guy with the skill set of a little man.
    “He’s very skillful,” Schaefer said. “He’s not like some of the guys that are just big bruisers. He’s more technical than most big guys. He wrestles more like a little guy.”
    Critchfield has wrestled for Mauer Coughlin since he was very young. He parents used to drive him to the practices over an hour away, three times a week. There he made friends with a lot of the guys on the team and a lot of Indiana wrestlers throughout the state.
    This year his goal is to go out on top. He’s seen the Indiana state finals and wants nothing more than to wrestle under the spotlight.
    “My No. 1 goal is to win a state title,” Critchfield said. “I like to go as hard as I can and put it on people. I keep the pace up and make people want to quit. I make them tired, and I ride hard. I’m real tough on top – but nobody holds me down either. And I don’t quit. That’s my biggest strength. I will not ever quit.”
  7. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Bluffton’s Bertsch has sights set on making history   

    Landon Bertsch did not start wrestling in elementary as some top performers do. He was a swimmer in elementary school.
    Then as a sixth grader, he met up with Ben Sprunger.
    The winningest grappler in Bluffton High School history, Sprunger came back to his hometown to teach middle school Physical Education after college and began introducing youngsters to wrestling.
    “For me it’s about numbers,” says Sprunger. “It’s about getting as many kids out, motivating them, getting them in love with the sport and continuing to develop them.”
    That strategy worked with Bertsch.
    “I fell in love with it,” says Bertsch. “It took me awhile to get good at it.”
    By the time he reached high school, Bertsch was getting pretty good on the mat. A 132-pound Bluffton Tigers senior in 2021-22, he is a three-time IHSAA State Finals performer (qualifier in 2019 at 113 with a 39-3 record, qualifer in 2020 at 126 with 42-2 mark and sixth-place finisher in 2021 at 126 with a 24-2 ledger). His career mark 10 bouts into his final prep season was 115-7.
    “He lives for wrestling,” says Sprunger of Bertsch. “That’s his thing. He puts a lot of effort into it.
    “He has the grit and the toughness you can’t always coach, It’s that X Factor. Either you have it or you don’t.”
    Sprunger, who is in his sixth season as Bluffton head coach, finished his high school career at 139-10 and placed three times at the State Finals — seventh at 125 as a sophomore in 1998, second at 125 as a junior in 1999 and first at 130 as a senior in 2000.
    Bertsch, who also trains with the club at Bellmont and at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, has the chance to catch and pass Sprunger on the victory list and become Bluffton’s first four-time state qualifier.
    For Bluffton, the IHSAA tournament series goes through the Jay County Sectional and Jay County Regional and Fort Wayne Semistate.
    “I don’t plan on losing this year,” says Bartsch, who went 6-0 in the Allen County Athletic Conference Duals Saturday, Dec. 11 at Jay County and is 10-0 on the season. “I just want to be the best.
    “My coach helps me and encourages me.”
    It’s confidence that Bertsch has taken with him in each of his previous State Finals appearances.
    “What goes through my mind is that these guys are not better than me,” says Bertsch. “They are the same level. I can beat every single guy here.”
    As a freshmen, he was pinned by eventual fifth-placer David Pierson of Warren Central in the first round.
    As a sophomore, Monrovia’s Ben Dalton edged him 6-4 in the Friday match on the way to seventh place.
    “That still haunts us a little bit,” says Sprunger of the late takedown that eliminated Bertsch in 2020.
    In 2021, he beat Wawasee’s Branden Dilley by technical fall in the first round and lost 5-3 to eventual runner-up Cheaney Schoeff of Avon in the second round on the way to sixth.
    What about the down time between matches at a big meet?
    “I mess around with my friends and let my body relax,” says Bartsch. “It helps me stay calm and not get too anxious or too excited.
    “When it’s time to wrestle. it’s ‘go time’ again and I’m get ready to go.”
    As his high school days have progressed, Bertsch has gotten bigger and become a tough defender and attacker.
    “He’s growing up a little bit and filling out,” says Sprunger. “He’s stubborn on his feet. He won’t give up takedowns. If he’s on top, he’s a beast. He’s tough on his feet, too.
    “He’s not scared of any opponent or any situation.”
    Bertsch counts junior Austin Lewis — a returning state qualifer at 120 now at 145 — as a regular workout partner.
    “They make each other better,” says Sprunger. “They both have a hunger to wrestle.”
    The coach also rolls with the Tigers in practice, including Bertsch.
    “He’s crazy,” says Bertsch of Sprunger. “He beats up on all of us.”
    Bertsch notes that Sprunger keeps him honest and he makes it a point to stay in position.
    “It allows you to set up and make shots and it allows you to have a good defense,” says Bertsch. “You’ve got to have good balance to be in good position. You’ve got to keep moving.”
    When Bertsch moves on from Bluffton, he plans to go to college as an engineering major and wrestler. He has not yet decided on which school. His favorite high school subject is math and he’s looking forward to Calculus next semester.
    Landon’s father — former middle school wrestler Matt Bertsch — is a civil engineer and owner at Bertsch-Frank & Associates LLC, a land surveying and construction engineering company located in Fort Wayne where his oldest son did an internship last summer.
    Adams Central High School graduates Matt and Elizabeth Bertsch have three children — Landon, sophomore Alydia, eighth grader Eli and fifth grader Addie.
  8. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Lucas Davison earns Big 10 Wrestler of the Week honors   
    Wildcats’ Davison earns Wrestler of the Week plaudit after posting a 4-0 record to claim the heavyweight title at the MSU Open
    Wrestler of the Week
    Lucas Davison, Northwestern
    Heavyweight – Jr. – Chesterton, Ind. – Chesterton
    Went 4-0 by a combined margin of 30-7 to take the heavyweight division title at the Michigan State Open The unranked 285 pounder started the tournament with a 5-0 decision over Cal Poly’s Trevor Tinker before earning a 10-4 decision over Illinois' No. 25 Luke Luffman Earned bonus points in a 13-3 major decision over Northern Illinois’ Terrese Aaron and followed it up with a 2-0 decision over No. 22 Josh Heindselman of Oklahoma in the finals The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career Last Northwestern Wrestler of the Week: Sebastian Rivera (Jan. 2, 2019)  
    2021-22 Wrestlers of the Week
    Nov. 10: Lucas Davison, Jr., NU
  9. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, IndianaMat Silverback Subscription Plan   
    The increasing reality of the internet is subscription plans. Looking at other state websites almost all of them have some sort of subscription in order to view most of the content. IndianaMat has bucked the trend and continued to be a free site utilizing other revenue streams that pay the bills. One of our revenue streams over the past few years has been our extremely popular preseason magazine. This year we set a record with the sales which will help us add staff members and equipment to better cover the sport.
    However, with increasing coverage and content comes higher bills and expenses. This year we are going to implement our Silverback subscription program. Many of you may have noticed that some people are tagged as Silverbacks on the forum. That basically means they have purchased a magazine whether a physical or digital copy. With that perk comes the ability to view our preseason rankings. We are not going to stop there though. We are giving early access to all of our rankings to these people for the first 24 hours after each individual ranking set is released. As we move along this season there will be more perks added to this membership.
    If you do not want to purchase a magazine you can become a subscriber by going to the subscriptions tab at the top or in the mobile menu and subscribe. Once you purchase a subscription plan or a magazine you will be upgraded to the Silverback group.
    The cost is $10 and will give you access to our Silverback subscription plan for a year. There will be more perks later this year for members as we add more features to the website.
    Click here to purchase a subscription
    Any questions can be directed to me via private message.
    Other wrestling websites and their costs
    Michigan Grappler- $74.99/year or $11.99/month
    Illinois Matmen- $9.99/month on Rokfin
    Missouri Wrestling- $9.99/month on Rokfin
    HuskerMat(Nebraska)- $9.99/month on Rokfin
    Kabra Wrestling(Florida)- $70/year or $7/month
    Southeast Wrestling(Southeast)- $60/year or $8/month
  10. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Red doing big things for the Big Red   
    By Drew Hughes
    Anyone that has been around Indiana wrestling in the last decade probably knows the
    name Chad Red. In high school Red had about as good of a career as anyone could ask for
    winning 4 state titles and going a perfect 183-0. Along with this he won 3 of the toughest off-
    season tournaments in the country; Fargo, Super 32, and FloNationals. He finished his high
    school career ranked #1 in the country at 132lbs along with being ranked #8 out of all seniors in
    his graduating class.
