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  • Val T.

Rochester wrestling bounces back after loss, wins Plymouth Super Duals

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Brady Beck

PLYMOUTH — The Rochester wrestling team went 4-1 to win the Bob Read Classic Super Duals at Plymouth High School Saturday.

Rochester went 2-1 in pool play and 2-0 in the place rounds.

In pool play, they defeated Goshen 42-34 and Mishawaka 48-30 before losing to Plymouth 39-37. Rochester, Mishawaka and Plymouth finished in a three-way tie for the best record in the pool, but Rochester was declared the winner because they had the most total match wins.

The Zebras then routed Harrison (West Lafayette) 64-18 and Fort Wayne Dwenger 57-18 to end their day.

Rochester, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A per the coaches association polls, won the tournament despite forfeiting both the


Declan Gard

120 and 132-pound weight classes.

“We learned that we got to get a lot

better in some weight classes – 113, 144, 138, got to get better there,” Rochester coach Clint Gard said. “At 120 and 132, we’ve got to get a wrestler in those weights. We can’t forfeit two weights and be able to compete in our sectional, so we’ve got to get better there. In some weights, we’ve got to handle adversity a little bit better. … But I learned we’re not real far off.”

This was Rochester’s first year in the tournament. Facing off against Plymouth, who will host the sectional in which Rochester competes on Jan. 27, and Mishawaka, who Rochester could see at the Penn regional on Feb. 3, was the allure of participating.

Ironically, the most impressive match win for the Zebras might have occurred at heavyweight in the dual against Plymouth when Brady Beck edged Anthony Popi 3-2.

Beck is ranked No. 2 in the state, and Popi is ranked No. 6. Beck and Popi both have experience wrestling in the state finals.

Gard complimented Plymouth’s team, saying they “have a ton of seniors” and are “well-coached.” But he also said Popi did little offensively to bother Beck.

“I thought he wrestled well,” Gard said. “Popi didn’t do a whole lot. He took one shot the whole match, and I think that was with two seconds left on the clock. We scored the only offensive point. I thought we wrestled pretty well. We pushed the pace. We were taking all the shots and creating the action. I thought he wrestled well. Could he wrestle better? Absolutely, and I know Brady. He’ll watch that video multiple times, but Popi’s going to have to be a lot more offensive if he’s going to beat Brady. … It’s going to be hard to keep him off your legs for six minutes.”

In the dual against Goshen, Grant Holloway (106), Layne Horn (126), Wyatt Davis (150), Brant Beck (165), Alex Deming (215) and Brady Beck (HWT) won by fall. D.J. Basham (138) and Colin Weiand (190) won by decision.

In the win over Mishawaka, Holloway, Horn, Basham, Davis, Weiand, Deming and Brady Beck won by fall. Brant Beck (165) and Declan Gard (175) won by decision.

In addition to Brady Beck’s decision over Popi, other Rochester winners against Plymouth included Horn, who won by fall in 1:10; Ethan Amezquita (157), who won by fall in 5:34; Brant Beck, who won by fall in 1:46; Weiand, who won by fall in 30 seconds; Deming, who won by fall in 1:53; and Declan Gard, who won by major decision.

But Rochester went 1-5 in six contested matches between 106 and 150. Throw in the two forfeit losses at 120 and 132, and Plymouth pulled out the win.

Then the tiebreaker was invoked, and Rochester was seeded No. 1, Mishawaka No. 2 and Plymouth No. 3.

The Harrison match was a series of lightning strikes as Holloway, Horn, Basham, Maison Ramsey (144), Kale Shotts (150), Amezquita and Brant Beck all won by first-period fall. Weiand won on a fall in the second period.

Also, Gard won by major decision, and Deming and Brady Beck won by forfeit.

The highlight against Fort Wayne Dwenger might have been Brady Beck’s 13-second fall at heavyweight immediately followed by Grant Holloway’s 12-second fall at 106.

Other Rochester winners by fall included Horn, Basham, Ramsey, Weiand and Deming. Brant Beck won by technical fall, Gard won by major decision, and Reed Perry (113) won on a forfeit.

Horn might have been especially impressive. He won all five of his matches by fall in the first period.

