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Strong Talent Moves On Following the Men's Wrestling Regional Championship at Hobart High School


The excitement was high and the stands were full at Hobart High School as friends, families, and fans joined together for the IHSAA Mens’ Wrestling Regional Championship.

Mark Maldonado, wrestling coach for Highland High School describes his wrestlers as a team “on the rise.”

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“We’ve got a lot of young guys. We’re rebuilding right now. We’re junior-loaded, but next year, we should be fine,” Maldonado said, adding that the recent polar vortex had little effect on his team’s practice schedule.

“We had a lot of closings this week but our athletic director opened the building, so we were still able to get in most of the week for practice, despite the weather,” Maldonado said. “We have four wrestlers here today. We like our chances and we’re looking to come here and maybe do some damage here today.”

However, Assistant Wrestling Coach at Hobart High School, Steve Balash, said that the weather was an issue for his team.

“Unfortunately, school was closed for most of the week, so we were only able to get two practices in,” Balash said. “But we’re 15-1, so we’re having a pretty good year.”

“We’ve got some good schools here. Merrillville, Portage, Hammond Gavit. We’ve got some really good schools here today, so it should be a pretty good match,” Balash continued.

Mark Flores, 51, of Gary, Indiana came out to support his son Mark, who wrestled in the 186 lb weight class.

“He did good! He’s headed to semi-state now,” Flores said. “There have been a lot of good matches here today. Lots of good sportsmanship, lots of good kids.”

Marianne Mummey of Hobart attended with her son, Mark Mummey.

“He’s been wrestling since he was seven,” Mummey said. “He’s a junior now. He just got bumped up to the 220 class and he did awesome here today. I’m so proud of him. He did great!”

Over 80 wrestlers hit the mats at the meet, each one vying for a chance to go to semi-state. The top four finishers from each weight class were granted the go-ahead to advance to the state meet.

The first place finisher in the 285 lb weight class was Anthony Atria of Merrillville.

“I had a plan going in,”Atris said. “I wanted to attack elbows and underhooks. I stuck to my plan and the match turned out just how I wanted.”

Atria expressed great respect for his opponent, Keilhoun Martin, of Calumet.

“I’ve wrestled him a few times before, and this time he fought me a lot harder. He’s getting better every year.”

When the dust finally settled, it was the Merrillville Pirates who claimed the title of Regional Champions with 229 points overall. Second place went to Portage with 206 points. Hobart took third, with 156 points.

The top finishers in each weight class were:

106 Pound Weight Class

1st - Malik Hall, Merrillville

2nd - Ruben Padilla, Hobart

3rd - Raquan Perry, Portage

4th - Jeffery Bailey, River Forest

113 Pound Weight Class

1st - Jacob Moran, Portage

2nd - Martin Cruz, Merrillville

3rd - Andres Russi, Lake Station

4th - Trevor Schammert, Hobart

120 Pound Weight Class

1st -Ty Haskins, Portage

2nd - Cristian Padilla, Hobart

3rd - Benicio Cuevas, Merrillville

4th - Elijah Walls, Hammond Clark

126 Pound Weight Class

1st - Brock Peele, Portage

2nd - Nathan Schammert, Hobart

3rd - Juan Maldonado, Merrillville

4th - Juan Simpson, Hammond Gavit

132 Pound Weight Class

1st - Ricky Hegedus, Portage

2nd - Reese Rodriguez, Hammond Morton

3rd - Aleksandar Pejovski, Merrillville

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4th - Adam Ahmad, Highland

138 Pound Weight Class

1st - Anthony Rivera, Merrillville

2nd - Tyler Herring, Portage

3rd - Daniel Mora-Diaz, Hammond Clark

145 Pound Weight Class

1st - Jacob Maldonado, Merrillville

2nd - Isaiah Watts, Hammond Morton

3rd - Isaac Hegwood, Portage

4th - Mathew Honeycutt, Whiting

152 Pound Weight Class

1st - Cole Cervantes, Griffith

2nd - Tyler Turley, Hobart

3rd - Jacob Beehn, Hammond Morton

4th - Devin Pope, Merrillville

160 Pound Weight Class

1st - Donnell Washington, Portage

2nd - Jaymiere Johnson, Hammond Gavit

3rd - Jacob Simpson, Hobart

4th - Elijah Sandridge, Merrillville

170 Pound Weight Class

1st - Josh Warmick, Portage

2nd - Jason Streck, Merrillville

3rd - Jacob Vode, Hobart

4th - Aaron Stewart, Lake Station Edison

182 Pound Weight Class

1st - Khris Walton, Merrillville

2nd - Cameron Smith, Hobart

3rd - Mark Flores, Calumet

4th - Gabriel Campos, Griffith

195 Pound Weight Class

1st - Bobby Babcock, Hobart

2nd - Seyi Akinwumi, Merrillville

3rd - Justin Bogner, Highland

4th - Jonah Clark, Munster

220 Pound Weight Class

1st - Drew Bailey, Merrillville

2nd - Arthur Fowler, Calumet

3d - Damari Dancy, Portage

4th - Mark Mummey, Hobart

285 Pound Weight Class

1st - Anthony Atria, Merrillville

2nd - Keiloun Martin, Calumet

3rd - Chad McLean, Hobart

4th - Cory Hill, Portage

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