By Jake Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — While Franklin ran away with the Mid-State Conference wrestling title, Plainfield feasibly could have placed a spot or two higher than its fifth-place finish on Saturday.
However, that did not discourage Plainfield coach Paul Nicodemus who understands obstacles pop up throughout the season.
“We had some kids wrestle really well, a couple of kids have bad days, and several who were very steady,” he said. “On the whole, I thought there were only a couple of matches that we should have won, but came up short. The rest were about what we expected.”
Franklin (293.50) dominated the day, winning by more than 100 points over second-place Martinsville (189.50) with 10 grapplers earning individual titles. Greenwood (154) took third, Mooresville (145) was fourth, followed by Plainfield (140).
“Franklin had eight seniors in the tournament and that experience really showed,” Nicodemus said. “Those kids put in a lot of work to get to where they are; you have to give them a lot of credit.”
Plainfield sent four grapplers to the finals, but none were able to secure an individual championship. Corin McKee (138), Samir Tawfeek (182) and Bryce Biddle all fell by pin and Dayton Clements (160) lost by major decision in the finals to Franklin grapplers.
“I was really proud of our head-to-head matches with Franklin,” Nicodemus said. “We were 1-6 in those matches, but I was pleased that our kids didn’t wrestle timidly and were in a lot of those matches that we lost.”
Nicodemus was especially impressed by Biddle’s efforts on the day. The freshman heavyweight has accumulated a 15-4 record on the year.
“Biddle is having quite a season,” he said. “I really think that heavy has been one of the strongest weight classes on our schedule this season. He was winning in the finals when he got stuck in a bad situation. He has quite a career in front of him.”
Tristan Southwood (195) finished in fifth after a recurring injury following his first match took him out the rest of the day. The loss of points Southwood would have possibly accumulated might have pushed Plainfield into fourth place.
The Quakers are also without Isaac Gomez (120), who went down with an elbow injury in December. Gomez was ranked in the top 10 in the state at his weight earlier in the season and was 10-0 at the time of his injury with eight falls and two forfeits.
“If this team was at full strength where we thought we would be at the beginning of the year, we really could have made some noise,” Nicodemus said. “There is no way we would have beaten Franklin, but I think we could have battled for second. Unfortunately, we have suffered several disappointments. But, this is probably true for every team in the state.”
Triston Pantone (152) placed third while Keegan Sweeney (126), Tyler Summers (145), and Rickey Dubecky (170) all placed fourth.
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.