Yorktown powered its way to the team championship Saturday at the Fort Wayne Snider wrestling semistate inside Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers finished with 129 1/2 team points, well ahead of second-place East Noble at 65 1/2.
Yorktown advanced eight wrestlers to next week’s state championship tournament, to be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Four of those Tiger qualifiers will head to state as semistate champions. Cael McCormick (145), Dru Berkebile (152), Dillon Jackson (170) and Myron Howard (195) each won their weight classes Saturday.
“That always helps your cause a little bit if you can finish first or second in your semistate,” Yorktown coach Trent McCormick said. “I was extremely proud of Cael McCormick at 145; he just dominated the field. (He) won in the finals against a very good Elkhart Memorial wrestler, Tony Vaughn, 9-1, a major decision.
“And then probably the other wrestler that comes to mind is freshman Dru Berkebile. He beat an undefeated wrestler (Josh Garman) in the semifinals from Fort Wayne Carroll. He just wrestled solid all day long.”
Other Tigers to qualify for state included Christian Hunt (106, third); Brad Laughlin (138, second); Hunter Hiestand (182, third); and Dax Hiestand (285, fourth).
Yorktown finished third at state as a team last year and second the year before. Trent McCormick said he believes Saturday’s performance puts the Tigers in position to again finish in the top five at state.
“We have eight healthy wrestlers,” Trent McCormick said. “We’ll have a good week of practice and our kids, we went 28-9 (and) there were 50-some schools represented there today. We did very well, our style of wrestling stood strong against some of the very best.”
Delta finished third in the team standings with 59 1/2 points, and the Eagles will be taking three wrestlers to the state tournament. Sage Coy (132) and Jacob Gray (160) each won semistate titles on Saturday. Scottie Evans was the third Eagle to qualify, finishing second in the 195-pound class.
Jay County and Winchester each had one state qualifier advance from the Fort Wayne semistate. The Patriots’ Andy Kohler qualified at 182 pounds by finishing fourth, and the Golden Falcons’ Dustyn Hangen finished fourth at 220 pounds to also advance.
New Castle competed at the semistate it hosted, and the Trojans qualified one wrestler for state. Caleb Hoots finished fourth at 182 pounds to ensure his place in next week’s tournament.