Five still alive

February 5, 2018

CROWN POINT — You might say La Porte’s Kyle Simpkins had one fantastic week.

The senior followed up winning last week’s La Porte Sectional championship by winning the 220-pound regional title on Saturday at Crown Point, and will advance to next week’s East Chicago Semistate.

And, oh, by the way, he was also named this week to the Indiana Football Coach’s Association All-Star Team.

Simpkins broke a scoreless tie in the third period for a 3-0 decision over Chesterton’s Kevin Mochen.

“Basically, we just changed our game plan against him (Mochen) than the last times I’ve faced him,” Simpkins said. “We decided to ride him out in the first period to see what he was going to do and I was trying to get a snap down on him but that wasn’t working so I was able to get two points and then an escape.”

The Slicers had four additional wrestlers advance to semistate — Ian Nelson (fourth place at 113 pounds), Skyler Querry (fourth at 152), Matt Neff (fourth at 160) and Skyler Gomez, who lost a tough 4-3 decision to Crown Point’s Kaellin Kelly to finish second at 126.

“He’s a strong kid,” Gomez said of Kelly. “He’s tough to wrestle, last year we split our matches but this year he’s beat me all three times. He kind of got the best of me in the third period, I have to work hard next week and get ready to, hopefully, get downstate.”

Chesterton had a huge day. Not only did the Trojans dethrone host Crown Point, which had won their owen regional for 10 straight years, they advanced all 14 wrestlers to semistate. That included five regional champions — Brock Ellis at 145, Evan Bates at 170, Cade Girgenti at 182, Lucas Davison (195 pounds, 47-0 record) and Eli Pokorney (285 pounds, 37-0).

Chesterton outscored Crown Point 240-178 for the team title, while La Porte finished fifith with 60 points.

Michigan City senior Oscar Potts also advanced, making quick work of Lake Central’s Nick Garcia with a pin in 22 seconds to take third place.

“This is my third year of wrestling, but my first year here (at City),” Potts said. (He had to sit out last year due to a skin condition). “I’m coming on hard this year and shooting for first place; the sky’s the limit. My coaches from Michigan City work me hard all week so I can come out hard and wrestle.”

New Prairie advanced two to semistate: Brayden Ruiz, third at 120 pounds and Grant Johnson, fourth at 182.