Bellmont’s Rubles and AC’s Logans vs. Indiana’s best

Staff Writer

     FORT WAYNE — Adams County wrestlers used a perfect four-for-four semifinal round to set themselves up for a strong Friday night at the State Finals in Indianapolis. Two wrestlers, seniors Logan Macklin (Adams Central) and Jon Ruble (Bellmont), came out of Saturday’s Semi-State as champions, while Ike Ruble (B) and Logan Mosser (AC) fell to tough opponents in the finals to take second place.

     The final round did not go as well as the semis did for the local wrestlers, beginning with Ike Ruble in a #1 versus #2 matchup in the 106 championship match against Jared Brooks of Wabash. Brooks scored the opening takedown but was called for a penalty point before Ruble got the reversal to take a 3-2 lead into period two. Brooks caught Ruble quickly and scored a fall, shocking those in the arena who expected a one-point match to unfold between two very talented wrestlers.

     In the 132 finals, Matt Gimson knocked off his second Adams County wrestler in three matches with a convincing 12-1 win over Logan Mosser. Few that have seen Mosser this season would have believed that anyone in the state of Indiana possessed the muscle to turn Mosser with a half-nelson, but Gimson showed just how strong he was with several nearfall opportunities in the bout. Grimson beat Bellmont’s Kyle Lawson in the second round.

     The second-place finish Mosser means that a finish of seventh or higher next weekend will give him the all-time career and single-season win marks in Adams Central’s 49-year history.

     With Mosser on the awards stand, Logan Macklin took the mat for his championship bout against a very familiar opponent. Jake Jenkins of Homestead had defeated Macklin earlier in the year by a 2-1 score. The rematch was no different, with Macklin leading 1-0 while on top in the third. It appeared as if Macklin may get the 1-0 win, but Jenkins escaped after a restart with 30 seconds remaining in the final period. Macklin finished Jenkins off with a nice shot midway through the overtime period for the 3-1 win.

     “I joke with him all the time,” said coach Currie after the match, “that no one out there can match his shot and his level changes if he is just aggressive and takes that shot. He went to overtime today twice and comes out of here a champion. It was a very special day for Mack.”

     Local fans went from Currie handing the awards to Macklin at the top of the podium to Jon Ruble’s championship bout in an instant. Ruble scored the opening takedown just 45 seconds into the match and it ended up being the only points scored in the match. Ruble used his superior leg-ride to flatten Drew Sailors’ hips to the mat and his dreams of a semi-state title. A 2-0 scoreline doesn’t phase Ruble, who said afterwards that he is fine with those close margins.

     “Everybody always tells me to score more, but I know I am in control. I know that when I start on top that I can not only ride him out, but I can score from there, and a lot of people can’t. It feels really good to win and go on this journey with my brother.”

     AC entered the tournament with nine wrestlers, more than any other, but went 4-5 in the opening round. Freshmen Alex Currie and Blake Heyerly were both beaten, although Currie came inches from advancing after two different cradles in the third period, despite trailing 11-1.

     Logan Mosser got the first win for the Jets in a quick pin of Eastside’s Lane Burns on mat three, but Cayden Shaffer was pinned in the following weight by Jimtown standout Matt Gimson.

     Another senior for AC advanced to the ticket round after Logan Macklin worked skillfully for a 7-3 win over a strong Zane Hall of Kokomo. Paul Faurote and Monty Hill were both knocked out of the tournament soon after, with Faurote falling 9-0 to Clayton Lundy from Elkhart Memorial and Hill’s impressive tournament turnaround ending 8-3 against Corbin Hetzner of Eastern.

     In the final match of the opening round for the Jets, Jashawn Berlanga tried headlock after headlock against Kaleb Kilmer of Goshen, falling behind early, but came back and bulldogged Kilmer straight to his back for the first-period fall.

