Seymour advances record 7 wrestlers



In the postseason, Seymour’s wrestling team has raised its level of intensity.

On Saturday, the Owls also broke a school record.

The Owls advanced seven of nine wrestlers at the Jeffersonville Regional over the weekend — a new program high — while also finishing tied for second as a team, which was the best for Seymour since 1980.

“We wrestled fantastic today,” Owls coach Todd Weaver said. “I’m so, so proud of the way we wrestled. Not just the kids that made it through, but also with the two kids that didn’t. They were right there with their teammates, congratulating them and cheering them on. It was just awesome to see the entire team do whatever it took to make it happen.”

Columbus East dominated the 20-team field, repeating as regional champs, scoring 250 points for first place and advancing 13 wrestlers to the semistate. Seymour tied for second with Jeffersonville with 96 points while Jennings County (90) and Madison (66.5) rounded out the top five teams.

Top-four finishers at Jeff advanced to next week’s semistate at the Ford Center in Evansville.

Isaiah Pichardo set the tone for the seven Owls in the finals by winning the 106-pound class.

Pichardo pinned Jeff’s Robert Cline in 1-minute, 16-seconds in the quarterfinals before winning by fall, again, over Jennings County’s Teagan Johnson in 5:59.

In the finals, Pichardo went up against Columbus North’s Morgan Smith. Smith had beaten Pichardo the previous week in sectional.

In the finals, Pichardo outlasted Smith in a 9-8 decision.

“It means a lot,” Pichardo said. ”Losing the sectional finals against (Smith) last week hurt a lot. Coming in today I had a lot of confidence. In the first period I was able to get a nice 5-0 lead, and then I was able to keep it close and pull out the win. I’m most excited about having a good semi-state and having a chance at qualifying for state since we haven’t had one in around 11 years.”

Pichardo was the first Seymour wrestler to win a regional title since 2014.

Two Owls grapplers finished with runners-up honors on the afternoon.

Kevin Corrales (195) beat Salem’s Woodlan Brown (pin, 4:54) and Brown County’s Levi Mullins (6-3) before coming up short against Jeff’s Luke Smith (8-3) in the finals.

At 182, Alejandro Sachinas picked up wins over Pekin’s Lucas Nale (pin, 1:47) and Tell City’s Kyle Hagedorn (5-0) before setting up one of the most competitive finals on the day.

In the title match, North Harrison’s Kohana Wilks edged Sachinas 3-2.

The Owls’ other four semi-state qualifiers all finished in third place.

Owen Chandler (113) beat Brown County’s David Tucker (pin, :45) for third, Zack Newton (160) won by injury forfeit, Jake Kriete (152) defeated Madison’s Ethan Schafer in a sudden victory (9-7) and Gabe Ramirez (295) came up in the clutch with win over Madison’s Otto King (sudden victory, 2-1).

Had Ramirez finished fourth instead of third, the Owls would have dropped outside of the top-three in the final placings.

Non-advancing Owls at regional were Brandon Penegar (145) and Jake Rotert (170).

Weaver was elated following the tournament, saying that everyone on the team contributed to the successes on the mats.

“Our kids are wrestling good at the right time of the year,” Weaver said. “If you’re only going to wrestle good once then make it during the postseason. You can see the momentum build throughout the day. We pulled out some wins today. We had tough battles, but found ways to win. That’s really important to the maturity of the team — finding ways to win.”

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