“I needed it quite a bit,” Horn said when asked how much he needed the mat time. “I wrestled quite a bit on the mat during the summer. … I was practicing twice a day three or four times a week. … I went to (former NCAA champion) Andrew Howe’s place over by Hanover Central, so that was good. … It’s hard drilling. A lot of live (wrestling) but a lot of hard drilling mostly.”

Both Shotts and Davis saw time at 150. Shotts is a freshman while Davis was a state qualifier at 113 in 2022.

“It’s not problematic in that we’ve got two fairly solid kids there,” coach Gard said. “If we had to choose or have a wrestle-off, I think Wyatt’s probably the better 150-pounder. I thought one of them would be at 144. If we’ve got one of those guys at 144, it makes our team much,. much better. And that’s not a knock on Maison. Maison would agree with me.”

Rochester team results

Rochester 42, Goshen 34

Rochester 48, Mishawaka 30

Plymouth 39, Rochester 37

Rochester 64, Harrison (West Lafayette) 18

Rochester 57, Fort Wayne Dwenger 18

Rochester individual results

106 – Grant Holloway (4-1, 4 falls), 113 – Reed Perry (0-4), 120 – forfeit, 126 – Layne Horn (5-0, 5 falls), 132 – forfeit, 138 – D.J. Basham (4-1, 3 falls), 144 – Maison Ramsey (2-3, 2 falls), 150 – Wyatt Davis (2-1, 2 falls), 150 – Kale Shotts (1-1, 1 fall), 157 – Ethan Amezquita (2-3, 2 falls), 165 – Brant Beck (5-0, 3 falls), 175 – Declan Gard (4-1), 190 – Colin Weiand (5-0, 4 falls), 215 – Alex Deming (4-0, 4 falls), HWT – Brady Beck (4-0, 3 falls)



Gerald’s pin, Brady Beck’s win over Hillman-Conley highlight Rochester win over Peru


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

PERU — They saved the big men for last at the wrestling dual between Rochester and host Peru Wednesday.

But if the heavyweight match between Rochester’s Brady Beck and Peru’s Trevi Hillman-Conley was the main event, then Rochester’s Lilly Gerald highlighted the undercard.

Regardless, just about all of it went the Zebras’ way.

Beck won a 12-1 major decision over Hillman-Conley to close the night in the battle of top 20 285-pounders.

Gerald, ranked No. 3 in the girls state rankings at 100 pounds by IndianaMat.com, started the night by winning her first match of the season against a boy.

She bullied Holden Burkholder around the mat, getting three takedowns and a near-fall before finally pinning Burkholder with a crossface cradle in 1:02 for a win at 106.

Gerald was wrestling in place of freshman Grant Holloway, who was out with a knee injury.

“I know it wasn’t my best match ever, but I was happy to get out there and get a match tonight,” Gerald said. “And I was happy that I could do it on the boys varsity squad. … I was told yesterday that I might do it, but I wasn’t sure. … It’s nothing new. I did it all middle school.”

Other Rochester winners by fall included Reed Perry (113), Layne Horn (126), D.J. Basham (138), Wyatt Davis (150), Ethan Amezquita (157), Brant Beck (165), Declan Gard (175), Colin Weiand (190) and Alex Deming (215).

Maison Ramsey won by technical fall at 144. 

Brady Beck got a takedown and a near-fall to take a 4-0 lead. He gave up an escape but worked his way around Hillman-Conley for another takedown to make it 6-1.

Another takedown and more back points in the second period made it 10-1.

Brady Beck recovered from being inadvertently poked in the eye to get another takedown in the third period.

Brady Beck has made the move to heavyweight after finishing seventh in the state at 220 last year. He is currently ranked No. 2. Hillman-Conley is a semistate qualifier from last year who is currently ranked No. 18.

“Brady knows a lot of wrestling,” Rochester coach Clint Gard said. “He’s a great hand fighter. … Brady just doesn’t wrestle like a typical heavyweight. I think he got in on Trevi’s

ankles a couple times, and I’m sure that doesn’t happen very often in practice. Brady’s going to be hard one for anybody to handle. I would have liked to have seen Brady push a little harder and score some more points, but at the same time, that other kid has something to say about that, maybe when he’s not looking to score points. If Trevi opens up against us, I imagine the score will be a lot higher.”

Perry trailed T.J. Raber 4-2 in the second period when he turned him and pinned him in 2:42.

