Local wrestlers enjoy banner day at sectionalsFebruary 2, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG — There didn’t appear to be anything wrong on the surface with Sam Schroeder. Why would there be? He did, afterall, win a championship in the 160-pound class, one of five local wrestlers to win a championship at the Southridge wrestling sectional on Saturday.
In actuality, though, Schroeder had been dealing with the flu in recent days, but that didn’t stop him from standing atop the podium after he won his class in front of his hometown fans at Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium.
“When he did come down with the flu, he missed several days this week,” Southridge coach Kurt Collins said. “He finally came back at the end of the week. Sam is on a mission. He’s determined. He has a goal, and he wasn’t going to let something as simple as the flu slow him down. He’s been symptom-free for several days, but he’s still not regained all of his strength just yet.”
Schroeder pushed through it even if he wasn’t feeling at 100 percent, saying he felt “horrible,” but doing something other than competing wasn’t an option for him.
“It’s my senior year,” Schroeder said. “If I don’t wrestle, I’m done. So, I have to wrestle. There’s no choice.”
He was one of three Raider wrestlers to capture a sectional crown on Saturday. Xavier Horton can call himself a champion in the 120-pound class at just a freshman. Collins said there are still things Horton needs to work on, believing he lost some matches earlier this season that he felt he should’ve won. He thinks Horton got physically outmanned sometimes during the season by older wrestlers who were small like him. Collins thinks Horton should work on strength and conditioning to accentuate his techinical ability, but added Horton has a wonderful toolbox.
“I think his future’s bright, very talented young man,” he said.
Then there’s Weston Allen, who carried himself with a flash of toughness on Saturday. The senior’s aggression got the better of fellow senior Sean Burk from Floyd Central. Allen brought Burk down that forced a stoppage in the match with 1:26 left to go in the second period, but his mindset was to go out on the mat and be tougher than his opponent en route to winning the 182-pound class.
Collins is very happy that Allen achieved a goal of winning a sectional championship, and believes the toughness Allen showed on Saturday could bring him places.
“If Weston taps into that same sort of toughness, it could take him a heck of a lot further than he’s gone in the past,” Collins said.
The Raiders ended up finishing third as a team on Saturday with 166 points. They will send Schroeder, Horton, Allen, freshman Anthony Laughlin in the 126, sophomore Carson Niehaus in the 138, freshman Eric Vanegas in the 220 and senior Cade Patton in the 285 to the regional round.
“We’ll assess some of the things that I saw today, the coaches and I, and starting Monday, we’ll start chipping away at the stone at those little things,” Collins said.
Jasper just missed out on a sectional crown to Floyd Central. The Wildcats came in second to the Highlanders, who had a score of 244 points to Jasper’s 242.5. Jasper may have fallen just short of triumphing as a team at sectionals, but coach Jace Brescher thought the Wildcats delivered that team effort he was looking for. He knew Jasper would be in a three-way battle with Floyd Central and Southridge, and thought the Wildcats put their best foot forward despite coming up short.
They sent seven wrestlers to the championship match on Saturday, producing one winner in sophomore Ashton Schuetter of the 195-pound class. Schuetter is one of 12 Jasper grapplers going to regionals. Joining him will be junior Jainier Milanes, the 106 runner-up, freshman Xavier Lopez in the 113, freshman Alex Hardin in the 120, freshman Jeb Prechtel, the 126 runner-up, senior Cameron Eckstein in the 138, sophomore Ian Giesler, the 145 runner-up, senior Sam Bies, the 152 runner-up, senior Ayden Wigand, the 170 runner-up, junior Liam Kibby in the 182, junior Will Collon, the 220 runner-up and junior Quade Popp in the 285.
“We just got to keep on doing what we’re doing,” Brescher said. “I think we had a strong showing today. It’s been a whole team effort and we need that team to continue to work toward their individual goals now as opposed to a team goal of winning the sectional.”
Forest Park came in eighth place with 75.5 points, just more than last place Mitchell’s 70 points. However, four wrestlers will still represent the Rangers at regional: Patrick Recker, a sophomore in the 120, junior Travis Haug in the 126, senior Cole Mohr in the 132 and senior Isaac Brosmer, who won the sectional championship in the 113-pound class.
Brosmer has had the goal of being a sectional champion for a long time, but never won it before. He came through on Saturday, continuing his senior year of success that also saw him get his 100th career win earlier in the season. Brosmer thinks he needs to get quicker on all of his moves and keep them tight.
“My senior year’s been amazing and I don’t want it to end, but it’s got to end some time,” Brosmer said.
For more photos from the sectional, click here.
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