ELKHART — It wasn’t a championship, but first-year Bremen head wrestling coach Shawn Campbell still got a little misty-eyed at the progress he’s seen his team make.
Jimtown won the championship on its home turf, but outsized Bremen won a moral victory, placing 13 of its 14 wrestlers in the top six for third place at the Northern State Conference Championships at Jimtown Saturday.
“We’re sitting at 10-18 right now, and we had two wins last year,” Campbell said. “Part of that is because we have better numbers... but for these kids to come back from dead last in the conference last year to third place today...
“The kids that lost those matches early on really battled to finish as good as they could today and get us as many points as they could. I had kids battling for the difference between a win and a major decision or a major decision and a tech fall or a tech fall to a pin. They’re understanding the progression, and they’re learning the sport. In this sport you’re going to learn as much about yourself as anything and I’m proud of them.”
Bremen placed three individuals atop the podium as Justin Corl won the 140-pound championship, Allen Bollenbacher won the 215 class, and Abe Hall capped off the day with a thrilling double-overtime win over Culver’s Jeremiah Harvey in the heavyweight championship.
Hall’s match with Harvey Saturday was reminiscent of an earlier double-overtime win over the Culver foe at the Rochester Invitational on December 18, as he outlasted his bigger Cavaliers counterpart for a razor-thin 7-6 decision.
“Both of those kids since last time have turned up the intensity, turned up the conditioning, and we knew it was going to be that kind of battle,” Campbell said. That’s the kind of match you want, just the kids gutting it out.”
“Jeremiah is a heck of a kid. He did a great job preparing for Abe,” he added.
Knox struggled with an inexperienced lineup but still managed to put 11 wrestlers in the top six. Garrett Majchrzak topped the 152-pound pile, while Devann Biddle fell to Bremen’s Corl in the 140-pound title bout.
“We have 18 kids total and 14 of them are freshmen or sophomores so seven apiece are in those grades, and they fill up most of the lineup,” said Knox head coach Brian Windbigler. “We just try to keep getting better every day. I thought as a whole we got better today, which is good going into sectional next week.”
“(Majchrzak) has kind of been having a leg injury, and the last couple weeks we’ve kind of been slower and slower and slower coming into this point, and he showed up today,” he added. “(Majchrzak), we expected him to win today, but he took one on the chin. That’s not bad sometimes too when you’re kind of king of the hill. Taking a loss can kind of wake you up a little bit for next weekend.”
Triton struggled with inexperience and a lineup depleted by a range of problems to round out the standings in eighth place at Jimtown.
Dakota Grubbs placed fourth at 145, while Aaron Haines was fourth at heavyweight and Cody Ousley finished sixth at 215 for Triton. )
“Coming in we pretty much knew where we’d be,” said Trojans head coach Sam Davis. “We’ve got four kids injured, we’ve got one kid waiting on an academic transfer so we couldn’t use him yet, and some of our kids if they could’ve gone to the JV tournament today they probably would’ve done pretty respectable, but they aren’t ready for this level.
“We’ve just got to get more kids and more time. It’s just been one of those years with injuries, and some kids have quit and some kids have gotten medical problems and a couple with grades. It’s something you’ve got to expect. It runs the gamut, and we’ll just take what we can get and do the best we can with it.”
Meanwhile Saturday, Glenn placed 10 wrestlers in the top six led by 112-pound champ Kaleb McCallum and 160-pound champion Cody Strange, as the Falcons finished fourth overall, while Culver placed fifth in the team standings with 10 placers and one champ in 189-pounder Matt Hurford. LaVille finished sixth in the team standings with 10 placers led by 215-pound runner-up Kyle Zartman.
• NSC MEET
TEAM SCORES: JIMTOWN 280.5, NEW PRAIRIE 208, BREMEN 177, GLENN 169.5, CULVER 141.5, LAVILLE 124.5, KNOX 122.5, TRITON 30
103: Brad Freestone (New Prairie) dec. Andrew Frey (Glenn) 6-1; 112: Kaleb McCallum (Glenn) pin Cody Koebel (Jimtown) 3:06; 119: Dominic Garrett (Jimtown) pin John Trent (New Prairie) 1:29; 125: Nick Crume (Jimtown) tech. fall Miles White (Glenn) 4:51; 130: Collin Crume (Jimtown) pin Alex Rinehart (New Prairie) 2:37; 135: Zach Slough (Jimtown) dec. Ian Randolph (Culver) 5-3; 140: Justin Corl (Bremen) maj. dec. Devann Biddle (Knox) 9-1; 145: Matt Hill (Jimtown) maj. dec. Dalton Escobedo (New Prairie) 12-3; 152: Garrett Majchrzak (K) pin Zack Myers (Jimtown) 1:44; 160: Cody Strange (Glenn) maj. dec. Casey Adams (Jimtown) 9-0; 171: Brandon Weinkauf (Jimtown) maj. dec. Miguel Ibarra (New Prairie) 12-4; 189: Matt Hurford (Culver) pin Tanner Adams (Jimtown) 1:45; 215: Allen Bollenbacher (Bremen) maj. dec. Kyle Zartman (LaVille) 14-1; 285: Abraham Hall (Bremen) dec. Jeremiah Harvey (Culver) 7-6 OT.
Bremen (177): 103: Tyler Felton (3rd), 112: Tyler LaFlash (5th), 119: Matt Holderman (6th), 125: Jose Rodriguez (3rd), 130: Josh Fuchs (6th), 135: Ben Thornton (6th), 140: Justin Corl (1st), 145: Kyle Brown (6th), 152: Joel Miller (6th), 160: Bobby Cornett (3rd), 189: Robby Short (4th), 215: Allen Bollenbacher (1st), 285: Abe Hall (1st).
Glenn (169.5): 103: Andrew Frey (2nd), 112: Kaleb McCallum (1st), 119: Ryan Ishmael (3rd), 125: Miles White (2nd), 130: James Frey (3rd), 135: Kameron Brown (4th), 140: Dakota Rydynski (5th), 145: Derek Hiler (3rd), 160: Cody Strange (1st), 171: Jordan Hardesty (4th)
Culver (141.5): 103: Josh Walters (4th), 112: Allen Betts (4th), 125: Zach Duplay (4th), 135: Ian Randolph (2nd), 140: Lege Burgess (6th), 152: John Ahlenius (4th), 160: Mark Hurford (5th), 171: Kyle Kersey (6th), 189: Matt Hurford (1st), 285: Jeremiah Harvey (2nd).
LaVille (124.5): 119: Tristan Weaver (4th), 103: Jacob Vanbaricom (5th), 112: Tyler Dalyrymple (6th), 130: Sean Webb (4th), 145: DevinJ ohnson (5th), 152: Daniel Perkins (5th), 160: Chris Bailey (4th), 171: Sonny Windhorst (5th), 189: Josh Dubeck (5th), 215: Kyle Zartman (2nd), 285: Chris Stump (6th).
Knox (122.5): 119: Eric Dan (5th), 125: Dakota Wolberk (6th), 130: Matt Goetz (5th), 135: Kevin Land (5th), 140: Devann Biddle (2nd), 152 Garrett Majchrzak (1st), 171: Mike Sustaita (3rd), 189: Jesse Hamby (6th), 215: Tyler Keeton (5th), 285: Logan Short (5th).
Triton (30): 145: Dakota Grubbs (4th), 215: Cody Ousley (6th), 285: Aaron Haines (4th).