Page 6 - 2009-10 Individual Wrestling State Finals Program
P. 6



                         By RICHARD TORRES
                         VYPE High School Sports
                         Magazine, Central Indiana

              Among the 224 high school wrestlers partaking in this   119 Pounds
           weekend’s 72nd Annual IHSAA Individual Wrestling State   Last year’s top-three 112-pound state place-winners
           Finals, six of last year’s champions return. Eight former   return and will vie for the 119-pound title, which includes a
           state champions will compete and 26 wrestlers will attempt   star-studded bracket of 11 ranked wrestlers. Crown Point’s
           to carry their perfect records into championship Saturday.   Anthony Hawkins won the 112-pound title last February
              Two wrestlers have their sights set on history. Portage’s   by defeating Roncalli’s Josh Kieffer in overtime. Lawrence
           Sean McMurray will attempt to become the tournament’s   North’s Brandon Nelsen was third at 112, and has placed
           24th three-time state champion. Warren Central’s Brandon   third twice (103 and 112 pounds) and fourth at 103.
           Wright will try to become the first wrestler since Muncie   • Top-ranked Brandon Nelsen (40-1) of Lawrence North
           Southside’s David Palmer (1980-82) to win state titles for   has committed to Purdue University. Fifth-ranked An-
           two different schools.                 thony Hawkins (33-3) of Crown Point will attend Calumet
              How will it all unfold? We’ll find out under the spotlight.
                                                  College of St. Joseph next fall.
                                                125 Pounds
           103 Pounds                           The numbers say it all. Eight of the state’s top-10 ranked
           Defending state champion Cody Phillips (41-0) of Union   wrestlers hold spots in this bracket. Seven are former state
           County highlights this bracket. Unbeaten this year, the top-  qualifiers. One is unbeaten: No. 3 Derek Bevans (51-0) of
           ranked sophomore finished a perfect 49-0 last February to   Yorktown. Five are former state place-winners and two are
           capture Union County’s first individual state title. A second   former state champions: No. 5 Ethan Raley (34-1) of Indian
           will make Phillips the first back-to-back champion in school   Creek (103 pounds, ’08) and No. 1 Brandon Wright of War-
                                                ren Central (112 pounds, ’08).
           •  Among this bracket’s 13 ranked wrestlers by Indianamat.  • Warren Central’s Brandon Wright (29-2) has finished
            com, three have state experience: No. 8 Dylan Hall (49-  runner-up twice (119 pounds, ’09 and 103 pounds, ’07).
            3) of Evansville Harrison (three-time state qualifier), No.   He has committed to Indiana University.
            3 Zachary Stevens (40-3) of Merrillville (fourth in 2009,
            state qualifier in ’08) and Phillips.   130 Pounds
                                                After winning the 125-pound crown last February, top-
           112 Pounds                           ranked Jason Tsirtsis of Crown Point is gunning for his
           Of the 16 contenders, 14 are ranked and nine bring prior   second straight and first undefeated state title. He will once
           state finals experience to the spotlight. Fourth-ranked   again face plenty of competition with the state’s top-eight
           Kyle Ayersman (36-1) of Lake Central, ninth-ranked Brian   130-pound wrestlers filling out the bracket, including seven
           Harvey (37-5) of Cathedral and third-ranked Bryan Kuhn   former state qualifiers.
           (42-1) of Evansville Reitz were state place-winners at 103
           pounds last year. Delta’s Steven Gonzales (32-2) is making   • Three wrestlers carrying perfect records into the state
           his third state appearance.            finals: Tsirtsis (38-0), second-ranked Conner Mullins (55-
                                                  0) of New Castle and third-ranked Devon Jackson (50-0)
           • The first round pits two of the state’s best head-to-head   of Yorktown.
            as No. 3 Bryan Kuhn of Evansville Reitz faces top-
            ranked Paul Beck (44-1) of Mishawaka.

           6                          IHSAA - Pure Spirit.  Pure Sport!

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