Indiana High School Athletic Association

9150 North Meridian Street, Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650

Phone: 317-846-6601    Fax: 317-575-4244    Website:

Blake Ress, Commissioner


MEDIA INFORMATION                                               February 19, 2005




Griffith senior Angel Escobedo and Lawrence North senior Reece Humphrey grabbed the spotlight at the 67th Annual IHSAA Individual Wrestling State Finals at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


Each ended the season in a familiar way – unbeaten and thus at the top step of the awards podium.


Escobedo capped a brilliant career in defeating Portage senior Mike Leucuta by a 18-6 count, their second meeting this year, to win his fourth straight state championship. As time expired in the final period, he received a standing ovation from the Conseco Fieldhouse crowd of 10,783.


With the victory, Escobedo became the seventh four-time state champ in Indiana high school wrestling and the third in the last two seasons. He joins the elite list which includes Estil Ritter of Bloomington (1924-27), Willard Duffy of Muncie Central (1930-33), Howard Fisher of South Bend Central (1949-52), Lance Ellis of Indianapolis Cathedral (1986-89), Blake Maurer of Evansville Mater Dei (2001-04) and Alex Tsirtsis of Griffith (2001-04). Escobedo’s victory also helps Griffith become the first school to produce two four-time state champions.


At 49-0 this season, Escobedo completes his stellar prep career with a 223-1 mark. He won the 130 pound crown last year at 52-1, 125 pounds as a sophomore at 64-0 when he helped Griffith to a state runner-up finish as a team and 112 pounds as a freshman in 2002 at 58-0. Escobedo went undefeated in high school against Indiana wrestlers as his lone loss came against an Illinois prepster early in his junior campaign.


Humphrey also capitalized on the opportunity of etching his name into Indiana’s wrestling history by winning the 130 pound bracket. Humphrey (48-0) defeated Hanover Central senior and previously unbeaten Andrew Howe in the final, 5-1, to win his third state championship. He joins 20 other state wrestlers with that distinction.


He won the 125 pound crown a year ago and led the Wildcats to the Team Wrestling state championship a week later to finish 55-0 and went 45-2 in winning the 112 title as a sophomore. For his career, he is 165-8. He’ll again lead Lawrence North in search of its fourth title in the Team State Finals on Feb. 26 at Center Grove High School. Humphrey defeated Bellmont’s Matt Irwin, 6-0, in the semifinal round after beating him 7-2 in last year’s championship final.


Senior Matt Coughlin of Evansville Mater Dei made it to his fourth consecutive state championship match and came away with his second straight title finishing unbeaten at 42-0 pinning Columbia City junior Bryan Deutsch (42-1) in the 152 pound class. Coughlin was the only one of the five returning state champions to compete in the same weight class as last year. Deutsch finished 42-1.


Senior Chris Kasten of Winamac, last year’s champ at 215, stepped up a weight class and decisioned Merrillville’s Dexter Larimore, 3-2 at 275.


The only returning state champion not to advance to this year’s final was Warren Central’s Jon Lloyd who was upset in Friday’s first round by Hobart freshman Brennan Cosgrove, 22-14. Lloyd captured last year’s 103 pound class.


Besides, Escobedo, Humphrey and Coughlin, six others finished the year unbeaten. They were: Hobart freshman Eric Galka at 47-0 at 103; Beech Grove sophomore Ethan Harris at 42-0 at 112; Carmel senior Scott Kelly at 46-0 at 125; Perry Meridian junior Nick Walpole at 53-0 at 140; Columbus North senior Orrin Kleinhenz finished 49-0 at 189 and; Lynn Panko, a senior from Avon completed his season at 215 at 46-0.


Portage had three wrestlers in the championship round to lead this year’s field. Bloomington South, Columbus North and Merrillville had two each.


State Championship Match Results

103 – Eric Galka (47-0) Hobart (9) def. Justin LaFlower (48-1) Indian Creek (12), dec. 1-0.

112 – Ethan Harris (42-0) Beech Grove (10) def. Jacob Wise (46-7) Warren Central (12), dec. 6-2.

119 – Anthony Williams (46-2) Evansville Central (11) def. Aaron Sessa (39-5) Lake Central (11), dec. 3-1 OT.

