“It’s awesome to have a bunch of teammates going,” he said. “The last two years it’s only been me.”
Loe overwhelmed his competition at 145. Consistently, Loe was more aggressive and scored almost at will. He beat his first opponent 14-2, pinned his second in the third period, then scored a 15-5 victory in the semifinals and had a 9-1 win in the final.
“It’s hard to explain, but I felt confident the whole day,” Loe said. “There was no way I was going to get taken down, beat.”
Loe had finished second two years in a row at the semistate, which got him to state, but didn’t get him far enough. He didn’t want to have that regret as a senior.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot from last year,” he said. “I put everything on the line because this is basically my last time wrestling. Senior year, I had to step up my game.”
State is the ultimate measuring stick. Loe was eighth last year and that’s not going to satisfy him this time. Just like Hinkle described, he knows what it’s going to take move up.
“It’s going to be hell, I don’t know if you can put that in the newspaper or not, but the intensity level is going to be all the way up here,” Loe said, holding his hand up to his head to demonstrate. “My practices are going to be even higher than that. I’m going to have to work my butt off to get that state championship.”
• Maconaquah 126-pounder Chase Wilson suffered a 5-4 loss in the second round, his only loss of the season.
In the first round at state, Kern (39-6) will face McCutcheon senior Seth Carithers (38-1). Loe will face West Central junior Parker Fritz (40-6). And Cress (40-10) will go against New Palestine senior Brian Wagner (38-4).