EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - High school wrestling in southwest Indiana has long been dominated by the Mater Dei Wildcats, and this year’s team lived up to that reputation after bringing home the IHSAA team state championship on Saturday night, winning the 13th title in the program’s history.
Meanwhile, two Mater Dei wrestlers were also crowned as individual state champions with Brody Baumann (160 pounds) and Gabe Sollars (182 pounds) winning their title matches. Alec Freeman also took home state runner-up at 132 pounds.
Wrestlers, coaches, parents and fans celebrated these titles with a sheriff’s escort back to the school on Sunday.
“Just super proud of the guys who competed this weekend,” Mater Dei wrestling coach Greg Schaefer said. “You know, the team race was really exciting and they just performed really well. They just wrestled for each other, they dug deep and they put some great performances together throughout the weekend, and I’m just super-proud of them.”
“Every year, we’re going to the state tournament trying to win a title,” Baumann said. “I mean we’ve been close the past couple years - haven’t been able to get it done, but this year was a special group of guys. I mean we bond like brothers on the team, and we all just want see each other do the very best that we can.”
“Behind the win was the process,” Sollars said. “We had to work for this. It wasn’t just this moment we were training for - it was the process. We enjoyed it.”
Evan Seng, Cole Ross and Blake Boarman also placed at the state finals for the Wildcats.