Eight wrestlers qualify for State Finals

Irish look for a three-peat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse


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The wrestling team shows off its Semistate championship trophy on Feb. 15 at New Castle.

Caleb Land, Sports Editor

The defending State champion wrestling team, under the direction of Head Coach Mr. Sean McGinley ‘88, has qualified eight wrestlers to participate in the State Finals on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

All 14 wrestlers from the Regional made it to the New Castle Semistate on Feb. 15, and eight finished in the top four in their weight class to move on. The team won the Semistate title with 150 points, finishing ahead of runner-up Warren Central with 94.5 points, followed by Roncalli, 92.5; Carmel, 85; and Perry Meridian, 80.

At the State Finals, the Irish will be represented by sophomore Evan Dickey, 106 pounds; sophomore Zeke Seltzer, 120; junior Logan Bailey, 138; senior Elliott Rodgers, 160; senior Tyler Wagner, 170; junior Johnny Parker, 182; senior Jacob Huffman, 195; and senior Holden Parsons, 285.

Three of those individuals won Semistate titles: Seltzer, Rodgers and Wagner, with Parsons and Bailey finishing as runners-up in their weight classes.

McGinley said, “I was very pleased with the performance of my wrestlers this weekend. We lost a few matches in the opening matches that could’ve gone the other way, but that is part of the sport. I really like our chances because I know we can repeat for a third time if we show up and wrestle like I know we are capable of and if we do that, good things will happen.”

There are contenders, though, attempting to dethrone the Irish, including Evansville Mater Dei and Crown Point. “Those two seem to hold the biggest threat to us,” McGinley said. Mater Dei qualified nine wrestlers into the Finals.

Rodgers, who won the individual State title last year at 152 pounds and enters the Finals with a record of 38-3, said, “I don’t expect a really tough match until the semifinals on (Feb. 22).” Rodgers already has lost to the wrestler he anticipates he will to have to face in the semifinals, Mater Dei’s Eli Dickens, who came out of the Semistate with a record of 32-2. “But I think that gives me an advantage,” he said, “and I am pretty confident that I have gotten a lot better over the last four weeks of the season and can be competitive against him.”

Rodgers’ opponent in the opening round on Feb. 21 will be Sam Schroeder from Southridge. This marks the fourth straight year that Rodgers will wrestle in the State Finals.

Wagner (36-5) will take on Jacob Duncan from Southern Wells in the Feb. 21 opening round. While this is Wagner’s first time competing at the State Finals, he has experience at national events. He said, “I feel that I got a good draw, but it’s all about how I perform.”

Wagner said there is usually a big crowd from Cathedral at the State Finals, and he expects the same situation this year.