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Lucas' tourney run ends at New Castle Fieldhouse

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Determined to make some noise in his senior season, Clinton Central senior Cale Lucas returned from Christmas Break and proceeded to put together the greatest stretch of wrestling in his career.

He went on a winning streak that was not snapped until the second round of the regional but, by then, he had won the Tipton Invitational, became a Hoosier Heartland Conference champion at the 145 weight class and then claimed another championship at the always-competitive Frankfort Sectional Tournament.

He became the first Clinton Central wrestler to win a sectional tournament since Ty Bowman did so back in 2008.

Lucas’ impressive postseason run was brought to an end inside of New Castle Fieldhouse on Saturday morning with a third-period, 17-2 loss by technical fall to Greenfield-Central sophomore Cooper Noehre in the first round of the IHSAA semi-state tournament.

Lucas finished his senior season with 39 wins and eight losses. Two of those losses came at the hands of Noehre.

“We wrestled him back a couple weeks before Christmas,” Clinton Central head coach Austin Faulkner said. “He took us down twice and pinned us in about 50 seconds, so that was an improvement. Things could have gone differently here and there throughout the course of the week and throughout the course of the season. But, you can’t change it. All you can do is go out there and fight for everything. I feel that he did.

“He handles himself with class,” Faulkner added. “Taking a beating like that the last match of our career there are a lot of things going through your head. He kept his composure very well, and I am proud of him.”

Faulkner was left impressed with the way Lucas developed in his final months of high school wrestling.

“I have said it before, but he has matured tremendously throughout this season,” he said.

“Like Cale said, he got to a point where he was just sick and tired of losing. He doesn’t have a whole lot of losses, but he hates to lose. He made a decision that he was sick of it and that he was going to fight for everything, and I am proud of him for it. He had a great run.”

Through his 14 seasons as head coach of Clinton Central Wrestling, Faulkner has had many wrestlers, but he will never forget the traits that made Lucas special.

“When you think of a wrestler, he is not one of those kids,” Faulkner said.

“But, he is a kid who has a tremendous heart. He is a fighter and a competitor. He used that, and it worked for him on the wrestling mat.”