Started from the bottom

As a freshman, Sean Galligar did not win a single wrestling match, other than by forfeit.

Three years later, Galligar will graduate as one of the top wrestlers in Columbus East history. The senior heavyweight concluded his high school career with a third-place finish in the state finals.

“That’s a kid that put in a lot of time,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “He didn’t start wrestling until his freshman year, really didn’t have success at the beginning at all and just kept it up. He did all the extra things in the offseason, wrestled a lot with us in the summer and just did all the things he needed to do to become successful.”

Galligar made the varsity as a sophomore, but lost 11 matches. He lost eight last season.

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This year, Galligar went 43-4, but also beat every wrestler he lost to. He went 3-1 against Jennings County’s Brendan Sutton, 2-2 against Lawrence North’s Robert Samuels and 1-1 against Franklin’s Quinn York, with the win against York coming in the semistate final.

“He’s very coachable,” Cooper said. “He made some adjustments during the year with some things that were holding him back and just had a fantastic season.”

To even get to state, Galligar had to battle through a tough Evansville Semistate, which featured six of the top eight heavyweights in the state. Galligar, who was ranked fifth, had to upset third-ranked Wade Ripple of Mt. Vernon (Posey) in overtime of the ticket round to secure his state berth.

Galligar came close to wrestling for a state championship. He lost to Samuels 7-6 in a semifinal match, where Samuels scored a two-point takedown on a controversial call that many felt was out of bounds.

“If he wouldn’t have gotten that takedown, then I think I definitely would have won that match,” Galligar said. “That was a match that going into it, I thought I was going to win, but Robert Samuels definitely stepped up his game from the last time I wrestled him.”

A two-year starter on the offensive line for East football teams that went undefeated in the regular season, Galligar is thinking of playing football and wrestling at Trine University.

Galligar looks back on his final season of high school wrestling with nothing but fondness.

“It was a lot of fun,” Galligar said. “I think it was a great way to end my senior year.”

All-Area Team

Victor Antunez, Jennings County: The sophomore went 25-15 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 106 pounds.

Cole Chandler, Jennings County: The senior went 37-4 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 160 pounds.

Andrew Chapman, Columbus North: The sophomore went 36-11 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 160 pounds.

Dawson Combest, Columbus East: The sophomore went 40-7 and finished eighth in the state at 126 pounds.

Dalton Craig, Jennings County: The sophomore went 33-11 and qualified for state at 113 pounds.

Bristen Dial, Brown County: The senior went 35-6 and was a state qualifier at 182 pounds.

Sean Galligar, Columbus East: The senior went 43-4 and finished third in the state at 285 pounds.

Andrew Herrin, Jennings County: The senior went 42-5 and finished fourth in the state at 152 pounds.

Coy Park, Columbus East: The senior went 33-9 and reached the semistate quarterfinals.

Isaiah Peetz, Columbus North: The sophomore went 36-15 and was a state qualifier at 120 pounds.

Corban Pollitt, Columbus East: The sophomore went 25-13 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 132 pounds.

Christian Redmond, Jennings County: The senior went 33-6 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 195 pounds.

Cayden Rooks, Columbus East: The freshman went 37-2 and reached the semistate quarterfinals  at 106 pounds.

Graham Rooks, Columbus East: The sophomore went 42-5 and finished fourth in the state at 120 pounds.

Jake Schoenegge, Columbus East: The freshman went 34-6 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 113 pounds.

Brendan Sutton, Jennings County: The junior went 31-7 and reached the semistate quarterfinals at 285 pounds.

Brooks Wathen, Jennings County: The freshman went 32-10 and qualified for state at 138 pounds.

Honorable mention

Brown County: Andrew Gardner; Columbus East: Lane Goode, Jake Martindale, Seth Turner, Ben Wilkerson, Austin Wilson; Columbus North: Cortez Bandy, Alex Davidson, Brigham Kleinhenz, Josh Larson, David Redding; Jennings County: Xavier Barberis, Zane Beineke, Nick South, Sam Woolf.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.