Two hundred and twenty-four wrestlers in all, 16 in each of the 14 weight classes, will begin first round competition of the 80th annual IHSAA Wrestling State Finals Friday at 6 p.m. First-round winners will return to wrestle Saturday with quarterfinal action beginning at 9:30 a.m. and semifinal matches to follow after all weight classes have concluded. Consolation bouts begin at 5 p.m. and championship matches under the spotlight are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Team scoring will begin with Friday night’s preliminary matches. Scoring will go to eight places and, additionally, two advancement points will be awarded per match for a championship bracket victory, while one point is earned for advancement in the consolation bracket.

Points will be awarded to the top eight place-winners: first place: 16 points; second place: 12 points; third place: nine points; fourth place: seven points; fifth place: five points; sixth place: three points; seventh place: two points; eighth place: one point.

Six defending or former state champions are part of this year’s field led by seniors Brayton Lee (152) of Brownsburg and Mason Parris (220) of Lawrenceburg. Both will be looking to complete a third consecutive undefeated state championship season. Lee is 30-0 on the year and 119-0 over the last three years for the defending state champion Bulldogs. Parris is 43-0 this season and 148-0 the last three seasons. With a third state title, Parris would become the sixth individual to win three titles in the same weight class and first since Franklin Central’s Jake O’Brien won three straight at 215 pounds from 2001-03. This year’s field includes 15 total wrestlers who are looking to closeout undefeated seasons.

Other returning champs include Brayden Curtis of Yorktown (113), Cayden Rooks of Columbus East (126) and Alec Viduya of Roncalli (126). A third former champion is also involved in the 126-pound class with Asa Garcia of Avon. Garcia won the 106 class as a freshman and placed third a year ago at 113 pounds.

Brownsburg is the defending state champion after winning the school’s first wrestling crown last year. The Bulldogs are coached by Darrick Snyder who became the second individual to win state titles at two different schools (Mishawaka 2008, 2010; Brownsburg 2017), joining Jim Tonte (Perry Meridian 2011, 2012, 2013; Warren Central 2016).

One hundred and four schools will be represented at this weekend’s finals, with Indianapolis Cathedral leading the way with 10 qualifiers. Portage advanced nine, Columbus East has eight and Brownsburg seven. Cathedral and Yorktown led the state with five semi-state champions, with Brownsburg, Chesterton and Portage tallying four each. A total of 314 schools and 7,065 were entered into this year’s state tournament at the sectional level.

General admission tickets are $8 per session or $20 for both days and are available at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Ticket Office or via the mobile ticket app, Tik-A-Tap. Children 2-years-old and younger can get in for free, according to a press release from the IHSAA.

Gates are scheduled to open to spectators at 4:30 p.m. prior to Friday’s session and at 8 a.m. for Saturday morning’s session. Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be cleared following the semifinals and will reopen at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Virginia Avenue Garage, which charges a fee and is located directly to the east of the venue, connects to the Fieldhouse from the third floor of the garage via a walkway over Delaware Street. The entrance to the Virginia Avenue Garage is located off of Maryland Street. For those who aren’t able to make it downtown, Saturday night’s state championship bouts will air live on Fox Sports Indiana beginning at 7:30 p.m. with the following hosts of the telecast: Mark Jaynes (play-by-play), Mike Goebel (analyst), Blake Maurer (analyst) and Greg Rakestraw (mat interviews).

Friday night’s first round and all of Saturday’s quarterfinal, semifinal and consolation matches will be videostreamed live at TrackWrestling.com via a subscription fee.