Jets seed 4 in top slots for Jay Co. sectionals
Derek Ellinger (top) drew a number one seed, one of four for the Jets heading into sectionals on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
The 2013 IHSAA sectional wrestling draw took place on Monday night and as expected, the favorites on paper are Adams Central ranked #1 in class A as well as winners of the first coaches' team state tournament and second straight ACAC title.
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Of the 14 weights represented at the individuals only sectional this season, the Jets boast the best odds of advancing according to rank with four number one seeds, while South Adams harbors three top seeds and the Braves hold one top spot.
Along with the three Adams County schools are Jay County, Union City, Blackford, Bluffton, Norwell, and Southern Wells all vying for a piece of the pie.
Although Bellmont has just one number one seed, Adams Central will be looking over their shoulder the entire tournament as the Braves bring five wrestlers in with number two-seeds and another two in the three-seed slot. The Jets have a number two and five number threes, while South Adams has three number twos and a three.
Bellmont's lone number one seed rests at the lightest weight in Trevor Gray (21-10) who is lined up to wrestle freshman Brayden Myers of South Adams in round one. In a potential finals match-up, Gray could end up seeing Adams Central's Eli Hill (15-10) who is the number three seed.
At 182 lies the most intriguing slate in the sectional with two state vets #1-seeded Ben Pfister from AC (31-2) and #2 Brad Busse of Bellmont (24-2) who have a long history against one another. The anticipated bout between the two in the regular season never came to fruition but if the ranks stay true, the final should be something to watch on Saturday. Busse draws Bluffton's Noah Studebaker in round one, while Pfister will wrestle SA's Nic Myers.
SA's Sawyer Miller (31-1) will look to keep a good thing going at 113 as the heavy favorite to repeat but AC's Andy Oliver (23-8) and Daniel Gunsett of Bellmont (26-9) will look to play spoiler in the later rounds ranked at two and three respectively. Miller gets a bye in round one with Gunsett facing Drew Rockwell from Southern Wells and Oliver has Norwell's Nick Gordon.
The Stars' LJ Moser is another experienced state streeter at 120 sitting at an unblemished 19-0 on the year. Southern Wells' TC Perry will be the only contender drawing much attention at the number two seed. Moser faces AC frosh Bailey Coyne, while Bellmont's Danny Baker tries his hand at Conner Ray of Jay County.
Finishing at 32-1 on the regular season, Cody Walburn is the heavy favorite at 126 but just had a good battle against the number two seed from SA Eric Pimentel in the finals of the ACAC tourney. The two most-likely will collide once again on Saturday. Walburn wrestles Jordan Stuckey of UC first with Pimentel wrestling Bellmont's Diego Hutker on the other side of the bracket.
Benjamin Fiechter of Southern Wells is the Raiders' only number one seed wrestling at 32-0 this season but avoided a match-up against the Stars and Jets earlier in the season. It will surely come down to Hunter Bates from the Jets or Braves' Brock Braun contesting Fiechter in the final. Bates will tackle Chandler Burton of UC, while Braun wrestles Alex Stout of Jay County.
Derek Ellinger is the one-seed at 138 at 31-2 on the season wrestling Logan Skye of Union City in round one. SA's Boaz Marbaugh at the two seed and Willie Mahlan at the three are looming on the other side of the bracket. Marbaugh draws Jay-ar Kobryn of Norwell and Mahlan grapples with Gabe Martinez of Bluffton.
Another anticipated 1-2 from AC/Bellmont is Zac Yoder who draws the number one for the Jets at 24-9 in the 145 division, while Bergman's 20-9 mark earns him the two-seed. Yoder faces Lane Christman of Blackford, while Bergman will Isaiah Amstutz of South Adams.