For Johnson County wrestlers, the long, winding road to Bankers Life Fieldhouse begins this weekend.
On Saturday, grapplers from 10 schools — including Center Grove, Franklin, Greenwood, Indian Creek and Whiteland — will hit the mat at the Mooresville Sectional with hopes of keeping their seasons alive for another week.
Winning an individual sectional title will be a goal for everyone, but the main objective will be to reach the semifinal round. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will earn a spot in next week’s regional, which also will be held at Mooresville.
Here’s a look at some of the area wrestlers best positioned to chase championships this Saturday and beyond:
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Owen Sego, Indian Creek: The freshman is ranked ninth in the state and first in the sectional. He owns a 10-2 major decision over his chief sectional competition, Greenwood junior Keeghan Overton.
Keeghan Overton, Greenwood: The junior claimed the Johnson County title at 106 pounds (though Sego wrestled up and took first at 113).
Alex Petro, Center Grove: Ranked seventh among wrestlers who will funnel into the Evansville Semistate, Petro is the top-ranked competitor heading into Mooresville.
Alex Mosconi, Indian Creek: A state qualifier last year at 113 pounds, the sophomore won the Johnson County championship at 126 and is ranked seventh in the state.
Brad Trietsch, Indian Creek: Another county champion for the Braves, the junior comes in ranked first in the sectional and third among possible regional qualifiers.
Logan Coyle, Center Grove: Though he won the county title at 152 pounds and would be a sectional favorite at that weight, the senior is now ranked eighth in the state at 145.
Trevor Reese, Franklin: The Johnson County champion at 145, the senior figures to challenge Coyle for the sectional title on Saturday.
Gleason Mappes, Center Grove: After finishing fourth in the state at 160 as a junior last year, Mappes is the favorite to claim the sectional crown Saturday. He won the county title in December.
Burk VanHorn, Franklin: The state runner-up at 160 a year ago, the senior enters the postseason ranked first in the state at 170. He claimed the Johnson County title in December.
Jonah Hays, Center Grove: The junior might be a sectional favorite were it not for VanHorn. Hays, ranked third among Evansville Semistate hopefuls, is still expected to advance past the weekend.
Jake Moore, Franklin: A county champion at 195 pounds, the senior is expected to fare just as well at 182, where he is ranked 14th in the state and first in the sectional field.
Ryan Hammond, Whiteland: Despite getting off to a late start this season, the junior — a state qualifier two years ago at 182 — is ranked eighth in the state.
Grant Goforth, Indian Creek: Right behind Hammond in the state rankings at No. 9, the junior hopes to add a sectional crown to the county title he won at 220 pounds.
Manny Cheam, Franklin: Ranked 11th in the state, Cheam figures to challenge Martinsville’s Clayton Scroggs for top billing at 220 come Saturday.
Jacob Lamping, Franklin: The county’s heavyweight champion, Lamping is ranked 16th in the state and taking aim at Plainfield’s Bryce Biddle, the state’s No. 5 at 285.
Garrett Curtis, Whiteland: The junior is ranked sixth in the Evansville Semistate and in the top three of the sectional field.
Cory Heinrichs, Center Grove: Eighth in the semistate rankings, the junior will try to secure a top-four spot and move on to a potentially loaded regional.
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.
Where: Mooresville High School
Teams participating: Center Grove, Franklin, Greenwood, Indian Creek, Whiteland, Decatur Central, Martinsville, Monrovia, Mooresville, Plainfield
Advancement: The top four individuals in each weight class advance to next week’s Mooresville Regional.