Records show that the Seymour High School wrestling team put together one of the best seasons in the history of the program, but coach Todd Weaver said the season could have been better yet.
The Owls were 22-3 in dual meets, won the Bedford North Lawrence Invitational, won the Fugate Memorial Super Duals at Scottsburg, placed second in the Evansville Memorial Invitational and second in the Brown County 6-way Invite and placed 14th out of 24 teams in the Mooresville Holiday Classic.
Weaver said he was proud of having 15 individual tournament champions, five wrestlers with 30 or more wins, a sectional champion in Garrett Johnson and five wrestlers who placed in the top four in the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament.
Johnson, a senior who wrestled at 138, was named the most valuable wrestler at the awards program conducted Thursday night in the SHS cafeteria.
He had a record of 32-9, and placed first at Bedford, and second at Scottsburg, Evansville, Brown County and in the regional to qualify for the Evansville Semistate.
He also received the takedown award with 56 on the season.
This is the second-straight year he has received this award after getting 56 last year and he ranks 8th in the career list with 139.
Isaiah Pichardo, 106 and 113 pounds, received the mental attitude award. The freshman had a record of 18-12 and placed first in the BNL Invite.
He was also third at Scottsburg, and fifth at Evansville Memorial and in the sectional.
“This is my favorite award,” Weaver said. “He wrestled most of the season at 113. He’s going to show up every day and work hard. I love that vow in all my wrestlers, but for this particular wrestler it stands out even more because of the stuff he does with what is sometimes stacked against him.”
John Newton received the most pins trophy (21) and was named most improved. He wrestled at 182 as a sophomore and was 2-13 two years ago and 29-13 this season. He ranks tied for 16th on the season career list with 21.
David Shuffitt was given the coaches’ award, Tyler Bicknell the best record award (35-9) and Bradan Thomasma the award for the fastest pin (12 seconds).
Brandon Penegar was named the outstanding freshman, and Jaren Keller was named the outstanding reserve.
Shuffitt wrestled at 132, Bicknell at 195, Thomasma at 160, Penegar at 120 and Keller at 132.
Penegar wrestled varsity at 120 and had a record of 32-11. The other wrestler to top the 30-win mark was John Shuffitt (126) with 34.
Bicknell ranks 12th on the season most wins list, John Shuffitt is 15th and Johnson and Peneger are tied for 25th. Bicknell also ranks 25th in career wins with 74.
Other Owls with 20 or more varsity wins were Cheaney Riechenbacker (28), Dalton Miller (27), Zack Newton (26) and Thomasma (21).
Assistant coaches Greg Musser and Matt Martin assisted Weaver in presenting the awards.
Martin, the team statistician, said the team set a school record for most dual wins, and the best percentage (88 percent), tied the school record for the most regional qualifiers, and the sectional finish (third) was the Owls’ best finish since 2006.
The Owls were sixth in the HHC and seventh in the regional.
Weaver said the bottom line was, “We had 10 regional qualifiers, two semistate qualifiers and overall we had a really great season. Our improvement was a direct correlation to working in the offseason.”
The middle school wrestlers were also honored. The team had a record of 9-2, had four Highland Hills champions, six Tri-County champions, and four undefeated wrestlers in Tommy Deckard, Jake Rotert, Jake Kriete and Owen Chandler.
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Middle School award winners:
Most takedowns, mental attitude: Chandler
Rookie of the year: Blake Leatherman
Fastest pin: Deckard
Best reserve: Colin McKinney
Coach’s award: Rotert
Most improved: Trevor Lane
Outstanding wrestler, best record, most pins: Kriete