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Browning and Bohman claim championships at Regional

By Tyler Whittamore, Sports Editor

RICHMOND – One week after South Dearborn won the Sectional 24 team title at Franklin County High School, events played out pretty much the same during the Richmond Regional tournament last Saturday, February 3. The day ended with the Knights standing victorious, while the Wildcats of Franklin County secured third place overall.

On the bright side, Franklin County was led by a pair of seniors who graced the top of the podium and brought home a regional title in their respective weight classes. Stevie Browning and Michael Bohman backed up their Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference and Sectional championships by collecting more hardware at the regional tourney. The pair of seniors will join four other Wildcats in pursuing semi-state titles next weekend.

Browning was the first champion of the day for FC, winning the 152-lb. class. The senior's seeding allowed him to earn a bye in the first round. In the semifinals, Browning was pitted against Milan's Jacob Rohrig. The match went the full three periods before the FC Wildcat took advanced with a 9-2 decision.

The finals of the 152-lb. division had two familiar foes squaring off. When the official blew the whistle, Browning was standing across from Lawrenceburg's Andrew Roberts. The match between the two EIAC representatives was close and last for the entire three periods. Browning's ability to get an early takedown was key in helping the Wildcats earn a 7-4 decision over Roberts. The win for Browning will help the senior's seeding and placement at next week's semi-state.

The championship for the 195-lb. division would also feature a pair of wrestlers that were used to facing off in FC's Bohman and South Dearborn's Luke Utterback. Bohman had to battle New Castle's Garrett House in the quarterfinals. The FC senior earned a pin in the third period for advancement. In the next round, Bohman earned another pinfall, taking out Milan's John Rohrig in the third period.

Utterback also pinned a pair of opponents to advance to the finals against Bohman. The championship bout would not be won so easily. Bohman scored a takedown, then later added another point with an escape. The Wildcat senior would shutout Utterback, securing a 3-0 victory.

“I'm really happy for Stevie and Michael,” FC head coach Doug Deters said. “They had to beat a lot of tough kids, and I think they have a really good shot next Saturday to continue.”

Franklin County also picked up two runner-up finishes at the tourney. The first came in the 145-lb. division. Dyllion Humbert kept his senior season going by pinning Knightstown's Evan Nolen in the first round. The semifinals ended the same way for Humbert, as the senior scored a pin over Connersville's Jacob Redd. In the finals, Humbert was defeated by Shenandoah's Hayden Lohrey.

Two rounds later, Grant Suding scored a second place for FC in the 160-lb. division. The junior narrowly defeated Hagerstown's Cameron Purtha, 4-2, in the first round. A pin over Connersville's Colton Massey in the semifinals sent Suding to the finals. The junior could not overcome Union County's Tucker Coffman for the title, falling by way of technical fall, 18-2.

Garrett Condo had an adventurous day in the 120-lb. class. The junior won his first match of the day in a 9-2 decision over Kaleb Buchanan of Knightstown. Condo lost via technical fall to Grant Stapleton of Lawrenceburg in the semifinals, but the junior rallied to defeat Shenandoah's Blake Alfrey in the third place match. Condo won an 8-3 decision to improve his position on the podium.

The final Wildcat to advance to the next round of the state tournament was Logan Bohman. The senior won his first match, 7-4, over Shenandoah's Jake Webster. The win ensured Bohman's trip to semi-state, but a loss to Centerville's Alfredo Calderon sent the senior to the third-place match, where Greensburg's Justin Greene won a 5-3 decision. Bohman took fourth place in the 170-lb. division.

“We have several individuals on the team who have really improved,” Coach Deters said. “I thought I knew who our most improved wrestler was, but there were several guys today that made a push for it.”

Three Wildcats competed at the Richmond Regional but did not advance. Sophomore Jacob Lee (113-lbs.), freshman Adam Crouch (132-lbs.) and senior Josh Derenski (182-lbs.) had their seasons come to an end. Jake Loos (138-lbs.) qualified for the regional but was unable to compete due to injury.

South Dearborn backed up its conference and sectional titles by scoring 109.5 points on Saturday to win the championship. New Castle placed second with 96 team points, followed by Franklin County in third with 91 team points.

“We won all three (EIAC, Sectional and Regional) last year, and we came pretty close each time this year,” Coach Deters said. “I can't complain about it. We got a couple of champions, and there are a lot of coaches who would love to be in my shoes right now.”

Centerville (81) and Lawrenceburg (78.5) rounded out the top five teams. Shenandoah (78.5), Milan (48), Greensburg (41), Knightstown (36), East Central (34.5), Connersville (27.5), Union County (22.5), Northeastern (16.5), Lincoln (13), Tri (13) and Rushville (8) also competed.

All qualifiers from Richmond, as well as the North Montgomery, Pendleton Heights and Perry Meridian regionals, will compete at the New Castle Semi-State tournament on Saturday, February 10. Action New Castle High School will begin at 9 a.m.