Times Sports Editor
There was plenty to celebrate after Saturday's Northview wrestling sectional. The Knights crowned four champions and qualified 10 wrestlers to move on to the Bloomington South Regional. But what really set this sectional apart from others for the Knights was a team championship.
To say it's been awhile since the last one would be an understatement.
Try 23 years.
Northview High School was in its first year of existence following consolidation and the team added a sectional title to a brand new trophy case.
The team race came down to the finals matches and Edgewood, Bloomington South and Northview all had a chance to earn the trophy. But two pins and a major decision earned the Knights bonus team points and a fourth win gave Northview 226 team points.
The Mustangs did what they could to close the gap, but came up short with 224 points to Bloomington South's third-place score of 217.5.
When the final results were announced, it became an even more special day for a Northview program under its fifth year with coach Dan Mikesell, who understandably was excited for his team.
"I was pretty overcome with emotion. Sometimes I get that way," commented Mikesell. I was just so proud of all of our guys, especially the three seniors that have been with me all four years. Tommy Herr-Smith, Beau Pingleton and
Zach Stultz. It was a real tribute to their leadership and perseverance."
The Knights' four finalists had plenty to do with the victory. All four not only earned a win, but three won by fall or major decision to boost the team total.
Kyle McCoy faced Jeremy Salyers of Edgewood and after falling behind early, 2-0, he came back with some back points to take a 5-4 lead into the second period. He increased his advantage to 10-6 in the third before putting the Mustangs 130-pounder on his back.
That decision sparked an emotional run by his teammates as Beau Pingleton took down top-seeded Panthers 140-pounder Terry Terrell by an 11-5 decision.
After going two-for-two, the Knights' Caleb Dutrow took to the mat at 145 pounds.
Dutrow, also a senior, put together one of his best tourney's, winning over Wes Vigo's Andy Jackson to advance to the championship round.
Against Terre Haute South's Paul Bennett in the final, he quickly went ahead 5-0 before sending Northview fans into hysterics by dropping Bennett by fall in just 1:32.
Zach Stultz was up next and rode the wave of emotion into a 4-1 lead over the Panthers' Jade Prieboy. Stultz pushed that lead to 7-1 with a second period near-fall before pulling away for a 17-4 major decision and one more bonus team point.
"Our guys in the finals really stepped up," commented Mikesell. "They knew for us to win we needed all four to win and I was really satisfied the way they finished the matches off being aggressive even when they knew they were going to win."
The Mustangs still had a shot at winning, with three more wrestlers on deck for the finals, but they needed two pins and another win for the necessary bonus team points, which gives two extra points for a pin and one for a major decision.
Edgewood got wins from Josh Sparks at 160, Steve Anderson at 171 and Shane Wagner at 189, but fell short of the extra points.
Afterwards, Stultz spoke about how it felt to be a part of a sectional championship team.
"This feels awesome, especially being a leader on the team," said the senior 152-pounder. "We've worked our butts off and I take pride in being a senior leader. This has been a long time coming. Since coach Mikesell has been here the program has really been coming up."
Not to be lost in the glow of the championship round wins was the effort in the third- and fifth-place matches, which also scored valuable points for the Knights.
Mikesell agreed after his wrestlers went 5-1 in their third-place matches, getting wins from freshman Skyler Hall, Luke Pingleton, Brandon Mikesell, Brandon Hathaway and Jared Staley.
"The third, fifth and finals matches is were we really put together some great performances," said Mikesell. "Going into the last two rounds we knew we had an outside shot to win if we wrestled nearly perfect and got some bonus points. Our kids really rose to the occasion in those last rounds."
Tommy Herr-Smith had a difficult loss to end his senior year. But, he bounced back to get fifth. That was huge for us. I was proud he could finish in the right frame of mind and get a fall in that match," Mikesell said of his 160-pounder.
"Kyle McCoy getting a pin was huge, and Dutrow really came out hungry to win and wrestled like a senior should. Those pins were just one of the many things we did to make a difference."
Brady Silvers lost his third-place match, but still qualified for the regional with a fourth-place finish.
While his team celebrated a sectional title with the trophy, Mikesell enjoyed seeing his team bask in the culmination of a lot of hard work.
"Obviously as a coach I was satisfied with the win and to see those boys have a dream come true was just icing on the cake," said Mikesell.
"To see the satisfaction on those kids faces was just surreal," said Mikesell. "Knowing that not very many people get to experience the joy of holding a sectional trophy, I am sure it is a moment they will talk about the rest of their lives," said the Knights' head coach.
