Collins reflects on Southridge dual state runner-up

Kurt Collins/Submitted Photo
Southridge's wrestlers, coaches and managers gather for a photo with Class 1A Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association state duals runner-up trophy.


HUNTINGBURG — Police and fire truck escorts guided the Southridge wrestling team after it brought the Class 1A Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association state duals second place trophy back to Huntingburg Saturday. People in the town lined the streets to welcome the Raiders back home.

The support Southridge received after its triumph left coach Kurt Collins appreciative.

“I was already getting messages within a couple minutes of our very last match,” Collins said. “People already back home knew. When we put the word out via social media, the Raider wrestling family showed up.”

Collins believed Southridge could take first place going into the event at the Fort Wayne Coliseum. The Raiders finished second to North Posey in the championship dual. They bounced back to take the runner-up trophy after falling to Adams Central, 33-30 in their opening dual. Collins felt more confident after the Raiders bested Centerville, 49-25, in the second round to win their pool. He knew North Posey was going to bring it if Southridge got to the finals. The Raiders fell, 48-21, in the championship dual, but Collins believed in his team the whole through.

“Hats off to North Posey,” he said. “They just had a just little bit more power than we did, and that’s no negative on the Southridge Raiders at all.”

Some wrestlers excelled individually on the mat. Senior Cade Patton went 4-0 in his matches.Freshmen Cole Wirthwein and Xavier Horton, junior Efrain Zarate Jr. and senior Sam Schroeder all went 3-1. Collins sang the praises of the wrestlers who did well and the time they put in well. He commended the time Patton puts in and his willingness to win. He said Wirthwein has struggled at times, but couldn’t think of anybody on Saturday who came to show the way he did.

Collins hopes Southridge can ride that runner-up momentum into sectionals, but is primarily concerned with the near future for Southridge wrestling. The Raiders are scheduled on Tuesday to host North Knox on Tuesday. They’ll get on the road Jan. 14 at Princeton and square off against Floyd Central Jan. 16. He plans to tell the Raiders in today’s practice to feel good about what happened on Saturday and about themselves for the second place finish, but not to lose focus because there’s still work left to do.

“I want to finish,” Collins said on the focus of practice and on Tuesday against the Warriors. “When we get a guy at a disadvantage, I want to put him away. I don’t flip-flopping back-and-forth from one side to the other with a half-nelson. I want to put him away with the first half-nelson we put in.”

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