STRAUGHN — As a former wrestler and now a third-year coach, Eastern Hancock’s Keith Oliver knows that nine times out of 10, a headlock throw does not work on the mats.
However, much to his chagrin, that one time proved to be epic as Josh Robinson pulled off the move to perfection Saturday at the Tri Sectional, knocking off New Castle’s Kyle Fultz by fall to claim the 285-pound weight-class title.
“We have told him for three years that he’s got all the ability in the world to do big things, and he showed it when it mattered most,” Oliver said. “I was a bit concerned, though. I tell him all the time that if you are going to do a headlock throw, you better be strong enough to execute it, and he did.”
The execution left Robinson all smiles.
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“It feels really good, and I’ve waited a long time for this. My favorite part is I won on a headlock throw and I can tell coach Oliver that it worked. He tells me all the time not to do it,” Robinson said.
Robinson was one of two champs for the Royals, who placed sixth overall in the 11-team tournament with 129 total points. New Castle claimed the sectional crown with 244 points.
Also earning a top spot on the podium was senior Jared Waterman (152), who became the first Eastern Hancock wrestler to go back-to-back at sectional since Oliver did it in 2002.
However, Waterman, who improved to 36-3, had to claw out of a 4-1 deficit against Centerville’s Isaiah Michaels in the final.
“I was thinking it wasn’t over and that I still had two periods to get the match back under control,” he said.
And he did, earning a 6-4 decision.
“It’s awesome for him, and I couldn’t be happier for the kid,” Oliver said of Waterman.
In all, Eastern Hancock advanced a total of six wrestlers to next week’s regional tournament at Richmond High School.
Joining Waterman and Robinson will be: Jordyn Wills (fourth at 132), Gabe Blake, (fourth at 138), Jayson Bowers (fourth at 145) and Mitch Quinn, (third at 220).
“I am a little disappointed to be honest. I thought we’d have a few more, but this is a stepping stone. We are in the third year of this process. We are getting there. If we can get the numbers up, we can be very good,” Oliver said.
At 132, Wills (24-12) will take on Franklin County’s Stevie Browning (40-4), while Blake (23-13) takes on Connersville’s Brady Gosnell. At 145, Bowers (25-12) faces South Dearborn’s Nathan Boggs (26-3), while Waterman wrestles South Dearborn’s Austin Draper (24-13). Quinn will open up against Franklin County’s Brayden Pence (25-17) and Robinson will contend with Milan’s Cameron Ison (15-8).
Tri Wrestling Sectional
1. New Castle;244.0
6. Eastern Hancock;129.0
9. Blue River Valley;35.0
11. Cambridge City Lincoln;26.0
106: Andrew Black (SHS) def. Traye Owens (NC), fall 0:32
113: Hayden Lohrey (SHS) def. AJ Taylor (CHS), fall 3:34
120: Dallas Puglsey (SHS) def. Trevor Ragle (NC), dec. 10-6
126: Elijah Phillips (CHS) def. Wes Craft (TRI), dec. 10-6
132: Javon Phillips (CHS) def. Adam Bundy (KHS), fall 1:48
138: Cameron Fender (KHS) def. Corbin Hines (NC), dec. 4-2
145: Sam Buck (NC) def. Jake Webster (SHS), dec. 5-0
152: Jared Waterman (EH) def. Isaiah Michaels (CHS), dec. 6-4
160: Alston Bane (RHS) def. Josh Gee (SHS), dec. 5-1
170: Chance Faith (TRI) def. Balin Orcutt (KHS), fall 2:51
182: Caleb Hoots (NC) def. Gabe Walker (SHS), maj. dec. 11-2
195: Zach Haager (NE) def. Jason Dishman (KHS), fall 3:44
220: Garrett Thomas (KHS) def. Dalton Clouse (NC), dec. 3-2
285: Josh Robinson (EH) def. Kyle Fultz (NC), fall 1:20
106: Luke Marley (CHS) def. Kennedy Louks (TRI), fall 2:38
113: Gavin Ridge (NC) def. Jacob Hanna (KHS), fall 1:31
120: Braden Plunkett (RHS) def. Thomas Sollars (KHS), fall 4:10
126: Brandon Purtha (HG) def. Jordan Mantor (NC), fall 4:24
132: Ryan Surguy (SHS) def. Jordyn Wills (EH), fall 2:20
138: Cody Delk (BRV) def. Gabe Blake (EH), fall 0:43
145: Luke Pope (BRV) def. Jayson Bowers (EH), fall 2:42
152: Garrett Marsh (NC) def. Tristin Goodwin (TRI), dec. 7-1
160: Jeffery Melton (NC) def. Josiah Jackson (TRI), fall 3:41
170: Conner Allen (CHS) def. Garrett House (NC), fall 1:59
182: Andrew McDaniel (HG) def. Zach Clark (KHS), fall 1:02
195: Nate Woollard (NC) def. Todd Harding (TRI), fall 2:40
220: Mitch Quinn (EH) def. Brandon Ramey (TRI), fall 3:53
285: Tyler Jackson (KHS) def. Ben Ahrens (CCL), fall 0:29