KENDALLVILLE Ind. (WANE) – East Noble’s Garrett Pepple made it to the IHSAA State Championship match three times throughout his high school career. The first two trips ended in losses, but, at last month’s state finals, Pepple captured the crown at 113. He became just the second wrestler from East Noble to win a state wrestling title.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Pepple recalled days after the victory. “It’s indescribable to say the least.”
Pepple was determined to come out and win it all his senior year. He went undefeated during the regular season, looking to keep it that way in the state tournament.
“I went in there with a lot of confidence. I knew I wrestled well all year and winning my matches pretty handily, so I just wanted to go in there and keep it up.”
Through Sectionals, Regionals, and Semi-State, Pepple kept up his impressive performance, but a shoulder injury he suffered in the win that punched his ticket to his third straight state finals almost ended his high school career much earlier than he planned.
“I was told my year was over. I kind of broke down. I knew I didn’t want my high school career to end like that. But (after getting an MRI) I got the news that I was good to go. I’m blessed to be able to go out there and win that State Title after battling through that adversity.”
Pepple’s career will continue in Bloomington. This fall, he heads to Indiana University to wrestle for the Hoosiers.
“College wrestling in the Big Ten is definitely brutal, but I’m ready to hit that challenge head on. I know it will be tough, but I want to maximize my potential as a wrestler and I fell like I can do that at I-U.”