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CP regains control in DAC wrestling

Crown Point's Trevor Burlisgrapples with Merrillville's Jacob Covaciv during DAC wrestling championships Saturday January 12 2012 Crown Point. Burliswmatch 1-0.

Crown Point's Trevor Burlison grapples with Merrillville's Jacob Covaciv during the DAC wrestling championships on Saturday, January 12, 2012, in Crown Point. Burlison won the match 1-0. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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DAC Wrestling Meet

1-12-13 @ CP

1. CROWN POINT 245 2. MERRILLVILLE 218.5, 3. Portage 205.5, 4. Valparaiso 146, 5. Lake Central 113.5, 6. Chesterton 113, 7. LaPorte 87, 8. Michigan City 14.

106: (MV) Mike Garza (31-2) 5-1 over (CP) Justin Akers (21-4)

3RD: (Valpo) Tyler Schwart (29-10) 6-2 over (P) Tyler Joseph (11-10)

113: (P) Gaige Torres (25-1) 15-0 over (LC) Branden Truver (21-8)

3RD: (Valpo) Alex Bravo (28-5) 11-2 over (MV) Justin Johnson (18-15)

120: (MV) Adam Garcia (27-1) 6-3 over (LC) Matt Lechowicz (33-5)

3RD: (C) Matt Estill (20-13) over (CP) Brett Ervin (15-12)

126: (CP) Josh Fuqua (23-0) 1-0 over (V) Max Buckley (11-5)

3RD: (P) Dylan Logsdon (19-8) pinned (C) Mike Double (18-12) 3:38

132: (P) Julian Torres (26-2) 6-4 over (CP) Trevor Burlison (23-6)

3RD: (MV) Jacob Covaciu (29-6) 6-4 over (V) Ricardo Rosario (21-15)

138: (CP) Darden Schurg (27-1) 16-6 over (V) Mack Neal (31-8)

3RD: (MV) Issac Rentas (12-9) 3-0 over (L) Jason Spence (19-9)

145: (C) Chris Katsafaros (33-1) 6-2 over (P) Stephon Wilkins (19-8)

3RD: (CP) Tyler Burlison (15-4) 5-2 over (MV) William Armstrong (19-14)

152: (CP) Dusty Schurg (19-2) pinned (P) Danny Roach (20-6)

3RD: (LC) Cody Christensen (26-9) 9-1 over (V) George Krummel (19-18)

160: (MV) Matt Hollins (26-4) 14-7 over (CP) Dax Jones (22-7)

3RD: (P) Alex Guerrero (16-15) 5-2 over (V) Nick Greco (18-14)

170: (MV) Bobby Stevenson (27-0) 19-3 over (LP) Mike Eldridge (29-6)

3RD: (CP) Jacob Hazi (21-10) 5-2 over (P) Jake Wright (15-15)

182: (P) Evonte Jones (22-7) 14-5 over (CP) Matt Langbehn (20-10)

3RD: (V) Darius Ginn (21-11) won by default

195: (CP) Morgan Kral (29-0) pinned (C) Joe Ponda (19-9)

3RD: (V) Elliott Grandoas (20-12) pinned (MV) Alex Jara (18-11)

220: (LC) Gelon Robinson (37-0) pinned (LP) Ben Standifer (30-9)

3RD: (CP) Steve Potosky (23-6) 1-0 over (P) Travis Williams (16-11)

HWT: (MV) Shawn Streck (31-4) pinned (CP) Quentin Klingberg (11-4)

3rd: (C) Ryley Harlow (30-9) pinned (LP) Landon Blackbrun (24-10) 2:14

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CROWN POINT — Crown Point wrestling coach Scott Vlink has been around forever and has won everything. Sometimes when the Bulldogs win he takes it almost matter-of-factly.

But when the Bulldogs win the Duneland Athletic Championship (or clinch a virtual title) that’s something that Vlink, in his 34th year as the CPHS varsity coach, speaks of with clear-cut pride.

“Our kids wrestled tremendously well,” Vlink said after CP topped second place Merrillville 245-218.5. “We had 12 kids place first, second or third. And our worst placed fifth. Come on now, that pretty good.

“We can always look and say that I wish we’d have won more championship matches, but we’re getting healthy. We did about all we could do.””

“When we wrestled Merrillville (a 30-29 loss on Jan. 2), first of all, they’re very good. But if we’d have wrestled them like we did today, it wouldn’t have been a close match. Something like 35-20 or 32-20.

“This is very satisfying. A week and a half ago, we were pretty down. Everybody was thinking how we could have gotten one more point to beat Merrillville. But we’re in the right place. We’re working hard and we’ll continue to work hard. This is just the beginning.,”

Saturday, CP won four of the nine championship matches in the 14 weight classes and was 3-1 in third place matches.

Undefeated CP junior Josh Fuqua (22-0) won at 126 pounds and unbeaten Bulldog sophomore Morgan Kral (29-0) pinned three opponents at 195 pounds.

Brothers Dusty (152) and Darden Schurg (138) both won DAC titles while brothers Trevor (132) and Tyler (145) Burlison took second and third place finishes.

Dusty Schurg’s win at 152, a pin of Portage’s Danny Roach, put the title out of reach.

