Wrestling: New sectional, same winning result for Portage
By Tommy Williams Post-Tribune correspondent January 26, 2013 7:00PM
Updated: February 28, 2013 7:11AM
GARY — Hobart assistant coach Don Rogers sure picked a heck of a time to come out of retirement.
Rogers has served as a football and wrestling coach, but took a few years off before coming back this season. And in his first Calumet wrestling sectional meet since his retirement, guess what he found: New neighbors.
“We were hoping their bus couldn’t find the way seeing that this is their first year here after being in the LaPorte sectional” Rogers said jokingly about Portage being moved into the sectional. “(Portage coach) Leroy (Vega) is pretty sneaky because he found a way to get here.”
It was a new location, but the same old results for the Indians, winning their first Calumet title with 310.5 points.
For the rest of the field, it was a “there goes the neighborhood” afternoon with Hobart coming in second with 241 points and Calumet finishing third with 206.5. Griffith was fourth and River Forest finished fifth.
How dominant were the Indians on Saturday? Eight of them took home titles, which is pretty impressive when you consider that Vega said his team had no chance to study film on any of the opponents.
“We don’t see these guys through the season, but it’s nice to come here and get a win,” said Vega, whose Indians won three straight LaPorte titles before this season. “We got 13 out of 14 out and eight champions, so I’m excited about that and we’re looking forward to regionals next week.”
Gaige Torres continued his stellar season with a win at 113 pounds to up his record to 27-1, while Julian Torres improved his record to 30-2 with a win at 132 pounds. Also winning at 152 pounds was senior Danny Roach, a wrestler who Vega says “always finds a way to win and doesn’t just win close matches; he normally dominates his opponent.”
“I was extremely happy but we can’t be satisfied because you can do more things, but as a team, I’m extremely happy,” Roach said. “This was a great day.”
Hobart’s weight class champs were Tony Vasquez, who improved to 30-2 at 138 pounds, Scottie Sopko at 170 and Antonio Rodriguez (32-2) at 182. River Forest’s Roberto Yanez was tops at 220 pounds and Highland’s Mark Maldonado upped his record to 29-1 with a win at 160 pounds.