Play with fire and you're gonna get burned.
Fortunately for Chesterton's Anthony Quiroz, he only got a little singed.
The Trojans junior found himself in a precarious position -- on his back --
late in the 160-pound semifinal match against South Bend Clay's Davin Alwine
in Saturday's Merrillville Semistate.
"It's my bread and butter move," Quiroz said of the lock and roll. "But I
don't do it technically 100 percent correct and my coaches keep telling
someone's going to catch you. Sure enough, I almost got beat for it. It's
the first time I've been on my back all season."
Alwine's coaches were yelling for a pin, but fortunately the officials
didn't agree, and Quiroz escaped with an 11-6 victory.
The championship wasn't nearly as dramatic with Quiroz (30-0) handling Crown
Point's Dusty Schurg 18-5.
"He deserves it. He wrestled hard," Chesterton coach Chris Joll said of his
first semistate champion at the school. "We challenged him after the
semifinals. Things didn't go the way we planned. We wrestled a really good
athlete and he took us out of our game plan. We let Anthony know and he
answered the question we posed pretty loudly. I think he had more takedowns
in that match than he's had the last three weeks."
Quiroz, who will face Columbus North senior Gabe Holt (36-5) in the first
round at State, wasn't concerned with facing Schurg for the second week in a
"It really doesn't matter to me," he said. "I just wanted to do better than
before. It was similar to the last match. I just felt like I was a little
more dominant. Coming off the hard semifinal win, I thought I showed myself
in the finals. One thing I can still correct is on my feet, improving on my
With the finish, Quiroz returns to state for the third time in as many
"I feel like I'm just as good if not a little better than anybody there," he
said. "I hope I can keep that mentality. I won't take anybody lightly. I'll
take it a match at a time and all I can say is, we'll see."
Chris Katsafaros (37-7) will join Quiroz in Indianapolis after finishing
fourth at 135 pounds. Katsafaros lost in the semifinals to Portage's Luis
Acuna 7-0, then fell to Crown Point's Jake Fuqua 10-2 in the third-place
Katsafaros will face Yorktown junior Devon Jackson (48-0) in the opening
round of the State Finals on Friday.
"It's nice getting Chris there," Joll said. "He beat a quality kid to get
there. We were really focusing on the ticket round and it's hard to set
another goal for yourself, accomplish another task, after completing that
one. It didn't go the way we wanted against Acuna, then it's hard to wrestle
for (third). But he's a good kid. He'll bounce back. It doesn't matter who
he has (at state) We feel like all the best kids (in that weight) are here."
Chesterton's other entrants -- Alex Katsafaros and Will Butz -- exited in
the first round.
At 145, Butz (21-8) was ousted by Delphi's Dakotah Miller 8-6.
"We got a lot out of Will," Joll said. "For a kid who questioned coming out
this year, who did it for me as much as anything else, we squeezed a lot of
blood out of that turnip. I wish I had 100 Wills. He improved wrestling and
wrestling improved him. That's the kind of relationship you like to have
with a sport. I'm very proud of Will."
The younger Katsafaros (18-15) was pinned at 3:03 by Merrillville's Al
"Alex executed the things we worked on pretty well," Joll said. "He's not
the same as Chris and in some ways, different is better. Alex is a goer. He
wrestles hard the entire time. He's happy to be at practice. He's the first
one there. He was excited to be here. He loves the sport of wrestling. He's
got a lot of potential. His brother gives him a role model to build to. His
only regret is his brother made it farther than him as a freshman. There's
that sibling rivalry."