Late notice helps Panthers send Fowler to semi-state
Roughly 12 hours after being notified, Corydon Central junior Jackson Fowler’s wrestling season came back to life. Friday night, Fowler, an alternate from the sectional, was notified that he was eligible to wrestle at the Jeffersonville Regional after a fellow competitor withdrew.
At Saturday’s regional, Fowler made good on the opportunity, defeating the top seed on his side of the bracket, Jasper’s Ross Schwenk, 2-1, in the first round.
Fowler scored a takedown in the first period and hung on to the lead, defeating Schwenk in the 130-pound weight class.
‘He practiced a couple days,’ Corydon Central coach Richard Clipp said. ‘He is a natural 130, so it wasn’t hard for him to make weight.’
Fowler later lost to Providence’s Omar Siguero in the semi-finals and to Floyd Central’s Aaron Witt in the consolation match. By finishing in the top four, however, Fowler punched his ticket to semi-state.
Fowler isn’t the lone Panther headed to Roberts Stadium in Evansville for semi-state. Also making the trip will be Matthew LaHue, Ryan Hutchinson and Chris Falardo. LaFue and Hutchinson reached the regional finals fairly easy.
In the semi-finals at 103 pounds, LaHue defeated New Albany’s Steven Guy by majority decision, 12-2. The win prompted a sectional rematch against Jeffersonville’s Alonzo Shepherd.
LaHue trailed early in the match but rallied to tie at 3-3 in the third period. However, Shepherd scored three points for a near fall, defeating LaHue 6-3. Shepherd defeated LaHue the week prior at sectional.
Hutchinson took a similar path as his teammate at 125 pounds. He pinned Washington’s Leonardo Meza in the first period to take the opening round match. In the semi-finals, the senior defeated New Albany’s Tim Martin by an 11-4 decision.
The finals prompted another sectional rematch. Hutchinson took on Charlestown’s Eddie Duran in a near mirror image of their previous battle. This time, Duran scored a late takedown to break a 2-2 tie, thus winning the match 4-2.
‘Ryan’s match was about like last week,’ Clipp said. ‘It was close, on the edge, and this time Duran got him. LaHue, in his match, wrestled Alonzo a lot tougher than last week.’
Falardo reached the semi-state by winning his opening round match, 6-2, over Forest Park’s Ethan Smith in the 135-pound weight class.
In the semi-finals, Falardo lost a close decision against Charlestown’s Aaron May, 4-3. May scored on a late escape to take the lead and win. In the consolation, Vincennes Lincoln’s Andy Hatfield got the best of Falardo, defeating him 7-1.
‘It was a good day,’ Clipp said. ‘When you get four guys going to semi-state, it is a good day. We all wrestled well and hard.’
Corydon Central’s Ryan DeWitt, who qualified for regionals at 215 pounds, missed the event due to an unfortunate illness.
Semi-state, hosted by Evansville F.J. Reitz, takes place at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, starting at 10 a.m. The top-four place winners in each weight class advance to the state finals. State takes place Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21, at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
‘Just like any other tournament, it will get tougher as you go,’ Clipp said of semi-state. ‘The competition picks up and the tension, you can feel it when you walk in the door.’
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Individual results ‘ 102: Shepherd (Jeff) dec. LaHue (Corydon), 6-3; 112: Smith (Jeff) dec. Kendle (Perry Central), 3-2; 119: Stotridge (Charlestown) dec. Miller (Jeff), 3-0; 125: Duran (Charlestown) dec. Hutchinson (Corydon), 4-2; 130: Walker (Jeff) maj. dec. Siquero (Providence), 11-3; 135: Blackman (Floyd) dec. May (Charlestown), 4-0; 140: Murphy (Floyd) dec. Hughes (Providence), 2-0; 145: Moberly (Floyd) pinned Newcomb (Charlestown), 4:21; 152: Sampson (New Wash) dec. Bailey (Jeff), 5-2; 160: Steckler (Southridge) maj. dec. Golembeski (Providence), 12-3; 171: Browner (Jeff) dec. McAndrew (Floyd), 7-4; 189: Cook (Providence) dec. Ingram (Southridge), 11-5; 215: Jenkins (Jasper) dec. Schneider (Southridge), 3-0; 285: Clark (Jeff) maj. dec. Hoke (New Albany), 20-5.