It was nonstop action at New Castle High School Saturday, Feb. 15, as some of the best wrestlers in the state converged to compete for a spot in the IHSAA state finals.

Unfortunately, the wrestling season came to a close for two Batesville High School wrestlers at the New Castle Semistate, reported athletic director Bryan Helvie. Senior J.T. Linkel and sophomore Josh Mobley competed for the Bulldogs. The BHS wrestlers earned berths in the field with top four finishes a week ago at the Richmond Regional.

“I believe both wrestlers made the most of their draws and wrestled as hard as they could,” BHS head coach Curtis Miller commented. “Both of them wrestled well … it is always disappointing to see a season come to a close.

“Both J.T. and Josh had historical seasons … breaking records, hitting season and career milestones. I am just proud of both wrestlers’ efforts,” he added.

Linkel (36-9) took the mat first for the Bulldogs in the 145-lb. weight class. The senior battled Roncalli’s Alec Viduya. Undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state entering the day, Viduya (41-0) stayed that way through the semistate. Linkel battled the eventual champion to the end, but was defeated by a score of 16-6.

For his career, Linkel finished with school records for pins in a season (29) and career (87). He finished with 108 career wins, which places him fifth in school history.

Mobley (37-8), next up for Batesville in the 152-lb. class, opened the day with a victory in round one. The sophomore pinned Westfield’s Alec McLaren in a fall time of 4:59. He then suffered a 19-3 second round loss to Tyler Jones of Lawrence Central.

Mobley’s 37 wins on the season is the highest total in BHS history for a sophomore. He also became the second Bulldog to reach 80 or more takedowns in a season. The Bulldog wrestler finished with 84.

The East Central Trojans finished seventh in the team standings with 48 points. Cathedral claimed the top spot with 150 points, followed by Warren Central with 94.5.

East Central had two wrestlers earn a spot in the state finals. Bryer Hall placed second in the 152-lb. class, while Kole Viel was fourth at 182 lbs.

A total of 61 schools were represented at the semistate. The top four individual finishers in each weight class earned berths in the IHSAA state finals.

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