"For us to win the ACAC tourney, we need to have excellent placement. I feel we have a deeper team than most in the tourney, so if we can get solid placement in all of the classes we'll be in good shape," stated South Adams coach Eric Myers on the chances of SA adding the tourney crown to its 7-0 dual meet record.
The Stars do have more seeds than the other major players for Saturday's 40th annual ACAC Wrestling Tournament, slated for Woodlan High School at 9 a.m. Defending champ Garrett has eight seeds, including four No. 1s, while Adams Central has three top seeds among eight seeds and Leo has two top seeds among its eight seeded wrestlers.
Heritage comes in with three No. 1 seeds and four No. 4 seeds.
To bolster his chances to getting the tourney crown, Myers has shifted his top wrestler, unbeaten and second-rated Josh Ehr at 152 to the 160-pound class, where he's seeded second to Heritage's Cody Conrad,13-0 and the defending champ.
That gives the top seed at 152 to Jets' veteran Jarod Schwartz, rated No. 10 in the state. Jordan Landers of South Adams is seeded third.
The Stars' only other top seed is 125-pounder Todd Batt, 24-1 at rated No. 13 in the state.
"Our lineup is a little different for the ACAC. We thought the change would give us our best chance to win the tourney, and that's been a team goal for some time. You won't see this lineup next week at sectional," stated Myers.
The Jets' Derek Roe is No. 1 at 119 pounds and Zeke Schultz is the top seed at 145 for the Jets. Roe, 30-2, is rated No. 11 by Indianamat.com, while Schultz, 30-2, is No. 17 in the state.
The Jets will have back 112-pound sophomore Cody Walburn, who has recovered from a broken hand, and he is seeded fourth despite being a returning champ (103) with an 11-1 record. Heritage's Alex Richman is the top seed at 22-2 while 24-0 Ben Fiechter of Southern Wells is the No. 2 seed.
The Jets' chances of getting back on top in the tourney were hurt recently with the loss of two starters, heavyweight Nick Heyerly and 130-pound Josh Schwartz. Heyerly was injured and Schwartz is ineligible.
Frosh Joe Fuelling, 2-2, will be at heavyweight and Dillon Hartman will be in at 130 for the Jets.
Top seeds for Garrett include unbeaten frosh Hayden Lee at 103, 26-1 junior Brayden Moreau at 130, Austin Gibson at 189 and Travis Carunchia at 215.
Josh Mitchel is the top seed for Heritage at 285 and he brings in a 30-0 mark. Maverick Morningstar, the Starfire's 16-8 frosh, is the second seed.
Leo's Spencer Cooper is the top seed at 171 for Leo. Adam Hofstetter of South Adams is the second seed. Corey Botts is the top seed for the Lions at 135 with Charlie Hirschy fourth for the Stars.
The Stars do have four No. 2 seeds with Morningstar, Gabe Sprunger at 140, T.J. Burnfield at 145 and Hofstetter. L.J. Moser is seeded third in the very tough 112-pound class. Isaac Werst at 189 and Cody Conner at 215 are both No. 3 seeds for the Stars.
Bluffton has a returning champ in Philip Gerber, and he is seeded second to Batt at 125. Richman won for Heritage at 112 last year. The Jets' Roe was injured and did not compete. Ehr won at 145 last year for the Stars, and Conrad won at 160 for the Patriots.