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Grapplers tangle with chance at semis

February 1, 2011

Columbia City 125-pounder Alan Trabert was one of two Eagle wrestlers to advance to Saturday’s Carroll Individual Regional. Trabert will be one of 15 grapplers from Whitley County looking to advance to the semistate level at Allen County’s War Memorial Coliseum. Post & Mail photo / Mark Parker

   The long and whining road to Conseco Fieldhouse takes its second turn for Whitley County wrestlers Saturday.
   With the opening leg of the journey weeding each weight class down to the top four wrestlers, 15 from three schools (Churubusco, Columbia City, Whitko) will appear in the Carroll Individual Regional for a shot at reach the semistate level.
   Each wrestler is looking for his own way to a top four finish that will get him and his school one step away from the state finals.
   Seven from Whitko, six out of Churubusco and two by way of Columbia City know where their day of regional competition will begin with brackets drawn up.
   Across 10 different weight classes, wrestlers from Whitley County will face other finishers from the Carroll and New Haven regionals.
   Whitko will have three sectional champions among those weight classes at 119, 125 and 140 pounds.
   Junior Chas Busz (22-0) goes in as the top seed in the 119 pound division with an unblemish record going up against Woodland’s Austin Hammon (13-9).
   The Wildcats lone senior Jordan Gilbert (33-4) will head up the 125 weight class as a sectional title holder. Gilbert will take on FW Wayne freshman Shaun Johnson (7-12) in the first round.
   Also competing at 125 is one of two Columbia City wrestlers, Alan Trabert (14-19) against Homestead senior Keelan Rushing (29-5).
   City’s other wrestler comes at 112 pounds with Bryce Forrester (22-11) have a tough path through Heritage senior Alex Richman (28-2).
   Whitko sophomore Colton LeTourneau (27-7) has his day start against Snider freshmen Erique Early (28-6).
   The last of Whitko’s champions, Cody Bays (22-10), takes a close sectional final win over Churubusco’s Zach Armstead into the regional where he’ll meet Snider’s Austin Whisler (14-12) in the opener.
   Armstead (29-3) drew a tough first round opponent in FW South Side’s Sean Cooley (28-5).
   All of ’Busco’s weight classes stretch from 130 pounds and up.
   Senior Braxton Siddons (31-1) comes off his first loss at the sectional to face Harding’s Nolan Wilson (27-5).
   Austin Striggle’s runner-up finish at 189 pounds has him going against New Haven’s Casey Paris (23-11).
   Representing the county all by himself at 130 pounds, Churubusco’s Adam Boggess (26-9) takes on Woodland’s Hayden Parisot (24-9).
   Other class match-ups for the county include: 145 pounds — Jason Nicodemus (CH) vs K.C. Corey (SN), Ian Pherigo (WK) vs Levy Francois (NH); 152 — Brandon Wormcastle (CH) vs Zack Zurbrugg (NH); 171 — Brian Richardson (CH) vs Jeremy Salmon (WL); 285 — Ben Hinora (WK) vs Vernie Starks (SS).

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