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Trojans’ Hall wins state title, Spartans’ Shafer named Mental Attitude winner

Indianapolis- Seven local athletes competed in this weekend’s IHSAA Wrestling State Championships held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Three grapplers advanced to Saturday and made the podium.  Of those three, one wrestler won it all and a second earned a very special honor.

East Central’s Bryer Hall is a state champion at 170 pounds.  The Trojan senior is the program’s first state champion and also only one of nine other athletes to pin all four of his opponents at state.  Hall was a state runner up at 152 pounds in 2020.

During Friday’s opening round, Hall pinned Duke Meyers of Bellmont in 1:40.  In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Hall won by fall over Castle’s John Purdy in 3:17.  Perry Meridian’s JaJuan Dale was pinned by Hall at the 2:25 mark in the semifinals.  And then Hall put the shoulders of Columbus East’s Samuel Morril to the mat in just 58 seconds to capture the state championship and complete an undefeated 34-0 undefeated season.

Another local wrestler entered the state finals undefeated. While Connersville’s Evan Shafer didn’t leave Indy with that unblemished record intact, he did come home with a rather prestigious award, the state’s Ward E. Brown Mental Attitude Award for wrestling.

The Spartan senior won his first two matches at 285 pounds by pin to run his season win total to 39 without a loss.  During Friday’s first round, he beat Penn’s Brock Donati in 3:29 then pinned Western’s Braydon Erb in 2:27.

Unfortunately, that was Shafer’s last victory of his high school career. He lost in the semifinals 8-3 to state runner up Mariere Omonode of West Lafayette.  Then in the consolation bracket, Shafer placed fourth and finished 39-2 on the season after losing 14-1 to Brownsburg’s Leighton Jones.

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