125 – Scott Kelly (46-0) Carmel (12) def. Alexander Warren (35-1) Mooresville (11), dec. 9-7 OT.

130 – Reece Humphrey (48-0) Lawrence North (12) def. Andrew Howe (47-1) Hanover Central (9), dec. 5-1.

135 – Angel Escobedo (49-0) Griffith (12) def. Mike Leucuta (38-5) Portage (12), dec. 18-6.

140 – Nick Walpole (53-0) Perry Meridian (11) def. Dan Zemlik (40-4) Portage (12), dec. 6-1.

145 – Wesley English (41-1) Merrillville (11) def. Kurt Kinser (49-1) Bloomington South (11), dec. 4-0.

152 – Matt Coughlin (42-0) Evansville Mater Dei (12) def. Bryan Deutsch (42-1) Columbia City (11), fall 1:47.

160 – Paul Young (48-1) Bloomington South (11) def. Dallas Hesseltine (43-2) Portage (12), dec. 4-3 2OT.

171 – Nicholas Corpe (43-1) Elkhart Memorial (12) def. Ian Hinton (43-2) Mishawaka (10), dec. 5-2.

189 – Orrin Kleinhenz (49-0) Columbus North (12) def. Kenneth Caldwell (47-1) Union County (12), dec. 11-5.

215 – Lynn Panko (46-0) Avon (12) def. Kyle Nehring (37-5) Columbus North (12), dec. 7-2.

275 – Christopher Kasten (46-1) Winamac (12) def. Dexter Larimore (41-2) Merrillville (11), dec. 3-2.



Union County’s Caldwell Wins Ward E. Brown Mental Attitude Award

Kenneth “Casey” Caldwell of Union County High School was selected as this year’s winner of the Ward E. Brown Mental Attitude Award in Wrestling by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee.


Caldwell, the first student-athlete from his school to win an IHSAA mental attitude award, competed in the 189 pound final falling for the first time this season, 11-5. He was a team co-captain this year and made it to the state finals for the first time in his prep career.


In addition to wrestling, he has also competed for Union County in football and track. He’s a four-year letterwinner in football, served as co-captain, was named MVP of the defense, named All-Tri-Eastern Conference and Academic All-Conference and was selected to the North-South All-Star Game. He was also a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee and earned three letters in track.


Academically, he ranks second in his class of 104 students with a 4.113 GPA (4.0 scale). He has served as junior class president, president of the Octagon Club and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has received numerous academic awards including the Underclassmen Awards for Excellence in both Chemistry and Physics and the Air Force Recruiting Service Math and Science Award last year.


His volunteer work includes Toys for Kids for the Optimist Club, 4-H and the Elementary Wrestling Club.


He has received a Navy ROTC four-year scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University at Pittsburgh and a nomination and appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.


The award was named in honor of the IHSAA’s fourth commissioner (1976-1983) in 1985. During his term as commissioner, the wrestling state finals experienced tremendous growth and was moved from Southport Fieldhouse to Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis. Recipients of the award must be nominated by his principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in the sport.


Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA corporate sponsor, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to Union County High School in the name of Kenneth “Casey” Caldwell.


IHSAA Book, Play On, Recaps 100 Years Of High School Sports in Indiana

The exciting book, Play On, celebrating 100 years of high school sports in Indiana, is perfect for that sports fan or the history buff you know. Filled with 150 pages of engaging photographs, captivating stories and a walk down memory lane, it’s now on sale through the Indiana High School Athletic Association. It’s not available in book stores, so contact the IHSAA at 317-846-6601 or click on the link above to learn more about this special tribute to 100 years of Indiana high school athletics.


Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available

Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the Midwest’s Leader in Sports Action Photography, for images captured during Saturday’s state championship matches! Action photos, individual medalist photos as well as 20-20’s Ultimate Sports Poster will be available for purchase later in the week following the state finals.


IHSAA State Championship Merchandise

For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.


State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the state championships? To commemorate the event, you can still purchase a copy of the official state finals program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $5.00 by mail (postage included). To order, send a check for $5.00 made payable to the IHSAA, a note including your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650. Sorry, no credit cards.