By Mark Ambrogi
Roncalli High School senior wrestler Bryce Lowery saved his best for last.
Lowery finished fourth in the IHSAA wrestling state finals as a freshman in the 106-pound class, seventh as a sophomore at 126 pounds and fifth as a junior at 138 pounds.
Lowery topped Evansville Mater Dei’s Hunter May 3-1 in the 152-pound state championship Feb. 18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Lowery finished with a 44-0 record.
“It was a really cool experience,” Lowery said. “It didn’t feel real at the moment. Going down there and losing for three years and finally coming out on top just means the world to me.”
Lowery, who will wrestle for Indiana University next season, finished his high school career with a 160-7 record.
Lowery watched as his older brothers, Blaze and Brayden, wrestled when he was younger. Initially, baseball was Lowery’s first love.
“They finally convinced me to do (wrestling), and I loved it,” he said.
Blaze wrestled for Perry Meridian High School and University of Indianapolis. Brayden, a University of Indianapolis wrestler, was a state champion for Roncalli in 2020 in the 126-pound class.
“I think I was more nervous for Brayden’s state finals match than I was for mine,” Lowery said. “(Winning) was everything I imagined and maybe a little more. When the clock went zero, I could see (the coaches) going crazy in the corner and the whole section going crazy with the support behind your back. It’s a crazy feeling.”
Lowery said he didn’t envision winning the state title until it happened.
“I think I wrestle better when I take the pressure off myself,” Lowery said. “I tried to stay one match at a time for the rest of the match. I thought in my mind that I was the best guy in the weight class.”
Royals coach Shaun Richardson said Lowery had an amazing career.
“He became dominant on his feet as well as on the mat,” Richardson said. “He could take everybody down.”
Richardson said Lowery never seemed to be tired.
“He’d go work out before school and come to practice after school obviously,” Richardson said. “He’s got that attitude of never wanting to give up a point or lose. I don’t think Bryce gave up on offensive points all year. He just tries to win in every position in the wrestling matches and in the wrestling room. It’s great to have that attitude in the room just so that other kids can see that as what they need to do to get better.”
Lowery said he felt welcomed on his visit to IU.
“I loved the coaching staff and made connections with guys on the team,” he said. “I felt like it’s somewhere that I can actually succeed with great partners and great coaches.”
THE LOWERY FILE
NAME: Bryce Lowery
SCHOOL: Roncalli High School
COLLEGE PLANS: Plans to major in nutrition and dietetics.
FAVORITE SUBJECT: Math
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Penn State wrestler Roman Bravo-Young
FAVORITE MUSICIAN: Post Malone
FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Stranger Things”
PARENTS’ NAMES: Heather Haseman and Nathan Lowery