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Black, Lohrey, Allred advance to wrestling state finals

By RON GREESON - For The Courier-Times

Silas Allred is on a wrestling roll right now.

The Shenandoah High School junior defeated four more foes to stay undefeated and lead three Henry County state qualifiers Saturday to this week’s state championships in the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) state tournament series.

Joining the Raider junior at 182 pounds is teammate Hayden Lohrey (145) and Andrew (A.J.) Black of New Castle (113). Black finished third in Saturday’s long day of matches staged in New Castle Fieldhouse while Lohrey was fourth in his class.

With well over 200 matches staged for nearly 10 hours, this year’s semi-state event featured a handful of the best prep wrestlers in the entire state, and there were multiple undefeated wrestlers winning semi-state weight division titles.

One of those was Allred, now 22-0 on the season.

The Shenandoah junior pinned Ryan Mahoney of Westfield in 1:36 to start his day’s competition, then recorded a 13-3 major decision over KJ Roudebush of Tipton to be in Saturday’s top four finishers at 182 pounds, punching a ticket for this week’s state event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Allred earned the top spot of the medal podium late in the afternoon by a semifinal pin over Sam Gobeyn of Zionsville in the single class wrestling state tournament, then won by posting an 8-3 decision over Jalen Morgan of Elwood, prompting a standing ovation by the Raider wrestling fans in attendance, and a brief, but excited hand-waving celebration by Allred on the mat after finishing the championship match win.

He spoke right after the match about a season that started well, and shows no sign of abating as the season finale is now less than a week away.

“I started a little slow, and my leg was still sore from a football injury,” said Allred, who was a starting running back for another very successful Shenandoah varsity football team last fall.

“Bouncing back from my injury and battling through tough matches like those today (Saturday) has been great, but I haven’t done it alone,” Allred said after the title match. “I have had amazing coaches, and without my partners in the (wrestling workout) room, I wouldn’t be wrestling like I am now. It’s been fun to see the improvement this season.”

His teammate Lohrey had won 40 straight matches until he met a strong Cathedral foe in the semifinals. Earlier in the championship round of matches, at 145 pounds, Lohrey had competed in the third place match, and led 5-4 in points early in the third period against Dakota Ball of Southmont, before Ball scored the last four points of the match to take an 8-5 decision.

“I don’t really have any excuses (for the two losses),” Lohrey said after dropping the match versus Ball. “I just didn’t wrestle the way I usually wrestle. The second round match (won in extra time) drained me a little bit, and I just didn’t wrestle like I can after that.”

He credited a lot of offseason work as the key for the sparkling season he has enjoyed.

“Wrestling in the summer was the key, I think, because after losing here in the semi-state last year, after only a couple of days off, I was right back in the wrestling room, and competed all summer, so all of the hard work has paid off for me,” Lohrey added.

Shenandoah coaches commented on Allred’s spectacular season to date.

“He (Allred) came back right before the team duals (meet) and he just took off,” Head Coach Jason Barbosa said. “I don’t know what else to say, he’s just a great young man, and I hope he can keep it up next week (at state).”

In the second weight division of the mid-afternoon semifinals, New Castle junior A. J. Black took to the mat versus Brayden Lowery of Indianapolis Roncalli, and late in the second period of that semifinal Black appeared to be injured during some aggressive mat action, and was suddenly and unexpectedly pinned at the match’s 3:35 mark.

Black, in suffering just his third match loss of the season, stayed down on the match for several minutes before struggling to his feet, and ultimately, a move into the training room to see if he could return to the mat for a later third place match during the championship round.

“I don’t remember much about the match,” Black said of the loss, and injury, in the semifinals. “The coaches told me I was ‘choked out” (choked as a move was applied by a wrestling foe), so the decision was whether I would try to come back and wrestle, and since not wrestling would mean a tougher foe next week (at state), I was able to come back and tough it out (finish and win a match).”

The Trojan junior managed to return, and impressively, posted a 6-0 victory by decision over Caleb Oliver of Indianapolis Cathedral, finishing third at 113 pounds, his second straight year of finishing third in his weight division at the New Castle semi-state.

Last year, while wrestling for Shenandoah High School, Black rallied in the state meet and surged to a state runner-up finish. He will bring a sparkling 52-3 season record into that season-ending showcase.

In Saturday’s opening two rounds, Black won by technical fall over Dylan Darman of Greenfield-Central by a count of 18-2, then decisioned Parker Moseley of North Montgomery 7-0.

“I am pretty confident with how I am wrestling, and have been wrestling better late in the season,” Black said. “Last year, I was third at semi-state and went on to finish second at state. I lost in overtime to the defending state champion during the season, so my confidence versus him has risen if I get the chance to wrestle him again at state.”

Other Trojan wrestlers to win semi-state matches on Saturday were Trevor Ragle (126) and Dalton Clouse (220).

New Castle head varsity wrestling coach Rex Peckinpaugh spoke of all his Trojan wrestlers who took to the mat on Saturday.

“Whenever a kid gets hurt, you never know how they can come back, and sometimes it is just a mental thing,” Peckinpaugh said of his state qualifier Black.

“But he (Black) did a good job in coming back, and put himself in a better place for next week. I was proud of all the guys today; they all had a great effort, starting with Traye (Owens) after A;J., and he hurt his wrist early in the match and fought through the injury, but couldn’t get the win. Later, he got an x-ray and his wrist was broken in two places.”

Next was Trevor Ragle.

“Trevor Ragle won his first match today, but ran into a tough match in the second one,” Peckinpaugh said. “But he was a state qualifier for us last year, and a conference champion this year, and had a great high school career.”

“Trevor will likely be an academic all-state kid, and his younger brother Tytus did well today and all year, but ran into a real tough kid from North Central today (Saturday) and couldn’t get the win, Peckinpaugh explained.”

There were two more Trojan grapplers in action.

“Travis Reeves competed at 170 after being really sick all week, missing multiple days of school, and he was doing well before a mistake late cost him the match,” Peckinpaugh said. “Dalton Clouse wrestled and won his first match today, then faced a tough kid from Elwood who got ahead early, and just never allowed him to get back in the match, but he had a great career here as well.”

Area wrestlers to compete Saturday but fail to win a match were, in chronological order by weight class, Thomas Sollars of Knightstown (113), Blake Alfrey of Shenandoah and Traye Owens of New Castle (120), Justin Hummel of Shenandoah (132), Nick Walsh of Knightstown, Dallas Pugsley of Shenandoah, and Tytus Ragle of New Castle (138), Travis Reeves of New Castle (170), Josiah Jackson of Tri and Jake Combs of Hagerstown (182), and Burias Wisner of Knightstown (285).

As for the team standings, Indianapolis Cathedral posted a big win in piling up 192.5 points, nearly 80 more than any of the other 35 scoring teams. Perry Meridian was a solid second with 113 points, followed by Roncalli (80.5) and Zionsville (80).

The highest scoring area team was Shenandoah with 33 total points, while New Castle was 18th with 18.5 points.

Hagerstown, Tri and Knightstown did not score.

Shenandoah and Eastern Hancock, the two new members of the Mid-Eastern Conference (MEC), and Union County and Centerville from the Tri-Eastern Conference (TEC) scored points on Saturday.

As for the Hoosier Heritage Conference (HHC), Greenfield-Central was the top-scoring school from the HHC, followed by New Castle, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), New Palestine, and Pendleton Heights.

Friday’s first state wrestling event session is set to begin at 6 p.m.