MCMURRY: End of an era for North's Webster

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I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think I might have wanted Drew Webster to win a wrestling state title more than he did.

Okay, that’s highly unlikely, but I can assure you, he handled his semi-final loss to Chesterton’s Evan Bates better than I did.

A 6-5 match full of comeback, controversy, and ultimate heartbreak, Webster was frustrated at the final horn, but what he did next is something I’ll never forget.

The senior responded with a 4-0 win over North Posey’s Nate Willman to claim third-place at 220, was awarded an IHSAA sportsmanship pin, and left us with this quote:

“I thought I had it won,” Webster said of the semi-final match against Bates. “There are things you can’t control in life, and the refs call is one of those things. It is one of those things, and it is what it is, and you’ve got to move on from things that happen. Things are always going to go wrong in life.”

That’s who the Websters are — hungry, humble, and understanding of the reality of sports.

As I exited the elevator into the main concourse at Bankers Life Fieldhouse following the semi-final matches, there was Drew’s parents, Rob and Jodi — frustrated with the loss, but proud of their son, just like they have always been for all three of their boys.

Drew’s win over Willman in the third-place match moved him into sole possession of fourth-place all-time for wins in North Montgomery wrestling history with 120. He joined his brother Tanner, and former Charger wrestlers Nick Borta and Seth Johnson as the only wrestlers to place at the state finals — each doing it twice.

Drew and Tanner’s oldest brother Ty, was a state qualifier as a senior in 2013, helping kick-start one of the greatest eras in the history of Montgomery County wrestling.

Nevermind the accomplishments of Borta, Johnson, and other North Montgomery state qualifiers from 2013-2020 in Jesse Archer, Jake and Josh Lowe and Dakota Ramey, what the Webster brothers did is unprecedented and will be hard to match by any family.

The trio combined for 369 wins, by far the most by any group of brothers in Charger wrestling history — Tanner’s 155 wins ranks first all-time.

I joked with some people yesterday that I’m looking forward to when athletes like Drew and my cousins Eden Pyle and Bailey and Hannah Thompson, who all four will graduate this spring, are done playing sports, because I will no longer have a personal tie to any athletes that I’m covering.

Brett Warren, who starred on the gridiron at North Montgomery with Ty Webster, joked back saying “You’ll always find someone that you know.”

And while he’s right, I will always latch on to area athletes and their stories — there will never be another family like the Websters.

Thanks for the memories on both the football field and the wrestling mat.

You all three did things the right way — always representing North Montgomery and Montgomery County with class and dignity.

Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at jmcmurry@jrpress.com and by phone at 765-918-8656. Follow him on Twitter @jaredmac26

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