Portage wrestler Brock Peele

Portage wrestler Brock Peele (center) won the Portage Sectional title at 126 pounds on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

PORTAGE — It was an emphatic sectional win for host Portage on Saturday, as it won its 11th straight crown and 32nd overall.

When senior Donnell Washington pinned Hobart’s Jacob Simpson in the second period to win the 160-pound title, the home crowd roared its approval. The Indians were well on their way to the title, and they finished with 287.5 points to runner-up Hobart’s 255.5.

“We felt good, and we were wrestling well,” Portage coach Leroy Vega said. “At this point you’re just taking it one match at a time and moving on. Now, we’re getting ready for regional. We set ourselves up pretty well and just keep plugging away.”

Portage will send 13 wrestlers to next Saturday’s Hobart Regional, including champions Jacob Moran (113), Ty Haskins (120), Brock Peele (126), Ricky Hegedus (132), Tyler Herring (138), Isaac Hegwood (145), Washington and Josh Warmick (170). The top four wrestlers in each class advance to the regional.

Peele improved to 22-3 with his pin of Hobart’s Nathan Schammert (22-5) in 3 minutes and 19 seconds.

“He’s a real tough kid, and he’s dangerous with big moves,” said Peele of Schammert. “He’s been wrestling a long time too, so I had to be careful with that but also stay on my offense and score a lot of points.”

Peele said it was a good team win.

“A lot of people said this would be our down year, and coming and beating a good team like Hobart in the sectionals is good,” he said. “Hopefully, we can keep that momentum going on into regionals.”

Hobart counts 3 champs

The Brickies collected three individual champs with Ruben Padilla (106), Cameron Smith (182) and Bobby Babcock (195). They qualified 12 wrestlers for the regional.

“We did our best and wrestled our best,” said Babcock, just a sophomore. “We still have a young team and as this team grows and it gets more experience, we’re going to be good in the future.”

Hobart coach Jason Cook said the future is now.

“They’ve got to come back strong and not be thinking about next year for regional, semi-state and state and see how we are,” he said. “Hats off to Portage. They’re awesome. We want to be awesome, too.”

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