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Franklin leads way with 5 qualifiers


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Ten wrestlers from Johnson County qualified at Saturday’s Evansville Semistate for Friday’s opening round of the IHSAA State Wrestling Meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Franklin led the way with five wrestlers, including a pair of semistate champions in senior Luke Kriech (40-3) at 160 pounds and junior Connor Tolley (38-3) at 220. Also making state for the Grizzly Cubs were juniors D.J. Smith (38-5), who will make his second state appearance at 106, and Skyler Lykins (35-8) at 132, and senior Garett Fentz (37-6) at 170.

Indian Creek senior Tyler Hupp also was a champion, taking the 138-pound crown and raising his record to a 39-1.

He is making his third straight trip to the state meet and is looking for his first top-eight finish.

Center Grove and Greenwood advanced two wrestlers each to the state meet.

Center Grove sends junior Tyler Fleener (40-3), who took second place at 126, and senior Drew Ponder (32-6) at 285.

Greenwood sends junior Bailey Schober (31-11) at 126, and senior Jonah Thompson (38-5) at 138.

While that is no surprise for the Trojans, it will be Greenwood’s first appearance in the state finals in recent seasons.

In the team competition, Franklin was runner-up to Bloomington South, 115-103. Danville was third. Center Grove was ninth. Indian Creek finished 15th and Greenwood was 16th.

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