NEW PALESTINE — Chad (C.J.) Red has big goals after high school. On Sunday night, the New Palestine senior put his plan in motion with one phone call.
Just returning home from an official visit to North Carolina State, one of the many programs interested in the nation’s top-ranked wrestler, Red was contacted by Nebraska head coach Mark Manning.
When Red returned Manning’s message, he was greeted by three voices — one specifically, he hopes is a glimpse into his future.
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“He was with Jordan Burroughs and James Green, and they asked if I wanted to be a Husker or not,” Red said. “I told them, ‘I did.’”
Officially committing to Nebraska on Sunday night at 11 p.m., the news was broke by flowrestling.com and went viral in a matter of minutes Monday night.
The decision, Red said, was actually made long before social media caught wind of it.
With Olympic aspirations, Red locked in on Big Red shortly after coaches came to his house in early July, earning his mother’s, Nikki, approval following an in-depth conversation.
The names Burroughs and Green, a four-time NCAA All-American, were also major factors as he narrowed his list of potentials to Penn State and North Carolina State along with Nebraska.
“I watched how Jordan Burroughs got better from his first year (at Nebraska) through his last year at college and won the NCAAs,” Red said. “After his NCAA career, he went on to the Olympics. The coaches and I both can see myself doing that in the next couple of years.”
Burroughs was a four-year starter for Nebraska and a three-time All-American. He worked into a two-time undefeated national champion and in 2012 won Olympic gold in London in addition to his third World Championship this month.
Red said North Carolina State was a close second but Nebraska offered exactly what he wanted, from Olympic alumni to locally available televised Big Ten Conference coverage.
In November, the three-time undefeated Indiana high school state champion intends to sign his letter of intent. Before he puts ink to paper though, Red has a few things to take care.
On Oct. 17, he is schedule to compete in the Who’s #1 wrestling tournament at the Snakepit in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, where he will match-up in a four-man bracket as the nation’s top 132-pounder.
Red will face third-ranked Yianni Diakomihalis of New York with No. 2 Luke Pletcher of Pennsylvania and No. 4 Taylor Lamont of Utah also invited to compete.
Two weeks later in Greensboro, North Carolina, Red will vie for his second Super 32 national title, beginning Oct. 31.
Both are his first national events this offseason since he won the 126-pound FloNationals title this past spring.
The break from competition has served him well, said Red, who feels in prime shape to achieve his next goal of becoming Indiana’s ninth four-time high school wrestling state champion — and just the third to complete the feat with a perfect career record.
“I feel like this is my most important year. I want to win a fourth state title,” said Red, who owns a 139-0 record. “I know I want to go undefeated. I don’t want to lose, so I’m going to keep training harder. I want to finish the year No. 1 in the world.”
Run at royal
tyMt. Vernon’s Christian Noble had a week to remember after clinching his first-ever Hancock County Cross-Country Championship at New Palestine High School on Tuesday.The senior raced to the Marauders’ 11th overall individual boys’ championship in 16 minutes, 21.05 seconds and helped the team repeat as county champs.The title marked the program’s second straight after Aaron Rush claimed the blue ribbon last fall, but it wasn’t the only crown Noble donned in recent days.
Named as homecoming king last Friday at halftime of the Marauders’ football game against Delta, Noble was king — on and off the course.
“He’s had a great four days,” Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall joked.
Noble’s season has been stellar to date as well. Unbeaten as an individual through the fall, Noble credits his offseason training for his “Super 7” ranking by hoosierxc.com.
Unable to run the past two summers due to stress fractures, Noble was at full strength after placing seventh in the 3,200- meter run at the IHSAA track and field state finals last June.
“I had a whole summer this year. I took one day off from track state to summer training. I had that Sunday off,” Noble said. “I put in a good amount of mileage over the summer to build up my base.”
It’s worked so far as he’s posted his fastest time of the year with a 15:19 at the Muncie Central Invitational this month. He is running toward a top-10 finish at cross country state after placing 16th a year ago.
King of the net
Greenfield-Central’s Enrique Ferrara made school history last weekend in Batesville.The senior recorded two goals in his team’s 2-2 tie to become the program’s all-time leader in goals scored. The previous mark was set in 2001 by Nick Richards at 65.
Ferrara tied Richards’ record with his first goal in the first minute of play. He surpassed the former king with his 66th career goal in the second half, once again in the first minute.
Conference race updates
The chase for the Hoosier Heritage Conference is nearing an end for both the Mt. Vernon and New Palestine boys soccer teams.Tied for first, Mt. Vernon is 11-2-1 on the season and 5-1 in the HHC. The Marauders lost to New Palestine during the regular season but control their fate, needing to win out against Pendleton Heights to finish with one league loss.
The Dragons have two HHC games left on their schedule — at Delta on Saturday and hosting Pendleton Heights on Thursday.
If the Marauders and the Dragons win out, they will each claim a share of the title.