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Knights to grapple with Patriots tonight

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Northview's Derek Mroczek brings a 19-5 mark into tonight's match with Terre Haute South.

The Northview Knights resume their dual meet wrestling schedule tonight with their only home dual match of the season. Tonight's bout with Vigo county rival Terre Haute South begins at 6:30 p.m. with Senior/Alumni Night recognition.

The Knights enter the second half of the season coming off their best ever finish at the Martinsville Classic. As a team the Knights finished eighth out of 16 teams in the two-day tournament and won their first individual title (Austin Staley).

Staley heads up a list of Northview grapplers who have rung up some impressive victory totals this season.

Eight different wrestlers have plus .500 records this year with Staley leading the way with a 20-2 mark at 130 pounds. Derek Mroczek (140 lb.) has a 19-5 mark this year and Corey Grigsby has an 18-3 record to this point.

Mroczek leads the Knights with 181 match points scored. He also has a team-high 11 pins and is second in team points earned with 100. Staley tops the team with 110 points earned for the Knights and is second with 139 match points.

Grigsby is second on the team with 10 falls this year and has 94.5 team points and 124 match points scored.

Justin Wilson is 16-7 this season at 189 pounds and has earned 175 match points this year with eight pins. Austin Nicosin is a solid 14-7 this year at the 103 pound level and has four pins this year.

According to Northview coach Don Bryan, the match with South should provide some interesting matchups if the Patriots are at full strength. "They had some injuries and illness at the Martinsville Classic, but hopefully they'll have everyone back where they should be," said Bryan.

South boasts two wrestlers who have been ranked by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches' Association.

Rufus Pace (Hwt.) and Joe Fitch (215) are each ranked in the top-10 by the IHSWCA in the latest poll and bring impressive records into tonight's dual match. "I think that if they get their 215 and heavyweight wrestlers back they're could be some good matches there," said Bryan.

Tom Lucas (12-10, with seven pins) would get the nod versus Pace in the heavyweight division while Tony Sambria (4-9) would take on Fitch at 215.

Bryan also pointed out the 160-pound bout between Northview's Doug Porter (14-9, six pins) and Dan Hellmann. "I think that a Porter/Hellmann match would be a pretty good one along with the 189 match."

The matchup at 189 will likely feature Northview's Wilson against Jason Paul who was 5-3 headed into the Martinsville tournament.

Depending on how South places their wrestlers, another highlighted bout could place Staley against South's Carlo Balmeseda. However, it is unlikely that Balmesada, who wrestles at 119 most often, would bump up that far to face Staley. However, Balmeseda could very easily face Grigsby in another interesting showdown of top area talent.

Jeremiah Allen (11-7) will most likely face Carol Doner at 171 pounds with Travis Harmon (8-11) hitting the mat versus South's Ryan Mack at 152. Whitney King could also be back for the Knights at 112 pounds and face Ben Miller, a tough opponent.

Northview matches up well with the Patriots this season and should come out on top of the team totals. "I think we're a little stronger than they are this season," commented Bryan. "But there should be some good matches. We've pulled some upsets against them before. We've taken some time off and we're just trying to stay healthy."

Exhibition and junior varsity matches will begin shortly after the Senior Night and Alumni ceremonies with varsity action afterwards.

Junior high students interested in wrestling will be admitted free with ID and can speak with the coaches after the meet is over. Action begins at 6:30 p.m.

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