This year’s wrestling team went into the season with the goal of becoming state champs, but fell short, placing second at team state. Throughout their season, they collected numerous wins and suffered only two losses.
The Warriors started off strong, placing first at this year’s John Hurrle Tournament. The team continued their streak with a match against Lawrence Central, beating the Bears by over 45 points. Later that week, the wrestlers continued to dominate, winning against North Central by 39 points.
On Dec. 1, the team took their first loss to Cathedral during the Super Six Invitational, with a close score of 28-31. As the team proceeded throughout the rest of the invitational, they beat every school that they went up against.
Later in the month at county, the wrestlers won first place, carrying a 54 point lead on Roncalli, the second place finishers.
Continuing, they traveled to Crawfordsville, Indiana for the North Montgomery Holiday Duals. The North Montgomery Tournament was a two day wrestling tournament where the Warriors won first both days. On the first day of the tournament during the duals, the Warriors defeated all five opponents that came their way. The second day, they finished out the tournament, placing first.
Although this season was full of success, the team agreed that the hardest moment was being defeated at team state by Brownsburg, overall earning second at the tournament.
“This season had ups and downs. The highest feeling is winning,” senior James Dycus said. “But when you lose, you feel like you’ve lost a lot.”
When the boys headed into sectionals, they needed motivation to get themselves ready to go in and obtain the win they had been working for.
“Our motivation is through team, family and togetherness. We’ve developed a sense of pride in this [wrestling] room that winning is not the only acceptable thing, but doing what you are coached to do, to the best of your ability, is the only acceptable thing,” head coach Jim Tonte said.
Throughout the season, the boys were working harder to become better athletes, and it began to pay off for them. By the time sectionals arrived, and the boys showed how the Warriors refuse to lose, ending sectionals with a combined score of 322 points.
The Warriors ended up taking their entire line-up to regionals. While at regionals, they took home another win, with the top wrestlers being senior Antwaun Graves and sophomore David Pierson, each scoring 24 points towards the team’s score.
Around the time for semi-state, all 14 boys went qualified and were hoping to advance as many wrestlers as possible to state. As semi-state came to an end, only five continued onto the state tournament.
“I gave it all I had because I knew it was over after that,” senior Carlos Mitchell said.
After semi-state, the Warriors had sophomores Pierson and Carlton Perry, junior Aundre Beatty, and seniors Christopher Stewart and Graves on the road to state.
During the state tournament, these five boys showed that hard work really does pay off. They went to the two-day event to show what the Warriors were made of.
On the first day, Perry and Stewart were eliminated after losing to their opponents from Brownsburg and Evansville Mater Dei. Three Warriors advanced to the second day of the state tournament and all of them ended strong. Pierson placed fifth, Beatty placed sixth and Graves placed fourth.
After placing in the top ten in Indiana in their weight classes, these Warriors’ hard work helped them reach their goal and earn a spot on the state podium.
“The greatest thing about this wrestling team is these kids know how to win. They’re dedicated. The no.1 team in the building for hard work is wrestling,” said school spirit leader Candy Handy.