Two senior wrestlers advance to State Finals

Photo by Mike Lawrence/Evansville Courier & Press
Jasper's Zachary Flynn wrestles Carson Brewer of Avon in the semifinals of the 182-pound weight class at Saturday's IHSAA semistate wrestling tournament at the Ford Center in Evansville. Flynn placed third overall to advance to this weekend's State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. He'll be joined by fellow local wrestler Aidian Rea of Heritage Hills who placed 4th in the 285-pound weight class.


EVANSVILLE — There’s no denying that your senior year of high school can be one of the most fun years of your life. From countless memories made and friendships gained, you often remember your senior year for a long time.

For two local senior wrestlers, Saturday’s semistate meet at the Ford Center in Evansville was just another lifelong memory made as Jasper’s Zachary Flynn and Heritage Hills’ Aidian Rea advanced to the IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis by placing in the top-four of their respective weight classes. Flynn placed third in the 182-pound class and Rea placed fourth in the 285-pound weight class.

Flynn defeated Evansville Mater Dei’s Jacob Pierson by a 9-2 decision in the opening round and then beat Jeffersonville’s Cody Matherly by a 3-1 decision in the ticket round to solidify his first career spot in the state finals.

“I think when I got that takedown in the second period of that (second round) match, I was able to keep him from getting a reversal on me and that put me up by a good amount,” said Flynn, Jasper’s first state qualifier since 120-pounder Nathan Schitter in 2013. “It’s all kind of surprising to me because it doesn’t feel like I’m going to state but then I sit and think about it, and I realize ‘Hey, I actually am going to state’ - it’s kind of a funny feeling.”

While Flynn was defeated by eventual semistate champ Carson Brewer of Avon in the semifinal, he took home third place when he defeated Danville’s Trizton Carson in the consolation match. Flynn technically won the match on an injury forfeit but he was ahead at the time of Carson’s injury.

Jasper head coach Jace Brescher was very proud of Flynn’s performance on Saturday afternoon. He knows it’s something that Flynn has been working very hard to accomplish and seeing it all pay off was well worth it.

“He wrestled solid all day and he limited the number of mistakes he made which helped him succeed,” Brescher said. “We knew he had some tough matches ahead of him but we also knew if he wrestled to the best of his ability then he was fully capable of accomplishing what he did today.”


Rea also had two tough matches to get through in order to make his first career state finals appearance. He defeated Mooresville’s Robbie Gentry by sudden victory (overtime) in the opening round and then had an intense battle with Southridge’s Wyatt Kramer in the ticket round that resulted in Rea winning by an ultimate tiebreaker — basically, the equivalent to double overtime.

In the match against Kramer, a fellow Pocket Athletic Conference wrestler that he’s battled many times, Rea just kept trying to think about what was ahead for him if he was just able to get through that fight.

“I just kept thinking, ‘If I win this, I’ll be our school’s first state qualifier since 2013’,” Rea said. “I just really wanted to be able to do that for the team.”

While his first two matches went well, he had a little tougher go around in his final two matches of the afternoon.

He was defeated by Brownsburg’s Dorian Keys in the semifinal match (who was the eventual semistate champion) by pin (1:26) and then fell to Jeffersonville’s Matthew Munoz by a 3-2 decision in the consolation match for third place.

“The first match that guy was just really, really good - I don’t think I could’ve done much more,” Rea said. “But that second match showed me I really need to work more on my feet this week and continue to work on my shots.”

While the semistate meant good things for Flynn and Rea, it also meant the end of the year for many others and in some cases, the end of their high school careers.

For Jasper, Flynn was joined by freshman Ian Giesler (132) in the ticket round. Giesler defeated Jeffersonville’s Connor Gilles by an 11-6 decision in the first round before being defeated by Brownsburg’s Drake Campbell in the second round. Sophomore Jainier Milanes (106), freshman Ashton Schuetter (195) and sophomore Will Collon (220) were all defeated in the opening round.

Southridge’s streak of sending an individual to the state finals was ended this year. Four Raider wrestlers made it to the ticket round but were then ousted from the tournament — sophomore Tanner Kane (120), junior Brad Springer (152), senior Tucker Schank (160) and senior Wyatt Kramer (285). Senior Patrick Sander (132), junior Sam Schroeder (170) and sophomore Chase Taylor (220) were defeated in the opening round.

Forest Park was represented by junior Isaac Brosmer (106) who was defeated in the opening round by Avon’s Blaze Garcia. Heritage Hills also had two other wrestlers participate in Saturday’s semistate but they were both defeated in the opening round — junior Sam Scott (120) and junior Phoenix Rodgers (182). Brownsburg was the overall team champion with 134.5 points while Evansville Mater Dei was second (121) and Avon placed third (103).

The IHSAA State Finals will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis this Friday and Saturday. Win on Friday and you’ll wrestle on Saturday but if you lose, then your season is over. Both Flynn and Rea are excited for their first ever appearances at state and they look to make the most out of them.

“I know that I’m going to be facing a No. 1 seed, so it’ll be a tough match,” Rea said. “But I just want to go out and give it all I got and hopefully come away with a W.”

Flynn added: “Since I got third I know I won’t have to go through a first place guy — I’m just hoping to place at state and see how far I can go because this is all uncharted territory for me.”

More on