Kokomo went 5-4 at the Lafayette Jeff tournament. Kokomo beat Frankfort (44-24), North Knox (40-33), Cascade (52-27), Seeger (36-33) and Rensselaer (63-18), and the Kats fell to Lafayette Jeff (56-16), New Prairie (63-14), Kankakee Valley (51-19), and New Castle (51-25).
Fletcher Miller led the Kats with an unbeaten record at 220 pounds. A.J. Nelson (120) and Chad Gaddis (152) were each 8-1. Scotty Barbary (126) was 7-2. Szhantrayle Roberson (132) was 6-3. DaShaun Barbary (145) was 5-4.
“We have about five guys out of our lineup right now. Team-wise, it’s hard to compete with those top-level teams with so many guys out of our lineup,” Kokomo coach Ryan Wells said. “We had some young guys in there who stepped in and took some tough losses, but they were better at the end of the day [Saturday] than they were at the beginning of the day [Friday]. And some of the veteran leaders got a lot of wins for us. We’ve just got to get our guys back in the lineup and healthy.”
Western filled only 10 of the 14 weight classes but still scored a seventh-place finish in the 32-team Spartan Classic, held Friday and Saturday at Connersville. Cathedral won the team title.
“We ended up only taking 10 guys down there and seventh place is the highest we’ve finished since I’ve been at Western. We wrestled extremely well all weekend,” coach Chad Shepherd said. “It was by far the best meet we’ve had this year.”
The Panthers had six grapplers score podium finishes. Caleb Maddox went 4-1 and was runner-up at 126 pounds, Dustin Hinkle went 7-1 and was third at 145, Dustin Hinkle went 5-1 and was third at 182, Dante Graham had a 4-2 record in taking fifth at 220, Russell McDorman went 5-2 and finished seventh at 195 and Payton Lechner had a 4-3 record in taking eighth at 106.
“Dustin Hinkle beat at least one if not two ranked guys. Corey Hinkle was wrestling the No. 1 kid in the state and we had him beat with 55 seconds left and a couple things happened where it just didn’t go our way,” Shepherd said. “Caleb Maddox wrestled outstanding all weekend. Russell McDorman got in the losers’ bracket and wrestled back to seventh. I think the last match of the day was probably his best match of the tournament.”