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  • Val T.

State placers Deming, Brady Beck are RTC Co-Wrestlers of the Year

Zebras place 10 on first team


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Brady Beck Alex Deming


Rochester had another extraordinary wrestling season, winning the Three Rivers Conference, sectional, regional and semistate titles for the second straight year.

They did not have the individual state champion like they did in 2022, but they did have two state placers in Alex Deming and Brady Beck, each of whom finished in seventh place at state at 195 and 220, respectively, and they are our RTC Co-Wrestlers of the Year.

Both are fierce wrestlers from the bottom position. These might be overgeneralizations, but Deming’s style is a little more offensive, and Beck’s style is a little more defensive.

Both are mild-mannered but are churning balls of energy. Both are standout football players. Both are juniors.

They are the current standard bearers for Rochester wrestling culture and what gets people to show up by the hundreds, or even thousands, for a weeknight dual meet.

The following is the list of All-RTC wrestlers. We selected 28 wrestlers, one for the first team and one for honorable mention at each weight class.

Ten of the 14 wrestlers on the first team are from Rochester.

We emphasize conference tournament performance and advancement in the state tournament as top criteria, and we also thank other area coaches for their thoughts and observations.

Having said that, this list is ours and ours alone, and we take full responsibility for it.

Also, we would like to applaud Jadyn Geller and Grace Hiroms, who were state runners-up at 126 and 160, respectively, at the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state finals. State placers Lilly Gerald (98, fourth) and Lucy Rangel (120, fifth) also deserve mention, as do state qualifiers Amber Blackburn (132) and Lilly Watson (145).

Rochester is in on the ground floor of girls wrestling, and we presume that there will be enough participants in the near future for us to make a separate girls list.

First team

  • 106 – Layne Horn (Rochester) – Horn is a freshman who had the mat awareness of a senior. Or he could just overpower you if you would like. He was a state qualifier as a freshman.

  • 113 – Thad Shambaugh (Tippecanoe Valley) – Shambaugh won 24 matches and qualified for regional as a freshman.

  • 120 – Ethan Holloway (Rochester) – Holloway won conference and sectional titles and lost in the ticket round at semistate for the second straight year. A slightly different semistate draw, and he could have made state.

  • 126 – Aaron Swango (Rochester) – Swango was the underdog when he won a regional title in 2022, but he was the favorite this year, and he won his 100th career match and another regional before his season ended one win short of state. Swango had a variety of counters and wrestled with a lot of confidence.

  • 132 – Galvin Shambaugh (Tippecanoe Valley) – Thad’s older brother was a conference runner-up, a sectional runner-up and a semistate qualifier who won 27 matches in his final prep season.

  • 138 – Brandon Sterrett (Pioneer) – This was a close call, but we are giving it to Sterrett, a junior who won 21 matches, led his team to a third-place finish at conference and qualified for the regional. D.J. Basham and Austin Dague were also in consideration.

  • 145 – Eli Guffey (Pioneer) – Guffey is a promising freshman who was conference runner-up and a regional qualifier. He finished with 19 wins.

  • 152 – Greyson Gard (Rochester) – Gard relied on a methodical style where he had success constantly attacking the legs of his opponent. Gard did not make state, and about all of his losses were to kids who did make state.

  • 160 – Brant Beck (Rochester) – Brant Beck was involved in two of the matches of the year when he beat Maconaquah’s Logan Farnell in the Peru sectional final and when he beat Garrett’s Chase Leech in the state ticket round. He lost 14-6 to Crown Point’s Sam Goin in the first round of the state finals, which was by far the toughest test Goin faced on his way to a state title.

  • 170 – Colin Weiand (Rochester) – Weiand was a semistate qualifier while no other area 170-pound wrestler even made regional. Weiand has a high motor and vice grips for hands and is a really good summer away from making state in 2024.

  • 182 – Gavin McKee (Rochester) – McKee’s season was just about miraculous after he suffered a broken leg in a football game against North Miami in October and was in the state ticket round barely four months later.

  • 195 – Alex Deming (Rochester) – How much did Deming improve from last year? He lost to Concord’s Armen Koltookian at semistate last year. This year, he beat Koltookian three times, including the seventh-place match at state.

  • 220 – Brady Beck (Rochester) – Brady Beck is remarkably good on his feet, and it takes an extraordinary wrestler to get a takedown on him. He’s already a two-time state placer and will be among the top-ranked kids next year as well.

  • HWT – Carlos Orduňo (Rochester) – Orduňo, a senior, relied on good fundamentals and never seemed to be off balance. His making semistate was one of the wonderful surprises of the season.

Honorable mention

  • 106 – Jake England (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • 113 – Zyler Baughman (Rochester)

  • 120 – Joseph Lybarger (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • 126 – Owen Falk (Culver)

  • 132 – Joey Spencer (Rochester)

  • 138 – D.J. Basham (Rochester)

  • 145 – Landon Kuykendoll (Culver)

  • 152 – Eli Nicoll (Pioneer)

  • 160 – Noah Van Meter (Pioneer)

  • 170 – Peyton Schnurpel (Pioneer)

  • 182 – Pete DuVall (Caston)

  • 195 – Bazle Owens (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • 220 – Dalton Alber (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • HWT – Lucas Richter (Pioneer)

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