Apparently, there was a controversial decision at last Saturday’s IHSAA wrestling semi-state at New Castle Fieldhouse involving New Castle sophomore Brevan Thrine’s second-round match at 132 pounds.
First of all, let me explain that I was not there in person. I was at Southmont High School south of Crawfordsville covering girls basketball Class 2A regional 11 for two different newspapers.
But one of our photographers, Kim Nguyen, was in the Fieldhouse last Saturday shooting photos for our newspaper.
Because we are limited in staff and funding, in part due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, I depend on other sources to get reports of what happened at certain athletic events, most of them very reliable.
On the IHSAA website, there was a detailed report of the action, by weight class, at the New Castle wrestling semi-state.
In the report of the second round at 132 pounds, it indicated that Warren Central’s David Pierson emerged victorious over Thrine, but not by fall or decision. All it had was Inj. 0:19 as the explanation.
Naturally, my assumption was that Thrine got injured 19 seconds into the match, couldn’t continue, and as a result Pierson was awarded the win. This is what I reported in my story about the wrestling semi-state that was in Wednesday’s edition of The Courier-Times.
My assumption was incorrect. After talking to Kim Nguyen, seeing the video of that short match, and information from other sources, I was able to piece together apparently what happened.
About 15 seconds into the match, Thrine picked up Pierson, raised him high in the air, and dumped him hard onto the mat.
It appeared to be a normal wrestling move, nothing really out of the ordinary, but the referee ruled it an illegal slam and awarded a point to Pierson.
Pierson started to get up to continue the match, but the Warren Central coach rushed over and told Pierson to stay down on the mat and that he was too injured to continue.
Fans in attendance didn’t really know what was going on, apparently, and there was some deliberation with the clock stopped at 19 seconds.
Finally, the officials disqualified Thrine because of the “illegal slam” and Pierson was awarded a 1-0 victory, which prevented Thrine from continuing to wrestle and denying him a state finals berth. Thrine finished his season with a 33-3 record.
Reports were that Pierson was seen snickering along the sidelines with his girlfriend and Warren Central teammates, and the decision was not popular with some fans in the bleachers, as they booed it loudly.
Apparently, Pierson’s injury wasn’t too severe, as he continued to grapple at 132 pounds and eventually emerged as the semi-state champion of the weight class.
Again, I state I wasn’t there to see it and I’m not here to make judgment calls. But it is a shame that something like this cropped up to deny a young man a berth in the state finals and perhaps more.