Chesterton Trojans claim Semi-State Wrestling Championship, avenging Regional defeat to Crown Point

Chesterton Trojans claim Semi-State Wrestling Championship, avenging Regional defeat to Crown Point

Brock Ellis had one thing on his mind Saturday morning – payback. The Chesterton wrestler was still feeling the frustration of his loss to Crown Point’s Javen Estrada in the 152 pound finals of last weekend’s Regional Championship, and his team’s 1.5 point defeat to the Bulldogs. He knew he could do better, and he knew the team could do better.

“It’s been in the back of my mind. I’ve been training for this one guy almost the entire season,” Ellis said. “I didn’t like that feeling last weekend. I didn’t want it to happen again.”



Ellis was right – there was more in the tank for himself, and for the Trojans. He defeated Estrada to claim a personal title, and the Trojans felled the Bulldogs 197.5 to 182.0 to earn the Semi-State Championship.

“It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders now,” Ellis said. “I just got it done this time. I made a couple mistakes last week, so we cut out those mistakes and focused on what worked and I got it done. I just wrestled my match.”

He knows the story is not over yet, however, as there are good odds he will face Estrada again at some point in the State Finals. It might be a chance for him to avenge his other loss from this season.

“He’s good, I hope to see him Saturday night,” Ellis said. “I wanted to go undefeated this year, I’m still thinking of all those losses so I’ve got another one to give to him. Hopefully we’ll tie it up.”

Despite losing the title to Chesterton, it was not a bad night for the Bulldogs, as both teams qualified eight wrestlers for Semi-State. Crown Point’s Jesse Mendez, a junior, won the 138 pound final and will be seeking his third individual state title next weekend. He has lost just one match throughout his high school career, while claiming over 100 victories.

“I know every kid is working hard and wants to be a champ, but I just gotta go in there thinking I’m wrestling for a world title every match,” Mendez said. “Everybody wants to work hard and reach the top, so I just have to work that much harder to beat my opponents.”

FloWrestling, the leading national wrestling news outlet, ranked Mendez the pound-for-pound 6th best wrestler in the country. His ambitions do not stop at state—he dreams of Olympic glory and knows that every wrestler on the floor wants to be the one to stop him.

“I like having that target on my back,” he said. “It drives me to be the best. I like being number one, the wolf at the top of the mountains.”

Top 10 Team Scores

  1. Chesterton - 197. 5
  2. Crown Point - 182.0
  3. Penn - 134.5
  4. West Lafayette - 46.0
  5. Kankakee Valley - 41.0
  6. Hobart - 37.5
  7. Mishawaka - 35.0
  8. Portage - 33.5
  9. La Porte - 33.0
  10. Wawasee - 33.0

Weight Class Placements (top 4 advance to State)

1st Place - Ashton Jackson of LaPorte
2nd Place - Jeffrey Bailey of River Forest
3rd Place - Evan Cruz of Crown Point
4th Place - Dylan Bennett of Penn

1st Place - Hayden DeMarco of Chesterton
2nd Place - Anthony Bahl of Crown Point
3rd Place - Bryce Denton of Penn
4th Place - Drake Fritz of West Central


1st Place - Sergio Lemley of Chesterton
2nd Place - Logan Frazier of Crown Point
3rd Place - Nathaniel Hennessey of Seeger
4th Place - Tristian Vaughn of Harrison (West Lafayette)


1st Place - Sam Goin of Crown Point
2nd Place - Matteo Vargo of Penn
3rd Place - Devin Wible of Hobart
4th Place - Brenden Dilley of Wawasee


1st Place - Aidan Torres of Chesterton
2nd Place - Stephen Roberson of Crown Point
3rd Place - Cole Solomey of Kankakee Valley
4th Place - Lakin Webb of Rensselaer Central


1st Place - Jesse Mendez of Crown Point
2nd Place - Bradley Conrad of Portage
3rd Place - Jace Alexander of Wawasee
4th Place - Kyle Carter of Rensselaer Central


1st Place - Ethan Kaiser of Chesterton
2nd Place - Braden Nuest of West Central
3rd Place - Cameron Powell of Mishawaka High School
4th Place - James Smith of Penn


1st Place - Brock Ellis of Chesterton
2nd Place - Javen Estrada of Crown Point
3rd Place - Aidan Pollitt of Valparaiso
4th Place - Isaiah Ponce of Lake Central


1st Place - Orlando Cruz of Crown Point
2nd Place - Bradey Pittman of Plymouth
3rd Place - Aaron `AJ` Steenbeke of Penn
4th Place - Jamaal Salary of LaPorte


1st Place - Pate Eastin of Penn
2nd Place - Aiden Sneed of Kankakee Valley
3rd Place - Jacob Simpson of Hobart
4th Place - Spencer Phillips of McCutcheon


1st Place - Gavin Layman of Chesterton
2nd Place - Colin Kwiatkowski of Valparaiso
3rd Place - Jake Sues of Lake Central
4th Place - Brandon Estepp of Warsaw Community


1st Place - Eli Pack of Culver Academies
2nd Place - Connor Barket of West Lafayette
3rd Place - Gage DeMarco of Chesterton
4th Place - Bazle Owens of Tippecanoe Valley


1st Place - Evan Bates of Chesterton
2nd Place - Jason Streck of Merrillville
3rd Place - Jacob Raub of Lafayette Jefferson
4th Place - Peyton Kendall of Penn


1st Place - Mariere Omonode of West Lafayette
2nd Place - Edgar Decker of Gavit
3rd Place - Hunter Whitenack of New Prairie
4th Place - Brock Donati of Penn