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"We're strong enough to win it, and there are a couple of other teams that are equally as good if not better. It comes down to bonus points," sized up Adams Central wrestling coach Doug Schultz, on the chances that his squad successfully defends its Class A state wrestling championship Saturday at Westfield High School.
The top-seeded Jets, 6-5, will face 3-4 Clinton Central in the 10 a.m. quarter-finals, then an expected win would put them across from the winner of South Adams-(fourth-seeded) West Central in the second annual tournament, sponsored by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association.
On the opposite side is No. 2 seed Fremont, 9-2, which will likely have to deal with third seed, Churubusco (11-3), which fell in the title match a year ago, 46-23. 'Busco faces 11-6 Bremen in the first round, and Fremont will meet 5-4 South Putnam.
Defending champs Perry Meridian (3A) and Yorktown (2A) are top seeds in the other tourneys, which will run concurrently on two sites (fieldhouse, gym) at Westfield.
The Jets swept through the meet last year to claim the first-ever IHSWCA Dual Team State Class A championship. South Adams was also invited and fell in the first round under then coach Eric Myers, and later beat South Putnam to earn seventh place.
Hall of Fame coach Barry Humble will bring the Starfires into action Saturday after a 17-year successful run at New Haven.
"We're hoping the kids are excited about this opportunity," stated Humble. "If we wrestle like we did last Saturday (at Ben Davis, 6th of 16), we'll be okay."
Schultz figures the meets will be close. "We're looking at some possible 7 and 7 splits, or even 8-6 meets, then it's all about bonus points, all about how many times we can get them stuck, and how many times we can't stay off our backs.
Injuries Plague Stars
Though Humble has closed the gap on his forfeit list, two injuries could hurt the Stars Saturday against 20-5 West Central.
Heavyweight Andrew Beachey (9-3) broke a hand when he wrestled against Leo early in December. Chance Sprunger (3-1) at 113 hurt his neck in the same meet. It's an aggravation from a four-wheeler injury from last summer," explained Humble.
Both continue to work in practice, and there is a chance they could be ready by Saturday, especially Beachey.
Humble figures that his Starfires are well-prepared for West Central. "They sent three kids to the Merrillville Semistate, so that's why they were invited (to the tourney). They wrestle pretty much a 1A schedule, so we feel we wrestle a tougher slate," said Humble, whose Stars split 10 matches with No. 1 rated (1A) Adams Central.
Sawyer Miller, 16-0 and rated No. 4 at 120, took a title at Ben Davis while Klayton Hinshaw at 182 and Boaz Marbach at 145, both 19-1, also took championships.
Frosh Briar Goodwin, 4-5, will be at 113 if Sprunger cannot go. If Beachey is unavailable, then the Stars will forfeit heavyweight, or shift up and forfeit another weight.