     Bellmont got off to a strong start with four first-round wins, starting with an 18-8 win by Ike Ruble over Goshen’s Nick Olson. Classmate Dobie Litchfield won an even bigger match against Snider’s Brady Ester, a junior with just six losses, defeating the Panther wrestler 6-3 despite giving up the opening takedown.

     Those performances might have inspired Kyle Lawson as he went after Elijah Chacon of New Haven from the get-go, avenging a loss in the conference semifinals with a 14-4 drubbing. Chacon seemed disinterested in finishing out the match until he suddenly caught Lawson with a headlock that left Lawson gasping for air. Luckily for the Bellmont junior, blood time was called and the match was halted.

     “I had no air,” said an exhausted Lawson afterwards, “but neither did he. It was tense, but I am glad I had the lead.”

     Jon Ruble made it four in the ticket round for Bellmont with a first period pin of Northwood’s Tyler Becker. Carter Siefring ran into a buzzsaw in his match at 182, losing to Oak Hill’s Bradley Rosman by fall to end an impressive postseason run.

     South Adams advanced just one wrestler to the ticket round, as Logan Bauman, AJ Dull, and Spencer Clark were all outmatched in their opening bouts. Christian Summersett was the lone winner for the Starfires, knocking off Matt Lepper of Carroll.

     In the round to go there were few close matches for county wrestlers. Ike Ruble built a huge 13-2 lead against undefeated Alex O’Campo before punching his ticket with a third-period fall. Dobie Litchfield ended a stellar freshman season with a 6-0 loss to Oak Hill’s Harper Dedman. Dedman went on to finish second to Huntington North’s Preston Teusch at 113.

     Kyle Lawson lost for the second time this season by the same score, 15-0, to Gimson, falling one match short of his finish last year. Logan Macklin had the only nail-biter of the round, going scoreless through the first six minutes with senior Adam Hooley of Northridge. Macklin had the choice in the third and went bottom but couldn’t get out for the 1-0 win. Instead he tossed Hooley to his back for the win and was ready to celebrate, but the official rightly waited for the potential pin, but it didn’t matter much to     Macklin, who returned to state after missing out last year.

     The biggest scare of the ticket round came with Jon Ruble leading after a couple of takedowns against Eastside’s Treyven McKinley. Ruble let out a yell while on the verge of another takedown and was obviously in pain. The Bellmont senior avoided serious injury but did lose feeling in his hand for the rest of the bout, but he avoided the heartbreak of ending his career on an injury, and held on for a 5-1 win.

     Parker Bates’ season and career came to a close at the hands of a very physical and strong Delton Moore of Manchester, who pushed Bates around early and got a stalling call from the official, setting the tone for the rest of the bout. Down 5-0 after two, Bates chose neutral and took Moore down, but Moore got the quick escape and answered with a takedown of his own. The match was stopped with less than a minute left when Moore dangerously barred Bates’ arm away from his body and official JD Minch seemed inclined to penalize Moore a point for continuing to crank on Bates after being warned with a whistle and verbally to stop action. Obviously ramped up, Moore’s coaches desperately pleaded with him to circle for the remainder of the match to hold on to the win.

     A true leader on this AC team in this special season, it was obviously a tough loss to swallow for Bates, but he handled it with class, as he always does. The senior will now turn to baseball for his final season in what will undoubtedly be one of the greatest athletic careers in school history.

     The final ticket round match pitted Summersett against Zane Gilbreath of Rochester at 170. The Zebra wrestler scored six takedowns in the first two periods before pinning the Starfire sophomore and officially ending the South Adams wrestling season.

     Jimtown grabbed the team lead from Huntington North after the semifinal round, but Preston Teusch’s major decision gave the Vikings a 53-49.5 lead. Hunter Watts of Jimtown, the defending state champ at 126, took down two-time state champ Brayden Curtis three times in the opening two periods to build a 6-5 lead going into the final period. Watts got another two with an inside trip, riding out Curtis for an 8-5 win and the team lead. A pin win by Christian Graft in the third-place match at 220 left the Vikings one half-point short of the title, giving the Jimmies their first Semi-State title in school.