• Val T.

Beck applies ‘Wyatt out’ to opponent, leads group of 6 Zebras to semistate

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

BUNKER HILL –- A little patience from Brady Beck made all the difference.

The Rochester freshman won the 220-pound title at the Maconaquah wrestling regional Saturday and was among six Zebras to qualify for semistate.

Sophomore Ethan Holloway (113) and junior Marshall Fishback (HWT) finished second in their weight classes. Sophomore Greyson Gard (145) and senior Wade Shafer (152) finished third, and senior Noah Swango (160) took fourth.

Western won the team regional title with 123 points. Rochester, the Three Rivers Conference and sectional champions, finished fourth in the 18-team field with 85 points.

Beck won his final by fall in 4:57 over Wabash’s Chad Wyatt Jr. Wyatt had beaten Beck by decision in the sectional final one week earlier. That loss was just the second of the season for Beck.

After the sectional, RHS coach Clint Gard said Beck gave Wyatt too much respect. This time, he took a more patient approach.

“He sure seemed like he wanted to have that one again,” coach Gard said. “He wrestled much, much better this time around. He stuck to our game plan this time around, which was to try to weather the storm, stay tough, stay on him, stay in his face, make him work, get him a little tired, get him frustrated. And that’s exactly what happened. If (Wyatt) can’t bully you around, he gets really frustrated, and it worked in our favor. Brady just did a great job of holding position and staying in really good areas that he is strong in, and it just really, really frustrated him and got the kid tired.”

Beck earned a semistate ticket by beating Oak Hill’s Kasey Smith 11-3. He then pinned another conference rival, Manchester’s Gavin Mize in just 52 seconds in the semifinals.

Beck is the first RHS freshman to win a regional since Garrett James in 2005. He started wrestling in kindergarten and won the School-Boy title at 250 at last year’s Indy Nationals.

“I don’t know if wrestling comes easy for him,” coach Gard said. “He’s had to work really hard to get where he’s at. He’s had success later on, but he’s had some years where he struggled, especially when he was in our elementary program and middle school when he wrestled at middle school state and wrestling some kids down at folkstyle state, at ISWA tournaments, folkstyle state, freestyle state, those kinds of things. He’s been wrestling since he was five or six years old. I don’t know that it comes easy for him, but he works really hard at it, so that maybe looks like it does, being a freshman and having that success.

“But he’s had to put in a lot of time and a lot of wrestling and a lot of tournaments and a lot of practice. And maybe from the outside looking in, maybe it looks like it comes easy to him, but he’s had to work for it, that’s for sure.”

Holloway lost for the third consecutive Saturday to nemesis Jared Brooks of Wabash in the final. Holloway got the first takedown against Brooks to lead 2-0 before Brooks got a reversal and a near fall to go ahead 5-2 before finally winning by fall in 1:47.

Holloway grabbed the back of his head when the match ended. A trainer assisted him off the mat.

Holloway had earlier pinned Oak Hill’s Peytonn Bowland in 2:34 to clinch his semistate spot before using a double chicken wing move to pin Western senior Anthony Martin in 5:28 in the semifinals.

Holloway is 29-3 with all three losses coming to Brooks.

“Our biggest thing was not to let Brooks get going early and again, it’s kind of a weather-the-storm type thing,” coach Gard said. “Brooks made a mistake. We caught him in a whip-over. We had him, and when Ethan got him to the mat and really had him planted pretty good … I thought this is tight. This is probably going to be the match.

“And then, if I remember right, Ethan kind of stepped over the body and got parallel with him, and really he needed to stay perpendicular in that scenario. And Brooks has got a heck of a bridge, and he’s a tough kid, and he’s not going to go easy, and he ended up reversing Ethan and had Ethan on his back. And you know, Ethan, being tough, was able to fight off, and I think it was a 5-2 match at that point. And then we stood up in a potentially dangerous position. The referee probably should have stopped it. Didn’t stop it. And then Brooks took Ethan back down to the mat, and Ethan didn’t have a way to protect himself and kind of bounced his head off the mat. … He just kind of rang his bell a little bit, and he gave up a fall.”

Fishback was involved in a scoreless ticket match with Eastern sophomore Tyler Wright before catching Wright and pinning him in 3:47. He then beat Marion’s Greg Johnson 3-2 in a match that consisted primarily of hand-fighting and wrist control.

In the final, top-ranked Brayden Erb of Western pinned him in 2:28. The loss was Fishback’s first in 30 matches this year.

Coach Gard said Fishback wrestled better against Johnson than he did against Wright. Erb, however, is a different story.

“We’re talking about different levels there,” coach Gard said. “And I told Marshall this. We’re not ready to beat him yet, and we’re not ready to beat him this year. He’s at a different level than we are and probably at a different level than 99 percent of the heavyweights in Indiana, which is why he’s ranked number one right now. We need to get more athletic. We need to get bigger and stronger. We need to move our feet more. You’re not going to do that in two weeks or one week.”

Greyson Gard took on Oak Hill senior Tyler Miller in the ticket round. Coincidentally, Greyson Gard was the third different RHS wrestler he’s seen at the regional in four years. In 2018, he lost to Justin Risten in the ticket round, and in 2020, he edged Wade Shafer 5-4 in the semifinals.

