Hitting the mat

Hitting+the+mat

Placing sixth in the Mid-Suburban League in the 2013-2014 season, this year’s wrestling team is anticipating a favorable season. With many returning players as well as newcomers, the team is working hard to improve and wrestle to their fullest potential.

The team kicked off their season in late November, winning their first meet against Leyden High School. To continue their streak, the team also defeated Elk Grove High School with a score of 66-5.

This season’s captains, seniors Kasey Jauch and Danny Stubing along with junior Eric Chalupa, have played essential roles to the team and are key scorers.

“So far, we’re a good team,” Chalupa said. “We’re all close together. We know how to get work done, we know how to cut weight together. We get closer by teaching each other to wrestle better.”

With a few wrestlers from each grade, they have a wide variety of players in terms of experience, weight and skill.

“In years past we’ve had three or four guys who were all bulking the same weight, and now every guy is spread out,” Head Coach John Bassler said. “We have a good range throughout the

entire lineup.” Despite having younger members this year, the boys still

possesses the experience needed to create a strong team. Jauch views the underclassmen as a strength to the team. “They’re doing good because a lot of them had wrestling

experience from wrestling in clubs as younger kids. They’re still young, but they’re at a higher level,” Jauch said.

This year’s varsity freshmen are Jacob Holm and Michael Womeldorf.

“Being a freshman on varsity is hard because I haven’t been with my teammates for a while and I just met most of them this year,” Womeldorf said. “They are always there when I need them though. It’s hard adapting to the practices but I am adjusting well and I’m looking forward to a good season.”

Key players this season also include juniors Eric Chalupa, Grant Palmer and Maciej Pogorzelski and sophomores Jackson Kohlberg, Liam Collins and Nick Delporte.

In the 2013-2014 season, the team placed third in the East Division of the Mid-Suburban league.

Although the team lost against Wheeling High School this year, Bassler and Jauch both hope to take down Prospect High School in order to place higher in the MSL East Division and continue to improve their ranking.

Along with the MSL, the team is focusing largely on sending

players to state this year. Returning sophomore Delporte qualified for state during the 2013-2014 season, and Collins qualified for sectionals.

In order to achieve their goal, the team has been practicing before and after school, critiquing each other, teaching each other ways to improve and strengthen the team both physically and mentally.

For any athlete, returning to a sport after the offseason is often challenging, and wrestling is certainly no exception.

Achieving specific weights, staying healthy and forming a team bond are some of the challenges the team has faced this season.

In a sport with consistently rough, direct contact, staying healthy is key.

“Over the last couple years we’ve been injury-prone, so if we stay healthy, I think we’ll be fine,” Jauch said.

Delporte began the season on the bench with a back injury from football season. However, the team has suffered no serious injuries so far.

“From here on out, it’s just a matter of getting the experience we need and staying focused on the ultimate goal, which is Regionals, Sectionals, and State,” Bassler said. “Just staying healthy, focused, and constantly improving.”