The Crown Point Bulldog Wrestling Team recaptured their title at Saturday’s Wrestling Regionals. The Bulldogs, who have now secured all but one Regional Championships since 2010, came out on top over competitors from 16 other high schools including Lake Central, Chesterton, Valparaiso, and Lowell.
Wrestling meets are unlike almost any other high school sporting event. Small schools such as Hebron compete against massive ones like Chesterton. Three matches happen at one time until the finals. That means almost constant action outside of the long lunch break. This is when the athletes eat home cooked meals made by booster clubs or catered treats from Jimmy Johns.
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The meet is both casual and intensely competitive, with every athlete involved giving their opponents the utmost respect.
“Wrestling means everything,” said Giovanni Diaz, a junior from Wheeler and winner of the 113 lb weight class tournament. “From school to life in general, it really pushes me to be the best I can be.”
There were 14 tournaments across different weight classes. Crown Point was the only school to qualify a wrestler in each class. Schools like Wheeler do not send quite as many athletes, but each of them posed a threat to capture a win, as Diaz proved.
Hebron coach Todd Adamczyk helped lead a number of athletes to qualify for the IHSAA Semi-State Championship Meet, including Matt Adamczyk.
“Coming into an event like this, you put together a game plan,” Adamczyk said. “We know what our strengths and weaknesses are, and build up on the weaknesses but really sharpen those strengths. We know those are the things that are going to work for us. You can’t think ‘oh I need to win this match to move on to next week,’ … it’s about thinking ‘this is what I do.’”
Chesterton also offered a stand-out performance, sending eight of their 12 wrestlers to the finals, and securing second place in the process.
Lowell also earned 4th place just behind Lake Central, despite having four less qualifiers. Shawn Hollis, a junior from Lowell, won his quarterfinal and qualified for Semi-State next week, but fell in the day’s semi-final.
“Lowell really cares about all its sports, but I think us wrestlers give the most heart,” Hollis said. “We go in there every day and give 110% for the whole practice. Wrestling has taught me a lot of life lessons, like never to give up and keep working hard. If you keep working hard, you’ll achieve your goals. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll keep working until I finally do.”
The top five schools were:
First Place – Crown Point
Second Place – Chesterton
Third Place – Lake Central
Fourth Place – Lowell
Fifth Place – LaPorte
The individual winners for each weight class were:
106 – Stephen Roberson, Crown Point
113 – Giovanni Diaz, Wheeler
120 – Riley Bettich, Crown Point
126 – Jesse Mendez, Crown Point
132 – Andres Moreno, Lowell
138 – Tyson Nisley, LaPorte
145 – Jake Buford, Crown Point
152 – Brock Ellis, Chesterton
160 – Matt Neff, LaPorte
170 – Aiden Sneed, Kankakee Valley
182 – Evan Bates, Chesterton
195 – Ewan Donovan, Hebron
220 – Bryer Stoner, Lowell
285 – Nick Garcia, Lake Central
The following athletes will head to the IHSAA Semi-State Championship Meet:
106 - Stephen Roberson (Crown Point), Luke Stento (Chesterton), Johnny Cortez (Lake Central), Stefan Vitello (Valparaiso)
113 - Chris Merrill (Chesterton), Nick Tattini (Crown Point), Isaiah Ponce (Lake Central), Giovanni Diaz (Wheeler)
120 - Riley Bettich (Crown Point), Matt Adamczyk (Hebron), Sebastian Cortez (Lake Central), Danny Tolin (Chesterton)
126 - Brandon Bolin (Chesterton), Jesse Mendez (Crown Point), Jak Krouse (Valpo), Ryan Russell (Lake Central)
132 - Jacob Carter (Crown Point), Ethan Kaiser (Chesterton), Andres Moreno (Lowell), Brayden Ruiz (New Prairie)
138 - Tyson Nisley (La Porte), Collin Taylor (Crown Point), Cade Johnson (Chesterton), Crisitian Ponce (Lake Central)
145 - Nick Winland (Chesterton), Daniel Park (Lake Central), Shawn Hollis (Lowell), Jake Burford (Crown Point)
152 - Skyler Querry (La Porte), Isaiah Mohmed (Wheeler), Brock Ellis (Chesterton), Noah Hollendonner (Crown Point)
160 - Abel Verbeek (Lowell), Gavin Layman (Chesterton), Nick Taborski (Crown Point), Matt Neff (La Porte)
170 - Jake Sues (Lake Central), Colin Kwiatkowski (Valparaiso), Aiden Sneed (Kankakee Valley), Luke Lenig (New Prairie)
182 - Richard Bisping (Lowell), Noah Perez (La Porte), Matt McElroy (Crown Point), Evan Bates (Chesterton)
195 - Hunter Rohweder (Lowell), Ethan Potosky (Crown Point), Grant Johnson (New Prairie), Ewan Donovan (Hebron)
220 - Eddie Alonso (Lake Central), Frank Keller (Crown Point), Bryer Stoner (Lowell), John Wilcher (Michigan City)
285 - Brody Miskimon (Glenn), Nick Garcia (Lake Central), Hunter Whitenack (New Prairie), Chandler Austgen (Lowell)