I coached against Tonte when he was a SR. at Southport and I was an asst. at Ben Davis . Jim took a good program and made it great ! Perry Meridian is the Indiana version of Apple Valley .
Perry Meridian wrestlers win AAU title
7:10 PM, Jul. 24, 2012 |
Perry Meridian High School's Jacob Cottey, seen here defeating Evansville Mater Dei's Wyatt Seng in February, went 10-0 in the recent AAU Scholastic Duals in Orlando, Fla. / Doug McSchooler / For The Star
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The Perry Meridian High School wrestling team dominated Indiana wrestling last winter. The Falcons' recent trip to Orlando, Fla., proved that even on a much bigger stage, not much has changed.
Falcon Blue, comprising Perry Meridian wrestlers, rolled through the field of the 2012 AAU Scholastic Duals, winning the Community I title for the second consecutive year. The Falcons easily won their first nine matches, and then took a 31-6 lead on Dakota (Ill.) Wrestling Club in the finals on the way to a 37-26 win.
With five 2012 state-placers and another state qualifier on his roster, Falcons coach Jim Tonte knew his team could make another strong run in the national tournament. But he wasn't expecting his team to outscore its 10 opponents by 46.6 points per match.
"We were a little bit surprised by that," said Tonte, whose high school team takes a 55-match win streak into next season. "We had four or five kids in their first go-round with this, and we weren't sure what to expect from those guys. But our kids wrestled really well. Even the kids who got beat learned some valuable lessons."
Falcons Jacob Cottey, Brandon James, Cody LeCount and Donte Winfield all went 10-0 during the tournament; James, who finished third in the state at 113 pounds as a freshman last winter, was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.
Tonte said the second straight "national" title can serve as a springboard into next season.
"We had a couple kids wrestling at a level they wouldn't normally be at, and they put themselves in some big matches," he said. "That's going to benefit our team next season. And we actually saw two or three kids get tougher during the course of the week.
"It was a great bonding experience for our team. Our goal is to win another state title, and this is a good step toward that."