By David Fong
CENTERVILLE — All season long, Troy wrestling coach Doug Curnes has been preparing his team for one moment.
And when that moment arrived Saturday afternoon at Centerville High School, his team responded.
“We talk a lot about peaking — I like to get our guys ready for the postseason,” said Curnes, who saw four of his wrestlers qualify for next week’s district tournament at Saturday’s Division I sectional meet. “This is the most important time of the year for us.
Our guys are in the best shape they’ve been in all year … in some cases, it may be the best shape they’ve been in in their lives. Our guys are flat out meaner and tougher than they have been all season. They came down here and really wrestled well.”
Leading the way for the Trojans was sophomore Shane Shoop, who placed second at 160 pounds. After winning his first three matches of the tournament, Shoop dropped a heartbreaker in the sectional title match, falling 7-6 to Lakota West’s Joey Bradberry in the final seconds.
Seniors Brandon Lewis (106 pounds) and Davin Snyder (170) both placed third for the Trojans. In his match for third place, Lewis defeated Lakota East’s Jason Reeves by an 11-3 major decision. In his third-place match, Snyder beat Lakota West’s Jarrett Wilson 7-2. Justin Mittelstadt (138) earned his trip to districts by placing fourth. In his final match of the day, he dropped a 5-0 decision to Lakota West’s Matt Johnson.
Two other Trojans, Carlos Quintero (132) and Frankie Hoening (152), placed fifth and will be district alternates.
Next week, the Trojans who qualified will look to become the first Troy wrestlers to earn a state berth since 2014.
“I think we’ve got a puncher’s chance to get some guys through,” Curnes said. “I really like the way our guys are wrestling right now.”
ST. PARIS — Tippecanoe senior Grant Carlson captured a sectional championship at the Division II meet at Graham High School.
After winning his first three matches to earn a spot in the finals, Carlson (220 pounds) defeated Carroll’s Jamen Hill 2-1 to win the sectional and earn a trip to next week’s district tournament.
He’ll be joined at districts by a pair of teammates. At 138, Caleb Blake just missed out on a sectional title of his own, falling 3-2 in the finals to Chaminade Julienne’s Micah Marshall. Blake Ballard (113) finished fourth for the Red Devils.
Tippecanoe will compete at the Wilmington district meet next week.
SIDNEY — Six area wrestlers — three from Troy Christian, one from Miami East, one from Covington and one from Lehman — captured titles at the Division III sectional tournament at Lehman High School Saturday.
Mehcanicsburg won the team title and Versailles placed second, but the four spots all were occupied by Miami County teams as Troy Christian was third, Milton-Union was fourth, Covington was fifth and Miami East was sixth.
Troy Christian’s Ethan Turner (106 pounds), Jacob Edwards (113) and Jared Ford (138) all won titles. In his championship match, Turner pinned Versailles’ Cael Bey in 3:26. Edwards won his title match by major decision, knocking off Miami East’s Kaleb Nickels 17-4. Ford defeated Milton-Union’s Kamron Paulus 5-4 to take first place.
Miami East’s Graham Shore won a title at 120 pounds by beating West Liberty-Salem’s Tanner Workman by a 20-5 technical fall. Covington’s Lance Miller (160) pinned Mechanicsburg’s Corety Bogan in 1:29 in his title match. Lehman’s Wyatt Long (195) beat Versailles’ Jacob Rismiller 3-2 to take first.
More than two dozen county wrestlers earned trips to next week’s district tournament.
In addition to its three champions, Troy Christian’s Michael Sergent (132) and Damon Beatty (182) placed second; Drew Whaley (120) and Seth Douglas (285) placed third and Nick Baker (195) placed fourth.
For Milton-Union, Paulus and Dylan Schenck (152) placed second, Tyler Courtright (220) placed third and Jordan Cress (145) and Caleb Black (170) both placed fourth.
Covington’s Dolan Young (106), Riley Richards (126) and Deron White (152) all placed third, while Keringten Martin (138) placed fourth.
Miami East’s Nickels placed second, while Alex Isbrandt (132) and Zane Strubler (138) both placed third. Matthew Welker (172) and Brenden Dalton (220) placed fourth.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong