Crown Point’s Tsirtsis finishes career as eighth wrestler to win four titles
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or email@example.com February 18, 2012 11:26PM
Crown Point High School's Jason Tsirtsis became only the eighth wrestler to win four consecutive State Wrestling Championship after his defeat of Indianapolis Cathedral High School's Vincent Corsaro in the 145-pound weight class. High school wrestlers from across the state competed in the 2012 IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune
Updated: March 20, 2012 8:23AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Consider Jason Tsirtsis a member of the Elite Eight.
On a memorable Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Crown Point senior 145-pounder became the eighth wrestler to win four state championships, culminating with a dominant title match, in a dominant tournament, in a dominant season, as part of a dominant career.
Tsirtsis (42-0) etched his name in history with a 22-7 technical fall with 25.5 seconds left against Indianapolis Cathedral sophomore Vincent Corsaro (35-4), after registering a pin, a technical fall and another pin in his first three matches of the tournament.
Tsirtsis had won his first three titles at 140 pounds, 130 and 125.
He now joins an exclusive group that also includes a pair of of Griffith graduates in brother Alex Tsirtsis (2004), who was shouting instructions and encouragement near the mat during the championship match, and Angel Escobedo (2005).
“I’m pretty emotional right now,” said Tsirtsis, who described Alex as his “idol” beyond simply wrestling.
“When I was on the mat, it didn’t hit me. But when I saw my brother right after, all the emotions went through me. To accomplish something rare like this is awesome. This is something I’ve been working for my whole life.”
The other five four-time state champions are Estil Ritter (Bloomington, 1927), Willard Duffy (Muncie Central, 1933), Howard Fisher (South Bend Central, 1952), Lance Ellis (Indianapolis Cathedral, 1989), and Blake Maurer (Evansville Mater Dei, 2004).
“Obviously, I didn’t see the first four, but those are some of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen,” Tsirtsis said. “To have my picture in that (state finals) booklet with someone like Angel Escobedo, it’s hard to explain.”
Tsirtsis, a Northwestern recruit who could be the nation’s top high school wrestler, will take a 178-2 record into next weekend’s team state meet. His only two losses came as a freshman, 3-2 to Lawrence North’s Cashe Quiroga, a former state champion now an All-American at Purdue, in Calumet’s Traicoff Invitational; and 3-2 to Merrillville’s Anthony Napules in team regionals. Tsirtsis proceeded to defeat Quiroga 5-4 in the state semifinals, and he defeated Napules three other times, including 7-1 in a semistate final.
After winning this latest, legend-sealing championship, he waved his arms to exhort the crowd, which responded with a richly deserved standing ovation. Later, as he ascended to the top step of the podium, he received another standing ovation — even louder and longer than the one before — as he attempted to fight back tears.
“I know a lot of people expect a lot from me, and I’m glad I was able to give them a lot tonight,” said Tsirtsis, who led 2-0 after the first period, then put on an absolute clinic. “I wanted to prove to myself I could put that many points on the board against my opponent and separate myself.”