Floyd Central won four weight divisions and sent 12 wrestlers on to the regional as the Highlanders repeated their Sectional 30 title Saturday afternoon at Jeffersonville High School.
Floyd Central totaled 233.5 points. Jeffersonville was a close second with 224.5, and New Albany was third with 190. With the top four finishers in each weight class advancing, all three schools will have a nice presence at next Saturday’s regional at Jeffersonville, starting at 9:30 a.m.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure,” said Floyd Central coach Brandon Sisson, a former Highlanders wrestler. “You want to keep the tradition going.”
That tradition includes 26 sectional titles and 102 individual winners. Floyd Central hit the century mark when Austin Ward won the 132-pound class early in the championship round.
Little New Washington showed up big with three division titles and five regional qualifiers.
“This is the first time in New Washington history,” coach Jeremy Campbell said of the three division champs. “We’re tiny, we’re the little guys. We’ve been trying to build the program for years, and it’s the kids, it’s their work ethic.”
New Washington, which has fewer than 300 students, had just one fewer individual champion than Floyd Central, which has more than 1,500 students.
“New Washington has been doing good things,” Sisson said.
A small wrestler from the small school got the championship round off to a big start, as Noah Franklin won an 8-4 decision over Corydon’s top-seeded Mason Kaufer at 106 pounds.
Though just a freshman in his first year of high school competition, Franklin (35-2) has been around awhile.
“I’ve been wrestling since kindergarten,” he said, pointing to “technique, speed and strength” as the keys to his success.
Floyd Central got things rolling when top-seeded Jarrod Cunningham scored an 8-3 decision over Jeffersonville’s Steven Jones to win the 113 title. Cunningham (24-5), also a freshman, led 4-0 after two periods and held off a comeback attempt by Jones.
“I wanted to protect my lead,” Cunningham said of the two-minute third period, “but if I stalled he’d take the offense and try to take me down, so I had to keep working.”
Corydon’s Bailey Lahue had one of the day’s most impressive efforts. His pin of Floyd Central’s Sean Brown came just 52 seconds into the 120-pound championship match.
“I just wanted to get in there and get it done,” said Lahue, ranked second in the state. “I was just really confident and relaxed.”
Ward, the top seed at 132, pinned New Albany’s Bryce Peavler at the 2:30 mark.
“It was just a move that happened,” Ward said of the pin. “I felt confident, but it was a tough match.”
Floyd Central also got division titles from 152-pounder Cory Troutman, who pinned New Albany’s Tre Lynch at 1:08, and 170-pounder Chase Herron. Both winners were top seeds. Herron, the winner last year at 160, moved up a class and beat Charlestown’s Zach Higdon.
Charlestown’s two top seeds also delivered. Bryant Haynes won 11-6 over Jeff’s Joseph Deleon at 126. Josh Hurley made short work of New Albany’s Patrick Landrum at 220, pinning him 38 seconds into the match.
“I just figured out what he wanted to do,” Hurley said of Landrum. “Then take him down, pin him and get it over with.”
New Washington scored two pins for division titles: Yancey Crase at 138 and Jacob Franklin, the team’s only No. 1 seed, at 160.
Jeffersonville was led by division champions in the higher weight classes. Top seed Darion Newbolt won at 195 with a 10-4 decision over New Albany’s Dalton Mowery. Gavan Jolley-Little, the big guy from the big school, closed out the title matches with an overpowering performance. His pin of Charletown’s Christian Davenport at the 1:22 mark put Jolley-Little, ranked No. 7 in the state, in a good position for the regional.
“All the way you want to place as high as you can,” he said. “Winning sectional gives you an easier track.”