Feb. 12—NEW CASTLE — For the first time since 1993, a Batesville wrestler will be competing in the IHSAA State Finals. Batesville's Max Amberger (40-4) won his first two matches at 285 to earn a berth in the state finals this Saturday in Evansville.
Amberger, a junior for the Bulldogs, defeated Frankton's Ty Everson 9-1 in the opening round and Greenfield-Central's Brayden Flener 5-2 in the quarterfinal. The second win of the day guaranteed Amberger a trip to the state final.
Amberger was defeated 6-3 by eventual semistate champion Austin Hastings of Noblesville. Amberger lost the third place match to Warren Central's Perris Green.
Amberger will face Center Grove senior Nate Johnson (23-1) in the opening round of the state finals.
Batesville's Damien Dance (41-1) won his first match of the semistate by pin over Tipton's Williams Wolford. In the second round, Dance fell 11-7 to Roncalli's James Dozier.
The other three semistate qualifiers for Batesville, David Maher, Andrew Jones and Adam Brewer, suffered first round losses.
Greensburg's Cayden Beagle finished a solid season on the mat at the semistate. Beagle lost to Westfield's Keegan Carson 12-4 at 106. Beagle ends the season at 22-15.
None of the Lions semistate qualifiers, Briggs Tackett at 106, Pacey Dye (138), Denver Campbell (157) and Sam Pavey (175), advanced out of the opening round. Campbell was unable to wrestle at 157 and Dye was an alternate at 138.
The Lions are young with two semistate qualifiers being sophomores and one being a freshman.
"Briggs Tackett, Denver Campbell, Sam Pavey, and Pacey Dye all had great seasons. Just getting there is quite an accomplishment," Coach Tush said. "With two semistate qualifiers as sophomores and one as a freshman, things are looking really good for a trip to state next year. Just being there this year to get the experience of the atmosphere will go a long way next year."
Contact Aaron Kirchoff at email@example.com.