PREP WRESTLING | STATE NOTES

While other spectators sit in the bleachers far away from the action, one spectator has a special seat for Griffith's matches.

Aplonio Escobedo is the grandmother of Angel Escobedo, the Panthers' three-time state champion who will try for a fourth title this weekend in Indianapolis.

When her grandson wrestles, Aplonio, 84, sits in a chair only a few yards away from the mat, closer than anyone but the coaches. She has the seat because she has trouble climbing stairs.

She doesn't speak English well, but she loves talking in Spanish about her grandsons and cousins and how a few of them, including Angel and 2004 Griffith grads Jose Escobedo and Andrae Hernandez, are or will be going to college in Bloomington.

"She comes to all the matches she can," Angel Escobedo said. "Every time I get to see her it's inspiring."

WAITING TILL NEXT YEAR: Munster's Eric McGill suffered through a sophomore jinx this year, but he vows to be back.

Last week, McGill had an operation to repair a bad right shoulder that forced him to sit out about half the wrestling season. McGill was the state runner-up as a freshman in the 103-pound class. He missed six weeks this year but returned to win the 119-pound title at the Lake Athletic Conference tournament and the East Chicago Sectional.

He withdrew from the Calumet Regional after re-injuring his shoulder in practice.

"(Dropping out) is disappointing," McGill said. "But, I don't want to risk my whole career for one season."

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