Miller is one of three Wildkats to take titles at the sectional, along with 170-pounder Keair Ross and 152-pounder Chad Gaddis. Eastern had two champions at Oak Hill, Ty Swisher, who won the difficult 106-pound title, and Corbin Hetzner, the champ at 126.
Northwestern had two sectional champs at Peru, Owen O’Dell (152) and undefeated Luke Akers (160). Northwestern coach Byron Osborn is enthused about his squad’s progress and how that can help on Saturday.
”They’ve got to come out with confidence, they’ve got to come out and wrestle their style and wrestle right away,” he said. “The biggest thing they’ve learned over the season was to come out with confidence.”
Northwestern faced much of the Oak Hill Sectional field during the regular season, then, like Peru and Maconaquah, reunites with those rivals for the regional.
”We’ve faced the majority of the teams through the whole year but those teams have very talented wrestlers, very tough wrestlers,” Osborn said. “On the one hand, it is tough, but on the other hand my guys already know what to expect. They’ve already seen the kids wrestle before, they can gameplan a little bit about how they want to attack as opposed to going in cold.”
Maconaquah had one sectional champ, 126-pounder Chase Wilson. Peru’s championship contingent from the regional includes Shane Garretson (106), Connor Quin (120), Peyton Sturgill (138), Evan Loe (145), Danny Fisher (170) and Erik Hobbs (220).
”Our approach tournament time is to wrestle absolutely wide open [with] recklessness and abandon, scoring points” said Andy Hobbs, whose squad won the team title at Peru and hasn’t lost in a tournament situation since falling in the first weekend of the season. “We’ve always taken that approach and we’ve always been happy with how we wrestled.”