Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- Better than 30 years passed between Western Indiana Conference wrestling team championships for the Sullivan Golden Arrows before it captured the title last year by a mere four points over Northview.
The Arrows didn't have to wait long for another one.
Sullivan had two fewer individual champions than the Knights in this year's edition, but advanced nine wrestlers to the third-place matches to more than make up the difference in repeating as WIC champs by nine points over second-place Northview. Edgewood was third ahead of Brown County, Owen Valley, South Vermillion and West Vigo.
For the Knights, it was the worst kind of deja-vu. Northview had five champions last year and matched that total this time around, but came up just short in the final team tally. However, the team disappointment was curbed by individual titles by Cale McCoy, Trey Boor, Zach Williams, Jesse Miller and Justin Sampson.
"I'm very excited about having five champions. Take this team at the beginning of the season and we're in the hunt for a conference championship. It's quite an accomplishment. Some of the guys that aren't our big time scorers, need to realize the importance of them to the team because there was just a little lack of effort in some guys to make weight and score team points today," Northview coach Dan Mikesell said. "The guys that were here did everything they could. They controlled the things they could control. We had five champs and seven guys in the finals. I honestly think we're the best team here, we just didn't score the most points."
The Knights were forced to shuffle its original lineup after a couple athletes missed weight, which in turn left the team forfeiting at 126 and 160 pounds.
"That's why wrestling is a team sport. Those consolation rounds count. You have got to have a deep team and ours just isn't quite deep enough," Mikesell said. "We're just not quite as deep as Sullivan. We beat them in the dual, but we couldn't beat them in this tournament."
Freshman Cale McCoy started things off on the right track for the Knights as he scored a reversal in the final 10 seconds to top South Vermillion's Tanner Bishop at 106 pounds. The 4-2 decision improved McCoy to 25-6 overall this season and impressed Mikesell.
"I thought both of our freshmen in the finals were wrestling good," Mikesell said. "Cale turned the tables on the kid from South Vermillion. We rode him tough, gave up a reversal at the end, but got it right back. Cale is an extremely good Folkstyle wrestler. He'll be a force to be reckoned with next year and I think he'll make a deep run this year."
Classmate Stephen Gibson came out on the short end of his title match at 120 pounds, but still earned points with a pin in the semifinals.
"I was very proud of Stephen's effort getting to the finals, cutting weight to get down to 120 where he needs to be. I'm proud of him and Shane Ryan," Mikesell said. "They've both been working hard and sacrificing to help the team win."
Ryan was also a hard luck runner-up after dropping a 4-2 decision to Brown County junior Austin Ely, who defended his 113-pound title.
Junior Trey Boor provided some extra points on Saturday as he pinned top-seed Tyler Smith of South Vermillion to reach the final and posted a 6-1 victory in the championship to pick up the 152-pound title.
The senior class was good to the Knights as Miller (195), Williams (220) and Sampson (285) each garnered victories to wrap up the action. Miller and Sampson both defended their titles from last season.
"We're going to miss those guys next year," Mikesell said of the seniors. "They've done what they needed to all year and they deserve to have a conference championship team-wise, but each of them got an individual one and get to go to the banquet and have fun that way. Now the real season gets to start for them. Hopefully we can get some eighth-graders that weigh 195 to 250 pounds to get sold on wrestling."
Sampson remained unbeaten on the season at 33-0 while Miller's injury default win bumps his season mark to 30-5. Williams claimed an 11-4 decision in the title bout and moves to 22-10.
The Knights host the sectional on Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Western Indiana Conference Tourney
Team results: Sullivan 199, Northview 190, Edgewood 180.5, Brown County 177, Owen Valley 152, South Vermillion 151.5, West Vigo 108
106: Cale McCoy (Nv) wins by dec. over Tanner Bishop (SV), 4-2; Isaac Miller (OV) wins by dec. over Nathan Barney (SL) 11-9
113: Austin Ely (BC) wins by dec. over Shane Ryan (Nv), 4-2; Dylan Hatton (OV) wins by fall over Danny Holmes (SL)
120: Austin Walsh (BC) wins by fall over Stephen Gibson (BC); Seth Hancock (SL) wins by fall over Bryce Mages (SV)
126: Cory Orndorff (SL) wins by fall over Jacob Walden (EW); Trevor Newman (SV) wins by fall over Doug Wilkins (WV)
132: Nick Byrd (SL) wins by dec. over Dillon Deckard (EW), 7-0; Cody Leeper (BC) wins by default over Sam Bowden (WV)
138: Colt Thompson (SL) wins by dec. over Tanner Waldrop (SV), 5-3; Phillip Palmer (BC) wins by fall over Zac Otte (WV)
145: Jacob Creasey (WV) wins by dec. over William Newforth (OV), 5-2; Cody Cowden (EW) wins by fall over Jason Jones (SL)
152: Trey Boor (Nv) wins by dec. over Aaron Lanfair (BC), 6-1; Blake Edwards (EW) wins by fall over Nathan Logsdon (OV)
160: Gabe Koontz (EW) wins by maj. dec. over Casey Noblitt (WV), 21-8; Ethan Yates (OV) wins by dec. over Jon Sullivan (SL), 10-3
170: Larry Shaffer (OV) wins by fall over Tanner Smith (SV); Steven Buttz (BC) wins by fall over James Followell (SL)
182: Damien Chambers (EW) wins by fall over Aeron Goodman (SL); Bristen Dial (BC) wins by maj. dec. over Kell Williams (SL), 19-9
195: Jesse Miller (Nv) wins by inj. Default over Brett Cline (BC); Ben Patton (EW) wins by fall over Dakota Short (WV)
220: Zach Williams (Nv) wins by dec. over Sean Huss (OV), 11-4; Jacob Riley (WV) wins by fall over Zach Chastain (SL)
285: Justin Sampson (Nv) wins by fall over JR Robertson (OV); Logan Staley (EW) wins by dec. over Tristan Hancock (SL), 9-2
106: Cale McCoy, first
113: Shane Ryan, second
120: Stephen Gibson, second
132: Trance Kelly, fifth
138: Jackson Copper, fifth
145: Coan Williams, fifth
152: Trey Boor, first
170: Foster Buell, sixth
182: Michael Miller, sixth
195: Jesse Miller, first
220: Zach Williams, first
285: Justin Sampson, first