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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Levi Leffers of Central Noble attempts to pin Chandler Schumm of Adams Central during Semi-Finals at IHSAA Semi-State Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jaxson Savieo of New Haven attempts to pull Dan Wickersham to the ground during Semi-Finals at IHSAA Semi-State Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.

Saturday, February 10, 2018 6:20 pm

Central Noble 2nd at wrestling semistate

JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette

Despite an enrollment less than 400 students, Central Noble tied for an area best with four state qualifiers at Saturday’s New Haven Semistate, at Memorial Coliseum – meaning one percent of the Cougars’ school population will compete in the wrestling state finals.

Tanner Schoeff (second at 126 pounds) and Austin Moore (third at 138) will make their second trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse next weekend, while teammates Giran Kunkel (second at 145) and Levi Leffers (second at 220) earned their first state finals berth.

“It helps a lot,” Moore said of the state experience. “My first year going down there, it was a lot of nerves. It’s crazy, the atmosphere with all the people. This year it’ll be different because I’ll be used to it.”

A slow but steady program growth has finally bloomed into the Cougars standing out as a small-school power. With the days of six or seven athletes program-wide in the rear-view mirror, the four state qualifiers doubled up the previous school record of two, recently reached last year.

“Having the right kids that buy into the system and wrestling hard,” Central Noble coach Fleshman said. “We’ve built that reputation in our school. A lot of the little kids in our community, they’re seeing our wrestling program and seeing the difference.”

Carroll matched Central Noble by qualifying four for state. Joel Arney defeated Columbia City’s Jackson Pettigrew to finish third at 152, while Joe Just (113), Zane Standridge (120) and Ethan Hicks (160) each placed fourth.

While three Chargers will face semistate champions Friday, they won’t know their foes until 4 p.m. today at www.ihsaatv.org. The IHSAA’s push to publicize more state tournament events only serves as a positive, Carroll coach Tim Sloffer said.

“Anything to get excitement for the sport,” Sloffer said. “I think a lot of people will tune into that. Every year I’m clicking to see if the brackets are up yet, so I hope a lot of people tune in. I think it’ll be a cool thing.”

 

New Haven’s Jaxson Savieo won the area’s lone individual title, pinning West Noble’s Draven Rasler, who finished eighth at state a year ago, in 57 seconds in the finals at 195.

 

Savieo didn’t let the pressure of facing a returning state placer affect him.

“You just wrestle,” Savieo said. “At some point, the brain shuts off and the muscles turn on.”

Adams Central (thirds from Logan Mosser at 120 and Chandler Schumm at 220), Bellmont (thirds from Kyle Lawson at 126 and Jon Ruble at 145), Columbia City (Pettigrew and Hunter Reed (160), third) and South Adams (Wyatt Miller (106), second, and Isaiah Baumgartner (220), fourth) will join the Bulldogs (Jonyvan Johnson (182), third, and Savieo) with two state qualifiers apiece.

Other area individual runner-ups included Garrett’s Brayden Shearer (113), Leo’s Ian Heath (120) and Bishop Luers’ Chandler Woenker (160).

Yorktown won its sixth straight semistate team title with 134.5 points. Central Noble tied Jimtown for second in the team race with 70 points.

 

New Haven’s Jaxson Savieo won the area’s lone individual title, pinning West Noble’s Draven Rasler, who finished eighth at state a year ago, in 57 seconds in the finals at 195.