Wrestlers gear up for big invitational

    There's just something about Mishawaka's Al Smith Invitational, it brings out the best Bellmont effort possible
    The rugged 32-team normally has a half dozen ranked teams and usually includes most of northwest Indiana's best. Still, no school has taken home the top trophy more than the Braves in the 33-year history of the meet. Bellmont has 14 titles, and the only reason that number is not 15 is a broken hand suffered by Brooks Faurote in a 3-2 semi-final loss a year ago.
    Faurote, now the top-rated wrestler to be in the 145-pound bracket, defaulted out and placed sixth a year ago after his injury. Bellmont lost 208-205 to Penn, and one more victory by Faurote would have given the Braves the title.
    "Our goal is to finish in the top four," stated BHS coach Brent Faurote.
    "It's a very good tournament —  always a good test — and it lets you know where you are at this time of the season. Every class has couple ranked kids. It's just a great, great tournament."
    The Braves place eight wrestlers last year, including champ Daniel Meyer. On the current roster, Bobby Keuneke finished 8th at 119 and is likely to get a decent seed in the meeting, set for tonight. Brad Busse, 17-1 like Keuneke and Faurote, took third place last year, capping his debut in the meet with six consecutive falls.
    Brooks Faurote earned his third placement at Mishawaka.