For most teams, Saturday marks the end of the Indiana high school wrestling season. The regular season that is.
Conference meets serve as the last big competition before the Jan. 29 sectional round.
All three Whitley County wrestling squads head out looking for both team and individual conference glory.
A young Columbia City squad continues its rebuilding year under first-year head coach Blain Culp. The Eagles travel to Carroll High School for the Northeast Hoosier Conference meet.
Junior Bryce Forrester leads Columbia City in seeding with an 18-6 record in the 112 pound class.
Forrester starts on the top half of the bracket against Homestead’s Brett Luithly (12-14) — who Forrester beat earlier in the season in a quad-meet at Homestead.
Four other Eagles bolster 11 wins on the season. Those wrestlers come at 140 pounds or under.
Freshman Michael Wright (11-13) does so at the smallest weight class of 103 pounds. Wright faces a tough first round task in Homestead’s Andrew Bowman (26-1).
Fellow freshman Trey Hinen (11-14) takes on Tyler Smith of Carroll (6-1) for the first round of the 119 pound class.
Other notable first round match-ups for Columbia City include: 189 — Nathan Strange (CC) vs Joe Quinn (NH); 130 — Joe McCullough (CC) vs Dane Reid (HO).
A Whitko team plagued with injury and absent wrestlers heads into the Three Rivers Conference meet at Northfield High School Saturday with hopes of its ninth consecutive championship.
After a home meet Tuesday, Wildcats head coach Frank Bumgardner indicated a healthier Whitko team Saturday.
“We are hoping that things will come together for us at the conference meet,” Bumgardner said. “We haven’t been healthy all year long, and this may be the best team health-wise that we have had all year if everything goes according to plan.”
Lone senior Jordan Gilbert will lead the way for Whitko at 125 pounds. Gilbert comes off a individual title at the Goshen Invitational Saturday where he pinned his way to a title.
Other notable wrestlers for Whitko: 140 — Cody Bays; 152 — Josh Busenbark; 285 — Ben Hinora.
Churubusco takes US 33 north to Fairfield High School for the North East Corner Conference championships.
The Eagle hopes run high behind its two seniors.
Braxton Siddons (23-0) remains perfect atop the 189 pound weight class. Siddons takes the No. 1 seed into Saturday’s competition where he receives a first round forfeit before facing Lakeland’s Nick Meek (4-12).
Churubusco’s other No. 1 seeded senior Zack Armstead (23-2) takes a first round bye up against Central Noble’s Reid Miller (4-6) in the second round.
’Busco had eight other wrestlers entering Saturday with winning records.
Junior Adam Boggess (20-7) grabbed the No. 2 seed at 130 pounds where he’ll face Lakeland’s Tyler Vaillancourt (4-16) in the first round.
In three consecutive weight divisions, Churubusco holds 16 wins.
Sophomore Jason Nicodemus (16-5) drew a first round bye in the 152 pound class before going up against Fremont’s Brady Elliott (15-17).
The 160-pound younger Sam Siddons (16-3) earns a first round bye before taking on Eastside’s Matt Frisby (12-12).
Notable second round bouts for ’Busco: 125 — Austin Boggess (CH) vs Matt Neeley (PH); 171 — Brian Richardson (CH) vs Gabe Crowder (ES); 215 — Eric Kuznar (CH) vs Dylan Miller (WV).