    Being one of the most sought after recruits Red decided on Nebraska as his college
    destination. Red said “I chose Nebraska because of Jordan Burroughs and the coaching staff is
    very helpful, and my family thought they were the best coaches for me.”.
    Red has very well in college so far where he has become a 2 time All-American as well
    as a Big Ten finalist. He has had some great matches in his college career with one of the best
    coming in the blood round of NCAA’s his freshman year. In this match Red pinned the two-time
    defending National Champion Dean Heil in the first period to become an All-American. Red also
    placed 3rd at last year’s Big Ten championship and qualified for the cancelled 2020 NCAA
    championships where he was named a NWCA first team All-American.
    This season Red is off to a great start with a 4-1 record and his lone loss coming from
    Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman. Red is currently ranked 6 th in the country at 141 and in the upcoming
    weeks will get the chance to wrestle #1 ranked Sebastian Rivera before the Big Ten tournament.
    Now the big question that people are asking right now for most college seniors are if they
    will be returning for a 6 th year. Due to Covid the NCAA has made it so this year does not count
    towards your eligibility giving athletes the chance to compete for an extra year. With that being
    said Red is planning on wrestling next season and will still have a shot at being a 4 time All-
    American and possibly a National Champion.
    After college Red plans to stay in Nebraska and wrestle for the NWTC where he would
    compete internationally in an attempt to make world and Olympic teams. He also plans on
    coaching and we could see that being anywhere from the college level to even coming back to
    Indiana to coach at Red Cobra Wrestling Academy where his father, Chad Red Sr., is the coach.
    Looking far down the road we could also see him coaching his little brother to 4 high school
    state titles but that wouldn’t be until at least 2034.
  11. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2020 IndianaMat Award Winners   
    Mr. Gorilla: Silas Allred- Shenandoah
    1st Runner-up: Alec Viduya- Roncalli
    2nd Runner-up: Joseph Walker- Mishawaka
    3A Coach of the Year: Sean McGinley- Cathedral
    2A Coach of the Year: Paul Gunsett- Bellmont
    1A Coach of the Year: Cody Moll- North Posey
    3A Wrestler of the Year: Eli Dickens- Mater Dei
    2A Wrestler of the Year: Clayton Fielden- Garrett
    1A Wrestler of the Year: Isiah Levitz- Prairie Heights
    Past Award Winners
    1A Coach
    2015- Tony Currie
    2016- Brett Smith
    2017- Gary Black
    2018- Chuck Fleshman
    2019- Tony Currie
    1A Wrestler
    2015- Sawyer Miller
    2016- Evan Ellis
    2017- Eli Stock
    2018- Noah Cressell
    2019- Silas Allred
    2A Coach
    2015- Trent McCormick
    2016- Mark Kerrn
    2017- Trent McCormick
    2018- Frank Bumgardner
    2019- Chad Shepherd
    2A Wrestler
    2015- Brock Hudkins
    2016- Brock Hudkins
    2017- Mason Parris
    2018- Brayden Curtis
    2019- AJ Fowler
    3A Coach
    2015- Brad Harper
    2016- Darrick Snyder
    2017- Chris Johl
    2018- Matt Schoettle
    2019- Sean McGinley
    3A Wrestler
    2015- Chad Red
    2016- Blake Rypel
    2017- Joe Lee
    2018- Asa Garcia
    2019- Jordan Slivka
    Mr. Gorilla
    2015- Tommy Forte
    2016- Chad Red
    2017- Andrew Davison
    2018- Brayton Lee and Mason Parris
    2019- Asa Garcia
  12. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Fulks ready for his first trip to Bankers Life   
    Last Saturday when Jordan Fulks pinned Terre Haute South Vigo’s Moses Hamm in the ticket round of the Evansville semistate, he did something that hasn’t been done by a Boonville wrestler in 13 years. He advanced to the state tournament.
    “The last guy to make it to state from our school was Sam Derosett,” Fulks said. “He coached me when I was in middle school.”
    Fulks, a junior, is currently ranked No. 5 at 152 pounds. He is 43-1 on the year with his lone loss coming in the semistate championship to No. 4-ranked Logan Boe.
    “Jordan is scrappy wrestler,” Boonville co-coach Dustin Wilke said. “He’s a good wrestler on his feet. He moves his hands and feet very well. He has a lot of pins and racks up a lot of points.”
    Last season Fulks finished the year with a 36-2 mark. He lost in the first round of semistate.
    “I had a knee injury last year that really set me back a few months,” Fulks said. “It became a motivation thing, I guess. I advanced to semistate with a knee injury and that really inspired me because I knew if I could make it that far, hurt, then when I got better I could go even further.”
    Fulks is a year-around wrestler. It’s the only sport he participates in.
    “He’s got a real drive to be successful in wrestling,” Wilke said. “I’ve known him for several years. He was in our youth feeder program. He was on our travel team. I helped coach him in middle school. When he was getting a little older, I asked him what he wants to be – and he said a state champion. He asked what he needs to do to make that happen. He’s always looking for insight and he’s always trying to improve.”
    Fulks believes his best attribute in wrestling is his confidence.
    “I’m a confident wrestler,” he said. “I go out there and I’m confident in my moves and that I can hit them. I never go out thinking I can win every match, but I think I am going to wrestle my match, every time.”
    Friday night Fulks will go up against Huntington North’s No. 12-ranked Cody McCune (36-2). Both wrestlers are looking to place for the first time at state. McCune advanced last year, but did not place.
  13. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 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.”
  14. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, 2020 New Castle Semi-State Preview   
    This may be the toughest New Castle Semi State I have ever seen.  There will be 20 or more ranked wrestlers staying home next week.  As always, brutal ticket round match ups with two top 10 ranked wrestlers.  5 #1 Ranked Wrestlers in the tournament.
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #3 Suhas Chundi- Carmel
    #5 Bryce Lowery- Roncalli
    #7 Josh Johnson- Cardinal Ritter
    #9 Evan Dickey- Cathedral
    #19 Romello Williams- Anderson
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #6 Keaton Morton- Perry Meridian
    #7 Nathan Smith- Southport
    #8 Garrett Condo- Milan
    Potential Match-ups
    #5 Bryce Lowery vs #19 Romelo Williams ticket round
    Lowery has been on fire in his freshman campaign and is looking to take his first trip to state with his older brother.
    #9 Evan Dickey vs #6ss Keaton Morton
    These two have not wrestled this year.  Morton has an awkward style that could give Dickey issues, but Dickey has experience on the floor at New Castle.
    #3 Suhas Chundi vs #7ss Nathan Smith
    Chundi has been here before and the podium at state and it looks like he should have a return trip.
    #7 Johnson vs #5 Lowery
    Rematch from sectionals in the semi finals.
    #9 Dickey vs #3 Chundi 
    #3 Chundi vs #5 Lowery
    1st Round Picks
    Johnson over Condo (4 over 1)
    Rodriguez over Vest
    Lowery over Hale
    Williams over Coffman
    Dickey over Cornelius
    Morton over Holcomb
    Chundi over Fye
    Smith over Lengerich
    Tickets Punched
    Lowery, Chundi, Dickey, Johnson
    Alpha Dogs
    Lowery and Chundi
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #1 Alex Cottey- Perry Meridian
    #4 Elijah Anthony- Frankfort
    #8 Blake Wolf- East Central
    #10 Marquarias Wilburn- Warren Central
    #11 Logan Carrender LN
    #12 Brac Hooper Carmel
    #14 Kody Glithero
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #8 Griffin Ingalls Fishers
    Potential Match-ups
    #11 Carrender vs #4 Anthony ticket round
    Anthony has had two incredible seasons so far, but Senior Carrender will be a tough out.  His style is awkward and he is extremely strong.  Anthony knocked him off in ticket round last year.
    #8 Wolf vs #8ss Ingalls first round
    Haven’t seen much about this match-up.  Ingalls has a win over Wilburn and has been competitive all year.  Winner has the privilege of #1 Alex Cottey in the ticket round. 
    #10 Wilburn vs #12 Hooper ticket round.
    These two have had 2 opportunities to wrestle but it hasn’t happened yet.  Wilburn has beat Carrender twice which Hooper lost to in a major decision.  Hooper pinned Ingalls who beat Wilburn early in the year.
