Delta students head to Wrestling State Championships

MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) - Two seniors from Delta High School are competing on the biggest stage for Indiana Wrestling; the State Championship. 

Payne Blackburn and John Robinson have competed with Delta all four years of high school. To say that head coach Gary Schleissman is happy with his seniors would be an understatement. 

Schleissman said, “These guys have really stepped up to the plate. All the rest of the team has really looked up to these guys, their work ethic, academically, everything about these guys has been awesome."

Both Robinson and Blackburn will be competing for the second time in the state finals, but Blackburn has an extra motivating factor fueling him; he missed state last year but made it his sophomore season. 

During semi-state last year, Blackburn went down to who would eventually be the state champion-Hunter Watts of Jimtown High School. 

Blackburn said, “Getting put out ticket round last year at semi-state, you know, it was devastating. So, it lit a fire in my butt to work harder over the summer." The hard work has led Blackburn to this opportunity to compete this weekend.

For Robinson, however, he is using his experience from last year to build momentum leading into this year. 

Robinson said his goal is to, “try not to dread on the aches and pains that the end of the season comes with and just try to get in the mindset that whatever happens happens." 

Staying positive is the key for Robinson who said, "I'm ready to just get on the podium like I've always dreamed about."

Those dreams could come true this weekend at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The eagles will be squaring off looking to put up a banner, and their name in Delta Eagles Wrestling history.

For any comments or concerns about this story, contact the author at


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue