- Special Sections
With the Team Regional rescheduled for next week, Bellmont coach Brent Faurote can worry about getting the most wrestlers he can through to semistate.
The Team Regional is scheduled for the Wednesday after sectional, then the teams don't compete again until after the State Individual Finals, over three weeks.
"I don't know what the rush is about," said the BHS Coach. "I think it should be the following Wednesday. We have plenty of time to get it in."
The switch actually helps Bellmont this year because standout 140-pounder Brooks Faurote will have another week to recover from his broken finger, and will likely be using a smaller brace on his hand next Wednesday compared to the oversized brace he now wears.
"This week, the kids have to worry about setting up the semistate. We need to get as many champions as possible, and, of course stay away from fourth places," said the coach.
Four regionals will feed into the Fort Wayne area semistate. Wrestlers will have to win two matches at semistate, compared to the one Saturday at Jay County, in order to make it to state.
Both Bellmont and South Adams have 12 wrestlers in the tourney Saturday at Jay County. Adams Central puts in seven.
Yorktown brings a strong contingent of 14, and there are other excellent competitors from Muncie South, Muncie Central and Winchester.
Defending regional champ Travis Thatcher, who moves up a class to 215 pounds, will be opposite senior Andrew Chalfant, 32-1, of Winchester Saturday.
Bellmont's Daniel Meyer, third last year at Jay, is the solid favorite at heavyweight. Maisen Hill of Muncie Central is in the bottom bracket.
Defending BHS champs John Mahlan and Ryley Hankenson both moved up a weight class and look to be favorites in those classes, 160 and 171. South Adams senior Josh Ehr, unbeaten, was the 145-pound champ this year and is a solid choice at 152.
Also at 152, Bellmont's Will Busse is bracketed with Austin Quinn of Wes-Del, 31-1. Jarod Schwartz of AC is in the upper bracket with Ehr.
SA's T.J. Burnfield (17-1), fresh off of his sectional title, is in the same class but opposite Andrew Hiestand (39-2) of Yorktown. AC's Zeke Schultz is on the same side with Burnfield. He will take on Jacob York of Daleville (29-4) in the opener.
Faurote will meet 25-10 Travis Delk of Winchester and is in the bracket with Cole VanHorn of Yorktown.
At 135, Gabe Sprunger of South Adams is opposite Yorktown's top-ranked Devon Jackson (40-0). Dewey Melcher of Bellmont is on the same side as Sprunger, but must face a tough Isaiah Bradley of Muncie South Side in the opener.
AC's Derek Ellinger has a decent draw with Dalton Baysinger of Yorktown (27-15) on his side. Bellmont's Willie Mahlan will face Baysinger.
SA's Todd Batt has a solid chance at 125 and is opposite frosh Rhett Hiestand of Yorktown (32-9). Philip Gerber of Bluffton is in Hiestand's half. Blake Adams of Bellmont faces Adam Gordon of Delta in Batt's half of the bracket.
AC's Derek Roe is opposiet 37-2 Yorktown frosh Chandler Carroll at 119. Bobby Keuneke of Bellmont is in Carroll's half and Eric Pimentel of South Adams is in the upper bracket.
Cody Walburn of AC is in the same bracket with Southern Wells' Ben Fiechter at 112 while Jacob Girod of Bellmont is on the same side with Schuyler Phillips of Yorktodnw (37-3).
Adam Cook of AC is opposide Brock Bevans of Yorktown at 103.