    #14 Glithero vs #4 Anthony Semis
    Glithero is coming off a huge win over Alex Cottey and Anthony is coming off two straight losses to Hooper.  Should be a good one.
    1st Round Picks
    Glithero over Ellingwood
    Driver over Necessary
    Carrender over Bullock
    Anthony over Gardner
    Wolf over Ingalls
    Cottey over Reese
    Hooper over Marker
    Wilburn over Reyes
    Tickets Punched
    Cottey, Glithero, Anthony, Wilburn
    Alpha Dog
    Alex Cottey
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #1 Zeke Seltzer- Cathedral
    #4 Carson Eldred- Westfield
    #7 Christian White- New Palestine
    #10 Anthony Hughes- Lawrence North
    #13 Carleton Perry- Warren Central
    #14 Jacob Simone- Hamilton Southeastern
    #19 Brevan Thrine- New Castle
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #6 Antonio Jefferson LC
    Potential Match-ups
    #1 Seltzer vs #14 Simone. 
    Two state place winners do battle to see who gets a chance to go back to Bankers Life.  Simone had Eldred on the ropes last week and doesn’t want to end his career at New Castle.
    #6SS Jefferson vs Thrine first round
    Thrine has had an amazing freshman campaign with his only loss coming by major to Christian White.  Jefferson has been here before and lost the last two years.  Senior versus freshman.
    Winner gets #7 Christian White
    White would be the favorite over Thrine.  Jefferson may pull the second 4 over 1 here and make the ticket round even crazier.
    #13 Perry vs #10 Hughes
    These two have wrestled several times over the years with Hughes taking the last one at MIC.  Perry is coming off back to back wins over White as well as wins over Glithero and Jefferson who have defeated Hughes.  But Hughes tech falled AJ Gunn from Carmel who has a win over Perry. 
    #1 Seltzer vs #7 White semis.
    #4 Eldred vs #10/#13 Hughes/White 
    1st Round Picks
    Seltzer over Myers
    Simone over Haggerty
    Jefferson over Thrine
    White over Pritchett
    Eldred over Thang
    Dietz over Schneider
    Perry over Farling
    Hughes over Bray
    Tickets Punched
    Seltzer, Eldred, Perry, White
    Alpha Dog
    Zeke Seltzer
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #5 Brayden Lowery Roncalli
    #6 David Pierson- Warren Central
    #16 Luke Gonzalez- Cathedral
    #19 Cameron Toole- Lebanon
    #20 Joey Langeman- Carmel
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #7 Jeremiah Henderson- Lawrence North
    Potential Match-ups
    #19 Toole vs Brandon first round
    Brandon took Pierson down at regionals and is a very hard nosed wrestler.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset here.  Followed with a ticket round with either super frosh Searcy from East Central or Jeremiah Henderson who has had an up and down year but is dangerous.
    #5 Lowery vs #16 Gonzalez ticket round
    Gonzalez has kept matches close with elite level guys all year and had a great Al Smith.  Lowery shouldn’t overlook him.
    #20 Langeman vs Dennison
    Dennison has had a great year at 33-1, but I suspect Carmel will have Langeman ready.
    #5 Lowery vs #6 Pierson Finals
    Lowery won at Marion County 1-0.  Should be another great battle.
    1st Round Picks
    Toole over Ashton
    Searcy over Henderson
    Lowery over Drilik
    Gonzalez over Maitland
    Otto over Johnson
    Pierson over Lauy
    Dennison over Bertram
    Langeman over Vinson
    Tickets Punched
    Lowery, Pierson, Toole, Langeman
    Alpha Dog
    Brayden Lowery
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #2 Matt Koontz- Perry Meridian
    #7 Aundre Beatty- Warren Central
    #9 Andrew Wilson- Cathedral
    #10 Luke Goodwin- Southport
    #12 Sebastian Bryant- North Central
    #16 Jared Brown- Pendleton Heights
    #17 Sam Slivka- Roncalli
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #8 Hudson Harreld- Zionsville
    Potential Match-ups
    #7 Beatty vs #16 Brown ticket round. 
    Two state qualifiers battling it out to see who goes to the Bank.  Beatty had a great regional beating both #2 Koontz 7-0 and #17 Slivka to take home the title.
    #10 Goodwin vs Frazier.  4 over 1 potential here. 
    Goodwin had a brutal regional with Beatty, Koontz, Slivka and himself.  He has a win over Frazier over the summer.  Winner gets #9 Wilson to punch a ticket.  Wilson only has 7 matches this season due to injury but has been to state before.
    #8ss Harreld vs #17 Slivka ticket round. 
    Slivka was a regional champion year that didn’t make it to state.  Look for him to punch a ticket.
    #12 Bryant vs #2 Koontz ticket round. 
    This is the premier ticket round match as both of these kids should be placers.  Bryant has dominated since dropping to 132 with his only loss being Beatty.
    1st Round Picks
    Beatty over Lonneman
    Brown over Merkel
    Goodwin over Frazier
    Wilson over Lloyd
    Harreld over Bustamante
    Slivka over Sherwood
    Bryant over Barrett
    Koontz over Walston
    Tickets Punched
    Beatty, Koontz, Goodwin, Slivka
    Alpha Dog
    Aundre Beatty
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #2 Logan Bailey- Cathedral
    #4 Logan Wagner- Zionsville
    #7 Brendan Mattingly- Carmel
    #8 Jevian Ross- Warren Central
    #14 Dylan Dorman- Greenfield-Central
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #6 David Page- Roncalli
    #8 Max Naselroad- Alexandria
    Potential Match-ups
    #2 Bailey vs #8 Ross. 
    Brutal matchup of two kids that both should place at state.  Both wrestlers have lost in the ticket round twice in their careers.  Bailey lost to Beatty from Warren Central last year and Seth Johnson as a freshman.  Ross has lost to Wilkerson and Caleb Oliver.  Should be some fireworks In this one.
    #2Bailey/#8 Ross vs #7 Mattingly Semis
    #4 Wagner waiting in finals
    1st Round Picks
    Walsh over Morgan
    Mattingly over Johnson
    Bailey over Miles
    Ross over Lemieux
    Dorman over Smith
    Lawson over Crouch
    Wagner over Page
    Naselroad over Euson
    Tickets Punched
    Bailey, Wagner, Mattingly, Dorman
    Alpha Dogs
    Logan Bailey
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #1 Alec Viduya- Roncalli
    #6 Chris Wilkerson- Mount Vernon
    #7 Jajuan Anderson- Warren Central
    #9 Jeff Dunasky- Guerin Catholic
    #13 Jake Shafer- Carmel
    #14 Gabe Phillips- Centerville
    #14 Reece Luhmann- Hamilton Southeastern
    #17 Garrett Stewart- Cathedral
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #8 Brady Mckivitz- Perry Meridian
    Potential Match-ups
    #9 Dunasky vs #7 Anderson ticket round. 
    This should be a great ticket round matchup.  Dunasky is trying to be Guerins first ever state qualifier.  He lost to Warren Centrals Antwaun Graves last year in the ticket round.  Anderson has wins over Luhmann, Mckivitz, Stewart, Shafer, and Wilkerson.
    #8ss Mckivitz vs #14 Phillips first round. 
    Mckivitz has had a solid season with some solid wins and some losses in Perrys brutal schedule.  Luhmann is waiting in the wings for the winner for a ranked ticket round matchup.
    #17 Stewart vs #13 Shafer first round. 
    Stewart is a huge 145 but has taken a lot of losses.  Wolf had a great regional tournament overturning some losses from earlier in the year. 
    #1 Viduya vs #6 Wilkerson ticket round. 
    This is another brutal ticket round that leaves behind a projected state place winner.  Viduya has been on a different level this year.
    1st Round Picks
    Dunasky over McDonald
    Anderson over Bohan
    Luhmann over Nixon
    Phillips over McKivitz
    Wolf over Taylor
    Shafer over Stewart
    Viduya over Linkel
    Wilkerson over Lindamood
    Tickets Punched
    Viduya, Anderson, Luhmann, Shafer
    Alpha Dog
    Alec Viduya
    State Ranked wrestlers
    #1 Brice Coleman- Warren Central
    #3 Bryer Hall- East Central
    #6 Tyce Frejie- Roncalli
    #10 Shane Bates- Zionsville
    #18 Aidan Alford- Mount Vernon
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #4 Noah Baker- Perry Meridian
    #7 Tyler Jones- Lawrence Central
    #8 Tyler Vredeveld- Centerville
    Potential Match-ups
    #4ss Baker vs #18 Alford first round. 
