Saturday, February 04, 2017 3:20 pm
Carroll works quick in winning wrestling regional
JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette
A high school wrestling match? A six-minute battle.
Brayden Shearer didn’t need near that much time.
The Garrett junior won the 106-pound championship at the Carroll Regional in dominating fashion, taking just 185 seconds to notch three pins to claim the title.
His finals victory? Just 68 seconds.
“I worked up a little sweat, but I planned on dominating this tournament when I came in,” Shearer said. “It was just in the back of my mind the whole time, and I did what I had to do.”
Shearer credited teammate Dylan Demarco with a great week of training to help him to the title, but Demarco could thank Shearer as well. The senior finished off Leo’s Kyle Davis with a pin in 4:39 to claim the title at 126.
“I really worked on my technique and my gameplan, making sure everything I do was perfect and going for it at the tournament,” Shearer said. “(Demarco) really pushed me this week.”
While Shearer took little time to win his individual championship, the host Chargers had the team title sewn up before the finals even started. Carroll scored 150.5 team points to win its fifth straight regional title in dominating fashion, running away from second-place Garrett (97) and third-place New Haven (84).
“It’s always going to be in the school and everyone’s always going to know about it,” said Carroll heavyweight Jessie Lawson, one of three Charger individual champions on the day. “To know I’ve been a part of the program for four years, it means a lot.”
Garrett was joined by New Haven and Columbia City with two titlists. Bulldogs went back-to-back at 160 and 170 with Nick Potter and Jonyvan Johnson, while the Eagles’ Matthew Wright (132) and Hunter Reed (152) also won their weight classes.
Reed continued the theme of the day, winning by pin in 64 and 57 seconds in his first two matches before posting a 14-4 major decision in the championship over Bishop Luers’ Chandler Woenker. Reed, now 34-1 on the year, gave Woenker (36-3) just his third loss on the season.
“I was pretty happy with the way I wrestled,” Reed said. “I got bonus points in every single match and I’m looking forward to getting another shot (to advance to state) next week.”
For wrestlers such as Reed, dominating the competition can serve as both a blessing and curse. The eye-catching win total resonates with opponents, but as the competition level improves each week in the postseason, not having as many full six-minute matches can provide its own complications.
“They do slow me down when it comes to the postseason,” Reed said. “I know next week I’m going to have some full matches, I’m going to have some tough matches. I’m hoping to have four tough matches.”
In addition to Lawson, Carroll also featured champions in consecutive finals as Ethan Hicks and Joel Arney won at 138 and 145, respectively. Those contributions to the team title help the Charger program sustain itself, as Arney explained.
“It shows that we’re continuing,” Arney said. “We’re not declining, we’re still going up. Hopefully we can get a semistate title next week as a team.”
Woodlan’s Chris Schuller (113), Homestead’s Blaigh Rushing (120), Bishop Dwenger’s Stephen Nix (182), Wayne’s Dalyn Hart (195) and Churubusco’s JT Kilgore (220) also won regional titles.
JAY COUNTY REGIONAL: Yorktown won the team title 219-142 over Bellmont. The hosts finished third (90), Delta fourth (89) and Adams Central fifth (86).
Area wrestlers who won individual titles were South Adams' Wyatt Miller (113) and Bellmont's Bryce Baumgartner (170) and Caleb Hankenson (190).
GOSHEN REGIONAL: Prairie Heights won the team title 123-83 over Northridge. East Noble was the highest placing area team, finishing in seventh (48 points).
Central Noble's Austin Moore at 132 was the lone area wrestler who won an individual title.
ROCHESTER REGIONAL: Penn won the team title 193.5-120 over Plymouth. Wawasee was fifth and Warsaw 11th.
Wawasee's Braxton Alexander (120) Warsaw's Kyle Hatch (152) won individual titles.