CEDAR LAKE | Hanover Central is no longer a little school, with a football team on the horizon and bumping up a class size in other sports.
The wrestling team offered more proof of the boom in Cedar Lake on Saturday when it topped its bigger neighbor to the north, Lake Central, to earn the Lake County Tournament crown.
It was the first time in three years a team other than the Indians raised the Lake County trophy. H.C. topped L.C. 283.5 to 258.5 for the victory.
"It does mean something for our seniors," Wildcats coach Nick Petrov said. "It's nice to win a tournament like this, to beat a Duneland Conference team and the other teams in our county. Our kids did their job today."
Northwestern recruit Stevan Micic stayed undefeated with a 18-2 technical fall over Lake Central's Branden Truver in the 126-pound final. Micic was named outstanding wrestler. But Micic wasn't the only contributor.
"Winning a major tournament like this means that everybody has to place," Petrov said. "When you get 14 kids to get you placement points, you're going to be competing in this tournament."
Lake Central senior Gelen Robinson had a big day, taking the 220-pound crown with a pin of Andrean's Adam Kopil in 1:19. Even the 59ers watching off the mat filmed the match and shook Robinson's hand afterward.
"It's always good to have people who have confidence in you and support you, especially even outside of my school and my family," Robinson said. "Half of the coaches here have been my coach in the past and they love to see me succeed. I'm glad that I can share this with all of them."
Lake Central had three other first-place finishers; Jake Sebahar at 145 pounds, Kody Christianson at 152 and Jake Kleimola at 160.
Munster freshman Jason Crary dominated the 113-pound class, eventually topping Hobart's Zach Pardus with a fall at 3:24. Crary had four pins on the day.
"I watched (Pardus) here today and he looked pretty solid," Crary said. "I was just trying to get out there and pin him as fast as I could."