Chesterton Wrestling Team Places 2nd At State

The Trojan wrestling team places 2nd at state with 107 team points and two time state champion, Sergio Lemley.

Chloe Clendenin, Author

Just this past weekend the Chesterton wrestling team made their way to the state capitol, Indianapolis for the IHSAA state wrestling tournament. The tournament occurred on Friday, February 19th, and Saturday, February 20th. It was a two-day event at the Bankers Life Field House downtown Indianapolis. 

Chesterton previously sent 8 wrestlers to state last year in 2020 and came home with a state champion, Evan Bates. The wrestlers that made it to state from our team this year were Sergio Lemley, Ethan Kaiser, Evan Bates, Hayden Demarco, Brock Ellis, Aidan Torres, and Gavin Layman. 

The road to state consists of sectionals, regionals, and semi-state. For a team to make it to state they must place at each of these tournaments. Semi-state was a crucial tournament that determines which teams and individual wrestlers make it to state. Our team placed 1st at sectionals, 2nd at regionals, and 1st at semi-state. 

Due to Covid regulations, there were little to no spectators allowed in the building. Tickets went on sale for $50 to watch the live stream. The whole 2020-21 season has been shifted due to Covid regulations so this wasn’t extremely abnormal, however, most tournaments this season have allowed parents and family members to attend. The biggest tournament of the wrestling season is the most anticipated one that everyone wants to attend, not just parents, so this was a slight change of experience for the wrestlers and their families. 

Senior and state runner-up, Brock Ellis, says, “It definitely was different, the normal electricity from fans was not in the arena. But due to our team bringing 8 wrestlers we had plenty of screaming maroon and gold fans to put a show on for.”

At the end of the Saturday tournament, Chesterton was leading with first place, the following teams were Evansville in second, Perry Meridian in third, Indianapolis Catherdral in fourth, and Crown Point in 5th. However, by the end of the finals, The Chesterton Trojans put eight individuals on the podium and scored 107 team points and placed second while Evansville Mater Dei finished with 112 team points and first place. Finishing with 107 team points is extremely impressive, let alone 112 points. 

In the State Finals, Sophomore Sergio Lemley got 1st place, Senior Brock Ellis finished with 2nd, Senior Evan Bates got 3rd, Junior Gage Demarco got 4th, Seniors Ethan Kaiser and Gavin Layman finished with 5th, Freshman Hayden Demarco got 6th, and Sophomore Aidan Torres got 8th place. 

Sergio Lemley was the Chesterton sole state champion winning 3-2 against Crown Point’s Logan Fraizer. For Lemley, this isn’t new; Frazier and Lemley have wrestled each other before at both regionals and semi-state. Placing first at state also isn’t new to Lemley as he previously won the championship ring for Mount Caramel in Illinois last year. 

Sophomore Sergio Lemley quotes on his success saying, “I expected myself to win a state title and every match, although I also knew I wanted the best competition I could get. I finished the season with one loss.” 

For the 2021 seniors, this was their last tournament. It’s a bittersweet end to the season for most, but our team did a great job this season placing 2nd and sending 8 wrestlers to state. 

Ellis states, “I am going to miss persevering with my brothers. We go through some of the most rigorous training out of any other sport, and we all do it together. We always push each other to go that extra mile, foot, or even inch. We know that there is no limit to what we can do, so when a brother is falling behind the whole team uplifts him to push further.”

Lemley, adds to the bittersweet ending of the season by stating, “I am going to miss the leaders of the team, seniors or not, they put in work every day inside and outside of the wrestling room. This year’s team is special because we have all known each other since the beginning of our wrestling careers and we were able to be there for the end of their high school careers. Plus we were able to cap it off with a historic state finals performance.”

Despite the 2020/21 wrestling season coming to an end, this isn’t the end of a great team. 

Lemley stated, “At the beginning of the season I knew we were going to be a good state contender, but as the season went on I saw the improvements in my teammates. The confidence we had as a team improved and week by week I was more eager to win a team state championship.”

This is only the beginning of a strong and determined team. Every year we see improvements, but the 2021/22 team already holds 3 wrestlers that went to state, including freshman, Hayden Demarco. This year’s overall season and state tournament were extremely impressive, especially considering the impact Covid has made on the season. The Trojans placed 1st at sectionals, 2nd at regionals, 1st at semi-state, and 2nd at state. Considering the very good performance of this year, it’s very hopeful that we have a very successful season ahead of us for 2021/22.