Senior staff writer
Six wrestlers from Southside high schools scored top-eight finishes Saturday at the state finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Perry Meridian senior Brett Johnson was third in the 152-pound class and was one of four Falcons to stand on the podium. Johnson (38-4) opened by dominating Indian Creek’s Elijah Dunn 7-2 and defeated Yorktown’s Cael McCormick 4-1 before losing to eventual runner-up Steven Lawrence of Portland 12-6.
Johnson came back and defeated Andrew Herrin (42-5) of Jennings County 6-3 for third place.
Teammates Daniel Brookbank (34-10), 132 pounds, and Noah Warren (39-3), 160, were seventh, and Sammy Fair (35-7), 106, was eighth.
Franklin Central senior Jordan Vaughn (45-4) was fourth in the 145-pound class. He reached the semifinals before losing 2-1 to eventual runner-up Kasper McIntosh of Portland. Vaughn later lost to Yorktown’s Brad Laughlin 4-2 in the third-place match.
Center Grove sophomore Gleason Mappes (37-11) reached the semifinals but lost to Franklin’s Burk VanHorn 9-3 before losing the third-place match 8-7 to Martinsville’s Cayden Whitaker.
Beech Grove senior Ethan Smiley (41-8) won his first match with a technical fall against Columbia City’s Hunter Langeloh but lost his quarterfinal match in the 120-pound class.
Perry Meridian senior Chris Ridle (29-10) lost his first match to Franklin’s Quinn York 5-0.
Warren Central, coached by former Perry Meridian coach Jim Tonte, won the state team championship for the first time.