ARABIANS FINISH 4TH AT REGIONALS – EARN 1 CHAMPION – SEND 6 WRESTLERS ON TO SEMISTATE
The Arabians hosted Saturday’s IHSAA Regional tournament at Pendleton Heights. Loaded with talent – the goal of each wrestler is to get in the final 4 to move on to next weekend’s semistate tourney, and then place as high as possible to setup a good match. Eleven Arabians qualified for the start of the day – but only 6 would win their first match and continue. One Arabian – 195 pound Tremor Bynum – won a regional championship and will be one of four #1 seeds next week at New Castle.
126 Jared Brown – ** Runner Up **
132 Jace Longere – did not place
138 Jacob Fiew – did not place
145 Caleb Gibson – unable to wrestle
152 Derek Sikorski – did not place
160 Jarod Miller – ** 3rd Place **
170 Jacob Fiew – did not place
182 Clayton Todd – ** 3rd Place **
195 Tremor Bynum – ** REGIONAL CHAMPION! **
220 Cade Campbell – ** Runner Up **
285 Justin Stephens – ** 4th Place **
181.5 Indianapolis Cathedral
113.5 Mt Vernon
103.5 North Central
41.0 Elwood (6th place)
32.0 Anderson (8th place)
19.0 Lapel (11th place)
For several Arabian seniors, it was the end of their season and long careers. Each of these wrestlers started at a young age – some in middle school and some all the way back to kindergarten!
– Jace Longere lost a narrow 7-6 decision to Dayshaun Wilkerson from Lawerence Central. Wilkerson would finish 3rd in the weight.
– Jacob Fiew at 138 lost by a 10-4 decision to Deacon Pettitford from Lawrence North. Pettitford finished 3rd at the weight
– Senior Caleb Gibson had an incredible season this year, finishing with a 33-6 record. He finished as the runner up at the Elwood sectional and would have had an excellent chance to continue through to semistate, however his season was cut short with an injury in practice this past week. Although he wasn’t able to get on the mat, Caleb’s leadership continued as he remained upbeat and cheered/coached on his teammates.
– Derek Sikorski at 152 lost in the first round 10-2 to Max Hayes from Mt Vernon. Hayes was the eventual runner up in the weight class
– 170 lb Jacob Brown lost on a fall to Joe Rice from Arsenal Tech. Rice continued to finish 4th in the weight
Let’s go through each of the placers and review how their day went..
** Jared Brown (126)
Jared had an excellent day in front of the home crowd! He was the #1 seed out of the Elwood regional and he wasted no time showing why as he pinned his first opponent Juh’Quan Strudivant from Arsenal Tech in just 36 seconds.
The semifinals would be a chance to measure his progress as he faced Cathedral’s senior Lukasz Walendzak – ranked #6 in state. In the first period, both wrestlers traded shot fakes until Walendzak connected and scored the first takedown. Brown quickly escaped and then hit his best move – a lightning-quick duck under – to take the lead. The match really went to Brown’s favor in the 2nd period. With the Cathedral wrestler choosing bottom, Brown aggressively rode him and although no points were scored, Jared kept the pressure on and allowed no escape the entire 2 minutes while wearing down Walendzak. In the 3rd period, leading by one, Brown chose the bottom position and Waledzak signaled for neutral, conceding the 1-pt escape to Brown to put them both back on their feet. Walendzak went for a shot, which Jared countered and spun behind for the takedown and a 6-2 lead. Walendzak would get a reversal with 25 seconds remaining, but could do nothing with it and the final was a 6-4 victory for Jared.
In the final match, Jared was pointed against Senior Chase Wilkerson from Mt Vernon, ranked #9 in the state. The two had wrestled twice before this season – both matches going Wilkerson’s way. Familiarity breeds strategy – and Wilkerson definitely wrestled strategically against the normally electric Brown. Wilkerson scored first on an ankle pick. Although Jared was able to get the escape for a 1 point deficit after the first period. In the 2nd period, Wilkerson flipped the script on Jared’s earlier match – using leg riding and lots of pressure to keep Brown from escaping the entire 2 minutes. In the 3rd period. Wilkerson chose bottom and earned a quick escape and a 3-1 lead. The res of the time, he clearly had one strategy – keep Jared at distance and don’t attempt anything that Jared could counter. Although he was eventually hit with 2 stalling calls which would give Brown an additional point, the match ended at 3-2.
Jared will be a #2 placer at New Castle next weekend – he will be matched up against Gaige Lloyd from Hamilton Southeastern. It’s been a fantastic campaign for the sophomore this season!
