Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 7, 2014

Locking horns

Wrestlers from Oak Hill, Peru sectionals converge at Peru Regional

Peru wrestling coach Andy Hobbs remembers a year like this, where snow hampered the high school sports schedule, interrupted training and pushed back meets.

The year was 1985 and it’s a very good memory for Hobbs.

Heavy snow that season made driving difficult. So Hobbs and his teammates at Tipton High School improvised.

”I’d go out with a snowmobile and pick up guys and we did what we could do,” Hobbs recalled about finding ways to practice. “The AD would let us in [to the gym]. My coach was Dick Christie, he couldn’t get from Kokomo to Tipton that whole week.”

Snow hit during the week of the state finals and postponed the event, originally scheduled for Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

”That was the year they had to move it to New Castle because Market Square was taken up by the girls basketball state championship — they used to follow us by a week,” Hobbs said. “They moved it to New Castle, changed it to one day and it was real fun. The place was packed. We had a kid that won a state championship that year [Mike Langley, who won at 145 pounds]. It was very similar [to this season]. It snowed and snowed and snowed that year.”

Hobbs took sixth at state at 185 pounds that season, his junior year.

On Saturday, Hobbs’ Tigers host the Peru Wrestling Regional, bringing together the advancing wrestlers from the Oak Hill and Peru sectionals. It’s the second step in the four-week state tourney series. The top four wrestlers in each weight class Saturday will advance to the following weekend’s Fort Wayne Semistate.

Peru has 12 wrestlers entered in the regional field. Kokomo and Western each have nine wrestlers entered in the regional, Eastern has eight, Northwestern five and Taylor four.

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