NEW PALESTINE — The New Palestine wrestling program has been talking the talk since before the season began.
Wednesday, the Dragons walked the walk.
New Palestine won six of the final eight matches to beat No. 3-ranked Indianapolis Cathedral 39-30 in a dual meet that featured a pair of overtime matches, which the host Dragons captured.
It was an impressive victory for No. 9 New Palestine — whose 14-man lineup featured seven freshmen and sophomores — over defending team semistate champ Cathedral.
“Since Day One, the second we knew Cathedral was on the schedule, it was ‘They’re going to be the big dogs that we have to take down this year,’” said senior 145-pounder Robbie Elsea, who clinched the win for the Dragons with a 6-3 decision over Brant Larson in the next-to-last-match of the evening. “Our saying this year is ‘Team to Beat,’ and we definitely showed that today.
“And it’s going to be the theme for the whole year.”
The Dragons improved to 17-0 and will be favored to win their first sectional title since 2008 come tournament time in late January.
Early in Wednesday’s battle, however, Cathedral made strides toward handing New Palestine its first loss.