By Ryan O’Leary | For The Tribune
The Seymour wrestling team advanced nine to the regional round with a strong display on Saturday at the Jennings County Sectional.
The Owls, coming off the best regular season in school history, placed third with 158 points and has nine wrestlers moving on to next weekend.
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“We’re fairly pleased,” Owls coach Todd Weaver said. “You always hope for more, and we had our opportunities, but nine guys is a good number for us, because we’re still young. We came out with a lot of thirds and fourths, which is going to be a little bit tougher next week, but we’ve wrestled a lot of those teams over in that other sectional.
“We’re wrestling pretty good at this time of the year, and that’s hard to do all the time. It’s going good for us at the right time of the year, and hopefully next week’s just as good.”
Garrett Johnson knocked off Jennings County’s Brooks Wathen to win first place at 138 pounds, Tyler Bicknell was second at 195, and Chaney Reichenbacker pulled an early upset of top-seeded Dakota Binkley of Scottsburg on the way to a runner-up finish at 145.
Also advancing for the Owls are Justin Ruddick (106 pounds), Brendan Penegar (120), John Shuffitt (126), David Shuffitt (132), Zack Newton (152) and Dalton Miller (220).
“It was pretty important to keep the morale up going into regionals,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we can get a couple more guys to semistate, if not all nine. That’d be pretty great. It was a pretty big showing for us today — it could have been better, but it definitely could have been worse.”
Guided by six individual champions, Columbus East served up a healthy serving of revenge at the Jennings Countyl, easily outdistancing the host Panthers for the team crown. The Olympians finished the day with 255.5 points, topping Jennings County by 34.
The sectional title was the first for East since 2013.
“We didn’t feel like we gave our best effort at conference,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “All the kids even said, ‘You know, I think we can wrestle better than that.’”
As was expected, the Olympians did a great deal of their damage in the lower weight classes.
Cayden Rooks dominated throughout in winning the 106-pound weight class, and Jake Schoenegge posted a 4-0 victory against Jennings County’s Dalton Craig to win the title at 113. Graham Rooks pinned Columbus North’s Isaiah Peetz late in the third period to claim the 120-pound crown, and Dawson Combest held off the Panthers’ Nick South in the 126-pound final.
The Olympians also got championship performances from Coy Park at 170 pounds and Sean Galligar in the heavyweight division. Corban Pollitt was a 4-3 runner-up to Brown County’s Evan Bullock at 132 pounds, Ben Wilkerson finished second to Andrew Herrin of Jennings County at 152 and 182-pounder Lane Goode lost his title match with Bristen Dial of Brown County.
East’s Jacob Martindale (138 pounds), Austin Wilson (160) and Seth Turner (195) also advanced to next weekend’s Jeffersonville Regional.
Zane Beineke (145 pounds), Christian Redmond (195), Herrin and Cole Chandler, who edged Columbus North’s Andrew Chapman, 2-0, in the 160-pound final, came away with individual titles for Jennings County. Also earning regional bids for the Panthers were Craig, South, Victor Antunez (106 pounds), Xavier Barberis (120), Wathen (138) and Sam Woolf (170).
Columbus North finished the day in fifth place with 112 points. In addition to finals appearances from Peetz and Chapan, the Bull Dogs also got third-place finishes from Alex Davidson at 145 pounds, Brigham Kleinhenz at 152 and Josh Larson at 182. Cortez Bandy and David Redding also clinched regional bids at 195 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Three Brown County wrestlers punched regional tickets — Bullock, Dial and 220-pounder Andrew Gardner.