By Steven Kochersperger
The Mater Dei Holiday Classic was held this past week with sixteen teams from Indiana and Kentucky sending athletes to compete during the Christmas break. This annual event is very popular among area wrestling fans and this year’s competition did not disappoint. Posey County had a strong contingent of wrestlers in the Holiday Classic from both Mount Vernon High School and North Posey High School and several went on to either win or place in the two day tournament.
Mount Vernon’s Paul Konrath was the only wrestler from our county to win the bracket in his weight class as his great year continues. Konrath, a freshman from Mount Vernon, opened the tournament by beating his opponent in convincing fashion 20-3. Konrath took that win and ran with it eventually finding himself in the championship match against Mater Dei’s Will Egli. The two undefeated wrestlers took to the match and when it was all said and done it was Konrath who walked away the winner of the 106 pound bracket. Konrath’s season continues to be one that many are talking about as he is now 19-0 on the year and ranked in the individual state wrestling ranking.
Mount Vernon’s Tyler DeKemper also found success in this past weekend’s classic. DeKemper took on several tough opponents from the area and eventually ended his bracket in fourth place. DeKemper won two of his matches by pinning his opponent and eventually found himself in a battle for third place. While his surge to the top might not have been expected by many, it seemed to be something that DeKemper expected of himself as he took the Classic by the reigns and ran with it. His fourth place finish is something that will propel him the rest of the season and will prepare him as he enters sectional match ups at the end of the wrestling year. DeKemper leaves the classic with an overall record of 15-5 on the season.
The other Mount Vernon wrestler to place in the Mater Dei Classic was sophomore Tristan Choate. Choate, who has continued to improve each and every time he takes the mat, took on opponent after opponent winning enough battles to gain him fifth place in the 220 pound weight class bracket. Choate opened the Classic with a win over Floyd Central’s Tobin Smith. This set up a great matchup in the next round against Evansville Memorial’s Jeremy Barnes who Choate had just defeated a week before in the head to head match up between the two schools. This time Barnes was able to make quick time of Choate by pin. Choate eventually found himself wrestling for fifth place against Adrain Butler of Mater Dei. Choate beat Butler 3-2 to place fifth in the always tough weight class. Choate moves on hoping to improve on his season and now has an overall record of 16-5.
Wildcat wrestlers Noah Keller, Payton Whoberry, Harley Gorman, Julian Suar, Dane Wilson, and Kyle Lang all won one match in their brackets to help Mount Vernon gain experience as a team and individually. And while team awards are not given at the Holiday Classic, Mount Vernon had an impressive Classic.
North Posey had six wrestlers compete at the Holiday Classic and all gave what they had and left it all on the mat. And while the Vikings did not fair as highly as their Posey County counterparts, they hope to use the experience gained at Mater Dei to launch them to greater heights the rest of the way on their schedule.
Cameron Fisher and Kamron Capps were both beaten in the two match ups they competed in. Both Fisher and Caps took on very tough opponents and were both pinned quickly by those competitors.
Ryan Martin and Kaynin Capps also lost both of their matches and hope to continue to grow individually as they prepare for their sectional matches down the road.
The two wrestlers that won a match for the Vikings were Shane Martin and Jordan Frymire. Frymire won by major decision over Sullivan’s Chris Correll 10-2 and leaves the Holiday Classic with an overall record of 7-13.
Shane Martin won his second round match as well beating Dalton Berry from Sullivan by pinning him. Martin continues his great season with a record of 17-4 in the 160 pound weight class.
Overall the Mater Dei Classic was a success for all Posey County wrestlers. All involved should not only be proud of the work and accomplishments they achieved, but should also continue that hard work as the season continues. We all are looking forward to watching both schools improve and do well as sectional times nears.
By Steven Kochersperger