By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
ARCADIA, Ind. — It was a long but successful day for local wrestlers in the Hamilton Heights sectional Saturday. Even though favorite Noblesville won the team championship and advanced the most wrestlers to next week’s regional, the six local teams combined to produce 27 regional qualifiers in the 14 weight classes.
Anderson finished second in team scoring and advanced five to the regional round. The Indians had three champions including Zach Amos in the 145-pound class, Bryant White at 195 and Rome Kayzer in the 220-pound bracket.
“We’re proud of everybody on the team,” Tribe coach Cary House said. “I’m really excited about our three champions and the other two guys (Anthony Fuller and Zach Saylor) that are moving on.”
Amos beat Isaac Ray of Hamilton Heights, White defeated Elwood’s Damion Sizelove and Kayzer used a little bit of strategy to pin Cole Leininger of Hamilton Heights. Leininger had defeated Kayzer twice in the past, but Saturday was different.
“I came in with my head up,” Kayzer said. “He had beaten me twice, and it was in my head. So I had to go as hard as I could.”
Pendleton Heights came home in third place and will advance the most wrestlers in the area to regional with seven. For Arabians coach Dave Cloud, it was a good day.
“It’s very good considering it’s just been a real hard year with injuries and illness,” Cloud said, citing that the team had at least five wrestlers out because of injury or illness. “We knew going in that Noblesville has an awfully strong team so we wanted to advance as many as we could.”
The Arabians had two champions, Tyler Flood at 113 and Spencer McCool at 170. McCool’s win over Sammy Mireles of Elwood was a little unorthodox, with the Pendleton Heights grappler suppressing his tendency to gamble.
“He is the Brett Favre of the wrestling mat,” Cloud said of McCool. “He likes to go for the gun, hit something big. A lot of times against the good guys, like Sammy, it comes back to bite him.”
Cloud said he sold the strategy to McCool with a baseball analogy.
“He’s a baseball player so we kept saying, ‘singles, play small ball, bunt, chip, walk, get on base, score that way’,” Cloud said. “No big throws, no big moves. We’re really happy for him.”
Other Arabians to advance include David Bryant (106), Wes Robinson (132), Chase Cochran (160), Matt Boyll (182) and Josh Stephens (220).
Frankton’s Garrett Allen won the 106-pound class, the first sectional title for Allen.
“It was nice to get Allen over the hump,” Frankton coach Courtney Duncan said. “He has not been out of the sectional yet.”
Allen did not wrestle as a freshman and did not advance to the regional as a sophomore or junior. Cance Carpenter also advanced to the regional with a third-place finish in the 120-pound division. He defeated Alexandria’s Leyton Peavler in the third-place match after losing to him earlier in the day.
The two matches followed Carpenter’s victory over Peavler Wednesday night in the Central Indiana Conference meet. The two could very well meet up again next week at Pendleton. The Eagles finished seventh on the day with 98 points, one behind sixth-place Tipton.
Elwood finished fifth and advanced six competitors, including 160-pound champion Derek Bryant. Mireles (170) and Sizelove (195) scored second-place finishes while Dakota Cole (126), Brady Hawes (138) and Tyler Hoal (145) finished third in their respective classes.
Lapel finished in eighth place and advanced Lamb in the 113-pound class along with Pierce Pickett at 132.
Alexandria wound up 10th and will be represented by three wrestlers — Peavler (120), Nathaniel Ryan (152) and Zach Harris (220).
Regional action is scheduled to begin at Pendleton Heights High School next Saturday at 9 a.m. It will include the top four finshers of each weight class from the Hamilton Heights and Lawrence Central sectionals.
Team scores 1. Noblesville 232.5 2. Anderson 163.5 3. Pendleton Heights 156.5 4. Hamilton Heights 155 5. Elwood 121 6. Tipton 99 7. Frankton 98 8. Lapel 52 9. Guerin Catholic 51.5 10. Alexandria 49 11. Tri-Central 37.5