Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

In a State Finals State of Mind 22 Area Wrestlers Move on from Semis

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

In a State Finals State of Mind 22 Area Wrestlers Move on from Semis

Article excerpt

Insurance is hard to find on the wrestling mat, but area fans got some Saturday during the Evansville Semistate at the Ford Center. They were guaranteed wins in three weight classes - 120 pounds, 138 and 145 - where both wrestlers in the finals were local. Add in three more champions, two more second places and 22 total state qualifiers from the Castle Regional and it was a pretty good day. But as good of a day as it was for the locals, only one, Castle junior Luke Welch, had won at the semistate level before. Welch even had a hand in another title for the Knights, sophomore Jacob Brown at 106.

Brown scored a late takedown over once-beaten Floyd Central junior Terrance Kennedy in the go-round for a 4-3 decision, edged Franklin's DJ Smith 2-1 in the semifinals and then overwhelmed Cascade freshman Hunter Fox 8-2 in the finals. Brown said Welch, his practice partner, helped him avoid a repeat of last year's first-round exit in the semistate.

"Wrestling with Luke in practice the whole year has helped me a bunch," he said. "Coach (Bob) Harmon helps, too, telling us to always keep 'fighting away from the claws of defeat.' It means I'm making my first trip to state."

Welch is making his third straight trip after beating Reitz junior Blake Johns for the third time this year. Welch moved to 44- 0 with his 15-6 major decision.

The heaving lifting came in the semifinal where it took four overtimes to edge Jeffersonville senior Alonzo Shepherd 3-2.

"I think I slowed it down a little too much this time," said Welch, who had beaten Shepherd 3-0 in a previous meeting. "Then I knew I just needed to stay patient in overtime because I knew I could ride him out but he couldn't ride me."

At 138 pounds, Mater Dei senior Jake Lannert came back from a third-place finish at Castle to beat Central sophomore Brenden Kelly by pin in 4:24. …

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