CROWN POINT – Following in his big brother Randy’s footsteps, Kankakee Valley wrestler Aiden Sneed punched his ticket to Semi-State on Saturday, Feb. 2. Sneed beat Valparaiso’s Colin Kwiatkowski with a 10 – 6 Decision to take the 170-pound title at the Crown Point Regional.
“I had wrestled him earlier in the season and I remembered his strength,” said Sneed. “I knew he was stronger than me so I just started as aggressive as I could.”
Both wrestlers chose the neutral position to start each period and that helped Sneed take advantage of the situation. He scored take-downs in the first two periods and also recorded a couple of near-falls. Kwiatkowski made a run to finish strong and overcome Sneed’s lead but a reversal by the KV grappler sealed the deal.
To reach the finals in his class, sophomore Sneed first pinned Michigan City’s Michael Shanks at the two-minute-mark and then followed that up with a pin of New Prairie’s Luke Lenig at 2:28. Sneed came into the meet with 31 – 5 record on the season.
Sneed, who works harder than most at everything he does, is already looking forward to next Saturday’s Semi-State at East Chicago Central.
“It’s a matter of executing,” said Sneed. “I need to take care of one match at a time and I’ll have three great coaches cheering me on,” he said, referring to Mark Line, Mike Nava and Brian Swisher.
Kankakee Valley had placed seven wrestlers in the Regional but Sneed will be the only one to continue on. The remaining six all lost in the quarterfinals. At 106 pounds, Austin Motyka fell to Valpo’s Stefan Vitello. Michael Denvit, at 113 pounds, lost by technical fall to Chesterton’s Chris Merrill and Henry Hase, at 120 pounds, was pinned by Chesterton’s Danny Tolin. At 145 pounds, Tyler Tillema fell to Chesterton’s Nick Winland and Beau DeYoung, at 182 pounds, fell to LaPorte’s Noah Perez. Sneed’s wrestling partner and the teams’ only senior, Alex Gronkiewicz, lost by an 8 – 3 Decision to LaPorte’s Matt Neff.