Times Sports Editor
BLOOMINGTON -- The Northview wrestling program took another big step forward on Saturday at the Bloomington South Regional by advancing a school record, five wrestlers to the Evansville Semistate next Saturday. Perhaps just as important for the Knights is that three of those five competitors are underclassmen, who will be back for yet another crack at reaching Conseco Fieldhouse and the state finals next season too.
"Advancing five guys to the semi-state is a really good step for our program," Northview coach Dan Mikesell said. "And what's really great is that three of those guys will be back next season."
Moving on for the Knights will be third-place finishers, Larry Shaffer (160 pounds), Brandon Pleake (189 pounds) and Beau Judd (285 pounds) along with fourth-place finishers, Austin Bell (130 pounds) and Aaron See (215 pounds).
"We had a pretty good day overall," Mikesell said. "We had a couple of early opportunities, but couldn't capitalize."
One of those early chances came at 119 pounds as Skyler Hall lost a heartbreaking match, 11-10, in his first round battle against Columbus North's Ezequiel Gomez.
"Skyler was behind early in the match, but came back to take a lead late, but the kid from Columbus North got a takedown with two or three seconds left to get the win," Mikesell said. "It was a disappointing way for Skyler to end his career."
Hall finished his season at 30-11.
At 112 pounds, Caleb Nicosin came out on the losing end of his first round match against Brown County's Austin Ely, 10-2, to end his season at 27-14 overall.
The Knights' run of success started in the 130-pound class as Austin Bell came through with a 6-3 victory in his opener against Madison's Evan Young.
"Austin had a good match to start against the kid from Madison," Mikesell said. "He lost a couple of close ones."
After securing his semi-state bid in the opening win, Bell lost a 7-1 match to Scottsburg's Gage Kelly, who finished as the runner-up on Saturday. In the third-place match, Bell lost to Jennings County's Conner Montgomery by a 6-0 score.
Northview's upper weight class competitors had a great afternoon and Shaffer got his day started with an opening 6-1 victory against Clark Thompson of Seymour. In the second round match, Shaffer lost a tight, 4-2 decision to Bloomington South's Clayton Fiddler, the top seed.
"Larry lost a tough one to Clayton Fiddler, the fifth time he's wrestled him this season," Mikesell said. "Every time it's been a one or two-point match. He was literally a couple of inches away from getting a takedown at the end, but he was out of bounds."
In the third-place match, Shaffer was victorious as West Vigo's Ryan Roach suffered an injury default.
Northview senior Brandon Pleake also completed a third-place regional bid at 189 pounds as he opened the meet with a 19-2 technical fall win over Brown County's Toby Kirts. Up next was fourth-ranked sectional champion, Garrett Goldman, who pinned Pleake. However, the Knights' grappler bounced back to post a 13-1 victory against Columbus East senior, J.J. Huddleston.
"Pleake wrestled really well, he lost to the Goldman kid, who is just head and shoulders above everyone," Mikesell said. "Just about every one of his wins came because of how hard he works. It was great to see him get third-place at the regional."
Aaron See became the Knights' fourth semi-state qualifier as he came out and pinned his first round opponent, Luis Cambron of Columbus North in 3:04. In the second bout, sixth-ranked and unbeaten, Iyan Bass of Jennings County, defeated See and Madison's Dalton Young came away with a third-place match with See, 7-3.
"Beau had a pretty good day, he wrestled smart and stayed away from throws," Mikesell said. "He lost a tough one, but he had two pins. All in all it was a pretty good day.
"Our goals are to get to the state finals and make the most of our chances," Mikesell added.
Competition at the Evansville Reitz Semi-state begins at 9 a.m. CST.
103 -- Joseph Gilham (Sullivan) pinned Michael Camp (Seymour) 0:54; J.J. Low (Terre Haute North) was pinned by Cory O'Neal (Southwestern) 1:11; Gilham was pinned by Jacob Boomsma (Bloomington South) 4:13; Gilham lost to Seth Clawson (Edgewood) 16-0, fourth place. Champion -- Boomsma.
112 -- Caleb Nicosin (Northview) lost to Austin Ely (Brown County) 10-2. Champion -- Luke Schroeder (Southwestern).