Just as satisfying for Mikesell was that his sectional title team is strong in character as well as on the mat.
"We have all great kids on this team. They are good kids in school, and the community. That aspect was especially satisfying for me," said Mikesell.
The Knights will compete in the Seymour Team Regional on Wednesday night beginning at 6 p.m. The individual Bloomington South Regional is on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Northview Wrestling Sectional
Top-two teams advance to Wednesday Seymour Regional
Team Scores: 1. Northview 226, 2. Edgewood 224, 3. Bloomington South 217.5, 4. T.H. South 156, 5. Bloomington North 154, 6. T.H. North 133, 7. Sullivan 78, 8. West Vigo 54, 9. Owen Valley 47
Top-Four advance to Saturday Bloomington South Regional
Shawn Miracle (BS) wins by dec. over Anthony Kerr (EW), 8-3
Skyler Hall (Nv) wins by dec. over Dalton Kemp (OV), 11-5
Corey McIntyre (THS) wins by FF
Tyler Deckard (BS) wins by dec. over Jordan Jensen (THS), 5-0
Luke Pingleton (Nv) wins by dec. over Shawn Wasley (BN), 15-9
Roy Adams wins by dec. over Eli Hendricks (WV), 4-2
Brannigan Barlow (BS) wins by fall over Matt Mest (EW), 3:17
Michael Brown (BN) wins by fall over Levi Edwards (WV), :54
Jeddidiah Page (THN) wins by dec. over Dakota Case (THS), 6-4
Jared Snyder (EW) wins by maj. dec. over Timothy Willis (THN), 13-3
Brandon Mikesell (Nv) wins by dec. over Josh Lentz (BS), 13-9
Tim Arnold (OV) wins by fall over Zach Arthur (BN), :47
Kyle McCoy (Nv) wins by fall over Jeremy Salyers (EW)
Adriel Jordan (BN) wins by fall over Richard Reschke (BS), 2:06
Dyman Lewellyn (WV) wins by fall over David Padan (THS), 2:48
Nick Viterisi (BS) wins by dec. over Holden Fudurich (SL), 4-1
Brandon Hathaway (Nv) wins by fall over PJ Montgomery (THS), 2:55
Jeffrey Willis (THN) wins by maj. dec. over Wes Adams (EW), 15-5
Beau Pingleton (Nv) wins by dec. over Terry Terrell (BS), 11-5
Steve Spicer (EW) wins by fall over Joshua Lowdermilk (THN) :19
Lonnie Pettigrew (OV) wins by default over Cody Little (WV)
Caleb Dutrow (Nv) wins by fall over Paul Bennett (THS), 1:32
Allen Cox (BN) wins by dec. over Forrest Fowler (BS), 10-9
Zach Ferguson (EW) wins by dec. over Andy Jackson (WV), 4-2
Zach Stultz (Nv) wins by maj. dec. over Jade Prieboy (BS), 17-4
Ethan Page (THN) wins by dec. over Eric Joyal (THS), 1-0
Jake Ferguson (EW) wins by fall over Dustin Duncan (OV), 2:35
Josh Sparks (EW) wins by dec. over Nick Anderson (THS), 5-1
Darren Eads (BS) wins by dec. over Garrett Goldman (BN), 2-1
Tom Herr-Smith (Nv) wins by fall over Daniel Delisle (THN), 3:39
Steve Anderson (EW) wins by dec. over Vancil Smith (THN), 5-4
Nick Pullen (THS) wins by fall over Brady Silvers (Nv), :53
Matthew Polley (BN) wins by maj. dec. over Kyle Bristol (BS), 16-2
Shane Wagner (EW) wins by maj. dec. over Cliff Lawson (THS), 10-1
Jimmy Qualters (BN) wins by dec. over Douglas Collett (THN), 16-9
Dirk Keller (WV) wins by fall over Joey Todd (BS), 3:47
Spencer Books (SL) wins by fall over Jake VanDeventer (BN), 2:29
Jared Staley (Nv) wins by dec. over David Knights (THN), 4-3
Seth Sturgeon (EW) wins by fall over Ryan Childers (WV), :52
Joe Arthur (BN) wins by fall over Samuel Miller (SL), 3:01
Lance Lloyd (THN) wins by dec. over Juan Valentin (BS), 3-0
Chris Brummettt (EW) wins by fall over JT Harlan, 4:54