    Bake'rs match count is not indicative of his skill.  Should be a great match followed with a ticket round date with #10 Bates.
    #3 Hall vs #6 Frejie ticket round. 
    This is a huge matchup.  Hall is trying to get back to state after losing to Leavell last year in the ticket round.  Frejie has been to the show several times and doesn’t want to end his career at New Castle. 
    #1 Coleman vs #8ss Vredeveld. 
    Centerville's only loss this year is to Bryer Hall in the Regional finals.  Coleman is looking to make his first trip to state after losing to Rodgers in the ticket round last year.
    #3Hall/#6 Frejie vs #1 Coleman Finals
    1st Round Picks
    Bates over Foster
    Baker over Alford
    Hall over Ginella
    Frejie over Urasky
    Jones over Wills
    Mobley over McLaren
    Coleman over Lemaster
    Vredeveld over Fox
    Tickets Punched
    Coleman, Hall, Bates, Jones
    Alpha Dog
    Brice Coleman
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #3 Elliott Rodgers- Cathedral
    #4 Cooper Noehre- Greenfield Central
    #12 Dante Akins- Indianapolis Lutheran
    #14 Damon Mcclain- Warren Central
    #15 Andrew Roth- Lawrenceburg
    #20 Luke Davis- Zionsville
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #7 Josh Moore- Southport
    #8 Max Hayes- Mount Vernon
    Potential Match-ups
    This weight is pretty spread out on the top ranked wrestlers.
    #8SS Max Hayes vs #14 Damon McClain first round. 
    Hayes has been a tough wrestler for years. McClain has been wrestling well winning the Marion County and MIC tournaments. 
    #14 McClain vs #20 Davis ticket round. 
    Davis is coming off a great Regional tournament and is rewarded with the higher ranked McClain in ticket round.
    #15 Roth vs #12 Akins. 
    Akins has to get through a very tough Goodner first from the Deaf school.  He pinned Hayes last week.  I could be wrong, but Akins might be the first state qualifier for Lutheran.
    #3 Rodgers vs #4 Noehre in semis to rematch the state finals from last year. 
    Their matchup earlier this year ended with a crazy funk roll from Rodgers for the win late in the third.
    1st Round Picks
    Rodgers over Moore
    Williamson over Carr
    Noehre over Butterfield
    Mitchell over Lowe
    Davis over Payne
    McClain over Hayes
    Roth over Weakley
    Akins over Goodner
    Tickets Punched
    Noehre, McClain, Rodgers, Akins
    Alpha Dogs
    Cooper Noehre and Elliott Rodgers
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #7 Tyler Wagner- Cathedral
    #8 Bradley Harrington- North Central
    #9 Gabe Davin Carmel
    #15 Tytus Ragle- New Castle
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #3 Jajuan Dale- Perry Meridian
    #6 Chase Poynter- Zionsville
    #7 Ronan Hiner- Hamilton Southeastern
    #8 Ty Welliever- Southmont
    Potential Match-ups
    #4SS Dale vs #8SS Welliever first round. 
    Winner gets #8 Harrington in the ticket round.  Harrington is a huge 170 after making the drop from 182 earlier in the year. 
    #9 Davin vs #15 Ragle ticket round. 
    Really tough ticket round for Ragle who was winning in Regional finals before getting thrown and pinned. 
    #6SS Poynter vs Mpole. 
    Mpole is an unbelievable athlete with a great story of how he came to the United States.  Winner has Malson/Bishop in ticket round.
    #7 Wagner vs #7ss Hiner. 
    These two have wrestled each other their whole lives.  Don’t expect Hiner to get blown out, he may even steal this ticket from Cathedral.
    1st Round Picks
    Dale over Welliever
    Harrington over Calderon
    Davin over Mosconi
    Ragle over Rice
    Bishop over Malson
    Mpole over Poynter
    Wagner over Rullman
    Hiner over Ortel
    Tickets Punched
    Harrington, Wagner, Davin, Mpole
    Alpha Dog
    Bradley Harrington
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #4 Aidan Warren- Perry Meridian
    #6 Johnny Parker- Cathedral
    #12 Hayden Filipovich- Indianapolis Lutheran
    #13 Garret Sharp- Carmel
    #16 Kole Viel- East Central
    #18 Dawson McCloud- North Montgomery
    #20 Gavin Keesee- Franklin Central
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #7 Riley Woodall- Southmont
    Potential Match-ups
    #18 McCloud vs Myers. 
    McCloud has had a great season is looking to continue it against the Iron Bear’s son.  Ticket round matchup vs Filipovich who is also trying to get Lutheran to Bankers Life.
    #4 Warren vs #7SS Woodall. 
    Warren has two trips to state in two attempts.  Woodall is trying to match his brothers Middle School State Title last weekend.
    #16 Viel vs #20 Keesee first round
    Followed by a matchup with #13 Sharp in the ticket round.  This quarter bracket is brutal with 3 ranked wrestlers.
    1st Round Picks
    Mccloud over Myers
    Filipovich over Lawler
    Parker over Broom
    Sullivan over Orcutt
    Warren over Mcgill
    Woodall over Gillespie
    Viel over Keesee
    Sharp over hanson
    Tickets Punched
    Warren, Parker, Filipovich, Sharp
    Alpha Dog
    Aidan Warren
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #1 Silas Allred- Shenandoah
    #3 JD Farrell-cFishers
    #4 Kyle Krummen- East Central
    #9 Zach White- Carmel
    #12 Excell Brooks- Lawrence North
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #5 Jacob Huffman- Cathedral
    #6 Jeff McClure- Perry Meridian
    #7 Isiah Martin- Brebuf Jesuit
    #8 Richard Clevenger- New Palestine
    Potential Match-ups
    Other than Silas, this weight had 2 unranked regional champions and is wide open.
    #3 Farrell vs #12 Brooks ticket round. 
    Farrell has had a great season including taking Silas down at Connersville.  Brooks is incredibly athletic and is a tough matchup for anyone.
    #8SS Clevenger vs #4 Krummen
    Clevenger has had a great junior campaign including winning the brutal Perry Meridian regional.  Krummen just took his first loss to Allred last weekend.
    White vs McCloud
    Rematch from earlier in the year where White took a 7-5 decision home.  Followed by a matchup with Jacob Huffman from Cathedral.  I predict the winner of the first round match will knock out the Pendleton regional champ.
    #3 Farrell vs #1 Allred
    Rematch from Spartan Classic in finals.
    1st Round Picks
    Farrell over Beard
    Brooks over Orcutt
    Clevenger over Arvin
    Krummen over Martin
    Huffman over Shaffer
    White tossup McCloud
    Allred over Lovell
    McClure over Dreher
    Tickets Punched
    Allred, Farrell, Krummen, (White or McCloud)
    Alpha Dog
    Silas Allred
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #2 Drew Webster- North Montgomery
    #10 Deshawn Young- Franklin Central
    #12 David Guhl- Cathedral
    #16 Alex Hernandez- Warren Central
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #6 Parker Smitley- Mount Vernon
    #7 Cameron Brown- New Castle
    #8 Justin Stephens- Pendleton Heights
    Potential Match-ups
    A lot of great matchups first and second round.  Most of the top dogs are separated until semi finals though.  Taylor and Van Beynen should be good.  Young and Smitley.
    #2 Webster vs #12 Guhl ticket round. 
    Webster has been on fire this year.  Guhl got a very unfortunate draw for having such a great season.
    #16 Hernandez vs #7SS Brown. 
    These two have wrestled 4 times this season.  Brown won the first one with Hernandez winning the next 3.  Should be a great first round matchup with winner getting Blaine Pierce from Richmond to go to the Bank.
    1st Round Picks
    Stephens over Lewis
    Van Beynen over Taylor
    Young over Smitley
    Shafer over Arvin
    Webster over Rowlett
    Guhl over Goodall
    Pierce over Schilling
    Hernandez over Brown
    Tickets Punched
    Webster, Young, Hernandez, Van Beynen
    Alpha Dog 
    Drew Webster
    State Ranked Wrestlers
    #2 Andrew Irick- Hamilton Southeastern
    #5 Holder Parsons- Cathedral
    #6 Cade Campbell- Pendleton Heights
    #9 Antone Alexander- Franklin Central
    #12 Dennis Hubbard- Warren Central
    Semi-State Ranked Wrestlers
    #6 Kolt Keller CC
    #7 Josh Berger NE
    Potential Match-ups
    #6SS Keller vs #7SS Berger- First Round
    Followed up with a match-up with #9 Antone Alexander. 
