For Chesterton’s Joe Kelly, a knee bone bruise has kept him off the mat for
a good portion of his senior season, but the injury may end up benefiting
him going forward.
“I’ve had to adjust my technique a little with my knee and it’s made me a
more all-around wrestler,” Kelly said.
Kelly (14-1) needed just 1:08 to dispatch Portage’s Danny Roach in the
finals of the 138-pound weight class at Saturday’s LaPorte Sectional.
“I felt pretty confident,” Kelly said. “I’ve been going pretty hard in the
room. I just wanted to go out and set the tempo from the start and I feel I
did. Now I’ve just got to try to keep going. No more breaks.”
Kelly and 152 champ Chris Katsafaros led a group of four finalists and nine
Crown Point Regional qualifers for the Trojans.
“Joe had a good day. We’re glad to have him back healthy,” Chesterton coach
Chris Joll said. “He’s a good leader, hard worker and good teammate. He
showed a little gumption, getting smacked in the face, then coming back and
pinning the guy.”
Speaking of pins, Katsafaros (27-4) recorded three of them on his way to his
second sectional crown. He was the 135 winner last season.
“It gives me a one or two seed going into the regional, which helps a lot,”
Katsafaros said. “I just had to go in and wrestle like I do, go out and do
my moves, and whatever works works.”
Twice, that was a spladle, which Katsafaros used to finish off North
Judson’s Brenner Cruce in 4:35 of their championship match.
“I’m not afraid if he grabs my leg,” Katsafaros said. “I just defend it with
that. If (the spladle’s) there, I’ll take it.”
“Chris is weighing almost 150 now,” Joll said. “He did a nice job throughout
the day. (Cruce) is good. He deserves to be in the regional.”
Katsafaros’ brother Alex was runner-up at 145, falling 5-3 to Portage’s Zach
"Alex needs to get used to wrestling in a finals venue,” Joll said. “It’s
something that’ll come with a little more experience. He’s not his brother
and his brother’s not him. I wouldn’t want him to be. They’re totally
different. He’ll get where he needs to be.”
Freshman Dax Jones (14-15) was the Trojans’ other runner-up, losing 5-3 to
Portage’s Roberto Espinosa in an exciting 160 final. The two went to sudden
death overtime where Espinosa fashioned a reversal with two seconds left to
“In any other sectional with any other officiating crew, the results
would’ve been a little different,” Joll said.
Kaitlin Loehmer (106), Jack Davison (113) and Joe Ponda (195) advanced with
thirds. Cliff Eiring (120) and Jaycee Jensen (170) qualified as fourth-place
“Kaitlin beat some quality guys,” Joll said. “There aren’t any fish here.
Jack did a nice job. We’re looking to get him through next week. Cliffy had
a couple things that didn’t go his way, but he’s another freshman wrestling
at the varsity level. He’ll be OK.”
Chesterton finished third as a team with 185.5 team points. Portage captured
its third straight title with 271, followed by New Prairie (196). The
Indians advanced 13 wrestlers with six champions.
"We’re just making sure the kids who are peaking are still peaking and the
kids who are tapering are still tapering,” Joll said. “The kids who aren’t
going on, Hunter Royer, Chris Thompson, Tommy St. Germain and Connor Smith,
will all be in the room working hard, helping out the other kids. That’s
what it’s all about.”
1. Portage 271, 2. New Prairie 196, 3. Chesterton 185.5, 4. LaPorte 175, 5.
John Glenn 149, 6. Michigan City 111.5, 7. North Judson 66, 8. Knox 59.
(Top 4 wrestlers
in each class advance to Saturday’s Crown Point Regional)
106 -- Andrew Frey (G) dec. Eric Peek (P), 4-2. 113 -- Louis Escobedo (P)
pin Brad Freestone (NP), 2:56. 120 -- Dylan Logsdon (P) pin Myles White (G),
3:01. 126 -- Julian Torres (P) dec. Kenny Smith (MC), 10-8. 132 -- Jason
Spence (P) dec. James Frey (G), 13-4. 138 -- Joe Kelly (C) pin Danny Roach
(P), 1:08. 145 -- Zach Thorn (P) dec. Alex Katsafaros ©, 5-3. 152 -- Chris
Katsafaros (C) pin Brenner Cruce (NJ), 4:35. 160 -- Roberto Espinosa (P) dec.
Dax Jones ©, 5-3 (OT). 170 -- Mike Eldridge (LP) dec. Jake Wright (P), 5-4.
182 -- Andrew Schroeder (MC) dec. Miguel Ibarra (NP), 7-5. 195 -- Ben
Standifer (LP) pin Tyler Albee (P), 1:30. 220 -- Don Stanish (NP) dec.
Travis Williams (P), 6-3. 285 -- Cody Mullican (LP) pin Tyler Dolezal (NP),
106 -- Kaitlin Loehmer (C) dec. Zach Wells (LP). 113 -- Jack Davison (C) dec.
Austin Coach (G). 120 -- Jon Isbell (MC) dec. Cliff Eiring (C). 126 -- Ryan
Ishmael (G) dec. John Trent (NP). 132 -- Eric Dan (K) dec. Nathan King (NP).
138 -- Jaren Young (NP) dec. Dakota Rudynski (G). 145 -- Dalton Escobedo
(NP) dec. Nick Lemons. 152 -- Zach Robbins (LP) dec. Adam Dodson (G). 160 --
Kye Stachowski (LP) dec. Garrett Majchrzak (K). 170 -- Justin Puetzer (MC)
dec. Jaycee Jensen (C). 182 -- Exvonte Jones (P) dec. Caleb Stewart (LP).
195 -- Joe Ponda (C) dec. Cameron Coffinger (NP). 220 -- Landon Blackburn
(LP) dec. Jacob Ayers (G). 285 -- Chris Brock (P) dec. Logan Short (K).