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December 12, 2012

WRESTLING WEDNESDAY: Jeff Classic used as measuring stick

Tough field expected to show where area teams are at this season

JEFFERSONVILLE — This weekend, four area wrestling teams — Charlestown, Jeffersonville, New Albany and New Washington — will use the Jeff Classic for one purpose.

That purpose is to use the 36th annual wrestling tournament as a measuring stick to see how much progress they have made during the 2012-13 season.

“There is a wide range of kids at the Jeff Classic,” Red Devil coach Danny Struck said. “It really shows you where we are at this season.”

New Washington coach Jeremy Campbell says his wrestlers always look forward to the Jeff Classic to give them an idea what they need to work on before the Southern Indiana Wrestling Conference meet and the Jeff Sectional later this season.

“We enjoy this meet every year because it gives our boys a chance to see a wide range of good talent from across the state,” Campbell said. “It serves as a benchmark of what steps they need to take personally and physically in order to be competitive at higher levels.”

The field includes perennial powers like Bloomington South, Jennings County, Muncie South and Louisville St. Xavier along with Southern Indiana squads Paoli, Madison, Southwestern, South Dearborn, Franklin County and Gibson Southern.

New Albany coach Eric Burres says the Jeff Classic will give his wrestlers a chance to see how they stack up against possible future opponents.

“This is a very tough tournament,” Burres said. “It’s a good measuring stick. They could possibly see a lot of these guys in the semi-state. It will let us know where we are at right now.”

Based on the tournament seedings, Jeff is projected to finish fifth as a team. The seedings have Bloomington South winning the Jeff Classic, followed by Jennings County, Muncie South and St. Xavier.

Senior Jasi Coureur is Jeff’s lone No. 1 seed at 113 pounds. Red Devil heavyweight Gavan Jolley-Little is a No. 2 seed, while Jeff sophomore Stevie Jones is seeded third at 106 pounds. Jeff senior Oscar DeLeon is the No. 4 seed at 132.

“I think some of our kids will rise above their seeds,” Struck said.

Charlestown is projected to place sixth. Senior Seth McCutchen is the highest-seeded Pirate as a No. 2 seed at 182 pounds.

Teammates Octavio Gomez (113) and Bryant Haynes (120) are each seeded third. Also for Charlestown, Artemio Gomez (132), Cameron Stuart (138) and Zach Green (195) all are No. 6 seeds and Cameron Heil (152) is seeded eighth.

Pirates’ coach Adam Doherty also is looking for Luke Woods at 106 to have a good weekend at Jeff.

“Bryant Haynes and Seth McCutchen have the highest seeds and are probably the best shot at a Pirate taking first place,” Doherty said. “Cameron Stuart, Luke Woods, Octavio Gomez, Artemio Gomez and Zach Green have been wrestling really well lately and could place high this weekend.”

The seedings have New Albany finishing eighth. Bulldogs’ senior Austin Jamison is seeded first at 126, while Bryce Peavler is a No. 4 seed at 120.

“Obviously, it’s a big tournament for us,” Burres said. “We look for [Jamison] to win. We’ve got a couple other seeded wrestlers that we want to do well.”

New Washington senior Brady Meenach is the top seed at 138. Mustang junior Yancey Crase is seeded third at 145, while teammate Jacob Franklin is a No. 4 seed at 160.

“We expect Brady Meenach, Yancey Crase and Jacob Franklin to place as they have all competed in large tournaments in their time wrestling, and all enjoy  tough competition,” Campbell said. “It will come down to being able to focus on our game plan in matches, as to whether or not we can push the rest of the team into placing at the tournament.”

The Jeff Classic will start on Friday at 6 p.m. with opening-round matches. Saturday’s action will begin at 8:30 a.m.

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