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Focus on the Finals

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

NEW CASTLE — Two wins.

That’s all that separated 224 wrestlers from achieving their dream of competing at the state finals in Indianapolis, high school’s biggest wrestling stage.

While that sounds easy enough, when gauging the level of competition at Saturday’s semistate meet in New Castle, it was clear that getting those two victories was anything but.

Among those hundreds of competitors, 10 local grapplers took their shot at moving on to the state championships, set to begin Friday night inside Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Three of them will make that trip.

Connersville was represented by Jacob Redd (145 pounds) and Colton Massey (160). A third CHS wrestler, Dylan Rohn, had earned a trip to the semistate, but was unable to compete due to disciplinary reasons.

Cambridge City Lincoln had two wrestlers in the mix, as Hunter Brown earned a trip at 132 pounds, and teammate Danny Payne was a late edition to the field in the 126 weight class.

Union County had one wrestler in attendance, Tucker Coffman coming in as the regional champion at 160 pounds.

Among the four local schools, Franklin County had more wrestlers than the other three schools combined, filling six weight classes.

Garrett Condo (120), Dyllion Humbert (145), Stevie Browning (152), Grant Suding (160), Logan Bohman (170) and Michael Bohman (195) all took their shots at moving forward.

Two of the Franklin County boys — Browning and Michael Bohman — got their tickets punched to Indianapolis.

Browning defeated Pendleton Heights’ Jarod Miller and Warren Central’s Marcus Scott to earn his two wins, but was beaten in his next two matches, giving him a fourth-place finish, good enough to advance.

Likewise, Bohman knocked off Carmel’s Cameron Bacon and Eastern Hancock’s Clayton Cochard in his first two matches, moving him into the semifinals. Once there, however, the FC senior was place on the mat against Zionsville’s Thomas Penola, the eventual semistate champion at 195 pounds.

In the third-place match, Bohman was beaten by Pendleton Heights’ Tremor Bynum, dropping him to fourth.

Coffman was more successful in his semifinal match at 160 pounds.

After beating Drake Kendrex from Mt. Vernon (Fortville) and Jeremiah Ford from Southport, the UC junior was matched with Indianapolis Cathedral’s Anthony Mosconi.

In an extremely close match, Coffman came out on top by a 7-6 score, earning him a shot at the semistate crown.

In that bout, Jack Eiteljorge, a wrestler with only two losses on the season, was waiting. The Carmel senior grabbed the upper hand in the match early, and wound up pulling away for an 11-0 victory, leaving Coffman as the runner-up in the class.

For the Connersville duo, the level of competition caught up with them.

Redd was pitted against Jordan Slivka, the No. 1 seed at the semistate in the 145-pound class. 

“That was a really tough draw for Jacob,” Connersville head coach Mac Taylor said. “He was also dealing with a foot injury, and at one point could not put any weight on it. I wanted to stop the match, but Jacob wanted to keep going. He’s just a really tough kid, and he showed a lot of heart.”

Unfortunately, that heart could not save him from a third-period pin, ending his senior season at 28-13.

Massey also drew an extremely difficult opponent, as Dru Berkebile came in with a 37-3 record and the No. 2 seed in the class.

“We knew he would be a really tough kid, and I think Colton might not have been ready for how physically he attacked,” Taylor said. “I really think, with this being his second trip to semistate, it’s going to be a different story for Colton next season. I think he’s got the itch, and he knows that the only way to scratch it will be to make it to state next year.”

The first round of the state finals is set to begin Friday night at 6 p.m.


2017-18 Semistate meet

(at New Castle High School)

Team results

1. Indianapolis Cathedral 192.5; 2. Perry Meridian 113.0; 3. Roncalli 80.5; 4. Zionsville 80.0; 5. (tie) Elwood 52.0; 5. (tie) Warren Central 52.0; 7. Greenfield-Central 47.5; 8. Carmel 42.0; 9. Beech Grove 38.0; 10. Lawrenceburg 34.0; 11. (tie) North Central (Indianapolis) 33.0; 11. (tie) Shenandoah 33.0; 13. South Dearborn 32.0; 14. Westfield 23.0; 15. Franklin County 22.0; 16. (tie) Lawrence North 20.0; 16. (tie) Union County 20.0; 18. New Castle 18.5; 19. Mount Vernon (Fortville) 18.0; 20. Lebanon 17.0; 21. (tie) Frankton 15.0; 21. (tie) New Palestine 15.0; 21. (tie) Pendleton Heights 15.0; 21. (tie) Southmont 15.0; 25. North Montgomery 13.5; 26. Fishers 13.0; 27. Hamilton Southeastern 11.0; 28. Lapel 9.0; 29. (tie) Lawrence Central 4.0; 29. (tie) Noblesville 4.0; 29. (tie) Tipton 4.0; 32. (tie) Centerville 3.0; 32. (tie) Southport 3.0; 34. (tie) Eastern Hancock 2.0; 34. (tie) Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 2.0; 34. (tie) South Vermillion 2.0. NOTE: Connersville and Cambridge City Lincoln were held scoreless in the team standings.

Individual results (local competitors)

120 — Garrett Condo (Franklin County) lost opening round to Gavin Rose (Greenfield-Central), pin.

126 — Danny Payne (Cambridge City Lincoln) lost opening round to Alec Viduya (Roncalli), technical fall (19-3).

132 — Hunter Brown (Cambridge City Lincoln) lost opening round to Chris Wilkerson (Mt. Vernon Fortville), major decision (16-4).

145 — Jacob Redd (Connersville) lost opening round to Jordan Slivka (Indianapolis Cathedral), pin.

145 — Dyllion Humbert (Franklin County) lost opening round to Terrell Leavell (Lawrence Central), decision (8-5).

152 — Stevie Browning (Franklin County) defeated Jarod Miller (Pendleton Heights), pin; defeated Marcus Scott (Warren Central), decision (5-0), lost to Elliot Rodgers (Cathedral), major decision (15-6), lost to Aiden Warren (Perry Meridian), major decision (12-3) — 4th place.

160 — Tucker Coffman (Union County) defeated Drake Kendrex (Mt. Vernon Fortville), pin; defeated Jeremiah Ford (Southport), pin; defeated Anthony Mosconi (Cathedral), decision (7-6), lost to Jack Eiteljorge (Carmel), major decision (11-0) — 2nd place.

160 — Grant Suding (Franklin County) lost opening round to James Despain (Lawrence North), pin.

160 — Colton Massey (Connersville) lost opening round to Dru Berkebile (Frankton), pin.

170 — Logan Bohman (Franklin County) lost opening round to Luke Davis (Zionsville), pin.

195 — Michael Bohman (Franklin County) defeated Cameron Bacon (Carmel), pin; defeated Clayton Cochard (Eastern Hancock), pin; lost to Thomas Penola (Zionsville), major decision (21-11); lost to Tremor Bynum (Pendleton Heights), decision (7-3) — 4th place.