South's Bender places sixth in state wrestling finals

Feb. 17—Coy Bender of Terre Haute South placed sixth Saturday at Ford Center in the 165-pound class of the Indiana high school wrestling championships.

Bender, a junior, is the first South underclassman to place in the top eight since P.J. Montgomery of the Braves did so more than 10 years ago.

Bender won Friday night against Perry Meridian's Zach Huckaby by a 4-2 decision.

But he was pinned in the second period Saturday morning by Crown Point's Anthony Rinehart (who went on to place fourth because of an injury default in the third-place match).

Bender beat Jesse Derringer of Brownsburg 7-4 later Saturday to move into the fifth-place match, where he lost 5-0 to Bloomington South's Evan Roudebush. Bender finished 36-9 for the season (more than one loss against Roudebush).

"Had a good year," Bender reported to the Tribune-Star later Saturday. "Big thanks to my coaches and teammates for everything.

"I am very grateful for the support from the community as well, It doesn't go unnoticed. I'm excited to get back at it and make a deeper run next year."

For a historical perspective, Montgomery returned to the state finals as a senior and reached the championship match.

Two senior Braves had competed Friday too, but both were defeated to end their high school careers. Cooper McCloy finished 35-6 and Collin Casad 37-5.