Just as they did at Franklin County’s sectional a week prior, the East Central Trojan wrestlers left the Richmond Regional field in their wake on Saturday, Feb. 8.

EC, coming off an unbeaten regular season and sectional crown, totaled 193 points to runner-up Centerville’s 77 for another win in the state postseason series. Franklin County, while only gaining 16 points (tied for 16th among 19 schools), was able to send junior Adam Crouch on to this Saturday’s semistate hosted by New Castle. NC placed third at regional. Union County’s two regional representatives lost in the opening round. 

Centerville’s Graham Butler did push Crouch (30-7) into the third period to begin 138-pound action, but the Wildcat grappler produced a pin midway through the final frame. Already earning another weekend by virtue of that first win, Crouch looked for more and got it; he outlasted Cambridge City Lincoln’s Josh Miles 2-0 to set up a finals showdown with Knightstown’s Nick Walsh. Walsh won by fall late in the first period for the regional title. 
Fellow junior Evan Seal battled Richmond’s Sekaye Maitland at 126 pounds. A low-scoring bout early, Maitland earned a takedown and pin in the second period. FC’s Clayton Bolser, just a freshman in the heavyweight division, suffered a pin against Northeastern’s Josh Berger in the opening period. Berger pinned two more opponents in winning the weight class. 

FC’s Austin Bohman (170) and Andrew Merritt (120) had qualified for regional, but injuries sent their sectional alternates on to Richmond. 

East Central will have 11 wrestlers vying for a state finals berth. Kole Viel (182), Bryer Hall (152), Ben Wolf (145) and Blake Wolf (113) each won the regional bracket. Blake Wolf and Hall have yet to lose this season. Kyle Krummen (195) lost his first match of the year Saturday to Shenandoah’s unbeaten Silas Allred. Brady Rullman (170), Kasey Carr (160), Charlie Euson (138), Rider Searcy (126), Tyler Schneider (120) and Dylan Lengerich (106) are all headed to New Castle. 

Crouch will need to win twice at New Castle in order to qualify for the IHSAA state finals a week later. In the opening round, he is paired with Frankton’s Seth Lawson (31-9); a win would get him a bout with either Dylan Dorman of Greenfield-Central (35-4) or Makai Smith of Lebanon (27-13).
Other regional champs crowned were Garret Condo of Milan (106), Brevan Thrine of New Castle (120), Eli Otto of South Dearborn (126), Devin Frazier of Centerville (132), Andrew Roth of Lawrenceburg (160), Marcus Malson of Rushville (170) and Blaine Pierce of Richmond (220).

Other area qualifiers include JT Linkel (145) and Josh Mobley (152) of Batesville,  Evan Shafer (220) and Orlan Foster (152) of Connersville. 
Wrestling at the New Castle Fieldhouse starts 9 a.m. Saturday.