The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, January 21, 2022 1:00 am

Bellmont success breeds success

Braves coach saw latest duals title coming years ago

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

DECATUR – A glance at the banners hanging in the Bellmont gym or the wrestling room is enough to remind anyone of the many triumphant days in Braves wrestling history. 

But even by the standards of a program that has claimed three IHSAA state titles and IHSWCA team state duals in 2015-16 and 2019-20, everything seemed to be going right for Bellmont on their latest banner-worthy day – so much so that head coach Tim Myers had trouble pointing to just one or two key moments.

The Braves claimed another Class 2A team state dual title in Martinsville on Jan. 8, rolling through Western 45-27 in the quarterfinals, Oak Hill 54-15 in the semifinal, and Jay County 56-15 in the championship round. 

“It was just the that roll we got on,” Myers said. “Dominate, I don't know. For lack of a better term, that's what it was. That's what we expected to do there. We didn't want to make it close with anybody. We got on a roll with pins, last-second wins.

“There were decisions that we made, and it as like the Red Sea parting. Everything worked out that day, and I need to remember that day for when things don't go so well.”

Nine different Bellmont wrestlers won three of their matches during the tournament, and six Bellmont wrestlers pinned their Jay County opponents in the final. 

“We always tell ourselves that we're the best, and we're going to go out there and compete like the best,” said senior Isaac Ruble, a two-time state runner-up. “And that's really what we did. We stuck to that memo, and we went out there and we wrestled like we knew how to wrestle, like what we do in the room every day.”

Myers said this month's championship was a long time coming for a group that has been working together for years, many of them since elementary school. 

“I don't want to sound arrogant in any way, but I knew when these seniors were fifth graders, I knew it was going to happen,” Myers said of being asked when he realized this team was going to bring home another team state title. “They've just been such a coachable group that's been very passionate and committed at a young age. It's not about numbers, it's not like we had 60 kids going out or anything, it's just that the kids that we had coming through were so passionate about the sport.”

For wrestlers such as Calvin Faurote, who is the latest Faurote to wrestle for Bellmont, helping his team to another championship is an exciting way to carry on his school and family tradition.

“It's been a great thing. Being a part of this program, and all the past wrestlers, being able to be part of that legacy, it's great,” Faurote said. “It's given my life so much meaning, a goal to look forward to.”

Myers said this year's team has about 30 wrestlers in total, but where the numbers are really eye-popping is the coaching staff. The Braves have two paid coaches, including Myers, and nine volunteer assistants, many decorated former Bellmont wrestlers and relatives of current team members. 

“It's pretty great, because most of them are state champs, and they've gone through everything that you're going through now,” senior Dominic Litchfield said. “They know how to put in the work and what it takes to win. Their advice, day in and day out, improves us drastically.”

It's also a reminder that the Bellmont wrestling room, which is tucked behind the bleachers in the second level of the school gym and usually accessed by a stairwell off the auxiliary gym, can remain a home away from home even after senior year. 

“Even at our season-ending banquets, I always tell the kids, it can be a sad day,” said Myers, who won individual state titles in 1994 and 1995. “But I've been saying it for 20 years, it's not like you're dying. You should be coming back here on day one of practice next year. You're coming up to help now. That's just what we do. You just don't disappear and fall off the mat. You're family, and that's what this program is.”

vjacobsen@jg.net 

Conference Tournaments 

SAC

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Snider

NE8

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Columbia City

ACAC

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Jay County

NECC

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Lakeland


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