What a weekend it was for Southern Wells Wrestling! For the first time in school history the wrestling team sent 3 guys to wrestle at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis at the State Finals. The night started with the parade of champions as the 224 most elite wrestlers in the State made their way around the mats in front of almost 11,000 fans cheering them on. It was an honor and a privilege to make this walk and represent SW with 6 of the greatest guys that I know, William Fiechter, Josh Beeks, Jed Perry, Jacob Duncan, Coach Seth Biberstine and Coach Levi Jones.
The first round of wrestling Friday night is one of the most unpredictable and exciting rounds of wrestling all season long and the guys didn’t disappoint! Fiechter was up first against Orlando Cruz of Crown Point and these two guys put on a show! It was a great back and forth match that ended in a 8-8 tie and went to overtime. After the first minute of overtime neither one was able to score a takedown, so we went to the second overtime. The 2nd overtime is 2 30sec. periods when each wrestler has choice of their starting position. Fiechter chooses down and was able to score an escape point at the end of the period to go up 9-8. Cruz went down and Fiechter rides him out to secure the win and advances to Saturday morning. Jed Perry at 160lbs. was the next Raider wrestler on the mat and his opponent was Aaron Steenbeke of Penn high school. Jed wrestled a great match and controlled the pace of the match the whole 6min. It wasn’t easy but Jed was able to pick up 9-4 decision win to also move on to Saturday. Southern Wells continued to go to battle against some of the biggest and well known wrestling schools in the State as Jacob Duncan wrestles Tyler Wagner of Indianapolis Cathedral. Unfortunately it wasn’t Jacob’s night as he got caught in a cradle off the opening takedown and was pinned in :31. Wagner went on to place 4th and Cathedral went on to win their 3rd State championship as a team. Jacob had a great Senior season and I couldn’t of asked for anything more out of him as he was a great representative of SW wrestling!
Saturday morning was not so kind to SW or for anyone coming out of the Fort Wayne Semi-Sate, as we had 22 kids advance to Friday night and only 5 were able to win their first round match Saturday morning. Fiechter was up against another State Wrestling Powerhouse team of Avon as he wrestled Jaden Reynolds. Fiechter just couldn’t get any of his offense going and he fell by a major decision 13-0. Reynolds went on to place 3rd only losing to the State champion in the semi final round. Jed Perry was also wrestling a traditional powerhouse team as he was matched up with Eli Dickens of Evansville Mater Dei. Jed wrestled a great match and sent the message he was not going to back down as he pushed Dickens but fell in a match that felt closer than the score was 12-4. Dickens went on to become the 160lb State Champion. The wrestle back round featured some of the most storied names in high school wrestling as Fiechter was matched up against Jacob Maldonado of Merriville. William was wrestling a good match with the opportunity to tie it up with a takedown, when Maldonado contoured one of his shots and put him on his back to earn the fall which put Fiechter in the 7th/8th place match. Jed came out and continued to wrestle very good as he took down Columbia City’s Jackson Pettigrew with a 4-1 decision to advance to the 5th/6th place match. The last match of these guys legendary careers where both rematches as Adams Central’s Alex Currie was able to make his way through the tournament and was paired with Fiechter for the 5th time this year! These two have pushed and battled each other all year with Fiechter winning the first 4 match ups but was unable to secure the win this weekend, and lost a close 4-2 decision. Jed also had a rematch against Cooper Noehre of Green-field Central where earlier in the season Jed lost a 12-5 decison in the Spartan Classic Championship to Noehre. This was a much closer and better wrestled match for Jed as he scored a couple takedowns but fell in a great match 10-8.
So the storybook careers came to an end as William Fiechter, Josh Beeks, Jed Perry, and Jacob Duncan were able to represent SW on the biggest stage of Indiana wrestling this weekend. Between these 4 amazing wrestlers SW was able to capture 7 ACAC championships, 8 Sectional championships, 6 Regional championships, and 2 State Medals. What a ride it has been with these guys, and we couldn’t be more proud of what they have accomplished on the mat these past 4 years. While these are amazing and great accomplishments, the lessons and the friendships that have been created off the mat is what will stick with these guys for a life time. Couldn’t be more proud of these guys and all of the people associated with SW wrestling. Southern Wells was well represented in Indianapolis this weekend, and for that I want to say Thank You to everyone how has been a part of this incredible journey!