After finishing sixth (at 145 pounds) at the IHSAA State Finals as a junior, the reigning Wrestler of the Year capped off his career in memorable fashion, atop the medal stand at Bankers Life Fieldhouse after winning the 152-pound weight class.
“It went about as good as it could go. I wish I would've gone undefeated, that was one of the goals, but I’ll take the state title,” said Kervin, who went 44-2 his senior year.
Kervin rolled through the regular season, losing only one match. He was even better in the postseason. He ran roughshod to sectional and regional titles, recording five pins in five matches. At the semistate, he lost by one point (12-11) in the semifinals, before taking third.
The next week, at state, Kervin won his first match by technical fall before beating top-ranked, and previously-unbeaten, Bricelyn Coleman of Warren Central 9-6 in the quarterfinals. After that, Kervin recorded a majority decision in the semifinals before outlasting East Central’s Bryer Hall 9-7 in a thrilling final.
“That’s what I’d trained for,” Kervin said. “I felt really calm [going into the match] and my preparation was there. I just went out there and wrestled my hardest, and it paid off.”
In winning the program’s fifth state title, Kervin joined his uncle, Floyd assistant coach Cooper Samuels, a two-time champion (2007, ‘08) as well as Shaun Garing (1987) and Nathan Peterson (2000).
“It was a little surreal, but it was a goal I had for a long time,” he said.
Another goal was wrestling at the collegiate level. Kervin recently announced that he will continue his career at Indiana University, following in the footsteps of Samuels and Floyd head coach Brandon Sisson.
“Coach Angel [Escobedo] is a great coach and I know I’ll be taken care of up there,” he said. “Plus the Big Ten, it’s the best conference in the country.”