CROWN POINT | You've got to give Charlie Mavros credit. He displayed courage and earned a ton of respect at Saturday's Crown Point Sectional. Even though he did not win a sectional championship.
When the Hanover Central senior has a tough day, or week, or year, later in life, expect Mavros to face the challenge head on. He is not going to run away from anything.
Mavros wrestled this season at 152 pounds, went 28-0 and was ranked No. 8 in the state. So what did he decide to do for the postseason? Some might say the unthinkable.
He dropped down to 145, the home of Crown Point's Jason Tsirtsis, who is one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet. But why?
"My goal is to beat the best," Mavros said. "I'll see him again and again and hopefully again."
Tsirtsis beat Mavros by technical fall, but the top four placers in each weight class advance to next Saturday's regional at C.P.
"Last year I wrestled him four times, and he pinned me four times," Mavros said. "He didn't pin me today."
Crown Point won the team title, the Bulldogs' 10th in a row, with a score of 274.5, which topped second-place Lowell's score of 230.5. C.P. got 13 wrestlers out of the sectional round.
The Bulldogs had seven sectional champions and hope to take the positive mojo into Wednesday Portage Team Regional.
There was one scare for C.P. The 'Dogs' 132-pounder Cameron Halsted injured his shoulder in his championship match against Alex Marvos. The match was stopped.
"We're very concerned," C.P. coach Scott Vlink said. "But this time of year, everyone's dinged up. You've got to strap it on and get after it. Our focus today was to get as many kids out as possible. Now, we'll get ready for Merrillville. We'll go over there and see what happens.
"Our guys wrestled well. We'll try to carry that over to next week."
The individual winners were Hanover Central's Stevan Micic (106), Crown Point's Darden Schurg (113), Hanover's Paul Petrov (120), C.P.'s Trevor Burlison (126), Lowell's Alex Marvos (132), Lowell's Mitch Roadruck (138), Tsirtsis (145), C.P.'s Jake Fuqua (152), C.P.'s Dusty Schurg (160), Lowell's Jeremy Crocker (170), C.P.'s Morgan Kral (182), Valparaiso's Luke Davis (195), C.P.'s Tyler Kral (220) and Lowell's Scott Pitrowski (285).
Crown Point has four sets of brothers on the team and two siblings who won sectional titles. Vlink is sure "no one in the state has as many brothers as us."
Tyler Kral, who won his third sectional crown, echoed what his coach said. The Bulldogs were focused only on the individual sectional.
"Saturday comes before Wednesday," Kral said. "Winning three in a row is a big thing for me. Something to be proud of. And my brother got one, too. He's a youngster in a man's weight class."
Hanover coach Nick Petrov was pleased with his Wildcats' fourth-place finish. And happy with the way Mavros looked a steep challenge right in the eye.
"We want the best chance at state for our guys and '52 and '38 were much deeper," Petrov said. "Charlie wanted to wrestle Jason. He's the best wrestler in the state and No. 1 in the country. You can't get better if they don't lose.
"He went out there and gave it all he had. We'll keep working to get better."