By Steven Kochersperger
The Indiana High School wrestling post season continued this weekend with five Posey County wrestlers competing in the semi state tournament at the Ford Center in Evansville on Saturday. All four Mount Vernon wrestlers and the lone North Posey grappler gave all they had and walked away with their head held high and two were rewarded with a place in this week’s state finals in Indianapolis.
It was a pair of Mount Vernon freshman who punched their tickets to the state finals Saturday. The first of those freshman was Paul Konrath who continues to wrestle on a high level in the 106-pound weight class. Konrath opened his semi state day with a match up with Trevor Reese of Franklin Community. Konrath beat Reese handily and was just one win away from qualifying for the state finals this week. Konrath got that win in the second round when he beat Evan Bullock of Brown County. Konrath found himself in the semi finals and after winning that ended up having to wrestle Mater Dei’s Will Egli for the semi state championship in his weight class. Egli and Konrath met up last week in the Regional finals with Egli winning, but this week it would be Konrath who would go ahead and end the match victorious becoming the semi state champion of the 106 pound weight class.
Fellow Freshman Austin Bethel also punched his ticket to the state finals this week as he ended his day in fourth place in the 126 pound weight class. Bethel started his day with a win over Brody Boles of Mooresville. Bethel was down with just seconds left when he made a move on Boles with ten seconds to go and gained the victory. That energy of the win carried over for Bethel as he battled and beat Nathan Schitter of Jasper 11-7 to qualify for the state finals. Bethel ended up losing the fourth place match up and heads into the state finals this week as a fourth place semi state finisher.
Those two freshman have breathed life into the Mount Vernon wrestling program and are showing that the future is very bright for the grapplers. Konrath and Bethel will head to Indianapolis to battle on a stage that very few get to shine on. If this season is any indication of how it will go, Mount Vernon will end up being very proud.
Senior Wildcat Dane Wilson won his opening match up but ended up getting pinned in the second match to end his season. Wilson ends his wrestling career as a successful semi state wrestler and will always have that to hang his hat on.
The other two Posey County wrestlers that battled on Saturday were Tristin Choate of Mount Vernon and Shane Martin of North Posey. Both lost their first round match-ups to end their great seasons. Both Choate and Martin compiled great records this season and battled to the very end.
All in all the Posey County wrestlers represented their schools and our county very well in the state tournament. Good luck to Konrath and Bethel as they move on and compete this week in Indianapolis.
By Steven Kochersperger