(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT) [Order this photo]
The State Duals, created in response to the IHSAA's decision to end the IHSAA Team State Finals, invited eight top schools in each class to participate in a bracket-style tournament.
South Putnam lost to eventual Class A champions Adams Central 49-24 in the opening round, fell to Milan 42-33 and were nipped by South Adams, 41-40, in the seventh-place round.
"Adams Central was the No. 1 team in Class A, but we were in the match all the way until the end," SPHS head coach Josh Hendrickson said. "We started at a good weight class for our team and we went toe-to-toe with them. That was the same case against Milan and South Adams."
Hindering the Eagles' cause were three weight-class forfeits, which meant that every point counted in all three rounds.
Jacob Williams and Tanner Thompson completed the day 3-0 for the Eagles, with Williams picking up two pins and a majority decision victory.
"The three forfeits hurt us but we were in situations where we could have won these duals," Hendrickson said. "Some matches went our way and some didn't but it was still a good day in the end."
Hendrickson said that even being in an early hole every round, the squad competed well against quality opposition.
"It was good to get the kids out here and get them against some good, quality competition, which is what we were looking for," Hendrick-son said. "We always need to wrestle better competition. The experience, the atmosphere and the culture of the meet itself made for a good time."
South Putnam will next compete at Ben Davis High School, a departure from the Eagle Holiday Classic of recent years.
Hendrickson said that competing against more of the top wrestling programs in the state will help the Eagles in advance of the West Central Conference and sectional meets.
"I like it because it is an individual tournament so each individual is going to have a chance to win their own bracket," Hendrickson said. "Everybody's going to get at least a couple of good matches. It'll be fun to see how we do next week.
"There will be plenty of tough schools there like Ben Davis, Hamilton Southeastern, Anderson and Terre Haute South. That's our first time there. We'll see Cloverdale there as well and it should be a good test and a lot of fun."
At Westfield High School
IHSWCA Team State Duals
First round: Adams Central 49, SPHS 24
Second round: Milan 42, SPHS 33
Seventh-place round: South Adams 41, SPHS 40
SPHS Individual Records
113: Nick Havey 2-1
120: Jacob Lorimer 0-3
138: Jacob Camacho 2-1
145: J.T. Franklin 1-1, Dakota Bunten 0-1
152: Joe Waters 2-1
160: Jake Wiggs 2-1
170: Chris Migliano 0-1, Rhaine Cluggish 0-2
182: Tanner Thompson 3-0
195: Rudy Harris 1-2
220: Jacob Williams 3-0
285: Lane Hacker 2-1