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Competition stout at Old Cap

Competition stout at Old Cap
Competition stout at Old Cap
Wrestling at 145 pounds, Corydon Central's Ezra Paden lifts Meade County's (Ky.) Dakota Hoskins to maintain control of the match for third place. Paden would go on to win 9-0. Photos by Brian Smith

Dating back to 1985, the first year of the Old Capitol Invitational, two schools ‘ Floyd Central and host Corydon Central ‘ have competed each year.
After winning the first four editions of the talent-laden wrestling meet, Floyd Central has had a drought at the Old Cap. That drought ended Saturday, when the Highlanders scored 318 points to edge out Evansville Central (312 points) for the team honor. It marked the sixth Old Capitol title for the Highlanders, the first since 1999. They had been runners-up the previous three tries.
Injuries have bitten the Corydon Central wrestling team since the preseason. The Panthers’ top performer at the home invitational was Ezra Paden, with a third-place showing at 145 pounds.
‘There were some pretty good kids here,’ Corydon Central coach Richard Clipp said.
Corydon Central’s Mason Kaufer is out with an injury sustained in the season opening match. He qualified for state last season.
‘It’s wrestling. It’s tough,’ Paden said of the injuries. ‘We’re not the only place it is happening at. You have to learn to deal with it.’
In the championship round, Evansville Central claimed four champions, the first coming with 113-pounder Carson Willis. The featured black mat, wrestling for the top spot in each class, saw healthy competition throughout the first half of classes.
Floyd Central’s Sean Brown scored a tight 4-3 win over New Albany’s Tristen Dowell at 132.
Then, pins started rolling in. Starting with Hunter McCormick (145) giving Evansville Central a win by pin in 41 seconds, the title bouts went to decisions by pin the rest of the way. McCormick’s was the quickest, putting Southport’s Brett Wright’s shoulders to the mat in 41 seconds.
Floyd Central also scored wins with Tyler Crowl (138) and Josh Harvey (195).
In the Corydon Central camp, Paden shined the most. He scored wins in the first and second rounds, taking down Floyd Central’s Max Hauser and Lexington Henry Clay (Ky.) Brennen Ball. His final match within pool bouts, Paden was stuck by Wright.
‘I put myself in a bad position in the semi-final match and paid for it,’ Paden said.
Wrestling for third place, Paden had his match with Dakota Hoskins (Meade County) well in hand. He scored a take-down just before the end of the first period to go ahead 2-0. Later, scoring on a near fall, Paden rolled to victory, 9-0 to take third.
‘It’s good to end the day on a win,’ Paden, a wrestler who qualified for semi-state last season, said. ‘I wrestled him at Meade County a couple weeks ago, so I knew his style. He’s over aggressive.’
Clipp said Paden has increased his repertoire on the mat but needs to assure he can go to his strengths to dictate matches.
‘The season is going all right,’ Paden said. ‘I’m excited for sectional to get here and start the tournament series. I want a better result than last season.’
As a team, the Panthers finished eighth in the eight-team event, scoring 75 points.
Heavyweight Robbie Leuthart claimed fifth place at 285. He had a lightning quick pin of Henry Clay’s Matthew Ogg (16 seconds) for the spot.
Earlier in the day, Leuthart lost a match in overtime to Floyd Central’s Chase Durgan.
‘I’m doing a lot better this year,’ Leuthart, a regional qualifier last year, said.
At 126, Matthew Applegate won a pool-play match versus Henry Clay’s Sarthak Rial. Battling Floyd Central’s Jarrod Cunningham for fifth, Applegate hung tough in the first period. Cunningham eventually took control, winning 12-0.
Corydon Central’s Keith Murray took seventh place at 160, narrowly defeating Southport’s Everett Wise 6-5. Wise tied the match late with an escape but was caught by the referee engaging in an illegal headlock, costing him a point.
Other wrestlers for Corydon Central who competed were Ben Grimes, Tyson Trumpower, Cameron Herthel, Drake Mattingly, Nathan Dobson and Brad Albin. Dobson and Trumpower had sixth-place finishes.
Corydon Central will head to the Jasper Invitational on Saturday, then the next weekend will go to Charlestown for the Mid-Southern Conference meet. Sectional will take place Jan. 31 at Jeffersonville.
Team results ‘ 1. Floyd Central 318, 2. Evansville Central 312, 3. Meade County 272, 4. New Albany 270, 5. Columbus North 257, 6. Southport 232, 7. Lexington Henry Clay (Ky.) 194, 8. Corydon Central 75.
Individual championship results ‘ 106: Branden Miller (LHC) maj. dec. Tyler Rhoades (S), 11-3; 113: Carson Willis (EC) dec. Tristen Sellmer (FC), 3-1; 120: Dameion Rutledge (S) pin Wayne Nichols (FC), 1:04; 126: Conner Willis (EC) dec. Alex Lee (MC) 16-9; 132: Sean Brown (FC) dec. Tristen Dowell (NA), 4-3; 138: Tyler Crowl (FC) dec. Braden Hinckley (CN), 13-6; 145: Hunter McCormick (EC) pin Brett Wright (S), 0:41; 152: Isaiah Kemper (EC) pin Tre Lynch (NA) 4:31; 160: Dalton Mowery (NA) pin Andrew Chapman (CN), 3:10; 170: D Frederick (NA) pin Jordan Childers (MC), 4:18; 182: Robert Clark (S) def. Dylan Knowlter (MC), injury; 195: Josh Harvey (FC) pin Steven Moore (S), 1:40; 220: Brandon Woods (CN) pin Caleb Hart (EC), 5:10; 285: Patrick Landrum (NA) pin Jordan Libby (EC), 4:16.