    #2 Irick vs #6 Campbell- Ticket Round 
    These two have wrestled a few times this year with Irick coming out ahead both times.  Brutal draw for Campbell in his senior campaign.
    #2 Irick vs #5 Parsons- Finals
    1st Round picks
    Keller over Berger
    Alexander over Anderson
    Irick over Pandoli
    Campbell over Keevers
    Hubbard over Snyder
    McDaniel over Myers
    Parsons over Jackson
    Goodall over Platonov
    Tickets Punched
    Irick, Parsons, Hubbard, Alexander
    Alpha Dogs
    Andrew Irick and Holden Parsons
  15. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Gilbert's big dream will not be deterred   
    For as long as Sullivan freshman Lane Gilbert can remember he has dreamed about having his hand raised at the Indiana High School wrestling state championships.
    He’s done more than dream about it. As a young kid he would go into the wrestling room at Sullivan High School and act out having his hand raised. It didn’t matter that nobody else was around him. In his imaginary scenario he always emerged victorious. No obstacle stood in his way. No opponent could beat him. He was the champ. That dream would never be taken away.
    The dream was much different than real life for Gilbert. In real life, he has had far more hardships than one kid should experience. He’s overcome situations that would break others. Through it all, he’s come out stronger.
    To get a clear picture of just how tough Lane Gilbert is, it is important to dive into his uncomfortable past.
    Gilbert’s mother, Rachel, became Indiana’s first female sectional champion in wrestling. She won the 103-pound class in the North Knox sectional in 2002. Rachel was going places in life. News agencies had reported on her wrestling journey, because at the time, female wrestlers were still very new in the state. She had some colleges showing interest in her.
    But Rachel began facing a more formidable opponent than anyone she went up against on the mat. She started battling an addiction with drugs. Lane’s father had his own battles with drug addiction.
    For Lane’s father, that addiction would eventually lead to a prison sentence.
    Young Lane didn’t want to miss an opportunity to visit his dad, even if that meant going to the prison any time he could.
    “Lane worshipped his dad,” Lane’s wrestling coach and grandfather Roy Monroe said. “Lane never failed to go see him. He always wanted to see him.”
    Tragically, Lane’s father developed cancer while in prison and ultimately died due to the disease.
    “That was really rough on Lane for a while,” Rachel said. “His dad was a drug addict for a long time and Lane always held out hope that one day he would get better. Once he got sick, that was probably the hardest thing. Lane stayed strong through the whole thing.”
    At nine-years-old Lane did something no kid his age should ever have to do. He stood up in front during his dad’s funeral and sang a special song.
    “I don’t know how he did it,” Monroe said. “That’s almost an impossible thing to get through, and he did it. He toughed it out.”
    That’s what Lane always does. He toughs things out. He toughed it out when his mom was having her struggles. He toughed it out seeing his dad in prison, and then watching as cancer slowly took its toll. He toughed it out when his uncle Jordan, who had taught Lane quite a bit about wrestling, died in a fiery car crash. No matter what life threw at Lane, he toughs it out.
    Perhaps he gets his fighting spirit from his grandfather. Roy has been a major part of Sullivan wrestling for over 30 years. He’s watched his daughter struggle with drug addiction. He lost his son in that tragic car accident. He’s experienced heartache and he remained the rock Lane needed in his life. Lane could always stay the night at Roy’s house. He could always get the right words from his grandpa. And, on the wrestling mat, he could look to Grandpa Roy for direction as well.
    “He’s my role model,” Lane said. “He’s nice to everyone. He’s a good coach. He’s all the things you can think of if you were to make the perfect person – that would be how I describe him.”
    But Lane’s toughness also comes from his mom.
    In a time when people frowned on girls wrestling against boys, she held her ground. In fact, she and Roy had to go to the Sullivan school board to even get approved to wrestle back in her high school days.
    Later, as has already been alluded to, Rachel battled a fierce drug addiction. But, for Lane’s sake – and for her sake, she fought through and emerged victorious. She is currently a Dean’s List student working to become a nurse.
    “I am so proud of her,” Roy said. “I’ve been a counselor. I’ve went into the jails and counselled drug addicts. I’ve seen them come in and out of addiction. The real truth is, only about one percent of drug addicts make it to where she is now. It’s so hard to overcome, but she’s done it. And she’s a great mom.”
    She is also very, very protective of Lane and worries almost to a fault about the decisions he makes in his own life.
    “After having made the decisions at a young age that I made, I saw first-hand what can happen and how quickly everything can just spiral out of control,” Rachel said. “One mistake and everything can be gone. I have that fear in the back of my mind that he’s of the age and he could make the wrong choices. I’m almost too hard on him, but I am terrified because I know what can happen and I keep my eye on him. I do trust him. He’s seen what can happen and how bad things can get.”
    Lane knows when his mom tells him to keep on the straight and narrow, it’s because she cares.
    “I have so much respect for my mom,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from her.”
    One thing Lane has learned is to never doubt himself. This summer when he was a third alternate for the Pan-American games, he let doubt creep into his psyche. After the first two qualifiers couldn’t attend the games, Lane got the call to participate. But, going into the event, he felt like he really didn’t belong.
    Boy was he wrong. Lane went undefeated in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. News of his success quickly spread throughout the town of 6,500 people. When he arrived home, he was given a police escort through the streets.
    “Oh my gosh,” Rachel said. “The town put on this whole show when he returned. The police and emergency vehicles all met up on the north end of town. He had no idea it was going to happen. There were fans from all over our town and they all followed him to the high school. It was so cool. He was so surprised.”
    Currently Gilbert is 28-1 on the season and ranked No. 5 at 113 pounds. He has carried the confidence he developed during the Pan-American games over to the season. Now he knows he belongs. Now he knows that dream he played through his head so many times growing up isn’t just a dream – it’s an attainable goal.
    “I’ve been coaching at Sullivan for 13 years as head coach and I’ve been there 30 years as an assistant,” Monroe said. “I’ve never seen anything like him. I look at Lane, with his skills and what he’s been through, and I just know that adversity isn’t a problem anymore. He can do whatever he sets his mind to do.”
    As for Rachel, well, she says nowadays she’s just like any other wrestler’s mom.
    “I’m still up in the stands screaming my head off,” she said. “But when I’m shouting, at least I know which moves to shout. The other moms look at me and ask what they should be yelling.”
  16. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness: Portage heavyweight Dancy making up for lost mat time   
    Some are introduced to wrestling as toddlers and go on to enjoy plenty of success. Others come to the mat for the first time as teenagers and shine in the circle.
    The second scenario describes Damari Dancy, a 17-year-old senior heavyweight at Portage High School.
    After winning the Portage Sectional title Feb. 1, Dancy goes to the Feb. 8 Hobart Regional at 27-2 in just his second full season as a wrestler.
    A basketball player as an eighth grader, Dancy went out for that sport his freshmen and sophomore years of high school (2016-17 and 2017-18) and was cut each time.
    The second cut ushered in his introduction to a new way of life.
    “I went across the hall to the wrestling room,” says Dancy. “They accepted me.”
    A few weeks later, he was competing in his first-ever wrestling event — the junior varsity Duneland Athletic Conference tournament — and suffering a season-ending broken wrist.
    “My mom didn’t want me to wrestle after that,” says Damari, the son of Rachel Hawkins and the fourth of eight children (five boys, three girls).
    But that was not the end of wrestling for Dancy. He spent that winter watching his friends compete and practice. He was there at Lake Central for the Harvest Classic taking in all the quality competition.
    “That’s when I fell in love with it,” says Dancy.
    When he was healed, Dancy began training. He went to the freestyle/Greco-Roman state tournament and went a combined 0-4. He told his coaches he was not going to stop and began working on wrestling year-round.
    As a Portage junior, Dancy took part in the Harvest Classic. There he faced Hobart junior Mark Mummey.
    “I took him down the first time,” says Dancy. “Then he took me straight to my back and pinned me.”
