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Hop's Heresy

January 27, 2012

Down to the last takedown?
By JIM HOPKINS

     All indications point to an energy-charged Jay County Wrestling Sectional Saturday with the three Adams County school set to make a run at that final AC Regional Team Wrestling slot ... or final for now.
    Okay, Bellmont has won 21 straight sectional crowns, the second-longest streak currently in the state, and the Braves have a reputation for coming up pretty big in Portland, but ... Adams Central exhibited their mat muscle last week in routing the field at the ACAC and the Jets have legitimate contenders in half a dozen classes. South Adams is the only team in the tourney with overwhelming favorites in two classes, the first two (Sawyer Miller and LJ Moser), so they have a base in which to make a run, and a third No. 1 seed at 170 in Issac Werst.
    Long time BHS coach Brent Faurote feels that the winner Saturday has a real shot at taking the AC Regional Wednesday. Muncie South has six No. 1 seeds in the Delta Tourney to Yorktown’s five, and the Yorkies have had a tough season, not offering any standout wrestlers from about 145 on up.
    “I’d say it’s 60-40,” stated Adams Central coach Doug Schultz, who feels that Bellmont has to be the favorite. “But if we turn around some of those one-point losses (in the dual with BHS) and everyone comes through, we could win by a narrow margin,” says Schultz.
    Faurote feels that if the tourney goes down the way the seeds say it well, then his troops will win by five or six points. That’s not much of a comfort margin.
    “I would say that Bellmont is the heavy favorite,” said SA coach Eric Myers. “I think Adams Central has a shot, and we are behind AC. But ... if we have a great day we could be right there in the running, though we haven’t had that the last couple of outings. We hope that changes this week.”
    It could be a very interesting final round, with a lot more on the line that individual sectional titles. The pressure vise could be squeezing. The cream will rise to the top.
    But this type of local showdown could have been avoided. A three-class state team tourney, like Ohio is putting in this year, would likely put two Adams County teams in different mats at a state tourney. It’s not far-fetched. We just need the IHSAA to see the light.
    Big problem. Of course, the IHSAA now has to worry about the Indiana Legislature taking over the administration role in the basketball tournament, threatening to pass a bill requiring Indiana High Schools to roll back the clock and go back to a one-class tourney. Can they make them re-open Monmouth and Pleasant Mills?
    That’s just idiotic. Half of the legislature can’t even decide if it wants to show up for a vote, and they want to play Back To The Future with high school basketball?
    There are some interesting mat anomalies coming up Saturday. Both Bellmont coach Brent Faurote and AC coach Doug Schultz have senior sons going for titles, and in back to back weights: Brooks Faurote at 145 and Zeke Schultz at 152. A 2011 champ, AC’s Adam Cook, does not have a top-four seed at 113. Derek Roe, a son of a state champ and a two-time sectional champ is now in the same weight class as South Adams’ two-time champ, Todd Batt. Faurote, Batt and Roe are way up on the all-time win lists at their schools.
    A prediction? No way. In my youth I might have been silly enough for that. Let the kids decide it. They do a pretty good job.
    I do have one prediction: this stupid weight change of ‘012 will have its one and only year to shine. Surely, national wrestling officials received enough guff from coaches, who had to eliminate a middle weight, where there is always wrestlers, to a heavier weight, which is sometimes very hard to fill.
    Should be one and done, just like 1995’s switch, which likely cost Bellmont a team state title. That was a one-year wonder, just like I told the commissioner it would be ... before he hung up on me.
    
Irsay Shows True Colors
    Years back, when Michael Jordan’s run was about up with Chicago, the Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf decided to end the era, draft another superstar, and move with more titles. How’s that working out?
    Colts’ owner Jim Irsay, upset with Payton Manning stating the obvious about the shakeup at Colts’ Central this week, struck back, chided Manning, and talked about settling issues within the “family.”
    What a knucklehead! Does he really want to cut the strings to Manning, without knowing if he has another Super Bowl title left in him? He obviously thinks he can draft Andrew Luck from Stanford, build another machine and just keep winning. The Niners had Montana then Young, the Cowboys Staubach and Danny White (wow!).
    He’s such a smart owner. With a healthy Manning, we know what can happen. Without him, we also know.
 

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