It was a bittersweet day for the SW wrestling team as they headed up to Fort Wayne to wrestle in the Semi-State tournament held at the War Memorial Coliseum. The Raiders came out strong in the first round with William Fiechter picking up a win over Braxton Rodriguez from Goshen by a score of 10-4. Josh Beeks at 145lbs. followed that up with a decision win of his own over Courtland Smith of Mississinewa 7-4. Jed Perry also picked up a win, making quick work out of Austin Garcia from Elkhart Central, pinning his opponent in 2:44. Jacob Duncan came to battle but was paired against eventual Semi-State Champion Lucas Fieldon of Garrett and fell by fall in :41.
Then came the “ticket round” the most anticipated match of the season for an high school wrestler with aspirations of becoming a State Qualifier and extending their season. Unfortunately for Josh and Jed their amazing seasons came to an end as they both fell to eventual Semi-State runner-ups in their weight class. For Josh he was matched up against a Senior from Homestead Jake Jenkins who had an impressive record of 34-4 and took Josh out of the tournament. There is nothing for Josh to hang his head about as he compiled a stellar 35-8 record with 4 of his losses coming by semi-state champion Logan Macklin of Adams Central. With 9 of the 16 wrestlers in his weight class being Seniors and Josh’s desire to become the best wrestler he can be, the sky is the limit where Josh could finish off his career next season. Jed was also matched up against a Senior who was from Rochester and supported another impressive 26-1 season record. Unfortunately for Jed, Drew Sailors was able to pick up some early near fall points to jump out to an 8-1 lead. Jed made a valiant effort scoring the last 4 points of the match, but still fell 10-5. A season that came up a little short of where Jed was hoping to end but still a great Junior campaign with room for improvement next year. Jed finished the year 38-5 an ACAC and Sectional Champion and also finished the season with 34 pins to help the team win some important dual matches.
Now for the sweet side of things, William Fiechter was paired against a Senior from Maconaquah, Zack Bullock. It wasn’t easy as it never is, but Fiechter picked up a 4-2 decision win to become Southern Wells 7th State Qualifier in school history. With that win William extended his season another week and will wrestle this coming Friday at Banker’s Life Field-house in Indianapolis. The day was not done for William however as he ran into a buzz saw from Jimtown named Conner Gimson. Gimson is ranked #3 in the State and won by fall over Fiechter which setup a rematch between 3 time state Qualifier Tanner Schoeff and Fiechter for 3rd place. After a tied 2-2 1st period Schoeff scored 6 points in the 2nd period and coasted to a 10-6 win over Fiechter.
I am so thankful for this group of young men and how they have represented what Southern Wells wrestling is all about. Commitment and passion every match, every practice, and every opportunity that is in front of them. I am so excited for the privilege to take William down to Indianapolis and represent little old Southern Wells in one of the biggest IHSAA State Championship tournaments that the state has to offer. Wish him good luck and tell him thank you for representing our school with the pride and excellence that it deserves!