CEDAR LAKE — A cheer from the top rows of the gym at Hanover Central could be heard when Hobart junior Nathan Schammert pinned Merrillivlle’s Juan Maldonado to win the 126-pound championship match at Saturday’s Lake County Championships.
Schammert said he used a slop-drop to catch Maldonado in the middle of the second period, and it gained approval from family members in the bleachers.
“Basically, you have the head and you use your hips to push straight to the back,” he said.
It was a reversal of fortune for Schammert, who lost in in last year's 126 final to Clark's Daniel More-Diaz. This year’s win was satisfying.
“I did the (slop-drop) in the first period, and he ended up coming back and beating me,” he said. “I’ve worked real hard on my stamina.”
Schammert’s win helped the Brickies place third as a team.
L.C. has solid day
Lake Central coach Luke Triveline was pleased with his young squad that finished with three champs, two runner-ups, three third places and a couple fourth-place spots.
“We should’ve had another guy in the finals, but that’s wrestling,” he said. “A lot of improvement, and this was the first time we’ve had a full lineup in a while. Our 195-pounder (Felix Garcia) just came out a few weeks ago, and he took third today.”
Juniors Sebastian Cortez (120) and Cristian Ponce (138) and senior Nick Garcia (285) all stood atop the podium. Senior Ben Bosold(132) and sophomore Isaiah Ponce (113) were runner-ups. Daniel Park (145) and Mason Skrezyna (160) placed third, while Mason Skrezyna (160), Johnny Cortez (106) and Ryan Russell (126) and Michael DeGrado (182) all took fourth.
“We’re young in areas, too,” Triveline said. “We have three or four freshman in the lineup who all placed.”
L.C. has a dual this week with Merrillville, then the DAC meet a dual with Portage upcoming.
“Now is the time to tighten things up and get ready for sectionals,” Triveline said.
Lowell toughs it out for fourth
Lowell also showed well, finishing with two champs in junior Abel Verbeek (160) and senior Kevin Hooley (170), while junior Shawn Hollis (145) was runner-up.
“Our team wrestled pretty tough today,” said Hooley after beating Merrillville sophomore Jason Streck 7-2. “Even our lower weights, our underclassmen and freshmen.”
Hooley is looking forward to next Saturday’s Northwest Crossroads Conference meet, where he hopes the team can earn a share of the title with Hobart if Lowell can win the tournament.
“We lost our dual meet against Hobart, so we could be co-champs,” he said. “As a team I think we could have a pretty good amount of people in the finals.”
Too many matches
Crown Point had wrestled too many matches this week leading up to the Lake County meet, and it couldn’t send a full contingent to Hanover. The Bulldogs had just a handful of mostly reserve wrestlers on Saturday.
Jacob Carter placed took third at 120 to lead the Bulldogs.