Prep wrestling

Steady Merrillville repeats as Calumet Regional wrestling champions

2014-02-08T20:00:00Z 2014-02-09T01:16:10Z Steady Merrillville repeats as Calumet Regional wrestling championsDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 08, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

CALUMET TWP. | Merrillville coach David Maldonado says the key to winning a wrestling state title is winning the regional as an individual, so as to avoid meeting another regional champ later in the bracket.

Merrillville put nine wrestlers in the finals at Saturday's Calumet regional and seven of them will be right where Maldonado wants them to be after winning their respective weight classes.

"We had a good day," Maldonado said. "You've always got to be happy with a win, especially against teams like Portage and Lake Central and some of these other individual (wrestlers)."

The Pirates scored 201.5 points and will advance 11 wrestlers to the semistate it hosts next weekend.

"There's nothing like rolling out of bed and getting to work," Maldonado said.

Willie Armstrong avenged four losses to Lake Central's Kody Christenson in the 152-pound championship. The Pirates' senior won a 5-3 overtime decision in what may have been the most exciting match of the day.

"That was the victory that I needed. I can't really explain how happy I was," Armstrong said. "In overtime, I was like 'Man, I'm in the same predicament.' I just kept thinking 'This is going to send me to semistate, so just push through it and hope for the best.'"

Merrillville's Michael Garza was just as excited after winning the 113-pound final with a 3-2 decision over Munster's Jason Crary. Garza screamed and flexed as the third-period buzzer sounded.

Crary, who wore a bulky knee brace Saturday, beat Garza 3-0 at the Al Smith Invitational in December.

"I wanted this more than anything, like it was my last match," Garza said. "It's a big milestone, because (Crary's) ranked second in the state. It makes me feel like I'm a possible contender for that state title."

Portage finished second as a team with 149.5 points. Gaige Torres won the 120-pound weight class with a 7-3 decision over Morton's Ruben Rodriguez.

Torres, who was in control most of the match, said his experience wrestling Rodriguez's younger brother Rickie gave him an advantage in his first meeting with Ruben.

"I knew what his brother did, so I just stayed away from his setups and just plowed ahead for six minutes," Torres said. "My coach (Leroy Vega) always tells me to go out there and give 100 percent and just make sure you dominate."

Merrillville's other champions were Clarence Johnson (126), Jacob Covaciu (138), Isaac Rentas (145), Matthew Hollins (182) and Shawn Streck (285).

Other champions include Lake Central Jake Kleimola (160) and Gelen Robinson (220), Griffith's Jeremiah Reitz (106), Calumet's Alec Noworul (132), Portage's Matt Hedrick and Hobart's Scottie Sopko (170).

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses