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"We're looking at possible matchups with Yorktown, and I'm just happy to be doing that," said Bellmont wrestling coach Brent Faurote, whose Braves survived a three-way sectional run-off with neighbors Adams Central and South Adams Saturday at Jay County.
"We could be focusing on individual stuff because we had to battle back to get where we are. I'm just glad to be in this position," stated the coach.
The Braves are looking for their 15th and final berth in the IHSAA Team Wrestling State Finals since that organization has decided to pull the plug on the tourney after 2012. This is the 17th Team State Mat Tourney and no team has qualified more times that the Braves.
Yorktown, 19-11 this year, has been the chief rival for the Braves in recent years, but the Yorkies have been able to beat Bellmont in this pressure-packed February setting only one time, in 2010. Bellmont will be looking for its 16th Team Regional title Wednesday at Adams Central.
An improved Fort Wayne Snider squad, 16-5, will meet Carroll, 13-4, in the other 6 p.m. semi-final at Monroe tomorrow. A year ago, Carroll downed Snider and then lost to Bellmont in the championship round.
The Braves, which lost to Yorktown in the regular season meeting the last four seasons, turned around several matches last February in the stunning 30-28 BHS win. It came down to junior Bobby Keuneke having to keep from getting pinned in the final match at 119, and he did that, allowing only a 10-4 decision to Chandler Carroll as the Bellmont fans went wild.
There were only four pins, two for each squad, in last year's showdown. That will not be the case this year.