Braves set to tackle the odds at semi-state
Bellmont wrestler Jon Becker on the stand. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
It's a good thing that the wrestling winners Saturday at the Snider semi-state won't be decided "on paper." or worse yet, by some funky formula dreamed up by the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Association.
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"The odds on paper probably don't favor us in about nine of our 10 matches," stated Bellmont coach Brent Faurote.
"But they are not guys we can't beat. The opportunities will be there, it's up to the kids, when they see something, to go get it."
While the actual "paper" may be a little kinder to the strong Bellmont delegation, it's obvious that Faurote and his staff are counting on a better showing than a year ago when only senior Brad Busse made it to the victory stand.
Adams Central brings in five, including 2013 state streeter Kaine Luginbill, and senior Derek Ellinger, ready for his fourth shot at the Coliseum madhouse.
South Adams brings three strong entrants, but they are going to have to be very good on Saturday. Regional champ and two-time state placer, unbeaten Sawyer Miller, will likely get a rematch from last year's 113-pound state consolation final as he is on a collision course with East Noble's Connor Knapp. Only one of those former state placers will get a ticket to Bankers Life next week.
No. 5 Yorktown will being all 14 of its wrestlers to the fray. Bellmont, rated No. 19 in the latest Indianamat.com poll, has 10, while East Noble and Carroll both have eight entrants. Peru and Oak Hill have nine apiece while Elkhart Memorial will bring in eight. Leo and Snider both have seven. Goshen and Columbia City will bring in six apiece.
"We seem to have a lot better record when we bring in a kid with eight or 10 losses then when we have strong records and good draws," laments Adams Central coach Doug Schultz.
"If Ellinger and Kaine come in and relax a little bit, they could mess this thing up."
Ellinger, at 37-2, is the top dog in his quarter-bracket at 138. On his side is 35-3 Dominic Garrett of Bishop Dwenger. DeKalb's Zach Krumlauf, a state qualifier last year, is rated No. 5 in the state and is on the other side of the bracket, along with 10th rated Dustin Henkle of Western.
Luginbill has the best record in his quarter-bracket. Tristan Wilson of Carroll, 41-1, is in his half of the bracket. "It's a pretty good draw, but I still have to wrestle well to advance," said the junior.