While local wrestlers had to love that Jennings County Sectional championship medal that now sits on their mantel, the Jeffersonville Regional really is the important step if they want to realize their goal of making it to the state championship tournament.
The top four finishers at the regional, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, advance to the semi-state tournament, but those who don’t take a regional title with them will get unfavorable seeds and therefore will be hard-pressed to advance to the state meet.
Here is a look at the brackets for local wrestlers.
Columbus East junior Dalton Noblitt (34-6), at right, looked great in winning the sectional title 14-1 over Marshall Holwager (34-7) of Jennings County, pictured above. “I’m wrestling with more confidence now,” Noblitt said. The weight class has five wrestlers with more than 30 wins.
Columbus East senior Mitch Gilbert (31-8), right, and Jennings County freshman Ethan Herrin (31-7), left, appear to be headed for a rematch of their sectional final that Gilbert won 10-7. Brown County junior Cody Leeper (25-10) has a chance to qualify for semi-state in a weight class that is somewhat weak overall.
Columbus East senior Kyle Stillinger (31-5), above right, and Floyd Central senior John Meldrum (31-7) are headed toward a finals showdown. “I am going to win regional,” Stillinger said. “In my opinion, no one is going to beat me.” Meldrum will have to get past Madison junior Jordan Partee (42-2) in the semifinals. Columbus North junior Andrew Jones (25-21) will have a hard time advancing through a tough class.
Despite his sectional title, Jennings County senior Gabe Wilson (25-9), above right, has a tough road. A match against New Washington’s Jacob Franklin (41-4) looms in the semifinals, and the other side of the bracket should be dominated by sectional champ Chase Herron (30-5) of Floyd Central.
The top seeds are sectional champs Luke Teague (26-16), top, from Columbus North and Matthew Hayes (28-14) from Providence. Jennings County sophomore Dakota Bott (32-10) and Columbus East senior Clayton Ferguson will be trying to furnish upsets.