Switzerland County High School wrestling history was made last Saturday afternoon at the Jeffersonville Regional — and that history will continue to be built upon this Saturday in Evansville as two Pacer wrestlers advance to the Semistate for the first time in school history.
Twin brothers Austin and Jacob Wolf, both juniors at Switzerland County High School, will take the mat on Saturday morning, and their training and dedication will play out as they attempt to finish in the top four out of the 16 wrestlers in the semistate weight class, advancing them on to the State Finals in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse the following weekend.
For two athletes who didn’t start wrestling until their freshman year in high school — advancing to this level has been anchored in hard work and long hours.
“Wrestling is a sport that takes so much dedication,” father and coach David Wolf said. “We practice five days a week here; and then they are going to Kentucky to wrestle on Sunday afternoons. All summer they went to East Central on Wednesday nights for open mats. They’ve really put in the work, as has the whole team.”
At last Saturday’s regional, Austin wrestled in the 126-pound weight class. He was seeded fourth going into the Sectional and finished in third place overall, which advanced him to the regional.
In the regional, Austin wrestled against an athlete from Tell City, and he won that match to advance — but his dad said that then Austin was struck by illness, and wrestled the remainder of the regional not at full strength.
“He got sick and the rest of the day kinda went down hill,” David said. “I think he could have done better — and he thinks he could have done better, too; but there’s sickness going around and it’s been plagued in the house.”
Austin wrestled two more matches at the regional, losing two close matches to athletes from Madison and Seymour — both of whom Austin had defeated earlier in the year. Still, that opening win secured his place in the top four, and his spot at the semistate.
“It goes to show you that he could have done better, but he wasn’t himself that day,” David said. “He’s been wrestling injured for the past six weeks. He’s got two broken fingers, one on each hand, so it’s been rough.”
At Saturday’s Semistate, Austin, sporting an overall record of 27-8 for the year, will face off against Gavinn Alstott of Floyd Central, who brings a record of 37-1 into the semistate and is ranked as the #3 wrestler in the state in his weight class.
Jacob Wolf wrestles in the 132-pound weight class — which is a heavier weight class than he actually weighs.
The top seed in his weight class going into the Sectional, Jacob ended up second overall to advance; and some questionable calls in the championship match could have turned the tide and given him a sectional championship.
The trip to the semistate for Jacob is even more impressive when you factor in that he’s been wrestling heavier wrestlers all season long — since Austin and Jacob are twins, they weigh approximately the same, but since each school is allowed one wrestler per weight class, someone has to move up.
“Jacob is very small for his weight class,” David said. “They’re twins, so they should both be at 126-pounds; but Jacob has taken the role of moving up, because Austin’s actually done it the last two years. The started out really rough for Jacob. He was getting beaten up on, and then something clicked about halfway through the season, and he’s been beating a lot of really good people. Something’s clicked and they are both just wrestling with all of the heart and will and everything you can possibly imagine.”
At the Semistate, Jacob’s opponent in the first round is Hayden Watson of Center Grove. Watson has a record of 38-1, and is ranked as the #5 wrestler in the state in that weight class.
Jacob comes into the Semistate with an impressive record of 30-11, so that first round match should be a true battle.