Fishback’s OT win leads Rochester to first semistate title in school history
Davis, Deming, Beck also qualify for state
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Capped off by senior Marshall Fishback’s heavyweight title in sudden-victory overtime, the Rochester wrestling team won its first semistate title in school history at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne Saturday.
Rochester won with 82.5 points. Runner-up Adams Central had 80 points.
The semistate title comes one week after Rochester won their first regional title in school history. The Zebras also captured the Three Rivers Conference title at Maconaquah on Jan. 22 and the Peru sectional title on Jan. 29.
Fishback, a 285-pound senior, was one of four Rochester individual state qualifiers. Wyatt Davis, who was second at 113; Alex Deming, who was second at 195; and Brady Beck, who was second at 220, also advanced.
Four other Rochester wrestlers competed at semistate. Ethan Holloway (120), Aaron Swango (126) and Greyson Gard (152) all won their first-round matches before losing in the second, or “ticket,” round. Kaleb Shaffer (182) lost in the first round.
Fishback began his day with a 9-0 win over Bellmont’s Dalton Robinson. He then clinched a state spot with a 5-1 win over Heritage’s Parker Hennessey. His semifinal and final matches both went to overtime. He beat Elkhart’s Brayden Jellison for the third time this season 3-1 before beating Columbia City’s Ian Clifford 6-4 in overtime.
Clifford had won all eight of his state tournament matches – two sectional matches, three regional matches and three matches earlier Saturday – by fall before facing Fishback.
Fishback’s overtime takedown, which came shortly after a stalemate, triggered a celebration on the Rochester bench. Fishback is Rochester’s first individual semistate champion since they were re-routed to the Fort Wayne semistate prior to the 2017-18 school year.
Davis sacked Columbia City’s Jayden English in 1:26 in his first-round match and then defeated Jay County sophomore Cody Rowles, who had lost only once all season going into the semistate, 8-4 in the ticket round.
Davis then pinned Cowan’s Bowen Keith in 28 seconds in the semifinals before losing 6-2 to Western’s Tanner Tishner in the finals.
Davis is 27-4 on the season with all four losses to Tishner, who is ranked No. 5 and 37-0 on the season.
Deming, a sophomore competing in his first semistate, edged Fort Wayne Luers’ Mickey Daring 4-3 in the first round and Bellmont’s Henry Kukelhan 8-5 in the ticket round. A 4-2 win over Fremont’s Jacob Behm earned him a spot in the finals.
There, he lost 3-1 to Concord’s Armen Koltookian. Deming, a regional qualifier at 182 as a freshman in 2021, will take a 41-2 record to the state finals.
Beck started his day with a 19-4 win over Prairie Heights’ Hunter Allen, winning by technical fall in 5:36. The win was Beck’s second over Allen this season as he also beat him at the team state duals at Martinsville on Jan. 8.
Beck then topped Carroll (Fort Wayne) junior Dylan Bennett 4-2 to claim his state spot before beating Fort Wayne Concordia junior Chance Harris 5-2 in the semifinals. He then lost 10-4 to Adams Central’s Blake Heyerley in the final.
Beck will carry a 40-2 record to state. His other loss was to Penn’s Juan Grange, who was the runner-up at the East Chicago semistate Saturday.
Holloway pinned DeKalb’s Mason Chase in 1:49 in the first round before dropping a 10-8 decision to Delta’s Neal Mosier in the ticket round. Holloway finished the season 39-1.
Swango topped Angola’s Isaiah McCue 8-7 in the first round before losing by fall in 53 seconds to Adams Central junior Gavin Cook in the ticket round. Swango finished 33-8 after winning his first career conference, sectional and regional titles.
Gard beat Elkhart’s Cam Freedline 3-0 in the first round before a loss by fall to Adams Central’s undefeated Alex Currie in 1:48 in the ticket round.
Shaffer, a senior making his first semistate appearance, lost 3-2 in overtime to Goshen’s Jonathan Flores in the first round.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualified for the state finals.
Fort Wayne semistate results: Rochester 82.5, Adams Central 80, Delta 67.5, Western 59, Belmont 54, Jay County 52.5, New Haven 45, Garrett 43, Cowan 39, Columbia City 34, East Noble 33.5, Peru 33, Lakeland 32, Bluffton 30.5, Maconaquah 29.5, Daleville 29, Kokomo 29, Manchester 28, Fort Wayne Snider 27.5, Eastern (Greentown) 27, Carroll (Fort Wayne) 25, Jimtown 24, NorthWood 24, Concord 22, Norwell 19, Fremont 17, Monroe Central 16, Elkhart 15, Oak Hill 15, Fort Wayne Concordia 11, Northridge 11, Fort Wayne Dwenger 10, Fort Wayne Northrop 10, Goshen 6, Prairie Heights 6, Angola 4, Central Noble 4, Heritage 4, Homestead 4, Muncie Central 4, Northfield 4, Wabash 4, DeKalb 2, Eastside 2, Huntington North 2
Fort Wayne semistate individual champions
106 – Jalen May (Peru), 113 – Tanner Tishner (Western), 120 – Isaac Ruble (Bellmont), 126 – Aidan Sprague (East Noble), 132 – Dylan Stroud (Manchester), 138 – Cameron Clark (Jay County), 145 – Tony Abbott (Cowan), 152 – Mitchell Betz (Western), 160 – Logan Farnell (Maconaquah), 170 – Brodie Porter (Eastern (Greentown)), 182 – De’Alcapon Veazy (Fort Wayne Snider), 195 – Armen Koltookian (Concord), 220 – Blake Heyerley (Adams Central), HWT – Marshall Fishback (Rochester)
Rochester individual results
113 – Wyatt Davis – second, 120 – Ethan Holloway – DNP, 126 – Aaron Swango – DNP, 152 – Greyson Gard – DNP, 182 – Kaleb Shaffer – DNP, 195 – Alex Deming – second, 220 – Brady Beck – second, HWT – Marshall Fishback – champion
Rochester state qualifiers and first-round state matches
113 – Wyatt Davis vs. Jackson Heaston (Indian Creek)
195 – Alex Deming vs. Wyatt Willman (North Posey)
220 – Brady Beck vs. Justin Lewis (Roncalli)
HWT – Marshall Fishback vs. Hunter Branham (Frankton)
Marshall Fishback Brady Beck Alex Deming