Times Sports Editor
The Bloomington South Wrestling Regional is slated for Saturday morning with the top-four competitors at each weight class advancing to the semistate round the following weekend.
The Northview Knights are sending eight wrestlers to the regional, each hoping to gain a first round victory that would qualify them for the next round of the IHSAA postseason. Last season the Knights were able to move only one out of nine wrestlers on to the semistate so the squad is looking to make a marked improvement this time around. With some favorable seeding for the regional, the Knights have a good opportunity to move a number of wrestlers to the next round.
Northview has a pair of No. 1 seeds as Austin Bell (130 pounds) and Beau Judd (285) are each at the top of the regional bracket.
Bell lost a 7-1 decision to Jennings County's Joey Resch last season in the regional and both return, though Resch is competing in the 125-pound class. Bell comes in with a 21-5 mark and will take on Madison freshman, Evan Young (22-27) in the first round. Also that half of the bracket is Scottsburg's Gage Kelly (35-6), who takes on Bloomington South's Jordan Castillo (4-1), a wrestler that Bell defeated 7-5 in the sectional.
Judd is looking for a breakthrough after a disappointing, 3-2 loss to Madison's Jordan Blakemore in the first round of last year's regional. He returns as the top-seed at 285 with a 29-10 record and an opening round tilt with Madison's Cody Banks (23-27). Also in the bracket is West Vigo's Nick Brownfield (21-7), who Judd defeated at the sectional, and Jennings County senior Mark Collett (38-3), who was fourth at 215 in last year's regional.
Caleb Nicosin returns after reaching the regional as a sophomore and he's looking to reach the next round as he battles Jennings County's Gary Engleking, a 33-10 sophomore, who finished third at 103 pounds last year in the regional. Also in Nicosin's half of the bracket is eighth-ranked Luke Schroeder of Southwestern (42-1). Schroeder placed third in the state finals at 103 pounds last year. He'll face Bloomington South sophomore, Zack Runyon (26-15).
In the 119-pound class, Skyler Hall returns to the regional with a first round match-up against Columbus East's Jake Carlile (34-8). Sullivan's Nathaniel Sullivan (25-8) squares off with Madison's Robby Taylor (34-6) in the other half of the bracket.
The 152-pound class boasts three ranked competitors along with Northview's Brody Girton (24-17). He'll take on 20th-ranked Zach Adams (43-4) in the opening round. Other ranked competitors include top-seeded Tsali Lough of Terre Haute South (32-2), who is ranked 16th. Bloomington South's Sam Horrocks (32-5) is ranked eighth-overall.
Shaffer (33-9) is scheduled to take on Seymour's Clark Thompson (16-13) in the first round with a potential match-up against either Ethan Weber (22-19) or Bloomington South's Clayton Fiddler (30-9), who is ranked 14th. Shaffer lost a tight, 3-2, sectional battle against Fiddler last weekend.
Brandon Pleake (20-5) was another regional qualifier last year and he returns in the 189-pound class and faces Brown County's Toby Kirts (24-9). Pleake defeated Kirts for third-place in the Western Indiana Conference Meet two weeks ago. If the Northview senior can defeat Kirts, he would likely get a re-match against fourth-ranked Garrett Goldman (30-0) of Bloomington North. Goldman is the defending 171-pound regional champion.
In the 215-pound class, Aaron See (34-4) gets another crack at the regional and takes on Columbus North's Luis Cambron (16-12). In the other portion of the bracket is Jennings County's Iyan Bass (17-0), who was third at 189 last season and is ranked sixth. He'll take on Owen Valley's Mike Hill (17-11).
The Bloomington South Regional is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.