Numbers have never been a strength for the Indian Creek wrestling team.
Even in the best of times, the Braves never quite fill each weight class.
But no matter.
What Indian Creek lacks in roster size it typically makes up for in postseason qualifiers.
And this year, like no other year, the Braves have made up for it in postseason qualifiers.
Coming off its best sectional performance in team history, Indian Creek is sending seven wrestlers to Saturday’s Mooresville Regional. The contingent includes three sectional champions, two runners-up and two others who placed in the top four of their respective weight classes.
“That’s the best we’ve wrestled all year,” fourth-year coach Pat Dowty said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better performance. All of our kids really showed up.”
To put the achievement in perspective, Indian Creek sent 10 wrestlers to the regional. All but three made it out.
That’s not all.
Despite being four wrestlers short of a full team, the Braves finished third in a 10-team field that included champion Center Grove and runner-up Franklin. The third-place finish was the best-ever by Indian Creek.
And seven regional qualifiers was an unprecedented team total.
But the Braves aren’t basking in the afterglow.
Instead, they’ve turned their attention to the regional, where they have a chance to get all seven wrestlers to the Feb. 12 semistate at Evansville. The top four place-winners in each weight class get to make the trip.
“Everyone’s really confident and thinks they can do it,” said sophomore Grant Goforth, the 182-pound sectional champion. “We’re going to be up for those matches.
“We all feel we can do it.”
In light of sectional results, it’s easy to understand why.
Goforth, for example, was one of a handful of Braves wrestlers who placed higher than his seeding. He was No. 2 in his weight class but emerged a champion.
At 138, sophomore Brad Trietsch upset the No. 1 seed and went on to a second-place finish.
And where Braves were the top seeds, they delivered.
Freshman Alex Mosconi was No. 1 at 113 and won the title. Senior Elijah Dunn did the same at 152, where he was the top seed.
Sophomore Tony Mosconi was seeded second at 126 and placed second.
But again, the Braves aren’t dwelling on the sectional. They are trying to build on the primary lesson from it.
“I tell the kids it doesn’t really matter what your record is,” Dowty said. “The whole season is practice for this, tournament time. You start off 0-0 coming into the sectional, so I try to tell them not to look at other people’s records. Don’t even look at your own record.
“I’ve seen kids come in undefeated and lose in the first round. You never know. There’s always big upsets.”
Moving forward, the Braves are bidding for more upsets, while at the same time trying to avoid any.
For example, Alex Mosconi is unbeaten at 30-0 and is a viable state championship contender. Dunn, who placed fourth at last year’s state meet, is 35-1 and is also a championship contender.
Although Dowty is confident all seven Braves have a chance to reach the semistate, he knows there are no guarantees — not even for his best wrestlers.
“You’ve just got to do what you do best. I think there’s a good chance we could get them all out,” Dowty said. “With a young team, too, there’s a good chance we could all be going home if they’re all still living on (the sectional).”
Besides Dunn, Goforth, Trietsch and siblings Alex and Tony Mosconi, the Braves’ other regional qualifiers are junior Joe Clevenger (170) and sophomore Tyler Weltich (132).
“We just have fun with it. We don’t stress out about it,” Goforth said. “We don’t have pressure on us.
“We’re just Indian Creek, but we just go out there and wrestle and have fun and see what happens.”
What: Wrestling regional
Where: Mooresville High School
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Feeder sectionals: Mooresville, Avon
Advancement: Top four place-winners in each weight class advance to the Feb. 13 Evansville Semistate
Local regional qualifiers
Center Grove: Peyton Pruett, 113 pounds; Zak Siddiqui, 120; David Roth, 132; Anthony Williams, 138; Logan Coyle, 145; Gleason Mappes, 160; Jonah Hays, 170; Cory Heinrichs, 220; Derek Lewis, 285
Franklin: Gabe Pitzulo, 106; Gavin Frost, 126; Trevor Reese, 138; Shane Wilkerson, 145; Mat Ahlefeld (alternate), 152; Burk Van Horn, 160; Jake Moore, 170; Alex Zollman, 182; Dominic Alvey, 195; Manny Cheam, 220; Quinn York, 285.
Greenwood: Keeghan Overton, 106; Robert Skirvin, 126; Jacob Schrader, 132; A.J. Montgomery, 182; Nick Ballard, 195
Indian Creek: Alex Mosconi, 113; Tony Mosconi, 126; Tyler Weltich, 132; Brad Trietsch, 138; Elijah Dunn, 152; Joe Clevenger, 170; Grant Goforth, 182
Whiteland: Aaron Adkins, 106; Geremia Brooks, 113; Jake Perry, 132; Matthias Ebeyer, 145