Spartans’ Foster to rep EIAC at state
NEW CASTLE – There were 22 representatives from the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference at Saturday’s New Castle wrestling semistate and after all was settled, just one is moving on to Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis this coming weekend for the state finals – Connersville’s 195-pounder, Orlan Foster.
The tournament is typically dominated by a handful of teams from Marion County (Indianapolis) and the surrounding donut counties … and Saturday was no different. Spots one through six were taken by Indy metro squads, including winning Indianapolis Cathedral with 117 points, followed by the host NC Trojans in seventh and all Indy teams from 8-15. Connersville, with the help of Foster’s run, took 17th.
Champions followed the same pattern; Cathedral, Perry Meridian, Warren Central and Roncalli each had two titlists while New Palestine, Carmel, Zionsville, Lawrence North and Hamilton Southeastern had one apiece. Crashing the party was NC’s unbeaten freshman Tylin Thrine at 126.
East Central sent eight competitors to the Trojans’ fieldhouse, Franklin County five, Connersville and Lawrenceburg three each and one each for Rushville, South Dearborn and Batesville. Greensburg’s Preston Merritt had qualified but was replaced by alternate Carson Whitley of Union County in the 132 division.
Of FC’s quintet, a pair got through to the second round – nicknamed the ticket round that allows wrestlers a ‘ticket’ to state. Cole Freese (113) pinned Elwood’s Kaleb Colwell late in the second period before suffering a 2nd-period fall to Porter Temples of Westfield. Colin Troyer (120) also earned a second-period pin early in the morning, putting North Vermillion’s Aden Rangel on his back. Troyer went the distance against Guerin Catholic’s Peter Nguyen, taking a 10-2 major decision loss – just his second of the year as he finished 39-2. Freese ended with a 39-4 mark.
Breck Bohman at 170 had an early 5-2 lead over Hamilton Heights’ Jimmy Lacey before giving up the lead and getting stuck 32 seconds into the second frame. Bohman posted a 14-6 mark. Senior Wildcats were Hayden Newell and Lendon Sizemore at 160 and 220, respectively. Both had tough opening matches, with Newell being pinned in 1:26 by Southport’s Daunte Hon and Sizemore lasting 63 seconds versus Roncalli’s Royce Deckard. Newell’s final year netted a 32-10 ledger while Sizemore went 27-12.
Foster is now 42-3 after going 3-1 at the meet. The Spartan senior pinned his first three foes in the opening stanza, then took a pin at the hands of Roncalli’s undefeated Luke Hansen. Teammate Levi DeGroat (220) fell 9-3 in his first match. Another Spartan, Aric Fox, was pinned late in his bout with fellow 138-pounder Christian Arberry of WC.
Brayden Rouse of EC also fell victim to Hansen by pin in round 2; he had earlier majored Anderson’s Clayton Stephens. Teammate Grayson Hylton defeated Mt. Vernon’s Elijah Kiner 8-4 at 152 lbs. but was majored 11-2 by HSE’s Zach Lang as the bracket shrank. Trojan Blake Wolf at 126 got by Lebanon’s Ethan Coffman ahead of being pinned by runner-up Aden Reyes of Cathedral.
Five other EC grapplers fell early on. Tyler Stenger (113) was majored, Nyden Euson pinned at 132, Dylan Lengerich lost a 4-2 affair to Heights’ Carson Fettig at 145, Brayden Huber pinned late in a 170 bout with Indianapolis Bishop Chatard’s Kade Rickard and Brendin Kolter pinned in the opening period at 182.
LHS’ Colton Roth was still unbeaten at heavyweight following a late pin of North Montgomery’s Dylan Braun; his first and only loss of the year came against Franklin Central’s Andrew Just, who posted a 10-3 win. Tiger teammate Drake Rorabacher was at the wrong end of a technical fall in his 170-pound opening match while Brayden Tudor did slightly better at 145, losing by major decision.
Rushville’s Tuff Tackett (132) ended a nice career for the Lions with a 1st-round pin loss to Heights’ Isaac Kuhn; Tackett went 29-13 this year. Batesville heavy Max Amberger took a 13-5 major decision defeat to Carmel’s Jack Milligan. Amberger finished 33-8 in his sophomore campaign. Liam Hubbartt of SD was pinned by 106-lb runner-up Gunner Butt of New Pal. Hubbartt was 28-13 in his debut season.
State action in Indy starts Friday night.