Seymour mat men working for postseason glory


It’s finally time. 

After all of the practices, dual meets, daylong tournaments and conference championships, it’s time for the Seymour Owls wrestling team to turn its focus to Saturday’s sectional at Jennings County. 

Though, you could say the whole season has been just one long piece of preparation for the Owls. Even though dual wins matter to them and performing their best at big meets was always their main objective, all of those things have just been the Owls working to get better for the state tournament. 

"You practice all year long or all season long to set yourself up for the state tournament," Seymour coach Todd Weaver said. "We’ve got state tournament on our mind."

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Over the past few weeks, Weaver and his staff have been challenging their wrestlers to win positions.

"We’ve called kids out just a little bit over these past few weeks," Weaver said. "We’ve talked about competing at certain positions, and we’ve put them in certain positions all week long and have just gone from there. We’ve talked about how they’re not winning this position or that position, and it has kind of helped."

As Weaver puts it, a wrestling match is just a series of little battles where each competitor is trying to win each position. Whether that’s from neutral, bottom, on top or everything in between, Weaver wants his kids to try and take each position.

"They’ve got to have the attitude of ‘I’ve got to win this position,’" Weaver said. "You battle every single position because you don’t know which position is going to win your match."

The Owls finished as sectional runners-up a season ago, and though trying to take down perennial power Columbus East is a tremendous challenge, they’ve got plenty of goals they hope to meet. 

Seymour pushed six wrestlers through to the regional round in 2019 with four more just on the outside looking in. Four of those regional qualifiers are back in Jake Rotert, Ben Kriete, Nate Banister and Brody Shipley and are looking to continue wrestling for at least another week.

Four wrestlers who were on the outside looking in a year ago also are back for a shot at extending their wrestling seasons. Ed Ramirez, Sam Castetter, Ty Woods-Weddell and Jake Kriete all just missed out on a trip to Jeffersonville in 2019.

For Banister, Rotert and Jake Kriete, this is their last chance at having a deep state tournament run. 

Yet, that’s the last thing on their minds. 

In order to be successful Saturday and hopefully beyond, they can’t think they might be wrestling for the final time every time they take the mat. 

"You don’t really approach it as this is it or this is the biggest thing ever. You just don’t do that," Weaver said. "You just go with the approach of we’re going to win the match because that’s all it is. It’s a wrestling match. If they go out and wrestle the match they’re supposed to wrestle, then they’re going to be fine."

Sectional seeds and brackets were released Tuesday morning, and eight Owls fell into the top four seeds of their respective weight classes. 

A handful of wrestlers also received a bye into the second round. They are Ro Baltazar (106), Ed Ramirez (113), Ty Woods-Weddell (120), Sam Castetter (126), Nate Banister (132), Ben Kriete (138), Jake Kriete (145), Jake Rotert (160), Brody Shipley (195) and Carlos Ortiz (285). 

Alex Schlatterer (152) and Adan Mora (220) will receive forfeits in their first-round matches.

Only Hector Ruiz (170) and Eduardo Bustos (182) actually have to wrestle in the opening round. 

Ruiz takes on West Washington’s Julius Woosley, while Bustos grapples with Switzerland County’s Tyler Lieland. 

Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Jennings County High School. The top four wrestlers in each class qualify for the Jeffersonville Regional. 

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106;Ro Baltazar;sixth;15-16

113;Ed Ramirez;fourth;1-5

120;Ty Woods-Weddell;fourth;16-6

126;Sam Castetter;first;18-10

132;Nate Banister;third;21-12

138;Ben Kriete;third;24-9

145;Jake Kriete;fourth;26-10

152;Alex Schlatterer;eighth;10-13

160;Jake Rotert;second;31-5

170;Hector Ruiz;ninth;9-21

182;Edwardo Bustos;10th;3-5

195;Brody Shipley;fifth;21-14

220;Adan Mora;eighth;2-5

285;Carlos Ortiz;third;15-12


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