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Bellmont has four top-four seeds for the annual 32-team Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka High School this week, including top seeds Travis Thatcher at 215 pounds and heavyweight Daniel Meyer.
The tourney, once dominated by Bellmont, will be held Wednesday and Thursday of this week starting at 9 a.m.
Five of the top 10 rated teams in the state are in the tourney: No. 4 Merrillville, No. 5 Mishawaka, No. 7 Lawrence North, No. 8 Penn and No. 10 Bellmont.
Bellmont's unbeaten 171-pounder Ryley Hankenson, 17-0, is the No. 2 seed at 171 pounds and 15-1 Brooks Faurote is seeded third at at 140. John Mahlan, 15-2 at 160 pounds, has what amounts to an eighth seed as he is opposite No. 4 seed Alex Stewart of LaPorte, 16-1, in the second quarter-bracket.
Bellmont placed fourth in the meet in 2009 and Thatcher was the 189-pound champ, taking out Fowler of Calumet 5-2 in the title match.
Eventual state champion Mishawaka won the tourney last year with 254.5 points with Merrillville second at 210.5. Penn was third at 154.4 and Bellmont fourth at 146.5 points. Lawrence North took fifth at 145.5 followed by Center Grove.
Lake Central has a pair of tops seeds for the tourney in 140-pound Brad Wartman and 119-pound Kyle Ayersman. Mishawaka's only top seed is 125-pound Layton Binion.
Elkhart Memorial has a pair of No. 1 seeds in Cam Matteson at 152 and Dantrell Goodman at 145 pounds.
Anthony Quiroz of Chesterton is the defending champ and top seed at 160 pounds. Jarred Brooks of Warsaw, the 103-pound champ last year, is the top seed at 112.
Nathan Boston of Lawrence North is the top seed at 103 and Matt Rattay of North is top seed at 140. Veteran Travis Barroquillo of Prairie Heights is No. 1 at 130. Alex Gregory of Penn is the top seed at 135 pounds.
Defending state champ and 2009 Mishawaka champ Drake Stein of Princeton is the top seed at 171 pounds, opposite Hankenson. Brandon Dillonbeck of Goshen is No. 1 at 189 pounds.
The draw did no favors for Willie Mahlan at 130 as the 10-8 Bellmonter will take on top seed Barroquillo (26-0). At 135, Bellmont's 11-2 Dewey Melcher will meet No. 3 seed Steven Reiker (23-1) of COL.
In other first round matches: Bellmont's 3-4 Jordan Richards at 103 will meet 2-6 frosh Jerome Boyd of South Bend Adams, at 112 Jacob Girod (13-5) will meet 3-9 Max Lutz of Michigan City,
Bobby Keuneke, who has had a solid first half at 14-4, will meet the No. 2 seed, Robert Boston of Lawrence North at 119 pounds. At 125 pounds, Bellmont's Blake Adams (10-7) will tangle with junior Troy Welsey of Center Grove. That winner will likely meet No. 2 seed Nick Crume, 11-0, in the second round.
At 145, BHS senior Anthony Stebing will go against Matt Hill of Jimtown, no record given. That winner will likely meet Mishawaka's 9-2 Sidney Logan.
Will Busse at 152 will meet Goshen's 8-13 Skylar Stevens. They are in the top quarter-bracket with Matteson.
Bellmont's Brad Busse, ,1-0, will meet No. 4 seed Ross Hoover of Warsaw, 17-1, in the first round at 189.
Thatcher is bracketed opposite 25-1 Taylor Grubb of Prairie Heights. Jack Seaman of Munster, 14-1, is the third seed in Thatcher's half.
Eric Forest of Jimtown, 10-1, is opposite Meyer. Tyler Van Lul of Calumet is the third seed. No record is available.
Faurote will go up against 11-6 junior Rick Foust of Peru in his opener.