    Dancy used the moment to fuel the rest of his season. He placed third at the Portage Sectional and third at the Hobart Regional, using a double-leg takedown to best Mummey 4-2 in overtime in the consolation match. He then finished fourth at the East Chicago Semistate and qualified for the IHSAA State Finals at 220. He was 21-13 for the 2018-19 season after being pinned on Friday night by North Montgomery junior Drew Webster, who went on to place fifth.
    That experience taught Dancy something.
    “I can actually do it,” says Dancy. “I can actually compete with the good guys. It helped me build my confidence.”
    “I’m not just some random guy. Guys have to practice everyday to watch out for me.”
    Portage head coach Andrew Bradbury saw the change in Dancy.
    “He was starting to believe he’s pretty good and holding himself to a high standard,” says Bradbury. “His technique is improving in all areas. He’s pretty technical, especially in the neutral position.”
    At 6-foot-2, Dancy has been carrying about 245 while competing in the 285 division as a senior.
    “I wrestle like a little guy,” says Dancy. “I go for ankle picks a lot. I go for a low single (leg takedown) and drive through. Once I’ve got the ankle, I don’t feel endangered. I’m really comfortable in that position.”
    While many heavyweight matches are of the 1-0 and 2-1 variety and full of underhooks, that’s not Dancy’s preference.
    “I feel more comfortable in high-scoring matches,” says Dancy. “I like to get at least two takedowns in the first period. If not, two takedowns in the second period.”
    Bradbury looks at Dancy and does not see a normal heavyweight. For one thing, he is among the team leaders in takedowns.
    “He’s more than capable of wrestling in that heavyweight style by pummeling in,” says Bradbury. “But he mostly uses a technical, shot-oriented style of wrestling.”
    “It’s a lot easier for him to lower his level and get in his shots. He does a good job of picking and choosing his shots. He does get into clinches or ties.”
    “Some of his best wrestling comes off his motion.”
    Dancy won a Greco-Roman state title in the summer.
    “It was positioning for me,” says Dancy. “I was creating positions with arm drags. I didn’t throw anybody.”
    He placed third in both the IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open and Preseason Nationals in Iowa and has used his quickness and agility to enjoy success in his last high school season. He has drawn some attention from college wrestling programs and has bumped up to heavyweight with that in mind.
    Damari lives with brother Dimonya Dancy and the two enjoy working on computers. Dancy would like to study computer since in college. Dancy has joined a program proud of its tradition and has become one of the team’s leaders, especially since so many talented wrestlers graduated after the 2018-19 season.
    “We needed somebody to step up,” says Bradbury, who tapped Dancy and Ty Haskins (who was a state qualifier at 120 in 2019 and a sectional champion at that weight in 2020) for the task. “We need them to help lead this team to where we need to be.”
    “We let Damari know we have high expectations and he needs to lead that. He took on the challenge.”
    “We lot of first-year varsity wrestlers at the beginning of the year. It was rough (Portage placed fourth in the Duneland Athletic Conference meet and it’s three dual losses came to powerhouses Crown Point, Chesterton and Merrillville). We feel like we can do some good things in the state series.”
    Leadership styles are not the same for Haskins and Dancy.
    “Ty, he’s the vocal guy,” says Dancy. “I try to do it by example. I’m not that vocal.”
    “Practices at the beginning of the year were so hard. They helped us build physical and mental strength. We know we can be good. We work everyday to get to that point.”
    Dancy often finds working out with sophomore Cory Hill (who placed third at sectional at 220) or assistant Montell Pace.
    “He goes all out and scrambles with low singles,” says Dancy of Pace. Assistants Kyle Keith and Mark Devyak tend to work more with the upper weights while Eric Keith and Jose Torres are with the smaller wrestlers.
    Pace is a Merrillville High School graduate. The rest of the staff went to Portage.
    Bradbury, a 1999 graduate, placed seventh in the state as a junior and was state runner-up as a senior — both at 119. He and 112-pounder Eric Keith were both members of the Indians’ state runners-up at the 1998 Team State Finals.
    “Tradition, it’s extremely important,” says Bradbury, who came back to Portage as an assistant in 2018-19 after serving as head wrestling coach at Seminole Ridge in Palm Beach County, Fla., a school built in 2006. “We’ve always expected to compete at a high level and be one of the best teams in the state.”
  17. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Filipovich looking to be Lutheran's first state qualifier   
    When it’s time to step on the mat “Flip” flips the switch and goes to work. When the match is done, he flips back to being one of the nicest guys around.
    Sure, Indianapolis Lutheran junior Hayden Filipovich got his nickname, in part, because of his last name. But those who know the 182-pounder best knows he can turn into a monster when he’s wrestling.
    “We call him Flip,” Lutheran coach Greg Hughes said. “He certainly flips the switch on the mat. He is one of those magical kids that can go toe-to-toe with anyone. He’s relentless. He’s fearless. But, as soon as the match is over, he’s a class act. He’s a great kid, a smart, personable kid and a great leader with an infectious personality.”
    Filipovich is currently ranked No. 9 in the 182-pound class. Last year he advanced to the ticket round of the New Castle semistate before falling to J.D. Farrell of Fishers 5-2. That match has fueled Filipovich to push harder this year.
    “He wishes he had that ticket round match back,” Hughes said. “It came down to who was going to have that edge. I think he approached that match differently than normal. We have really focused on treating every match the same this year – whether it be a big match or an insignificant one. We don’t want him holding it back and playing safe this year. Every match he needs to go in and just let it rip. This year he puts his foot on the line and goes. All year we’ve focused on this.”
    Filipovich worked out all summer with that loss in mind.
    “I made a lot of mistakes in the ticket round match,” he said. “I had a lot of nerves going. But, it motivated me to get better and push harder.”
    Lutheran is one of the smallest schools in the state. There are just at 250 students in the high school, and about half of those are male. Still, the wrestling team has 15 guys this season. They still struggle to fill a roster and, being in Marion County, they wrestle elite programs like Perry Meridian, Cathedral and Warren Central.
    The school didn’t even have a wrestling program until Hughes started it five years ago.
    “I always loved the sport of wrestling,” Hughes said. “Then God blessed me with three sons. We were looking at options for high school. Lutheran really stood out as our best choice, but they didn’t have a wrestling program. I told the school that I wanted to go there but we needed wrestling. They allowed me to start the program. Now, the kids on this team are like my sons on the mat. We have two state-ranked wrestlers. I keep saying we’re the No. 1 small school program in Marion County.
    “After five years we have had some good accomplishments. It’s a true wrestling story. You win some and lose some, but we see how far we’ve come and how far we want to go.”
    Leading the charge this season is Filipovich. The junior is used to success. He was the starting center and linebacker for the state runner-up football team and he has carried that winning attitude to the mat.
    “One of my favorite stories about Flip happened about a year ago,” Hughes said. “I was pushing the kids pretty hard. We were running sprints at the end of a very tough practice. The kids were dragging. The sprints were slowing down. I told the kids to give me just two more. Then Flip pops up and says ‘That’s it? We need to do more. I have to be six-minute ready. Let’s go.’ He was pushing us to coach harder because he knew what he wanted to accomplish.”
    Filipovich has lofty goals this season.
    “Just like every other kid growing up wrestling in Indiana, I want to be a state champion,” he said. “It’s always been a dream of mine.”
    Filipovich is undecided in what he wants to pursue in college. He’s leaning toward exercise science but admits he hasn’t made his mind up yet. Right now he’s focused on wrestling.
  18. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: Irick back bigger and better   
    Hamilton Southeastern senior Andrew Irick suffered a devastating knee injury in the spring of his junior year. It might have been the best thing for him.
    Irick knew, because of the injury (he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus), he wouldn’t be able to remain in the 220-pound weight class. He also knew he needed to get stronger, but he couldn’t do much with his legs in the weight room due to the surgery on his knee and the recovery time needed. So, he started working upper body. Weight gain wasn’t an issue because he was planning to bump up to heavyweight for his senior season.
    “He probably put on 55 pounds,” HSE coach Nick Brobst said. “He’s a totally rebuilt athlete now. His wrestling reflects that. He’s bigger, way, way stronger and way more aggressive with his attacks. Wrestling in the heavyweight division makes him look even faster. He’s a much, much improved wrestler over what he was last year.”
    Last season Irick was no slouch. He had his best season of his career, ultimately finishing fourth at state.
