The Harrison Raider wrestling team won its fourth straight regional title last weekend.
All together, Harrison had 10 wrestlers advance to the East Chicago Central semi-state.
Harrison’s regional victory was charged by four individual champions.
Trey McCartney (106 pounds), Dennis Ingle (160 pounds), Isaac Mathis (182 pounds), and Donnie Crider (220 pounds) won individual titles.
“We have goals of winning each tournament that we are in,” said head coach Scott Van Der Aa.”We have done that with the Anderson tournament, Western Boone tournament, McCutcheon tournament, Richmond tournament, NCC, sectional, and regional.”
The Raiders are close to winning an eighth tournament this season.
To send all 10 wrestlers to the state finals would be very difficult, but Van Der Aa believes his team is up for the challenge.
“I expect each of our wrestlers to win at semi-state, as they have been working very hard to get to this point and will not stop pushing themselves this week,” said Van Der Aa.
If the Raiders wrestle like they have the past few weeks, they should have a good shot of having more individual champions.
“I am really proud of the guys and how everyone keeps improving,” said sophomore McCartney, who has posted a 50-1 record on the season. “We have gained an individual champion each week from conference to regional, and we have extended our margins of victory in the team race each week.”
The East Chicago Semi-state may be the toughest one in the state.
“Each stage in the state tournament gets more difficult. Our semi-state has always been the toughest one in the state, and this year will be no different,” said Van Der Aa.
It includes seven No. 1-ranked wrestlers in the state like Merrillville senior Shawn Streck (285 pounds), who is not only ranked first in the state but is ranked second nationally.
Early in the season, Harrison lost to Lafayette Jeff, which lit a fire underneath the team, a fire that has propelled the team to where they are now, and that fire is still burning.
“After we lost the dual meet to Jeff in our own house, there was a new focus in the room, and we realized that sectionals and regionals would be tough to win, and we weren't favorites going in for once,” said senior Elias Laborin.
Harrison semi-state wrestlers: Trey McCartney, so. (106 pounds); Josh Wade, so. (113 pounds); Cody Betourne, fr. (120 pounds); Jacob Wade, sr. (126 pounds); Alyair Alavrez, sr. (132 pounds); Myles Krintz, so. (138 pounds); Dennis Ingle, sr. (160 pounds); Isaac Mathis, sr. (182 pounds); Donnie Crider, so. (220 pounds); Elias Laborin, sr. (285 pounds)