Times Sports Editor
The Northview wrestling program is hoping to continue its history of excellence under coach Dan Mikesell during recent years and with plenty of returning experience, the Knights are hoping to challenge Bloomington South for a sectional team title and to repeat as WIC champions.
The Knights return eight wrestlers that placed in the top-five at last year's sectional and four that were top-three qualifiers.
Manning the lower weight classes will be a pair of returning competitors in Caleb Nicosin (27-10, third in sectional at 103 lb.) and Skyler Hall (3-2, second in sectional at 112 lb.)
"Caleb Nicosin is up to 112. He is stronger so we will see how he does at the next weight class. He is an upperclassman, so we expect him to win," Mikesell said. "Skyler is at 125 to start the season and may go to 119. We will have to see how it works for the team and his individual chances at sectional."
Moving into the 103-pound weight class will be junior Ryan South and freshman Shane Ryan will slot in at 119-pounds according to Mikesell.
"Ryan South a junior will be at 103. He has some limited middle school experience but is working hard and learning fast. Shane Ryan, a freshman will be at 119. He is a product of our middle school program and should be able to help us," Mikesell said. "Trey Boor is a freshman, with no experience. He is a nice athlete and picks up fast. I like his potential and attitude. He will be at 125/130."
The 125 to 140-pound classes will be a work in progress as former 119-pounder Austin Bell (22-15, third in sectional) did not return and 135-pound standout Luke Pingleton graduated.
"Bell was going to be at 130, so him not on the team leaves a big hole. We will fill the spots with two freshman, Boor and newcomer Brandon Gillispie," Mikesell said. "He moved from Greencastle and wrestled for their middle school. They both are working hard and I am confident I will get their best efforts."
Zach Mishler returns after placing sixth in the WIC Tourney last season and moves up to 140 pounds this year and Mikesell feels that he can really help the team.
Baylor Girton returns after limited experience at 145 pounds last season where he placed sixth in the sectional and fourth in the WIC. According to Mikesell, Girton had a strong showing in spring competition.
"He wrestled in several spring tournaments and is much more confident.He had some nice wins in the spring and I think will have a good season," Mikesell said.
One of the biggest additions to the lineup is a familiar face in Brandon Mikesell, who missed most of the season last year due to illness, he returns and will anchor one of the middle classes and hopes to finish his high school career strong.
"Having Brandon back is nice. Hopefully he can keep focused and finish his high school career on a solid note. He and Larry (Shaffer) have been working hard together and looking good in practice. If they keep pushing themselves, they could have a very nice season and really give our team a boost in these middle-weight classes."
Shaffer had a strong debut during his freshman year last season, reaching the regional where he placed fifth and finishing with a 28-11 mark. He'll likely see his time in either the 152 or 160-pound weight class.
In the upper weight classes, the Knights could be very good as Nathan Duregger (13-18, fifth in sectional at 171), Brandon Pleake (21-11, third in sectional and WIC champ at 189), Aaron See (23-12, fourth in sectional and WIC champ at 215) all return along with heavyweight, Beau Judd, who was a sectional champion and finished 25-11.
"Brody Girton will be at 171. It's his chance to prove that he is a varsity wrestler. I think he wants to make the most of it," Mikesell said. "Nathan Dureggar is making his way down to 171 so it will be interesting to see how that shakes out. It is nice for the team to have good competition for this spot as they will push each other and really get better."
The battle for the 171-through 189-pound varsity spots are still raging in practice with several talented wrestlers looking for time.
Sophomore Andy Davis is also in the mix at 171 and 189 is very similar. We return Brandon Pleake, but he is not down to weight as of yet. So sophomore Jesse Miller is there right now," Mikesell commented. "They are nip and tuck in practice so anything can happen during wrestle offs. At any rate it really makes our upper weights better when they know they have to be at their best day in and day out."
The top-two weight classes could prove dominant for the Knights and Mikesell is looking for a breakout year from See and Judd.
"Aaron See returns at 215. He spent some time this summer at camp and on a Disney Duals team. He is ready for a breakout junior season," Mikesell said. "Beau Judd returns at heavy weight. He is bigger and much stronger and I am anticipating great things from him this year.
"I would say that our seniors have a really good shot to make a run come sectional time," Mikesell added. "I also think Larry Shaffer will surprise some people. He wrestled several spring tournaments and surprised/beat some of the best wresters in the state in his age group. He is one of the hardest workers I have coached and has the right mind set. Between him and our seniors our goal is to get someone back to Conseco (for the state finals)."
The Knights open the regular season with a dual match against Bloomington South at home tonight beginning at 6 p.m.
2010-11 Wrestling Schedule
|Sat. Nov. 20||at T.H. South Tourney (JV)||9 a.m.|
|Wed. Dec. 1||vs. Bloom. South||6 p.m.|
|Sat. Dec. 4||at Westfield Great 8||8:30 a.m.|
|Wed. Dec. 8||at Owen Valley||6 p.m.|
|Sat. Dec. 11||vs. Northview Invite||8 a.m.|
|Wed. Dec. 15||at Edgewood||6 p.m.|
|Sat. Dec. 18||at Jeffersonville Tourney||8 a.m.|
|Tue. Dec. 28||at Mooresville Tourney||10 a.m.|
|Wed. Dec. 29||at Mooresville Tourney||8 a.m.|
|Sat. Jan. 8||at Columbus East 6-way||9 a.m.|
|Wed. Jan. 12||vs. West Vigo||6 p.m.|
|Sat. Jan. 15||at Sullivan Winter Duals||9 a.m.|
|Sat. Jan. 22||at WIC Tourney||10 a.m.|
|Sat. Jan. 29||vs. IHSAA Sectional||10 a.m.|
|Sat. Feb. 5||at IHSAA Regional||9 a.m.|
|Sat. Feb. 12||at IHSAA Semistate||TBA|
|Fri. Feb. 18||at State Finals||TBA|
|Sat. Feb. 19||at State Finals||TBA|