CROWN POINT — Only the upperclassmen were alive when Crown Point’s streak of team sectional championships began.
The Bulldogs ran the mark to 17 consecutive titles Saturday, winning the sectional they host with 294.5 points. Lake Central finished second with 249.
“It’s important. The goal is to win a state championship and when you’re hosting a sectional (winning) is expected,” CP coach Branden Lorek said. “It’s important to start the state series, to win the sectional and keep that (streak) alive. It’s part of the culture around here.”
Senior Jacob Burford said C.P. takes pride in keeping the run alive.
“We take pride in that. We focus more on the team than just individuals,” Burford said. “I’m really happy with our team effort this year. We really came together.”
Burford pulled off an an exciting win in the 145-pound final, pinning L.C.’s Daniel Park at 5:12. Burford trailed 9-7 when he got the fall. It’s his third sectional championship.
“When the pin came, I knew I was down by two so I knew I needed to get moving on top,” he said. I couldn’t just sit there and hang out.”
Crown Point’s 120-pounder Riley Bettich made some noise in the locker room before his final with Lake Central’s Sebastian Cortez. His yelling and banging drew the attention of several teammates.
“Before matches, it’s a little weird, but I watch videos of things that’ll make me mad,” Bettich said. “It’s just a ton of things that I don’t like or I don’t agree with. I watch them and it makes me mad and it makes me want to take out my anger on the mat instead of on something else. Wrestling’s where I take out my anger.”
The junior, who already owns a Michigan state championship, won his finals match 20-7.
“We have shirts that say “16 sectional championships” on them. We’re really proud of it,” Bettich said. “Our next steps are regional, semistate and state, though.”
Iverson makes Hanover history
Hanover Central freshman Skylar Iverson became the school’s first female wrestler to advance to the regional. She finished third at 126 pounds, pinning Boone Grove’s Roger Anda at 3:53 in the third-place match.
“I’m a girl and all these boys who doubt you, I just proved all of them wrong,” she said. “It’s just a great feeling.”
Her elation was clear after the pin. Iverson said the first people she saw were her parents and coaches.
“I did it. I’m going to regionals. I felt so great,” Iverson said.
But being the only girl isn’t a hindrance, she said. She started in wrestling and MMA when she was six years old.
“I love it,” Iverson said. “You think that you’re and outstander but, in reality, you’re being extraordinary. You’re not just being the regular girl.”