Southridge wrestlers edge Jasper on senior night

Photos by Kayla Renie/The Herald
Jasper's Ashton Schuetter and Southridge's Efrain Zarate Jr. wrestle in the 195-pound weight class during Tuesday's boys wrestling match in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Jasper 38-31.
For more photos from the dual, click here.

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — It’s always a big deal when county rivals get a chance to face off for a year’s worth of glory and bragging rights, and in wrestling circles, it doesn’t get much bigger than a dual-match between Jasper and Southridge. Both teams are full of pride and have athletes that can challenge for division titles during sectional, so a chance to test one another’s mettle is something both programs look forward to throughout the season.

“Everyone loves that match,” said senior Sam Schroeder. “You come into the gym, it’s packed (and) it gives you that extra boost you need to get ready to go.”

Both the Raiders and Wildcats laid it on the line, and the match was close up until the final tussle between senior Cade Patton and junior Quade Popp. After three periods of action, Patton went on to get his hand raised via 3-0 decision and brought the Raiders home with the 38-31 win. In addition to Patton, the Raiders saw wins from freshman Cole Wirthwein (113), freshman Xavier Horton (120), sophomore Carson Niehaus (138), freshman Reid Schroeder (152), Sam Schroeder (160) and senior Trevor Hunefeld (170).

“Going into that final match, I had a lot of confidence in (Patton),” said senior Weston Allen, who defeated junior Liam Kibby by pin in his 182-pound match. “I could see it before the match. He was pumped up, and he was going to come through for us.”

Raiders coach Kurt Collins thought that the team was successful because everyone simply did their job. He wanted his wrestlers to take everything they could against the Wildcats and thought that several boys, even those weren’t able to pick up a win, went out and had their best matches of the season. Forty years in the Dubois County wrestling world informed Collins about the extra competitive spirit that would present on Tuesday, and he spent the entire week gearing his boys up to meet the challenge.

“When Southridge and Jasper get together for this end of the season dual (match), Jasper always brings their best,” he said. “We anticipate that, I spoke about it at great lengths this last week. You can guarantee Jasper is going to bring everything they’ve got. They scrapped for every inch they could get, and I didn’t expect any less out of them.”

The Wildcats picked up wins from junior Jainer Milanes (106, forfeit), freshman Jeb Prechtel (126), sophomore Cale Schmitt (132), sophomore Ian Giesler (145), sophomore Ashton Schuetter (195), and junior Will Collon (220). Wildcats coach Jace Brescher said his team relished the challenge of testing themselves against the defending sectional champions to see how they measured up.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” he said. “We always look forward to good competition like this. There were a few strategic moves we could have done if we wanted to move guys around, but we chose to keep our lineup the same and get an eye on what might happen come sectional time.”

Jasper's Ayden Wigand and Southridge's Trevor Hunefeld wrestle in the 170-pound weight class during Tuesday's boys wrestling match in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Jasper 38-31
For more photos from the dual, click here.

In fact, both the Raiders and Wildcats were keen on using Tuesday night as an early preview of what their sectional matchups could look like. Another important takeaway for both teams is examining where they fell short, and working to use the time they have left to apply the proper corrections. Both teams figure to be major factors in the later rounds of sectional, so any intel they gather now could put them over the top come Feb. 1.

With me, it’s just the basic things,” said Collins. “Heads up on the bottom, moving your feet in the neutral, (and) heavy hands. It’s the simple things done perfectly. We go over them in practice, and we’ll continue to go over them.”

“We still have to improve on our technique a lot,” added Brescher. “Technique can beat strength, but we need to work on our conditioning so we can last long enough to keep the mental (strength) to have good technique in that third period.”

For more photos from the dual, click here.




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