Six BNL wrestlers competing
for spots in IHSAA semistate
By Justin Sokeland
Win one match, just one, the first one in the IHSAA regional on Saturday, and advance to the semistate. Seems simple enough.
For Bedford North Lawrence’s six competitors in the regional at Bloomington South, it’s not. All of the Stars will be underdogs in their first-round battles as they look to advance to the next round in the state tournament series.
The top four in each weight class will qualify for the semistate in Evansville on Feb. 13. Since each class is composed of eight qualifiers from the sectionals at Southridge and Bloomington, the first match is the only elimination clash. The rest are for semistate seeding and individual glory.
“We do have tough draws, but all the kids in the regional will be tough,” BNL coach Roy Bruce said. “Every kid has had to win to get through.”
BNL’s top sectional finisher was junior Jon Godsey (15-11), the runner-up at 220 pounds. He will face West Vigo senior Dakota Short (29-4 and the defending regional champion) in the opener. Short, a linebacker, will play college football at Indiana State.
The rest of the Stars face similar obstacles.
Jacob Ray (16-12) will meet Northview junior Austin Cook (27-5) at 120, Jared Abel (16-12) will battle Edgewood’s Carson Deckard (20-4) at 126, Caleb Higgins (14-17) will face Edgewood junior Denver Aydelott (31-3) at 152, Dakota Hutchens (7-12) will clash with Bloomington North senior Dalton Hunter (34-2 and the defending regional champion, ranked No.13 in the state) at 182, and Neil Amstutz will face Edgewood’s Ty Robinson (36-3) at 195.
If any one of the six can pull off the upset to move on, it would be a boost for the entire program.
“The further we get, the more kids can see we’re successful, and the more kids want to join,” Bruce said. “Nobody wants to get beat out in the sectional. If you can get someone to the regional, semistate or state finals, kids want to be part of that.”
Action is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.