“I went against him last week,” said Schurg. “Last Saturday (Jan. 5) I got tired in the first period and I got sloppy the rest of the match.

“Last week it was 11-3 but it was a lot closer than that. This time, I knew I had to win by a lot for us to be in position to win the conference. But this time I was able to break him and with 10 seconds left in the second period, I pinned him.”

Schurg missed CP’s 34-28 loss to Franklin in December because he had suffered a concussion. It’s hard to know when it’s OK to return from a head injury.

“I thought I could comeback right after it happened at Stagg (in early December),” he said. “I was ready to come back once the headaches went away. You have to do a ramp-up to get ready to come back.

“It’s nothing to mess around with and I’ve already agreed with my mom and my dad that if I get another one, I’ll be done with wrestling.

“I’m taking all the precautions necessary. That’s why I’m wearing this headgear. It helps. I’m doing everything I can.”

Crown Point did everything it could to win the DAC championship in their home gym.

The meet title was virtually over when nine Crown Point boys reached the finals and four qualified for the third place match.

Second place Merrillville didn’t have enough finalists to overcome CP.

“It was wide open coming into today, “ said Vlink of the conference race. “We lost to Merrillville. They lost to Portage and we beat Merrillville. It was a round robin of losses.”

Vlink recognizes the seven consecutive DAC titles, but he wants it known that Bulldog wrestling was good in the 20th century, too.

“If you look up there (at the championship banners on the CP gym wall), everyone thinks we just got good lately. But look at the Lake Suburban Conference. 1986, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93.”

The year 1993 was CP’s last year in the Lake Suburban Conference. It moved to the DAC in 1993-1994 and all Bulldog sports (except girls basketball) needed time to get the programs up to DAC contending levels.

“Look at all the sectionals we’ve won,” he reminds. “So we haven’t been good just the last few years.”

Everybody knew that the DAC for 2013 would come down to this one day. Instead of just pushing everyone to do his best, CP’s coaches pointed out what the best needed to be.

“ (Assistant) Coach (Jake) Rodriguez put on the board this week what we expected out of each kid,” said Vlink. “He wrote what we needed for us to win this tournament. He didn’t sugar-coat it. He just said this is what we need. We need a pin here. We need at least third here. Sometimes you don’t want to do that because it’s like you’re telling a kid he can’t win. But sometimes you just have to tell it like it is. We expect you to get bonus points and we expect you not to give up bonus points.

“I didn’t know if there was a sense of urgency (after the loss to Merrillville). The boys didn’t say much, I know they were disappointed. But Merrillville is just that good. If you’re not on your game, you’re not going to beat them.”

Josh Fuqua stayed unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Valparaiso’s Max Buckley at 126 pounds, a key victory because Fuqua was noticeably fatigued at the end.

“I was a little tired today,” Josh admitted. “I wrestled him my freshman year. That’s just his style. He knows me pretty well. He’s been a practice partner of mine over the summer so he knows what I want to do.”

Fuqua, who won his second DAC crown in three seasons, missed the victory over Portage on Jan. 5 because he was ill.

There were not many upsets Saturday. Merrillville freshman Shawn Streck won the heavyweight title while Lake Central junior Gelon Robinson dominated the 220-pound bracket.

CP’s Morgan Kral got three pins at 195 and Merrillville’s undefeated Bobby Stvenson won the DAC title at 170.

DAC NOTES: Crown Point didn’t get a trophy for winning the Duneland Athletic Conference Saturday because they didn’t win it Saturday.

CP, which lost to Merrillville 30-29 and defeated Portage 31-24 (Portage defeated Merrillville in December) finished in a three-way tie for the DAC championship with a record 6-1 if they won at Valparaiso Wednesday night. If that win is in the books, CP wins the DAC title based on their victory at the DAC finals.

CP’s Dusty Schurg said his family had hoped that four Schurg brothers would all be on the varsity and would win DAC or sectional honors this year. That hope ended when freshman Daylan Schrg was diagnosed with a back injury which will take him out of the rest of the season.

There is a Schurg brother in each class, freshman through senior.

“He wishes he could be out there,” said Dusty of his youngest brother. “What we have (four brothers on the varsity) is unique. I’ve never seen it and it’s the first time I’ve ever even heard of it. It’s what we’ve been working for since we were little, to have all four of us on the team at the same time.

“At the sectional its going to be challenging for Denny. He’s got good people ahead of him but that’s still the goal.”

Coach Scott Vlink says that he does not think sophomore Morgan Kral is near his potential.

“I think Morgan is just now learning how to use his height (he’s 6-foot-6)and that leverage to his advantage,” said Vlink. “He can’t get anything but better at that. He’s still a young kid and he’s not broad shouldered yet. But he’s going to be. His father and his brother (2012 state champ Tyler Kral) are big, strong men and he’s going to be, too. When he’s a senior, he may weigh 250 pounds.”

Lake Central football star Gelon Robinson (37-0) won his championship match in just 27 seconds at 220 pounds.

The younger brother of former LC basketball star Glenn Robinson II wrestles at 220 but he could easily be a heavyweight.

In a match against Merrillville last week., Robinson defeated Merrillville heavyweight Shawn Streck 7-3.

Streck won the DAC heavyweihgt title Saturday.



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