It was a perfect day for Carroll wrestling coach Scott Raypole at Saturday's Carroll Wrestling Sectionals. All 14 of his wrestlers advanced to next Saturday's Carroll Regional, yet many of the Chargers wrestled poorly in their final matches.
“This is good because we wrestled well to get all 14 thru, but then didn't finish well. We've got some things to improve on,” Raypole said. “We'll let 'em have it at practice next week. Finishing like this kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
Perhaps Carroll didn't wrestle well in the final matches (going 5-9 in the finals), but until then the bad taste was for everyone else to experience. Carroll won the team title by nearly 100 points, scoring 261.5 to runner-up Churubusco's 169.5. Bishop Dwenger was third with 138.5. In comparison to Carroll's 14 regional qualifiers, Churubusco advanced eight and Bishop Dwenger five. Carroll led all teams with four individual titlist and had six wrestlers finish second.
Among the winners for the Chargers was Riley Lefever, who remained unbeaten (36-0) at 170. Lefever broke the school record with his 31st pin of the season, sticking Anthony Linnear at 3:03 of the finals. Linnear, last year's third place finisher at the IHSAA State Finals, fell to 27-2 with both losses to Lefever.
Winning at 126 for Carroll was Steven Cardenas (32-2), who recorded three second period pins on the day. Cardenas said the main goal for the day was team-oriented, not individual-oriented.
“We wanted all 14 guys to advance,” Cardenas said. “It really pumps you up when you know everyone is going on for another week. We don't get to move on as a team (dual meet championships were discontinued this year) so the next best thing is for all of us to go to regionals.”
Cardenas may be the forgotten man in the Carroll line-up with Lefever ranked No. 2 in the state, fellow senior Spencer Malcolm (160) ranked 12th and sophomore Ben Cauffman (106) ranked 18th. But that doesn't matter to Cardenas.
“Maybe I am a little bit (overlooked) with Riley being on the team,” Cardenas said. “But with Spencer and I, the other seniors, we try to bring it up, too.”
Malcolm improved to 36-2 with two pins and a second-period tech fall. He pinned Alan Trabert at 3:33 in the final.
Also winning for Carroll was Tristan Wilson (29-9 at 152). He pinned Churubusco's Joey Heaton at 1:32 of the final.
Churubusco's winners were Brandon Wormcastle (145), Brian Richardson (195) and Jason Nicodemus (220), who remained unbeaten at 22-0.
The only other unbeaten wrestler in the field was Eastside's Matt Beard, now 35-0 at 285.
The other winners Saturday were Garrett's Hayden Lee (106), Northrop's Logan Aldrich (113), Bishop Dwenger's Dominic Garrett (120), North Side's Carlos Garcia (132), Garrett's Austun McCray (138) and Bishop Dwenger's Ben Evans (182).