NEW CASTLE — Going 40-5 in his season, Lapel High School’s Harrison Hadley represented his school all the way to the second round of semistate wrestling action last weekend at New Castle High School
Hadley (106 pounds) lost to Carmel High School’s Brendon Mattingly on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Hadley scored four points for the team at semistate, placing Lapel in 29th place against other attending schools.
At the sectional, most of the Bulldogs managed to place in their weight class. Sparky Manis (113) placed fifth, Phoenix Mills (170) placed fifth, and heavy-weight Teague Scherer (285) placed sixth. Only Hadley (first), Marc Fensler (138, third) and Cully Upperman (126, third) placed high enough to advance to the regionals.
At the regional, only Hadley moved on to semestate.
In the final round at regional, Hadley (39-4) was matched against Cathedral wrestler Logan Bailey (30-3). Hadley held his own throughout the first period, but became overpowered in the second period by his Fighting Irish opponent. Hadley subsequently became the runner-up in his weight class and wrestled for second at semistate.
In the first round of semistate, Hadley matched up against Shane Lonneman of Milan High School.
Hadley quickly gained control and forced Lonneman into a pin less than 20 seconds into the first period.
Hadley advanced to the second round of sudden-death matches, where Mattingly awaited him.
Mattingly racked up points early. In pursuit of a comeback, Hadley nearly took Mattingly down in the third period, scoring near fall points in the process.
“I saw that he was stepping heavy with his left leg, and so shot at him on his left leg,” Hadley said. “We kind of rolled around, but I held my head high and was able to get the take-down there.”
Despite Hadley’s best efforts, time was not on his side, and the third period ended with a final score of 10-2.
“I think I competed well, but I think it shows more for me to learn, and there’s more training for me to do so that I can be at that next level,” Hadley said.
“I’m planning on doing a lot of training over the summer just to perfect myself, so I’m good for next season, so I can make another run for it,” Hadley said, “I’ll set my goals really high next time, and I’ll expect a lot out of myself.”
Father Jeff Hadley said he was “extremely proud” of his son — not only on how he has competed this year, but how he has kept everything in perspective.
“He achieved his goal of winning one round at semistate, but he also understands that he can take not advancing to the state tournament as a motivational experience.”
Hadley made it to semistate during his 2015-16 season after he took first place at the sectional and fourth at the regional, but did not make it past the first round of semistate.