** Jarod Miller (160)
Jarod opened the day with a matchup against Mt Vernon’s Parker Bishop. Due to some stitches on his face from a practice injury, Jarod wore the team’s huge mask. The benefit of the mask is that it does protect the face – the downside is that breathing and vision is restricted. Well, the mask wasn’t a hindrance at all as Miller won with a 13-2 major decision that cemented his qualification for semistate.
In the semifinals, Jarod faced North Central’s Bradley Harrington – ranked #14 in state. Harrington is a big-move wrestler and a tough matchup for Jarod. Harrington got to a leg and scored the first takedown, and he was able to transition that into a cradle for nearfall that opened up a deficit that Jarod just couldn’t overcome. The final would be a technical fall in favor of Harrington.
Moving on to the 3rd/4th place match, Jarod had a repeat of last week’s sectional championship match against Bobby Williams from Hamilton Heights. Williams attempted a shot, but Jarod countered with a hard sprawl. Feeding Williams a steady dose of hip pressure, Miller broke the lock and spun around for the takedown. Williams did manage an escape to make it 2-1 going into the 2nd period. Williams chose down position and struggled to escape the pressure of Jarod, but finally got an escape with under a minute to go. Back into neutral, Jarod stalked Williams and went for a double leg. Williams tried the double underhook but Jarod drove straight through it to cut the corner and get the takedown. Williams still had Jarod’s head and as he reached back trying to get a chin whip, Miller took advantage and raised Williams’ feet up into the air, stacking him onto his back. Williams wriggled out of the stack, but fell to his back where Jarod pounced, slid into a headlock pinning combo and locked it up for the fall!
At New Castle, Jarod will be matched in the first round against Josh Moore from Southport
** Clayton Todd (182)
Clayton had a tough first round matchup with Lawrence North’s Excell Brooks, a junior wrestler with a 20-11 record. The first period was scoreless, as both strong wrestlers jockeyed for position – each unwilling to give an opening to the other for a score. In the 2nd period, Clayton started down and immediately stood up and turned for an escape. Constant head pressure and endurance played a role here, as Brooks finally decided to go for a single leg. Clayton sprawled, stuffed the head and got the easy spin around for the takedown and a 3 point lead. In the 3rd period, Brooks got an escape and with 10 seconds left in the match, it was the final flurry – Brooks shot, Todd sprawled, got Brooks to his hip and scored a final takedown to seal the victory.
Clayton’s semifinal was another rematch against a Mt Vernon opponent – PJ Sterrett. The two had split victories in their prior two matches so this was expected to be a tight match. The first period was scoreless, but the match broke wide open in the 2nd – Clayton shot and got a double leg, Sterrett countered with a hard whizzer. As the two battled for position, Clayton stepped in front and the trip flipped Sterrett forward and all the way to his back. Clayton would receive the takedown and 2 more for nearfall points. Sterrett is super athletic and was not out of the match – he reversed Clayton for 2 points and ride out to the 3rd period. Sterrett started bottom but stood quickly, secured a single leg, lifted it then dropped onto Clayton for the reversal – closing the lead to 5-4 in Clayton’s favor. With a minute left and unable to turn Todd, Sterrett let him to his feet. It would come down to a takedown. Another flurry – Clayton was trying for the go behind but Sterrett was able to hook an arm and a leg and do a Peterson-like move, ending the match with the takedown and nearfall for a 9-6 loss for Clayton.
In the 3rd place match, Clayton had another close match against Devontay Moore from North Central. Moore would open up with the lead – scoring the first takedown, then adding an escape and another takedown on a double in the 2nd period. Entering the 3rd period, Clayton trailed 5-0. A quick escape, and the two locked up. Clayton got the overlook on his left, pushed in, then launched Moore in a textbook lateral drop. The five-point move put Clayton ahead by one, but Moore rolled and then escaped to tie the match. Feeling the momentum swing, Clayton immediately attacked, and scored on a single leg takedown at the border as time expired to win the 8-6 thriller!
Clayton will face JD Farrell from Fishers next week at New Castle. Farrell is ranked #14 in state, but throw those rankings out at this point in the year!
** Tremor Bynum (195)
First match was against Cathedral senior Luke Adams. Cathedral wrestlers are usually disciplined and know how to keep the match close, but in this case Tremor controlled the entire match, winning it 6-0. Tremor shot on the first takedown, getting to a double leg for the score. In the 2nd period, Tremor started bottom but turned in and secured a leg, turning that into another double for the reversal. In the 3rd, Adams attempted a shot, but Tremor underhooked the left arm and threw Adams like a rag doll to the side, scoring another takedown to close the match.
