Sectional a success for local wrestlersJanuary 27, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The wrestling world (or at least the southern bit of it) descended upon the mats of Memorial Gym in Huntingburg for an all-day trial of will, skill, and endurance as they battled it out at the IHSAA Southridge Sectional to determine which superior squad of singlet-wearers would earn the right to call themselves a champion by the end of the afternoon. Nine teams entered, but in true Highlander fashion, there could only be one and when the final period came to a close it would be the hometown Southridge Raiders that walked away with the title and trophy.
The Raiders finished first overall with 264 total team points and for coach Dave Schank the win capped the year in which the team had to contend with a slew of small issues that nipped at the team the entire year. He was proud of the way his team overcame and delivered the goods when the moment called for it on Saturday.
“We always had somebody sick or hurt, we just really never put it together,” he said. “We kind of kept waiting to do that. I really hadn’t been happy with a lot of things. So to put it together, I feel great about that because you really want the perfect storm where everybody wrestles their best and everything goes the way that it did today. Everything went exactly how we would’ve wrote it up. (It’s) Just a great day.
Not only did the Raiders secure the sectional title, but they also had a number of individual honors to celebrate. Not only did all 13 wrestlers who competed on Saturday stamp their ticket to regionals, but Tanner Kane (120), Brad Springer (152), Tucker Schank (160), Sam Schroeder (170), Chase Taylor (220), and Wyatt Kramer (285) all claimed individual sectional championships in their weight class.
For Kramer the win was especially sweet — not only was he able to end his final home wrestling match as a champion, but he was able to earn a bit of redemption after coming in second at the 285lb weight class in last year’s sectional meet.
“I won my sophomore year and then losing your junior year, it puts a really bad taste in your mouth because you want to win,” he said. “I lost to the same guy at conference and sectional, I was just in a bad mood. To come back, set the tone, and keep it rolling here...it was just fun.”
Jasper took second place at the sectional with 228 points. They were also able to boast individual champions with top performances from Jainier Milanes (106), Ian Giesler (132), and Zachary Flynn (182) while Cameron Eckstein (120), Kole Terwiske (145), Landon Betz (152), Abhay Rathee (170), Ashton Schuetter (195), Will Collon (220) and Quade Popp (285) all also advanced to next week's regional at Bedford North Lawrence.
“I just said I was going to win it, and I just had that mentality,” said Flynn. “It feels pretty good especially being a senior this is the last year I had the chance to win this title. So I’m glad I won it this year, now it’s just onto regional and seeing what we can do there.”
Wildcat head coach Jace Brescher, whose voice was rather hoarse by the time the meet was over, called it a successful day of wrestling as the boys left it all on the mats and solidified their places in the next level of competition.
“We were super excited,” he said. “Everybody wrestled really well, ten guys went through to the regional, and we had three champions. We came back and beat Floyd Central, who beat us in the season, so we’re really excited. We have a lot to be proud of.”
Forest Park finished in sixth place with 83.5 points with Isaac Brosmer finishing second overall in the 106lb weight class. Cole Mohr (138), Patrick Recker (113), Dylan Niehaus (120) and Travis Haug (126) all also advanced to the regional.
“We looked good today, hopefully we can bring it next week,” said Brosmer, referring to the four other guys that earned the right to represent Forest Park in the regional round.
Rangers head coach Craig Recker got to see his team take the next step as they advanced themselves three places in the final tally compared to where they finished last year and increased the amount of kids that made through to the regional round.
“We had a good day, we really did,” he said. “We’re going to move five on and we’ll take that. It’s been a good solid day and I’m proud of the kids.”
Everyone will take a moment to celebrate not only their wins at sectional, but also their other accomplishments throughout the season which set them up for Saturday’s successes, but the focus will quickly shift on towards regional as everyone looks forward to mapping out the plans that will have the best chance to advance them to semi-state and beyond.
“Without a doubt our focus will be to win one match,” said Dave Schank. “If you win one match at regional you go to semistate. We have some kids that we expect to make the finals if not win a regional championship. We’ve only had a couple regional champions over the last couple of years, and they’re both Tucker (Schank). So we would like to get some other kids, because that really sets you up for your semistate. Our goal is to win one match and try to get a ton of kids to semistate.”
As for the other teams that competed at sectional: Floyd Central finished third (218), North Knox took fourth (143), Pike Central finished fifth (92), New Albany took seventh, Bedford North Lawrence took eighth (66), and Mitchell finished in ninth place (50).
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