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Jimtown’s Crume has eyes on wrestling prize

He is ranked No. 1 at 126 by IndianaMat.com.
Posted on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

JIMTOWN — Nick Crume is re-writing the wrestling record book at Jimtown High School.

The 126-pound senior is already a three-time team MVP. At 156-13 for his career, Crume is tied with 2008 graduate Ryan Konrath (156-17) for the most dual victories in Jimmies mat history and trails 2004 graduate Shane Perkey (162-14) by just six for the top spot.

The 51 wins Crume earned as a sophomore is a school record. His 273 team points — scored as a junior — is also the best and is likely to wind up the best in several other categories.

But Crume has not yet had his hand raised as the best prep wrestler in Indiana for his weight.

That’s what he wants most of all.

“I’m very, very focused on winning a state title,” says Crume.

Each of Crume’s first three high school wrestling seasons have concluded at the IHSAA State Finals.

As a 112-pound freshman, the Jimtown grappler qualified and lost in the first round on Friday night to the eventual third-place finisher. The next two seasons (2011 at 125 and 2012 at 126) ended with third-place medals for Crume.

“Finishing third the last two years, that just didn’t sit real well with him,” says Jimtown head coach Mark Kerrn. “It’s ate at him for a year.”

So Crume has dedicated himself to getting even better, putting in many extra hours with Kerrn and assistants Paul Bachtel and Ryan McCuddy.

Though he has won numerous Indiana State Wrestling Association state titles through the years, Crume had been reluctant to wrestle that much during recent high school off-seasons.

But with his new focus, Crume took part in about 80 bouts — many against exceptional competition — since last February.

“He’s stepped up what he’s been willing to do,” says Bachtel, who has watched Crume finish third in a state placers-only national meet in Las Vegas and compete in several other high-profile events, including the Folkstyle Nationals and Scholastic Duals. His resume includes a loss to the No. 2 wrestler in the nation and a pin victory against No. 9.

Not only has Crume put in the mat time, he has worked to be less predictable and more diversified with his upper and lower body attacks and his defense. No longer can opponents count on him to use a single-leg takedown to a certain side.

“(My coaches) are trying to get me to stay away from the singles and go with high crotches and things like that,” says Crume. “(Opponents) have kind of gotten down what I do. I know I can run my single-leg on anyone in the country. I’m just working new stuff in.”

Keep them guessing?

“Yep,” says the 17-year-old.

“He picks things up right away,” says Bachtel. “It’s a matter of fine tuning. I think he’s on his way.”

Drawing from his own experience as a state champion (at 177 pounds for Concord in 1985), Bachtel has been covering all the possible scenarios and getting Crume mentally focused tried to keep him from getting frustrated when opponents don’t want to force the action.

With repetition comes confidence.

“It’s muscle memory,” says Crume. “Once you get that feel, everything is easy it seems like.”

As Jimtown heads into Saturday’s first Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals invitational meet at Westfield High School, Crume is 13-0 with seven pins and ranked No. 1 at 126 by IndianaMat.com.

Crume wants to wrestle in college and has gotten attention from several schools. He is currently undecided on the place or the area of study.

Wrestling

IHSWCA State Duals invitational

(At Westfield; 2 Gyms)

Saturday, 10 a.m. Start

Championship Brackets

Class 3A

Match 1: Perry Meridian (1) vs. Indianapolis Cathedral.

Match 2: Memorial vs. Penn (4).

Match 3: Franklin (3) vs. Center Grove.

Match 4: Evansville Mater Dei vs. Bloomington South (2).

Semifinals

Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner.

Match 6: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner.

Championship: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner.

Class 2A

Match 1: Yorktown (1) vs. Muncie South.

Match 2: Heritage Hills vs. Danville (4).

Match 3: Evansville Memorial (3) vs. Southmont.

Match 4: Culver Academy vs. Jimtown (2).

Semifinals

Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner.

Match 6: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner.

Championship: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner.

Class 1A

Match 1: Adams Central (1) vs. South Putnam.

Match 2: Prairie Heights vs. Milan (4).

Match 3: South Adams (3) vs. Cass.

Match 4: Bremen vs. Churubusco (2).

Semifinals

Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner.

Match 6: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner.

Championship: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner.

Note: There will also be consolation matches. Teams were chosen based on, among other things, returning wrestlers and strength of schedule.

On The Web: www.broadcastsport.net.

Area teams: Penn (8-0), Memorial (13-1), Jimtown (8-0).

Penn coach Brad Harper says: “This will be a true test to see where we’re at. We’re heading into a meatgrinder (IHSWCA Duals, Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka, dual vs. Mishawaka, Bellmont Super Dual).”

Memorial coach Brian Pfeil says: “We are looking at some of the match-ups (with Penn) from the Charger (Invitational Dec. 8) and trying to put our best lineup out there.”

Jimtown coach Mark Kerrn says: “It’s been our focus from Day 1. It’s been a great recruiting tool for us ... Is it a perfect system? No. But our kids are loving it. They can’t wait.”




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