Never mind the third time.
It was the fifth time that was the charm for Chesterton wrestler Chris
Katsafaros against Josh Fuqua of Crown Point.
The Trojansí junior 152-pounder, who had lost his previous four matches with
Fuqua, fashioned an emphatic turnaround at Saturday's Crown Point Regional,
registering a pin at 1:55.
"It felt amazing," Katsafaros said. "It's probably my biggest win. Every
time (we wrestled), it was low-scoring. I just wanted to get that first win
(against Fuqua). I've been feeling confident. The coaches say I'm just a
natural athlete. I feel I can step up and wrestle with people even though I
don't wrestle year-round."
Katsafaros (30-4) connected on a spladle to turn the trick.
"I was surprised it would be there," Katsafaros said. "I didn't think he'd
give it to me, but he kept driving into me and I started pulling it in
slowly. If it's there, I'm going to take it."
"It was about as tight a (spladle) as I've seen," Chesterton coach Chris
Katsafaros, who pinned Boone Grove's Jared Cockrell and decisioned Lowell's
Kenny Hughes to reach the finals, credits wrestling with assistant coach
Jason Cook in practice for making him a lot better.
"Chris had a good approach at practice (last) week," Joll said. "He told me
he felt good, that he felt he was going to win. I just said OK, and sat back
and watched. It looks like his conditioning is back, his confidence is back.
He's having a good time."
Katsafaros headed a list of five Trojan qualifiers for Saturday's
Merrillville Semistate. Joe Kelly (138) took second, while freshmen Jack
Davison (113) and Dax Jones (160) claimed thirds. Alex Katsafaros (145)
"We knew we'd have a hard time at '20 (Cliff Eiring) and '70 (Jaycee
Jensen)," Joll said. "It was hard to expect a freshman and a sophomore to
beat experienced guys like that. We thought Joe (Ponda) might have a chance
at '95. He's had an ankle injury but has been plugging away, trying his
best. He got aggressive and it cost him. That's all. But he gets after it at
a weight where a lot of guys are methodical, which is why we like him."
Among the other qualifiers, Kelly (16-2) lost 9-3 to Lowell's Mitch Roadruck
in the 138 finals, taking a shot above the eye to boot.
"Joe wasn't quite running at full strength," Joll said. "We're going to have
to push a little harder to get to our goal (of state)."
Jones (16-16) reversed a sectional loss to Portage's Roberto Espinosa with a
decisive 9-2 win in the third-place match at 160.
"We've put Dax under the tutelage of Brandon Garvey because he's at his best
when you can reinforce what you're saying by wrestling," Joll said. "Brandon
has a pretty good demeanor and Dax is responding well to that. We'll keep
using that situation as long as it keeps working."
Davison (26-15) topped Glenn's Austin Coach 2-0 to pick up his third at 113.
"For a freshman to get a takedown and ride the guy out like that, it's a
good thing," Joll said. "He held his own. We talked before the meet that it
wasn't about pinning people, it was about beating people by a point, and I
thought the kids responded pretty well to that."
Joll is optimistic going forward about the remaining wrestlers' potential to
"Depending on the draws, I'm pretty confident," he said. "I like their
chances to have success more than their chances to not have success."
AT CROWN POINT
(Top 4 finishers in each weight class advance to Saturday's Merrillville
106 -- Stevan Micic (Hanover Central, 39-0) pin Brett Ervin (Crown Point,
26-8), 2:25. 113 -- Darden Schurg (CP) pin Brad Freestone (New Prairie),
2:14. 120 -- Paul Petrov (Hanover Central, 39-0) dec. Josh Fuqua (CP, 30-5),
13-2. 126 -- Julian Torres (Portage, 30-5) dec. Trevor Burlison (CP, 28-5),
6-4. 132 -- Alex Mavros (Lowell, 25-9) dec. Jason Spence (Portage, 24-13),
3-1. 138 -- Mitch Roadruck (Lowell, 31-5) dec. Joe Kelly (Chesterton, 16-2),
9-3. 145 -- Jason Tsirtsis (CP, 34-0) tech fall Charlie Mavros (Hanover
Central, 32-2), 21-6. 152 -- Chris Katsafaros (Chesterton, 30-4) pin Jake
Fuqua (CP, 24-4), 1:55. 160 -- Dusty Schurg (CP, 31-3) pin Casey Sonaty
(North Newton, 33-4), 1:01. 170 -- Jeremy Crocker (Lowell, 35-2) dec. Mike
Eldridge (LaPorte, 23-11), 19-6. 182 -- Morgan Kral (CP, 31-6) dec. Andrew
Schroeder (Michigan City, 27-9), 7-1. 195 -- Matt Langbehn (CP, 26-5) dec.
Ryan Patterson (Lowell, 22-13), 7-3. 220 -- Tyler Kral (CP, 35-1) pin Tyler
Wright (Lowell, 20-14), 0:56. 282 -- Josh Swope (CP, 30-7) dec. Cody
Mullican (LP, 24-10), 1-0.
106 -- Eric Peek (Portage, 17-8) pin Andrew Frey (John Glenn, 34-9), 2:38.
113 -- Jack Davison (Chesterton, 26-15) dec. Austin Coach (JG, 21-11), 2-0.
120 -- Josh Bottos (Lowell, 22-13) dec. Chris Gallo (Valparaiso, 30-17),
1-0. 126 -- Kenny Smith (Michigan City, 34-9) dec. Ryan Ishmael (John Glenn,
28-12), 7-2. 132 -- Evan Cahill (Valparaiso, 29-13) inj def Cameron Halsted
(CP, 19-7). 138 -- Danny Roach (Portage, 27-10) dec. Jimmy Marich (Kankakee
Valley, 36-9), 5-2. 145 -- Zach Thorn (Portage, 23-11) dec. Alex Katsafaros
(Chesterton, 30-12), 3-1. 152 -- Kenny Hughes (Lowell, 32-5) dec. Brenner
Cruce (North Judson, 30-6), 11-0. 160 -- Dax Jones (Chesterton, 16-16) dec.
Roberto Espinosa (Portage, 26-10), 9-2. 170 -- Tyler Scott (Hanover Central,
30-9) pin Jake Wright (Portage, 12-22), 1:49. 182 -- Exvonte Jones (Portage,
22-16) dec. Bayland Brown (NJ, 25-12), 4-3. 195 -- Luke Davis (Valparaiso,
27-13) pin Ben Standifer (LaPorte, 14-14), 4:00. 220 -- Matt Berdine (KV,
37-9) dec. Don Stanish (NP, 37-8), 4-2. 285 -- Scott Pitrowski (Lowell,
28-3) dec. Kyle Dalka (KV, 38-5), 3-2.