    Irick started out as a freshman in the 182-pound class. He then moved up to 195 as a sophomore and 220 as a junior. Those early weight class competitions forced Irick to get better on his feet. That has ultimately helped him now that he’s in the heavyweight class.
    Irick’s older brother Matt wrestled for Indiana University. His other brother, Spencer, wrestles for IU now. Matt worked a lot with Andrew to help him on his feet and with takedowns. That has transformed Irick’s attack on the mat.
    “He has got a lot more aggressive on his feet,” Brobst said. “We used to joke that he wrestled using what we called the ‘Irick stall’ where he would do anything and everything to make a match last forever. Last year he started developing his own gas tank and now he doesn’t want the matches to go that long.
    “He still has that heavyweight mentality to a tee,” Brobst said. “Last year he won on Friday night at state. At weigh-ins Saturday morning his teammate was eating yogurt, fruit and a granola bar. Andrew is there eating a bag of leftover Halloween candy. He said ‘this is what I do. Leave the process alone.’ “
    Irick is currently ranked No. 2 in the state in the 285-pound class. He’s ranked just below Brownsburg’s returning state champion Dorian Keys. The two could potentially wrestle in 10 days at the Hoosier Crossroads Conference tournament.
    “Conference is important,” Irick said. “But ultimately my goal is to win a state championship and that’s the bigger picture for me right now. I want to be at my best come tournament time.”
    According to coach Brobst, Andrew goes through a whole gamut of emotions before he wrestles.
    “Andrew is probably the first kid I’ve coached in 10 years that’s just never serious,” Brobst said. “He’s a complete goofball everywhere he goes. But come meet time, he goes through this process. He’s nervous at first. Then he starts doubting himself and thinking he can’t beat the other guy. Then he decides he’s going to go out and kick that guy’s butt. Something clicks and he’s ready to go. It’s like that every match.”
    Irick is in the top 10 percent of his class academically. He has a 4.27 GPA and plans to follow in his brothers’ footsteps and wrestle at Indiana University next season. He will study biology or chemistry with the goal of becoming a doctor.
    Like wrestling, becoming a doctor runs in the family. Both of Irick’s parents are doctors, his grandfather is a doctor, his uncle is a doctor and both of his brothers are studying to be doctors.
    “It’s hard to see him as a doctor, knowing him as an 18-year old,” Brobst said. “But I have no doubt that he will be. He might go into a field where he works with kids. He’s extremely good with kids. My son is a kindergartener and thinks Andrew walks on water.”
    Irick is focused on getting back to state this year and potentially making is way to the championship match.
    “The atmosphere at state is just indescribable,” Irick said. “I can’t wait to get back there.”
  19. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #WrestlingWednesday: The Floyds Knobs three amigos   
    In a town that literally gets its name for being tough and rugged, the Three Amigos personify what Floyds Knobs is all about.
    Floyd Central High School, located in Floyds Knobs, is the home of wrestlers Gavinn Alstott, J. Conway and Jonathan Kervin. The trio is known around town as the Three Amigos, primarily for their success on the wrestling mat. They are tough wrestlers that like to grind out wins and be physical. One wouldn’t expect anything less from a Floyds Knobs resident.
    Floyds Knobs is named after the Knobstone Escarpment located there (and Colonel Davis Floyd). The Knobstone is the most rugged terrain in Indiana. It has steep hills which are commonly referred to as knobs.
    As for the Three Amigos – all three qualified for state last season. Alstott finished fourth and Kervin sixth. This year, all three are ranked in the top 10 in their weight classes.
    “The Three Amigos is a term we coined last year and started calling them that,” Floyd Central coach Brandon Sisson said. “I don’t think they mind it. They all three work together and have pushed each other to get better.”
    Kervin is the only senior in the trio. He is currently ranked No. 2 at 152 pounds. Last season Kervin finished with a 39-4 record. He won sectional and regional and eventually finished sixth at state in the 145-pound class.
    “Jonathan is a really tough wrestler,” Sisson said. “He wrestles hard for all six minutes. He works really closely with is uncle, former two-time state champion Cooper Samuels. Those two have worked together for the past five years and it has really benefited Jonathan.”
    Kervin’s goal this season is to win a state title.
    “My style is sort of dynamic,” Kervin said. “I like to be a little deranged. I use my length. Last year I felt like I wrestled poorly at state. I didn’t do my normal workout to get ready. I want to get back and show what I can really do.”
    Alstott, a junior, finished 42-4 last season. He was a sectional and regional champ and ended up third in the Evansville semistate and would later place fourth at state.
    “Gavinn is a grinder,” Sisson said. “He gets out there, gets in your face and pushes the pace non-stop. He’s very business-like on the mat and in the practice room. I’m not ever going to have to see if he’s just messing around. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. No matter what he does, he puts his head down and goes to work.”
    Alstott’s uncle, Craig Alstott, was Floyd Central’s first ever four-time state qualifier. Craig never placed at the state meet, however.
    “I think Gavinn got the monkey off his back a little by placing last year,” Sisson said. “But he has his sights set significantly higher this year.”
    Off the mat, Gavinn is an excellent student and has been a team leader since his freshman season.
    “He’s a really good kid,” Sisson said. “He gets good grades and is good to the other kids. Even as a freshman I thought of him as a team leader. He’s just a phenomenal kid.”
    Conway is the quietest in the group. He had a not-so-quiet season last year, however. Conway went 23-4 on the year and claimed a sectional and a regional title. He finished runner-up in semistate but lost on Friday night at the state tournament.
    “He’s a really, really quiet kid,” Sisson said. “I don’t think I heard him say anything at all his freshman year. Now as a sophomore he’s coming out of his shell a little bit. On the mat he’s more open. He is already at 130 takedowns in just 18 matches this season. He’s full throttle. You let him go, and he goes.”
    Sisson is pleased with his team this season and hopes the Three Amigos will help lead them to great things.
    “There are years where you have a lot of talent, but also a lot of drama,” Sisson said. “Then there are years where you don’t have any drama, but you don’t really have any talent either. This year, I really feel like we have a lot of talent and no drama. I’m lucky this year.”
  20. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, #MondayMatness: From deaf slave to Warsaw wrestler, Linky has taken quite a journey   
    Real adversity meets opportunity.
    That’s the story of Jacob Linky.
    The wrestling room at Warsaw Community High School is filled with pulsing music and coaches barking instructions as more than three dozen Tigers get after it.
    One wrestler — junior Linky — goes through the workout, rehearsing his moves with his workout partner, cranking out pull-ups and running laps around the room.
    But without the sounds heard by the others.
    Linky lives in a world that is mostly silent.
    Without his cochlear implants, Linky can’t hear much of anything.
    There was one incident where smoke alarms went off all over the house where Jacob now resides with Nrian and Brenda Linky. It was 3 a.m.
    “Jacob slept through the alarm,” says Brian Linky, Jacob’s legal guardian. “I woke him in the morning.”
    The young man was not born deaf.
    Now 18, Jacob was about 5 and in native Africa — Lake Volta, Ghana, to be exact — when he lost his hearing at the hands of his father.
    “We were slaves,” says Jacob, speaking of his early childhood through interpreter Rebecca Black. “We helped my dad in his fishing business.
    “I didn’t used to be deaf. My dad hit by head a whole bunch. That’s how I became the way I am.”
    His father demanded that young Jacob dive into very deep waters full of dangerous creatures.
    “I felt a pop in my ears,” says Jacob. “I was a kid.”
    His native language was Twi, but he didn’t hear much that after his hearing was gone.
    Growing up the second oldest of seven children, Jacob has a brother who was born to another family, rejected and traded to his father.
    It was a life that is difficult to imagine for those in the U.S.
    “My mom didn’t do anything wrong,” says Jacob. “She fed me.”
    Wanting the best for Jacob, his mother placed him in an orphanage. He eventually came to live in Warsaw when he was adopted by Andy and Dawn Marie Bass and began attending the fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary in Warsaw. He received hearing aids and then implants.
    “I’m thankful the Basses adopted me and brought me here,” says Jacob.
    “I now live with the Linky family.”
    Following grade school, Jacob went on to Edgewood Middle School in Warsaw and was introduced to wrestling.
    “I knew nothing (about the sport),” says Jacob. “I played around.”
    Drive and athletic prowess allow Jacob to excel on the high school mat.
    “At times his feisty side comes out because of that past,” says Warsaw head coach Kris Hueber. “He’s channeled it well and we’ve been able to harness well most of the time.
