LAPORTE | Another year, another sectional title for Chris Katsafaros.
The only difference this time was the Chesterton senior also had some team hardware to celebrate.
The Trojans put nine wrestlers into the finals, winning three weight classes, to capture Saturday's LaPorte Sectional with 260.5 points. New Prairie (210) was a distant second.
"It's the first time in my four years here," Katsafaros said. "I'm excited and I'm really excited for the younger classes. Hopefully, they can do it again."
Chesterton's last sectional title came in 2008. Portage, which had won the last four, was moved to the Calumet Sectional this season.
"With the competition here, we thought we could come out on top," Trojans coach Chris Joll said. "We had close (dual) matches with LaPorte and Knox and got beat by John Glenn, so we came in thinking we had something to prove. That was a great tool to take into practice."
Of the Trojans' six runners-up, five of them finished above their seeds.
"We have some guys who have had some trouble, some ups and downs with things, but we came here and put it all together," Joll said. "The experience we had taken with the schedule we have, we just came here and let it all hang out."
Katsafaros (34-1) cradled New Prairie's Cody MacLeod for a pin at 1:47 of the 145 final to complete his career sectional sweep.
"It's just the beginning," Katsafaros said. "Some guys don't let me get (the cradle), but he gave it. I'm still working on my conditioning. The coaches are beating me up pretty good to get it."
Fellow senior Ryley Harlow (32-7), who missed most of last season recovering from a neck injury, claimed his first title with a pin of LaPorte's Landon Blackburn in 1:25 of the 285 final. He spent a total of 3:12 on the mat in his three matches.
"It's my first sectional championship in any sport ever, so to get the individual and the team, it's awesome," Harlow said. "I've got some of the best coaches around. They beat the (heck) out of me in practice."
Mike Double, a junior competing in his first sectional, was Chesterton's other champ, scoring a 6-3 decision over Glenn's Alex Salyer at 126.
"He was more cautious," Double said. "I knew when he started backing up, I'd have to attack, which is more my style. It makes me feel great that the team had another kid to come through with a win. It's a huge confidence boost going into regionals."
Among Chesterton's runners-up was Jack Davison, who led the 132 final 4-0 in the third period before spending the better part of a minute in a tight headlock by Glenn's James Frey. He was taken to the hospital in LaPorte as a precaution after having trouble with his breathing.
"He was blue coming off the mat," Joll said. "He's going to be OK."