Sectional Champs: The Chesterton wrestling team broke
Portage’s streak of 16 consecutive Sectional titles by winning the LaPorte
Sectional on Saturday. Pictured are, front row (l to r) Zack Thornton and
Andy St. Germain. Second row (l to r) are George Choucalas, Alex Sanchez,
Garrett Evans, Michael Tucker, Matt Jackson, Ryan Sanchez and Ben Williams.
Back row standing (l to r) are Asst. Coach Zac Williams, Head Coach Chris
Joll, Brian Kowalski, Terry Holmes, Myles Evans, Chris Hoenke, Adam
Boatright, Ethan Harbrecht, Nick Diehl, Asst. Coach Kent Butler and Asst.
Coach Brian Swallow. (Tribune photo by TR Harlan)
By TR HARLAN
When you’ve never done something before as a team, you have to find someone
willing to do something they’ve never done before.
Enter Myles Evans.
The 189-pound senior picked up a win by fall in the third place match over
Portage’s Avery Pearman with a spladle at the 1:56 mark to clinch a
Sectional title for the Chesterton Trojans, breaking Portage’s 16-year
The Trojans will face off against Lowell on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in the
semifinals of the Portage Team Regional. The host Indians will face Crown
Point in the other semifinal, with the two winners meeting for the title at
about 8 p.m.
“I had no clue that it could clinch it,” Evans said. “I thought I overheard
Coach (Chris) Joll say something like that, but it’s just amazing. It’s the
best feeling in the world.”
It’s been a long road for the Trojans and Joll, who is in his fourth year at
the helm of the Chesterton program.
“We’ve been working on this for four years and I’m very, very happy,” Joll
said. “This is what we wanted the program to be. Compared to what we were
when this team was seventh (in the Sectional) the year before I got here, I
think we’re doing a pretty good job of moving in the right direction.”
The Trojans trailed by 11 points after round one and were down 10 more after
the semifinals. A strong showing in the consolation round put Chesterton on
top by three points, 220.5-217.5 heading into the final round.
“That’s what we planned on doing (winning), but it didn’t turn out the way
we had planned,” Joll said. “We’ve had liked to have two more guys in the
finals and three more champions, but for us to come through wrestlebacks so
well is why this team had the success we’ve had.”
It was the unlikely heroes that proved to be the difference for Chesterton.
“Garrett (Evans) doesn’t have a match all year and goes 2-2 for us,” Joll
said. “George Choucalas didn’t win very many matches all year, but came
through and tech falled a guy and beat up another one that had beat him
Don’t think that the Trojans didn’t get it done at the top of the lineup
though. They picked up three individual titles and qualified 13 of 14
wrestlers for next week’s LaPorte Individual Regional.
At 112 pounds, Ben Williams avenged an earlier season loss to Portage’s Sean
McMurray with a 7-2 decision in the final.
“I just wanted to go in there and beat him somehow,” Williams said. “The
last month I’ve been practicing everything just for this match.”
Williams picked up the match’s first takedown off the opening whistle and
remained in control throughout.
“I knew if I got the first takedown I could probably control the first
period,” Williams said. “I shot and then just held on.”
“Ben just went out and took control,” Joll said. “He did something that we
don’t coach just because he’s an athlete and put the kid on his back.”
At 130 pounds, Andy St. Germain had little trouble in getting two fall
victories, including one at 5:27 over Portage’s Michael Torres in the final.
“I wrestled real well,” St. Germain said. “I wrestled both my matches just
the way I wanted to and got a couple of pins. I’ve been focusing on my
conditioning a lot. I think that’s the reason I lost the matches I’ve lost
this year. I’m exactly where I want to be right now.”
“Andy is clicking along pretty well and he didn’t look as smooth as he could
have,” Joll said. “He’s on a different track just like some of our other
guys are. Our goal for some of these guys is to peak at semistate, not at
St. Germain, as a senior, has also watched the program become what it is.
“This is incredible,” St. Germain said. “When we came in my freshman year
this wasn’t even an option to advance as a team. We’ve had individuals win
tournaments, but we’ve never had team unity like this.
“Coach Joll and Coach (Brian) Swallow have done such a great job here.”
The third Trojan winner came at 215 pounds when Ryan Sanchez picked up an
8-1 decision over Portage’s Billy Pearman.
“The championship and semifinals were big matches for me,” Sanchez said. “In
the semi, (New Prairie’s Andrew Pavolka) beat me at Mishawaka to knock me
out. In the championship, he beat me at DAC.”