This time, Greyson Gard got a second period reversal in a tightly competitive match and won 2-0 to secure his semistate ticket. In the semifinals, Eastern (Greentown) senior Luke Hetzner secured a cradle and won by fall over Greyson Gard in 1:20.

Gard then recovered to beat Kokomo’s Myles Lenoir 8-2 in the third-place match.

Shafer won by fall in 5:57 over Northwestern’s Bodey Henry to earn his second straight semistate ticket. He never allowed a takedown and eventually finished off Henry after Henry needed several minutes of injury time.

Shafer then lost by fall in 2:54 to Oak Hill’s Aidan Hardcastle, a 2020 state qualifier who is currently ranked No. 11, before rebounding to stick Western’s Jackson Hartsough in 2:24 in the third-place match.

Just as in his regional ticket match, Swango gave up the first takedown in his semistate ticket match. But Swango got two escapes and a takedown and led 5-2. He turned Hernandez and got a three-point near fall to complete an 8-2 win.

Swango then lost 3-2 to Wabash’s Grant Carandante in the semifinals and by fall to Eastern’s Bryce Buckley in the third-place match.

Rochester wrestlers losing their ticket matches included freshman Joey Spencer (120), who lost by fall in 3:28 to Oak Hill senior Julian Perez; sophomore Aaron Swango (126), who lost 6-0 to Western’s Justin Brantley; junior Kaleb Shaffer (170), who lost a physical 7-3 decision to Kokomo’s Kymani Howard; freshman Alex Deming (182), who scored four escapes but no takedowns in a 9-4 loss to Oak Hill’s Jett Thompson; and sophomore Eli Swango, who lost by fall in 1:43 to eventual champion Chad Washburn from Kokomo.

The top four in each weight class earned a trip to semistate, which the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne will host at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

MACONAQUAH WRESTLING REGIONAL RESULTS: Western 123, Wabash 103, Oak Hill 102.5, Rochester 85, Eastern (Greentown) 73, Peru 68, Kokomo 66, Manchester 52, Marion 45, Maconaquah 35, Northfield 25, North Miami 18, Lewis Cass 13, Eastbrook 0, Mississinewa 0, Northwestern 0, Southwood 0, Taylor 0

ROCHESTER RESULTS

113 – Ethan Holloway – second

def. Bowland (Oak Hill), fall, 2:34

def. Martin (Western), fall, 5:28

lost to Brooks (Wabash), fall, 1:47

120 – Joey Spencer – DNP

lost to Perez (Oak Hill), fall, 3:28

126 – Aaron Swango – DNP

lost to Brantley (Western), 6-0

145 – Greyson Gard – third

def. Miller (Oak Hill), 2-0

lost to Hetzner (Eastern (Greentown)), fall, 1:20

def. Lenoir (Kokomo), 8-2

152 – Wade Shafer – third

def. Henry (Northwestern), fall, 5:57

lost to Hardcastle (Oak Hill), fall, 2:54

def. Hartsough (Western), fall, 2:24

160 – Noah Swango – fourth

def. Hernandez (Oak Hill), 8-2

lost to Carandante (Wabash), 3-2

lost to Buckley (Eastern (Greentown)), fall, 0:41

170 – Kaleb Shaffer – DNP

lost to Howard (Kokomo), 7-3

182 – Alex Deming – DNP

lost to Thompson (Oak Hill), 9-4

195 – Eli Swango – DNP

lost to Washburn (Kokomo), fall, 1:43

MACONAQUAH REGIONAL INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS

106 – Tanner Tishner (Western), 113 – Jared Brooks (Wabash), 120 – Aidan Belt (Western), 126 – Ethan Higgins (Wabash), 132 – Dylan Stroud (Manchester), 138 – Brody Arthuir (Oak Hill), 145 – Hayden Shepherd (Western), 152 – Aidan Hardcastle (Oak Hill), 160 – Logan Farnell (Maconaquah), 170 – Brodie Porter (Eastern (Greentown)), 182 – Jett Thompson (Oak Hill), 195 – Chad Washburn (Kokomo), 220 – Brady Beck (Rochester), HWT – Brayden Erb (Western)

ROCHESTER FIRST-ROUND SEMISTATE MATCHES

113 – Ethan Holloway vs. Gabe Miller (Lakeland)

Potential ticket match: Hayden Brady (Garrett), ranked No. 5

145 – Greyson Gard vs. Garrett Manley (Bellmont)

Potential ticket match: Elijah Chacon (New Haven), ranked No. 5

152 – Wade Shafer vs. Jonah Jones (Monroe Central)

Potential ticket match: Brenden Stockman (Concord)

160 – Noah Swango vs. Eli Hilger (Fort Wayne Dwenger)

Potential ticket match: Kaden Lone (NorthWood)

(NOTE: Hilger is ranked No. 16. Lone is ranked No. 18)

220 – Brady Beck vs. Kyler Bills (Carroll (Fort Wayne)

Potential ticket match: Coy Brames (Angola)

(NOTE: Bills is ranked No. 13.)

HWT – Marshall Fishback vs. Blake Herr (NorthWood)

Potential ticket match: Reece Muncie (Carroll (Fort Wayne))

(NOTE: Herr is ranked No. 20. Muncie is ranked No. 2.)


Rochester Wrestlers Brady Beck (L) Ethan Holloway (C) Marshall Fishback (R)

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