Steady improvement: Owls finish fourth at HHC



For the second year in a row, the Seymour wrestling team finished just outside the top three at the Hoosier Hills Conference meet.

Though the Owls finished a distance fourth with 129 points, there were plenty of bright spots in a long, tough day at Madison High School.

Several of those bright spots came in the form of podium finishes for several Owl mat men.

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Jake Rotert was once again the leading man for the Owls, though the 2019 semistate qualifier came up just short of repeating as the 160-pound conference champion. The Seymour senior had a tough championship matchup with No. 1 seed Kade Law of Columbus East.

The two duked it out for three periods, but the Olympians’ Law was able to just edge Rotert out of a repeat title.

Rotert won his opening match of the day by a 9-0 major decision against New Albany’s Noah Trejo. He followed that up with a 5-2 decision win over Jennings County’s Rusty Vaughn in the semifinal.

Seymour had plenty of third-place finishers, who picked picked up big points for the Owls in the team race.

Sam Castetter had a good day for Seymour at 126.

Castetter won his opening match by a 10-o major decision, but came up short in his quarterfinal match. Over in the consolation bracket, Castetter won his semifinal match in just 32 seconds by pin. He followed that up in the third-place match with a 4-0 decision victory against Jennings County’s Teagan Johnson.

Ben Kriete also took third for the Owls.

The 138-pounder lost his opening match, but won his next three matches. He was awarded a forfeit in the opening round of the consolation bracket, but did not give up any points in the next two matches, winning by 4-0 and 6-0 decisions.

Brody Shipley and Carlos Ortiz grabbed third-place finishes at 195 and 285, respectively.

Shipley won two matches by fall. He needed just 49 seconds to win his opening match and then pinned his opponent in 4:19 in the consolation semifinal. He won his third-place match by a 6-0 decision against Floyd Central’s Jackson Early.

Ortiz fell in his opening match, but won his next three matches to finish third with each match decided by a point.

He won his consolation opener, 1-0, against Jennings County’s Richard Puckett, his consolation semifinal over Floyd Central’s Jackson Emerson, 2-1, and finally over Madison’s Dylan Fulton, 3-2.

Nate Banister (132) and Jake Kriete (145) both finished fourth, while Ro Baltazar (106) and Sam Chandler (120) finished fifth. Ed Ramirez (113) rounded out the podium finishers in sixth.

Columbus East took the team title with 258.5 points, followed by Jeffersonville (221) and Floyd Central (215.5).

The Owls return home for senior night this Thursday against Jennings County.

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