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"They're solid, but they're not the Mater Dei team of the 90s or early 2000s when they ran that streak of nine consecutive titles," stated Bellmont coach Brent Faurote, whose 21-5 Bellmont squad will square off with the 22-0 Wildcats Saturday at Center Grove High School in the final Indiana Team State Wrestling Tournament.
"I've told the kids, it's a good team but not a team that if we have some kids step up we can't beat," said Faurote, not nearly ready to throw up the white flag on the 2012 wrestling campaign.
Bellmont and Mater Dei will both be making their 15th appearances in the 17-year history of the Indiana Team State Tourney as the two schools share that record.
Mater Dei has won Team State 10 of the 16 years that the tourney has been conducted. Currently, the Wildcats are rated No. 3 in the state behind Perry Meridian, the tourney favorite, and Crown Point. Bellmont is rated 14th in the coaches poll, but has already proven twice that they are better than that, earning a finals spot for Saturday, and also finishing 9th by the old tourney formula in the individual state meet held last weekend.
The winner of the Bellmont-Mater Dei meet will likely face Perry Meridian in the semi-finals.
That first round clash between the Braves and the Wildcats pits two of the great wrestling programs in the state.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Bellmont coaching staff and their program," said Mater Dei coach Greg Schaefer.