Area wrestlers on to semistate
RICHMOND – Needing to advance past the opening round of the Richmond Regional to punch their tickets to the New Castle Semistate (Feb. 11, 8 a.m.), several wrestlers from area schools did just that Saturday morning at the Red Devils’ Tiernan Center.
A handful of those fought their way to the top of the podium in their respective weight classes. Cole Freese and Colin Troyer won at 113 and 120 pounds for Franklin County’s Wildcats, who ended third in team rankings behind champion East Central and runner-up New Castle. EC saw just a solo champion, Grayson Hylton at 152. The Connersville Spartans’ big boys, Orlan Foster at 195 and Levi DeGroat at 220, were tops in their divisions. Jordan Takara of Union County was first at 160. Matthew Baylor (44-0 at 106) and Colton Roth (20-0 at 285) were unbeaten bookends for Milan and Lawrenceburg, respectively. NC had four champs and Eastern Hancock a pair.
Freese (38-3) had already advanced to the following weekend thanks to a 1st-round forfeit by Blue River Valley. The sophomore then used up just 38 seconds of energy in pinning Northeastern’s Lucas Chamness before earning a 12-2 major decision over Centerville’s Kyle Sheard. EC’s Tyler Stenger took third in the bracket.
Troyer ran his record to 38-1, needing just under three minutes of mat time to claim the title. He opened with a 44-second pin of Tri’s Tanner Stockton, then won by injury walkover as Centerville’s Bryson Hale defaulted. In the final, the soph pinned EH’s Logan Gilman in the waning seconds of the first period.
Takara (39-4) battled FC’s Hayden Newell (32-9) in the championship round, the senior duo separated by just two points as the Patriot won 6-4. UC’s upperclassman had won by technical fall (20-2) over NE’s Thane Berger and squeaked by Centerville’s Luke Cannarella 7-6. Newell’s path took him past EH’s Dominic Shelby (10-4) and Milan’s Cameron Gilb (inj. Default).
Roth and Batesville’s lone regional rep, Max Amberger (33-7), slogged to a 1-0 duel in the heavyweight final. At 170, FC’s Breck Bohman (14-5) ended up third after first pinning Blue River’s Tyler Flynn and falling 10-3 to eventual champ Jon Eberhart of NC; Bohman decisioned Lawrenceburg’s Drake Rorabacher 6-4 in the consolation match. Another Wildcat moving on is senior Lendon Sizemore (27-11), who placed fourth at 220. Sizemore pinned NC’s Quentin Mozier in the second period to start the day, then suffered a 3-0 defeat to NE’s Michael Henderson and pin loss to Centerville’s Nathan Westover.
Rushville’s Tuff Tackett (29-12) finished runner-up at 132, losing by major decision to Cameron Volz of EH. Tackett “tuff”-ed out a 5-4 win over Shenandoah’s Sam Hinshaw early and narrowly got by Greensburg’s Preston Merritt 3-1 in the semis. Merritt added a 10-1 major over Centerville’s Kale Creech before being disqualified in his third-place bout with EC’s Nyden Euson.
UC’s Jesus Aquino-Morales took third at 126. Chewy pinned Lincoln’s Aidan Capps but was pinned by division champ Tylin Thrine of NC. He then beat EH’s Zayne Badgley 8-2. EC’s Blake Wolf was runner-up.
Other area athletes advancing include Aric Fox of Connersville (4th; 138), Dylan Lengerich of EC (2nd; 145), Brayden Tudor of LHS (3rd; 145), Brayden Huber of EC (2nd; 170), Brendin Kolter of EC (2nd; 182) and Brayden Rouse of EC (2nd; 195).
Advancement to state finals requires each wrestler win at least twice at New Castle this weekend. Other feeder regionals are Frankfort, Pendleton Heights and Perry Meridian.