The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 2, 2014

Local wrestlers move on

Local teams advance 20 wrestlers to next week's regionals

BY GREG FLINT sports@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – North Montgomery and Southmont dominated the 2014 Crawfordsville wrestling sectional as they took first and second in the team competition and between them captured 13 of the 14 individual titles.

The lone other individual championship went to Crawfordsville who took sixth home sixth.

Seeger and Fountain Central did the best of any area team as the Patriots took third with three runners-up and the Mustangs were fourth with a pair of second-place finishes.

“We came into the season with three goals,” said Seeger head coach Tom Cook. “We wanted to win the WRC, win Bi-County and get third at Sectional. Today we got the third we were hoping to get.”

While Cook was disappointed to have no champions, he said he was pleased with how his entire team competed.

“We had some kids step in and get points in the consolation rounds and that’s big,” he said. “One thing you can say about our kids is that they always battle and that impresses me.”

Fountain Central, like Seeger, had seven wrestlers advance to the North Montgomery Regional by placing in the top four of their weight classes.

“It was two seniors, two juniors and three freshmen who advanced,” Fountain Central coach Kameron Banes said.

Banes gave credit to his team for working hard all season, but said he has already challenged those who may return next year to work even harder in the off-season.

“Wrestling is mostly mental – you have to be mentally strong to win matches,” Banes explained. “One thing we need to become is more aggressive – you have to want to win. You can’t win by being defensive, but we’ll work on that.”

Covington took seventh in the team competition with three of their nine wrestlers advancing.

“Overall, I think we did okay,” said Brad Kent, the Covington head coach. “Nick [Ratcliff] was a two-seed and Wyatt [Kinderman] was a three-seed and that’s where they were today.”

Kent said his team has made progress during the season, but that they still have a way to go.

“We need to make our practices more intense, but we couldn’t do it this year – we weren’t ready for it. But all our wrestlers except two of them are freshmen and sophomores so we have time to work with them. We will get better next year.”

Turkey Run came in eighth then Attica took ninth as they had one wrestler move on to the regional.

Taking over full-time this year as head coach was Dean Branstetter who previously coached at Clinton Central. His task is to continue building the Rambler program.

“When I was there [at Clinton Central], we wrestled at the regional here [at North Montgomery] but we never wrestled Attica and I always wondered why,” he said. “It was because they didn’t have a program back then, but we do now and it’s my job to build it up.”

Branstetter said his team is enjoying great community support.

“They built us a wrestling room and bought us a mat, so we don’t want to let the community down,” Branstetter said.

Looking at this year and beyond, he said, “We got one out in [Hunter] Eads and some good numbers in junior high. I think we’re better than we were a year ago and as long as the kids want to work, I’ll stay and help them.”

North Vermillion took tenth, ahead of Rockville, but it was an unhappy head coach Luke King who discussed the day.

“We didn’t get anybody out,” he said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do. It was just not our day.”

Overall, 20 wrestlers from the Wabash River Conference are scheduled to compete on Saturday at the North Montgomery Regional.

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at gfphoto@gfphoto-web.com