The second match for Tremor was more of the same. David Garcia from North Central has wrestled Tremor and split matches several times over the past couple of years. This time, after a sweep single takedown by Garcia to open the match, it was all Tremor. Tremor reversed Garcia. In the 2nd period, Tremor started down and got the escape. Shooting in a single leg, Tremor stood and lifted Garcia in the air before putting him directly to his back for the nearfall. Riding Garcia tough, Tremor got a wrist and an arm bar for more nearfall. In the 3rd period, Garcia tried a neutral start, but that didn’t work either – Tremor shot and got past Garcia’s sprawl to get a leg and another takedown, then turned Garcia one more time to seal the 14-2 major victory and a trip to the finals.
The final match was another rematch – Tipton senior KJ Roudebush had beat Bynum twice this season, was ranked #9 in the state, and was on a roll. Credit coaching strategy, practice partners, and Tremor coming out with the right mental preparation – Tremor was on it from the opening whistle. Roudebush was on the attack, going for single legs, fireman carry, and others but Bynum’s strength allowed him to counter them all until he finally got a front headlock and shucked Roudebush to the side to score the opening takedown and signal a huge momentum shift. Roudebush started on top and was in control for much of the second period – but Tremor was able to counter a move, grab a leg and stand with a high single, then return Roudebush for a reversal. In the 3rd period, Roudebush chose neutral – his strongest position – but for the 2nd time Tremor got to a single leg, transitioned it to a double and scored another takedown for the 6-0 lead. After an escape, Roudebush showed his talent, locking up and throwing a headlock. Thankfully, Tremor was able to roll through it and get an escape to make the final a decisive 7-3 victory and the regional championship!
Next week at New Castle semistate, Tremor will face Kyle Krummen from East Central. Although Pendleton did face East Central earlier in the season, the two did not wrestle.
** Cade Campbell (220)
Campbell is wrestling as dominant as any of the Arabians in this late part of the season. His first match was against Parker Smitley from Mt Vernon. Cade really flexed his muscles against the talented freshman – taking him down and then flipping him over with a bundle to put him to his back and complete the fall in 1:39.
The semifinals would be a match against Cameron Brown from North Central. Brown was short and stocky with a strong base – and neither wrestler could find any advantage during the first scoreless period. In the 2nd period, Cade started on bottom. After about a minute of Brown trying to hold down Cade, who was constantly on the move, Campbell got out to the side and got a leg, bringing it up to a high single and then putting Brown to the mat for a reversal. Controlling the wrists, Cade waited for Brown to base up and locked up a ball and chain, then hit 2 consecutive roll through tilts which both surprised and energized the crowd. The second tilt was the final one – Brown got loose but Cade settled him to his back for the fall!
Heading to the finals, Cade would face Kyle Cornwell for the 4th time this season. This round would go to Cornwell with a 13-2 major decision. Seemed that Cornwell started out fast and Cade could never quite catch up and get his plan going. This result aside, Cade looked fantastic all day and with his height, long arms and technique, he will be a real challenge for anyone at New Castle.
At semistate, Cade will have a first round match against Alexander Burton from nearby Eastern Hancock HS.
Justin Stephens (285)
Justin was hitting on all cylinders last week at sectionals and advanced as the #1 seed from the Elwood sectional. Being a smaller heavyweight, Justin has relied on leverage, body control, timing and tenacity to get where he is this season – but today he did struggle a bit with some of the larger, heavier competitors.
Receiving a forfeit in the first round, Justin matched up against senior Zach Evans from Bishop Chatard in the semifinals. Evans was able to score two takedowns on front headlock snapdowns. Justin looked for his opening through the match and pushed the pace, eventually earning a stalling call against Evans, but he couldn’t connect on anything and the final was a 4-2 loss.
In the 3rd place match, Justin was against senior Sam Wertz from Noblesville. Wertz beat Justin early in the season, but Stephens avenged that loss last week in sectionals with a first period fall. This time around, Wertz would win the 3rd meeting with a 2nd period fall.
Stephens has consistently shown that he has the ability to pin almost any heavyweight when he is on his game – next weekend he will start his quest for state in a match against Ben Ahrens from Cambridge City Lincoln.
Hope to see a large Arabian contingency at New Castle next Saturday – the talent level will be off the charts and we hope to see some Arabian wrestlers break through to the final weekend in Bankers Life Fieldhouse!