INDIANAPOLIS — With a win or go home scenario playing out last night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, five Hendricks County wrestlers made the most of their opportunities. However, of the seven that made the trip, two left with their hopes and dreams dashed.
Danville advanced all three of its wrestlers into the second day and coach Steve Pugliese was very happy afterward and harbors high expectations for today.
“It’s a lot better than losing,” Pugliese said laughing. “That’s what these guys have been working for. You figure after all three won semistate, they should be able to get through tonight.
“We’ve got to wrestle better tomorrow. We’ve got loftier goals than placing in the top eight. With one match at a time, hopefully they will all wrestle under the lights.”
Danville freshman Brock Hudkins (106) overcame any first-time jitters, dominating his match over Plymouth’s Cody Allmon. Hudkins was aggressive throughout his match and won impressively midway through the second period by fall.
“We got here really early and took it all in,” Hudkins said. “Coach said it was just another gym wrestling on another mat. I had butterflies because you never know how good the other kid is. You just have to go out and do what you do.”
Teammate Neal Molloy (145) also advanced by with a solid 4-1 decision over Chesterton’s Chris Katsafaros. While it was not a dominating win, Molloy looked in control the entire match.
“That guy has a lot of stuff,” Pugliese said. “Neal didn’t want to get caught and wasn’t going to put himself in a position to potentially give that guy what he wanted. We knew what we were getting into there and he was trying to stay out of harm’s way.”
Molloy, a former state champ as a sophomore, is looking for another state title to add to his collection tomorrow. But after a loss last year, Pugliese thinks his star pupil may have been a bit vigilant.