LIBERTY, Ind. – Union County’s Tucker Coffman now knows who his opponent will in the opening round of the IHSAA State Wrestling Championship on Friday night at Bankers Life in Indianapolis.
Coffman, who is the No. 8 seed at 160, faces ninth-seeded Ben Kensinger of Mishawaka in a battle of juniors.
“I am proud of Tucker for qualifying for the state meet,” Union County Head Coach Dan Kelich said. “He has really morphed into the wrestler we believed he could be during the second half of this season.”
The first round of the state finals starts on Friday at 6 p.m. The rest of the event begins on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Coffman is 41-6 this season after finishing second at the New Castle Semi-State last weekend.
“He’s getting a taste of success and working hard to make sure he can maintain his current level and push even higher,” Kelich said. “I look forward to seeing how high on the podium he can finish this weekend.”
Being victorious on Friday would guarantee Coffman at least 8th place in the tournament as only the winners in the first round return for Saturday’s action.
A Tri-Eastern Conference, sectional and regional champion over the last three weeks, Coffman has a career record of 119-22. His three wins last Saturday marked the first time he made it out of the opening round of the semi-state in three appearances.
“I came up short two years in a row and now I’m finally getting there,” Coffman said of making it to state. “I’m working hard and getting in my grove.”
In 2016, Coffman was third in the sectional and regional at 145. Last season at 152, he was second in the both the sectional and regional.
Kensinger (28-10) finished third at the East Chicago Central Semi-State last weekend and like Coffman, won sectional and regional titles earlier in the tournament. Kensinger didn’t wrestle in the 2017 tournament, but did a year earlier as a freshman. He was fifth in the sectional, but advanced as an alternate to the regional where he fell in the opening round.
“That’s a good practice room,” Coffman said of the Mishawaka program. “Hopefully, it will be a good match. I just take it match-by-match. That’s always the way I’ve done it.”
Tucker Coffman 2018 Tournament Results
IHSAA Sectional at Franklin County
Tucker Coffman (Union County) received a bye
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Logan Miles (Milan) (Fall 1:58)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Bennett Noble (East Central) (Fall 3:22)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Grant Suding (Franklin County) (Fall 1:00)
IHSAA Regional at Richmond
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Alec Runyon (Centerville) (Fall 1:00)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Bennett Noble (East Central) (MD 15-2)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Grant Suding (Franklin County) (TF 18-2 4:00)
IHSAA Semi-State at New Castle
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Drake Kendrex (Mt. Vernon) (Fall 3:33)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Jeremiah Ford (Southport) (Fall 3:04)
Tucker Coffman (Union County) over Anthony Mosconi (Indianapolis Cathedral) (Dec 7-6)
Jack Eiteljorge (Carmel) over Tucker Coffman (Union County) (MD 11-0)
Ben Kensinger 2018 Tournament Results
IHSAA Sectional at Mishawaka High School
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) received a bye
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Shannon Clark(South Bend Adams) (Dec 8-5)
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over David Sheley (South Bend Riley) (Dec 4-2)
IHSAA Regional at Penn
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Vincent Helton (Triton) (Fall 2:48)
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Donya Harris (South Bend Washington) (Dec 4-2)
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Colin Wilson (Penn) (Dec 4-2)
IHSAA Semi-State at East Chicago Central
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Cody Snook (Calumet) (DQ)
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Owen Conklin (Lafayette Harrison) (Dec 4-3)
Diego Lemley (Chesterton) over Ben Kensinger(Mishawaka) (Fall 3:19)
Ben Kensinger (Mishawaka) over Malik Hoover (Merrillville) (Dec 4-3)
Union County Wrestling State Finals History
2009 – Cody Phillips (103)
2009 – Michael Duckworth (171)
2010 – Cody Phillips (103)
Top 8 Finishers
2005 – Casey Caldwell 2nd (189)
2005 – Chris Barnhizer 6th (171)
2006 – Chris Barnhizer 3rd (189)
2008 – Michael Duckworth 2nd (160)
2010 – Michael Duckworth 2nd (171)
2011 – Cody Phillips 3rd (112)
2000 – Rocky Moore
2004 – Chris Barnhizer
2004 – Casey Caldwell
2005 – Joey Gibbs
2012 – Cody Phillips
2012 – Austin Fuller
2018 – Tucker Coffman