Horn dominated Ethan Wideman before pinning him in 55 seconds. Basham had two takedowns and a near-fall against Xavier Higginbotham before pinning him in 1:18.

Ramsey got an early takedown off a counter before cradling Hayden Oldaker to earn three near-fall points. He added two more takedowns and three more near-falls before it was stopped at the 5:12 mark with Ramsey ahead 16-0.

“Getting better every match,” coach Gard said of Ramsey. “We saw some big improvement on Saturday (at Plymouth) and wrestled really well tonight and did some nice stuff. I feel like if he continues to make improvement every single time we go out, then by the end of the year, we’re going to have a nice 144-pounder. I’m really happy. His attitude’s great. He’s probably too hard on himself at times. He wants it to come too fast, but he’s doing a nice job for us. I’m really happy for him.”

Davis handled Isaiah Korba with a side headlock and eventually stuck him in exactly one minute.

Amezquita yielded the first takedown and later gave up a reversal in the first period, but he still led 6-4 after one period. In the second period, he got a takedown to go up 8-4 before pinning Ian Black in 2:35.

Amezquita said he cut weight from last year – he wrestled at 170 last year – when coaches told him that the spot at 157 would be available. He said he weighed 181 at the start of the season but lost the weight through wrestling in practice.

He said he has been working on his “mindset” and that he has been doing some “soul searching.”

“It was just something I felt,” Amezquita said of his finishing move on Black. “You just get it, you know. He was digging inside, and I felt it was there. I mean, I had a couple different moves I could have done. Coaches are telling me I still have got a little bit to work on, but I felt it, I threw it, it was there.”

Brant Beck was unyielding against Triston Williamson – five takedowns and a pinning combination, all in 49 seconds.

Gard had four takedowns and was awarded back points on three separate occasions in the first period against Bairon Muñoz to take a 14-3 lead. He finally pinned Muñoz 25 seconds into the second period after another takedown.

Weiand, who made the move up from 170 last year, was leading Evan Hanaway 9-0 in the second period before sticking him in 3:36.

Coach Gard said Weiand had to lose significant weight after football season ended to get to 190.

“I feel like his weight is starting to get under control a little bit,” coach Gard said. “I think with that comes more confidence in his wrestling out there on the mat. It’s coming. He’s putting together some more consistent practices. His weight is not the issue it was a week-and-a-half, two weeks ago. So I feel like we’re starting to get to that point where he was at the end of last season.”

Deming got three takedowns and a near-fall before ending freshman Kole Atkins’ night in 1:29.

In girls exhibition matches prior to the boys dual, Rochester’s Amber Blackburn (130), Lexi Haughs (140) and Laine Peppler (155) all won by first-period fall over their respective Peru opponents.


Despite 4 forfeits, Rochester still takes 2nd at Elkhart tourney


Horn, Brant Beck, Gard, Deming, Brady Beck win weight class titles


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Rochester scored 353 points and finished second out of eight teams at the Bill Nicholson Invitational at Elkhart High School Saturday.

Penn won with 448 points.

Rochester was able to place second even though they ranked seventh in enrollment of the participating schools and even though they forfeited four weight classes (106, 113, 120, 144).

Individual weight class champions included Layne Horn (126), Brant Beck (165), Declan Gard (175), Alex Deming (215) and Brant Beck (HWT).

Horn won all four of his matches by fall and needed only 2:45 of mat time. Deming won all five of his matches by fall, four of which occurred in the first period.

Brant Beck had two falls, a technical fall and a 12-3 major decision win over Penn’s Leonardo Santiago in the final.

Gard had three falls before finishing with a 5-2 win over Fairfield’s Ryan Noel in the final.

Brady Beck won three of his four matches by fall while also surviving a 3-1 win over Elkhart’s C.D. McFee in the quarterfinals.

Horn, Brant Beck, Deming and Brady Beck all maintain undefeated season records going into tonight’s meet at Triton.

Other Rochester placers included Wyatt Davis, who was second at 150, Ethan Amezquita, who was third at 157; Colin Weiand, who was third at 190; D.J. Basham, who was fifth at 138; and Brantlyn Brady, who was sixth at 132.

Rochester travels to Triton for a dual at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The Zebras will host the Rochester John McKee Memorial Invitational at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.


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