    “He has days where he is cranky and fired up, You know that he’s drawing from stuff that no one else has.”
    After missing his freshmen season, Jacob made an impact with the Tigers as a 145-pound sophomore, advancing to the East Chicago Semistate.
    “This year, I’d like to go all the way to State,” says Jacob, who spent the summer pumping iron and continues to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein while packing more muscle on a  5-foot-7, 160-pound frame.
    “(Jacob) fell in love with the weight room,” says Hueber. “There is not much on him that is not muscular. He’s one of those guys with his energy level he needs to be active. As an athlete, he is a remarkably gifted human being. He’s able to do things no one else in the room can do. Between strength, balance and agility, he is uniquely gifted.”
    Ask Jacob what his best quality is as a wrestler and says speed. His quickness and and strength come into play in the practice room with larger practice partners — 170-pound Brandon Estepp, 182-pound junior Mario Cortes and 195-pound senior Brock Hueber.
    “I don’t like to wrestle light persons,” says Jacob. “It makes me work hard to wrestle the big guys.”
    Warsaw opened the 2019-20 season Saturday with the Warsaw Invitational and Jacob went 5-0 with four pins.
    Sign language and lip-reading help him navigate life as a teenager and athlete. When Jacob wrestles, Black circles the mat to maintain eye contact and relay information to him.
    “She always looks where my head is,” says Jacob. “She always gets sweaty.”
    Who gets sweatier during a match? “Me,” says Jacob, thrusting a thumb at his chest. “I’m a harder worker.”
    Black has been around Jacob since he was in eighth grade.
    “I feel privileged to be involved in his life,” says Black. “He’s an amazing person. He just is.”
    Hueber has come to appreciate that Jacob has the ability to be both competitive and light-hearted.
    “He’s ornery still, but in a good way,” says Hueber. “He has not been able to out-grow being a kid. I love that.”
    While Jacob’s background and circumstance are different than his Tiger mates, Hueber says he’s “just one of the guys.”
    “(They) don’t treat him differently in any way,” says Hueber. “They love being around him because of his charisma and personality. He’s a really great teammate.”
    Hueber says working with Jacob has helped others recognize their influence.
    “They might be able to goof off for two minutes and snap right back,” says Hueber. “If (Jacob) misses one line of communication, there’s a lot that he’s got to recover from.”
    This means that workout partners need to be focused and attentive as well — not just for themselves but to also help Jacob. Hueber notes that Jacob has to concentrate and keep focused on his interpreter in class (his current favorite class in English and he is looking forward to Building Trades in the future) and practice.
    “There are probably times when he’s looking for a break,” says Hueber.
    “He’s on and he’s full-wired all day. That’s taxing mentally for sure.”
    Brian Linky works in payment processing at PayProTec in Warsaw and Brenda Linky is the special needs coordinator for Warsaw Community Schools. The Linkys have two sons who played basketball at Warsaw — Zack (now 28 and living in Calfiornia) and Ben (now 22 and attending Indiana University).
    Taking in Jacob means they have a teenager in the house again.
    “He’s been nothing but polite,” says Brian Linky. “He’s hard-working around the house (mowing the lawn, making his bed, walking the dog and cooking his own meals). He has friends over. He’s very happy.”
    As for the future, Jacob is considering joining the football team next year (he has never played the sport). He turns 19 in May.
    A brother, Christian, lives in Virginia and communicates with Jacob and family in Africa through text.
    “We’re going to save up so we can visit our parents in Africa,” says Jacob.
    Right now, he is doing life as an Indiana teenager and wrestling is a big part of it.
    Real adversity meets opportunity.
  21. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Purdue’s Lydy Earns B1G Wrestler of the Week Honors   
    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - After going three seasons without a weekly honor from the conference, the Purdue wrestling team has now seen an individual recognized in back-to-back weeks to open 2019-20 as senior Dylan Lydy was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Tuesday. Lydy posted a 3-0 mark at the Journeymen Duals on Saturday, including wins over a pair of top-15 ranked wrestlers to guide Purdue to a 2-1 dual record for the weekend.
    Lydy opened his trip to New York with his third bonus-point victory of the season, a 12-3 major decision over Buffalo’s Jake Lanning. The Boilermaker senior followed with two wins in dramatic fashion, going to overtime for a 4-2 victory over No. 12 Kimball Bastian of Utah Valley and gutting out a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Anthony Valencia of Arizona State.
    After trading escapes in regulation, and going scoreless through a minute of sudden victory, Lydy and Bastian went to a pair of 30-second tiebreaker rounds. Both wrestlers escaped quickly in their opportunities off bottom, but Lydy finished the second period with a takedown to account for the final difference.
    Lydy’s final match of the day appeared to be headed in the same direction, sitting tied 1-1 after both wrestlers escaped to start the second and third periods. However Lydy began creating action in the final minute of the third, nearly getting a takedown in front of the Arizona State bench and beating the buzzer with a takedown on the edge to seal the win.
    Following freshman teammate Kendall Coleman sharing Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors last week, Lydy makes it two straight.
    The Boilermakers continue dual action Sunday, heading to North Dakota State University for a 1 p.m. CT contest at the Scheels Center. The dual will air live on GoBison.com and FloWrestling.
  22. Like
    FCFIGHTER170 reacted to Y2CJ41 for a article, Paul Rademacher to Lead Indiana Tech Women’s Wrestling Program   
    FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Tech has hired Paul Rademacher to lead its women’s wrestling program, Director of Athletics Debbie Warren announced Monday.
    “We are ecstatic to bring Paul into the Warrior Family and lead our women’s wrestling program,” Warren said. “His background in freestyle wrestling, knowledge of the NAIA and overall experience elevated him in this highly competitive search and we look forward to seeing him build the program and grow the sport of women’s wrestling in the Midwest.”
    A former wrestler at Oregon State University, Rademacher comes to Tech following a two-year stint at Southern Oregon University, where he was the Associate Head Coach for the women’s wrestling team.
    “I am very excited and honored to be selected to be the first Women's Wrestling Head Coach at Indiana Tech,” Rademacher said. “It was very obvious that Indiana Tech was fully invested in starting this program and being successful. I believe Fort Wayne will be a great place for Women's Wrestling and that student-athletes will come from around the country to join the Warriors and be a part of the Indiana Tech community.”
    During his two years with the Raiders he went 14-14 and led the team to an eighth place finish at the first-ever NAIA National Invitational this past March and a 12th-place performance at the Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA) Championships in 2018. He mentored six All-Americans during his time in Ashland.
    “The opportunity to start the program from scratch and set a culture of character, integrity, academic and athletic excellence was a major draw for me,” Rademacher said. “I look forward to working with the other athletic programs to continue the national success that Indiana Tech has produced. I would like to thank AD Debbie Warren, Dr. Daniel J. Stoker (VP for Student Affairs), and President Dr. Karl W. Einolf for believing in me and for this opportunity.”
    Prior to his time at SOU, Rademacher served as the head coach for the boys and girls wrestling teams at Henley High School (Ore.) for two seasons and was in charge of Mount Vernon High School (Wash.) before that. he had 40 wrestlers place during his time at the prep ranks while four became state champions under his tutelage, while he recorded two top-four finishes in the Oregon State Athletic Association (OSAA) Tournament.
    A 1999 graduate of Chiloquin High, Rademacher competed from 1999-2003 at Oregon State, where he named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Second Team as a senior. He continued to compete post-collegiately, and in 2014 placed second in the Veteran’s Greco Roman Division B 76-kilogram class and third in the Veteran’s Freestyle Division B 76-kilogram class. He was a quarterfinalist in the 2014 US Open Freestyles at 74-kilograms and won the 2012 Washington State Tournament Greco-Roman in the 85-kilogram division.
    Rademacher is a USA Wrestling Bronze Certified Coach and was the head coach of the Oregon Junior National Team from 2015-18. He served as a wildland firefighter from 2000-15 at Baker River IHC was a member of the U.S. Forest Service in Washington.
    He received his Master’s Degree in Teaching – Science from Western Governors University in 2017 and graduated from OSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Fitness Management. Rademacher and his wife, Gretchen, have been married since 2004.
    The Warriors will begin competing as a team in the 2020-21 academic year. To learn more about women’s wrestling in the NAIA click here. To learn more about Indiana Tech women’s wrestling, click here. Interested student-athletes may fill out a recruit questionnaire here.
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