119 -- Dakota Case (Terre Haute South) defeated Marshall Holwager (Jennings County) 9-2; Skylar Hall (Northview) lost to Ezequiel Gomez (Columbus North) 11-10; Nathaniel Sullivan (Sullivan) was pinned by Robby Taylor (Madison) 5:21; Case defeated Devin Broukal (Owen Valley) 7-5; Broukal lost to Gomez 6-4, fourth place; Case lost to Taylor 9-6, second place.
125 -- Renner Winston (Terre Haute South) was pinned by Baron Rieker (Columbus East) 1:36; Eric Elia (Terre Haute North) was pinned by Michael Humphrey (Southwestern) 4:42; William Newforth (Owen Valley lost to Aaron Bullock (Brown County) 16-2. Champion -- B.Rieker.
130 -- Dalton Kemp (Owen Valley) was pinned by Zach Rieker (Columbus East) 3:43; Colt Thompson (Sullivan) lost to Conner Montgomery (Jennings County) 7-0; Austin Bell (Northview) defeated Evan Young (Madison) 6-3; Bell lost to Gage Kelly (Scottsburg) 7-1; Bell lost to Montgomery 6-0, fourth place. Champion -- Z.Rieker.
135 -- David Padan (Terre Haute South) lost to Jordan Gast (Jennings County) 6-2; Robert Stewart (Owen Valley) was pinned by Steven Rieker (Columbus East) 3:11. Champion -- S.Rieker.
140 -- Jack Petry (Owen Valley) lost to Tim Shuler (Columbus East) 10-3; Jedd Page (Terre Haute North) defeated Caden McGaha (Columbus North) 7-5; P.J. Montgomery (Terre Haute South) pinned Will Coons (Seymour) 1:44; Montgomery defeated Page 8-4; Page defeated Shuler 5-1, third place; Montgomery defeated Spencer Boyd (Bloomington South) 7-3, champion.
145 -- Jed Cox (Sullivan) defeated Cody Kelly (Scottsburg) 10-9; Duane Deerwester (Terre Haute South) was pinned by Justin Aimers (Columbus North) 1:15; Cox was pinned by Quincy Richey (Brown County) 1:31; Cox defeated Aimers 8-4, third place. Champion -- Richey.
152 -- Tsali Lough (Terre Haute South) defeated Sawyer Smith (Columbus North) 6-0; Dustin Query (Terre Haute North) lost to Caleb Ogle (Columbus East) 6-5; Brody Girton (Northview) was pinned by Zach Adams (Madison) 1:30; Lough defeated Ogle 11-7; Lough defeated Adams 13-7, champion.
160 -- Evan White (Owen Valley) lost to Gabe Holt (Columbus North) 6-0; Ryan Roach (West Vigo) defeated Jacob Schmidt (Jennings County) 14-6; Larry Shaffer (Northview) defeated Clark Thompson (Seymour) 6-1; Roach was pinned by Holt 2:58; Shaffer lost to Clayton Fiddler (Bloomington South) 4-2; Shaffer defeated Roach, injury default, third and fourth place. Champion -- Holt.
171 -- Ben Bird (West Vigo) lost to Corey Bland (Columbus North) 5-3; Sam Cook (Terre Haute South) was pinned by Brock Wathen (Jennings County) 4:20. Champion -- Wathen.
189 -- Brandon Pleake (Northview) defeated Toby Kirts (Brown County) 19-2; Blake Ray (West Vigo) lost to J.J. Huddleston (Columbus East) 5-4; Pleake was pinned by Garreet Goldman (Bloomington North) 1:26; Pleake defeated Huddleston 13-1, third place. Champion -- Goldman.
215 -- David Knight (Terre Haute North) pinned Chance Ahlbrand (Seymour) 5:00; Aaron See (Northview) pinned Luis Cambron (Columbus North) 3:04; Knight defeated Dalton Young (Madison) 11-7; See lost to Iyan Bass (Jennings County), score unavailable; See lost to Young 7-3, fourth place; Knight defeated Bass 4-3, champion.
285 -- Joel Blakely (Terre Haute South) was pinned by Thomas Emmitt (Columbus East) 1:18; Nick Brownfield (West Vigo) lost to Mark Collett (Jennings County) 2-0; Beau Judd (Northview) pinned Cody Banks (Madison) 1:21; Judd lost to Collett 7-2; Judd pinned Marty Scales (Southwestern) 0:17, third place. Champion -- Collett.