Times Sports Editor
The 2008-09 wrestling season was one of trials and tribulations for a small senior class for the Northview Knights.
Even the group's senior night was derailed when their match against Terre Haute South on Jan. 14 was canceled due to weather.
Kyle McCoy, Michael Duregger and Kyle Pestoff comprised the senior class this season and the group had some high hopes entering the school year.
However, a broken leg suffered in football kept McCoy, a semi-state qualifier last season, out until the mid-point of the year. Pestoff was wrestling for the first time this year and Duregger cracked the varsity lineup halfway through the season and had some nice accomplishments.
The road for McCoy proved especially bumpy, though his return at all this season was a testament to his determination and sheer will.
While training for the 2008-09 season, McCoy sustained a cauliflower ear, a painful byproduct of the contact sport. He also ended up suffering not one, but two broken noses. One of them required surgery and he also had a burst eardrum and had his tonsils and wisdom teeth removed in November. The broken leg suffered in September at Vincennes required a titanium rod be surgically implanted in the bone following the break of his tibia and fibula.
Not exactly the way you'd like to remember your senior season, but McCoy returned to help his team and eventually placed third at 140 pounds in the sectional.
"I was proud of Kyle," coach Dan Mikesell said. "I thought he kept a positive attitude throughout the year even when he was sitting out. He never was at 100 percent even after he was cleared by the doctor.
It was a difficult task to get ready for top-level competition with out being able to really train at maximum proficiency," Mikesell added. "We tried a different approach to our training focusing more on just wrestling to get into condition and I thought he was in good shape. He just wasn't as fast or agile as last year and it was too short a time to change his style completely."
Though McCoy was never fully healthy during the season, he completed a career in which he was 77-21 overall and was the 2008 sectional champion and a regional runner-up. He reached the regional three times while making the semi-state last season.
McCoy only lost by fall once in his career and that was to eventual state champion, Reece Freeman of Bloomington South in McCoy's sophomore season.
His plans are to either go to IUPUI or Purdue to study Aviation.
Duregger cracked the varsity lineup midway through the season and made a splash at the Sullivan Winter Duals.
Wrestling at 171-pounds, Duregger won five matches, pinning opponents from Evansville Harrison, Robinson and Gibson Southern. He also scored a 16-0 technical fall against Sullivan and received a forfeit while taking the title in that class.
"Michael Duregger made varsity halfway through the season and ended up with a winning record. That was a great improvement for him," Mikesell said. "Wrestling was good for him. I am sure he learned some good lessons on how to work hard and dedicate himself."
Duregger was a three-year member of the wrestling program and compiled a 10-7 record as a senior and recorded six pins and a technical fall.
Duregger plans on heading to IUPUI where he would like to study Construction Management.
Pestoff's mark on the 2009 season didn't show up so much in the varsity results, but he brought intensity in the practice room. His work benefited his workout partners before an injury sidelined him for a portion of the season.
"Kyle Pestoff was out for the first time and couldn't crack the varsity lineup," Mikesell said. "I was glad he was in the room as a practice partner for some of the bigger guys. He suffered an injury halfway through the season and missed some valuable learning and training time. Since he was already pretty inexperienced, that really put him behind the eight ball so to speak."
Pestoff, whose contributions on the gridiron and baseball diamond are sizable, plans to study Sports Management in college.