Sanchez spent most of his preparation time working on his opponent, not on
“I worked on working off what they used against me,” Sanchez said. “I worked
on their collar tie and not so much my stuff. I didn’t do anything dumb. I
just stayed in base and tried not to get down.”
“Ryan was the No. 4 seed,” Joll said. “All week we worked on Ryan being a
little guy and shooting double legs. We decided during the week, it was time
to throw guys. When you throw a guy to his back, it changes the complexion
of the match.”
1. Chesterton, 254.5; 2. Portage, 236.5; 3. New Prairie, 194.5; 4. (tie)
Knox and LaPorte, 152; 6. John Glenn, 127; 7. Michigan City, 46.5; 8. North
103 – Danny Bradley (K) pin Damien Torres (P), 5:32. 112 – Ben Williams (C)
dec. Sean McMurray (P), 7-2. 119 – Billy Bogan (K) dec. Chris Santos (P),
7-6. 125 – Chad Allen (P) major dec. Alex Sanchez (C), 9-1. 130 – Andy St.
Germain (C) pin Michael Torres (P), 5:27. 135 – Asa Ennis (JG) major dec.
Ryan Vottero (P), 17-6. 140 – David Oviatt (L) dec. Ethan Harbrecht (C), 3-1
OT. 145 – Cortie Wilson (P) dec. Mike Roberts (L), 5-4. 152 – Nicholas
Poplawski (NP) fall Coty Majchrzak (K), 1:24. 160 – Philip Oudhuis (NP) pin
Derick Nesvold (L), 3:44. 171 – Thurman Gast (MC) dec. Chris Hoenke (C),
10-8. 189 – Kannon Kiegley (NP) fall Bryce Holland (L), 3:09. 215 – Ryan
Sanchez (C) dec. Billy Pearman (P), 8-1. Hwt – Derek Traversa (JG) pin Adam
Boatright (C), 1:51.
(Third Place Round)
103 – George Choucalas (C) pin Frank Mancuso (L), 3:48. 112 – Miles
Ostergren (L) fall Aaron Jeske (NP), 3:50. 119 – Zack Thornton (C) dec.
Robert Leda (JG), 3-2. 125 -- Kalen Rush (NP) dec. Jimmy Krause (K), 5-3.
130 – Tyler Cox (NP) pin Garrett Payne (MC), 2:03. 135 – Michael Tucker (C)
pin Sam Lopez (K), 2:27. 140 – Chris Robbins (NJ) dec. Tommy Torres (P),
1-0. 145 – Matt Singleton (K) dec. Garrett Evans (C), 8-5. 152 – Justin
Rhein (P) major dec. Clayton Whalen (JG), 19-9. 160 – Matt Jackson (C) pin
Adam Winebrenner (K), 1:54. 171 – Mitch Strycker (JG) dec. Ian Beach (L),
8-4. 189 – Myles Evans (C) pin Avery Pearman (P), 1:56. 215 – C.J. Gum (NJ)
dec. Andrew Pavolka (NP), 4-3. Hwt – Trent Ellis (P) pin Jimmy Young (K),
(Fifth Place Round)
103 – Cody Jachim (NJ) dec. Erik Eigenman (NP), 5-3. 112 – Travis Mowery (JG)
dec. Tyler Potthoff (K), 9-4. 119 – Richard Kaminski (NP) pin Justin Fredel
(L), 1:35. 125 – Anthony Oliver (NJ) dec. Chris Garab (JG), 10-3. 130 – T.J.
Harrold (L) dec. Isaac Krohn (JG), 9-3. 135 – Jamie Smith (NP) pin Thomas
Lusco (MC), :45. 140 – Mike Hernandez (K) dec. Ryan Balanow (NP), 3-1. 145 –
Henry Lowry (JG) def. Jordan Martin (NP), DQ. 152 – Terry Holmes (C) dec.
Terry Smith (L), 7-4. 160 – Justin Willis (P) major dec. John Dolph (JG),
9-1. 171 – Max Niespodziany (NP) pin Nathaniel Coleman (P), 1:20. 189 – Coty
Wagner (K) major dec. Cole Anspaugh (JG), 11-3. 215 – Josh Butts (L) pin
Scott Kalvaitis (MC), 2:28. Hwt – Robert Croumlich (NP) pin Dan Hodum (L),