JEFFERSONVILLE — Seymour’s Dane Botkin said he decided to try a new move during his 106-pound match against Kalob Manning of Providence in the Jeffersonville Regional Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless first period, Botkin was on the bottom at the start of the second period against Manning, and the Seymour freshman got a reversal and a near fall for a 5-0 lead.
“Honestly, I tried something I hadn’t tried in a match before,” he said. “I put my legs in. I’ve been practicing it for a couple weeks. There are still some adjustments I need to make, but after the shot, I just went in for the legs.”
That move helped Botkin get more back points and led to a pin in 2:53 in their third-place match, and that gave him a record of 26-13 going into Saturday’s Evansville Semistate.
Botkin said he will practice on angling his shots better.
“I normally shoot straight in, and that’s what leads to a lot of my shots failing. I need to be more aggressive on bottom as shown in that (Manning) match,” he said.
Botkin pinned AJ Franklin of New Washington in 1:01 in the first round.
“(Franklin) slipped up and it caused him to get pinned,” Botkin said.
Botkin then wrestled Liam Curfman of Columbus North for the second time in two weeks and the Bull Dog won 11-3.
Seymour coach Dan Rasey said he is proud of Botkin for advancing to the semistate.
“Dane is comfortable on his feet, but being a freshman, he fully doesn’t trust himself,” Rasey said. “When he gets on top, he’s usually pretty comfortable. That’s probably his best position, and it kind of showed there in that second period. He was able to get his stand up, get on top and control the pace of the match from there and slowly wore his opponent down and ultimately got that fall.”
Rasey continued on how Botkin was effective in his matches.
“A lot of the pinning combinations he was doing, there weren’t really ones that you score pins on. They just get you back points. A lot of those are to get exposure points, and then when he saw the opportunity, he got the pinning combo to finish it off,” he said. “For a freshman to get out and get a chance to go to the semistate and experience that, that is all you can really ask for.”
Rasey believes Botkin has a bright future for the Owls.
“He’s going to be the future of our program. He’s going to be a leader for us,” Rasey said. “As a freshman, he is already vocal in the wrestling room, which is shocking for a freshman. Usually, they don’t do that. I know he’s going to be a solid lynch pin for us, and he’ll be able to pass that semistate experience on.”
Botkin said he wrestled in middle school for two years.
“My wrestling started when I was in third grade. My dad wanted me to do boxing and wrestling, and I honestly thought wrestling was some punching stuff,” Botkin said. “But it wasn’t and I just got into it. I really like it.”
He said his favorite pinning move is whatever comes.
“I normally like to be on top. I’d say getting two wins is a pretty successful day. My sophomore year, I think I’ll be a lot better with my wrestling,” he said.
He said his best tournament finish was placing second in the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament this season.
The other four Owls that competed Saturday lost in the first round. Ricky Bogard was pinned by Eli Thoebald of Providence in 1:01 at 113, Rolando Baltazar lost a tech fall to Colin Cain of Jeffersonville at 126, Brandon Mora was pinned in 56 seconds by Benjamin Phillips of Charlestown at 170 and Carlos Ortiz lost 6-2 to Colin Corbin of Jeffersonville at 285.
“I was really impressed by our heavyweight. Carlos got a bad draw against the No. 1 seed from another sectional. He lost a tight one,” Rasey said. “A couple of them wrestled absolute monsters. Mora wrestled a top-five kid in the state. Being smaller and less experienced kind of gets you. Ricky and Ro just ran into better competition.”