Wrestlers from all over the DAC convened today at Lake Central High School for the DAC Conference Tournament, and although Crown Point put up a scare, Portage took the crown with 248 points, followed by Crown Point at 205 and Chesterton with 192.
The day was filled with favorites following suit, and surprises emerging from the ranks. Portage proved why they were the team to beat today, wrestling with heart and coming away with the title led by Steven Lawrence, who won in an energetic match against Valparaiso’s Nathan Beller.
Although Portage came in as the favorites, Head Coach Leroy Vega urged his team to keep fighting as though they were the underdogs.
“We just have to keep winning, keep attacking and keep moving forward in the rounds” Vega told IIMM before the match. "I expect all my guys to win, they keep going hard and wrestling hard. But this is a tough tournament, it’s the DAC, so we just have to keep attacking”.
Valparaiso’s Greg and Michael Lichtenburger both advanced to the championship, as well as Ian and Tristan Dembowski, and the team was happy with how the day turned out; hoping it would turn into a rallying cry for the rest of the season.
“I think we’ve wrestled pretty well so far” said Valpo’s head coach, Mark Line, after the match. “We lost some matches that we were hoping to win obviously, but right now we are where we want to be. The boys are wrestling aggressive and that’s all we can ask of them. We got some guys back, and we came through well.”
Merrillville also had a strong showing with Jacob Covaciu winning for the second time in a row, and Shawn Streck winning the 285 Division.
And while the conference meet was decided today, there's still a lot on the line for all the teams heading into the rest of the season and moving into sectionals and state.
Weight Class Winners: 106-Jacob Moran Crown Point, 113-Rehan Uribe Crown Point, 120-Jonathan Moran, Crown Point, 126-Gaige Torres Portage, 132-Kris Rumph Portage, 138-Daylan Schurg Crown Point, 145-Kasper McIntosh Portage, 152-Steven Lawrence Portage, 160-Jacob Covaciu Merrillville, 170-Ismael Cornejo Portage, 182-Andrew Davison Chesterton, 195-Lucas Davison Chesterton, 220-Alex Kukurugya Valparaiso, and 285-Shawn Streck Merrillville