Sports fans always
talk favorably about next year.
That year may well
be now for the Chesterton wrestling team as they start the 2016-2017
campaign today in Antioch, IL, at the Ted DeRousse Invitational.
“We’ve got some
kids that have been doing a lot of wrestling and they have a lot of
potential,” Chesterton coach Chris Joll said. “I think they have very high
expectations and the best I can do is help them reach those expectations.”
The Trojans return
three state qualifiers from last season in senior Jack Tolin, junior Diego
Lemley and senior Andrew Davison.
“Jack was sixth at
132 last year,” Joll said. “Diego is recovering from a broken hand, but
he’ll just get better and better. Andrew learned a lot from his situation at
State last year. He seems to have recovered and we expect a lot of him.”
Davison was one match away from a state berth and had a victory over the
eventual state champion. Sophomore Eli Pokorney has grown to 6-foot-5, 235
pounds and will move to heavyweight this season.
“Lucas and Eli had
a lot of national success over the summer,” Joll said. “Eli placed in two
national events this summer and was one match away from a third.”
letter winners include Steve Biancardi, a Regional champion last year, Cade
Girbenti, Kevin Mochen and Danny Tolin.
“We’ve got seven
pretty good hammers and seven more guys that are pretty good,” Joll said. “I
haven’t looked at the rankings. We’re just going to train the best we can to
be the best on the day we have to be our best.
“We’ve got the
guys. The key is just going to be getting them going at the same time.”
And the experience
they have should play a role in this year’s success.
“I think their
experience is going to help a lot,” Joll said. “It’s already helped in the
room. They know what is going on with weigh-ins, how we act at meets and all
those types of things. Looking around our room, none of our kids are awful.
None of our kids are just there hanging out or standing around wanting to
just be part of it.
They are working
hard to prove a point. It’s something we haven’t seen in a long time and
it’s just awesome.”
The Trojans jump
right into the meat of their schedule after this weekend’s Invite when they
host Portage on Dec. 1 in the DAC opener for both.
“We were undefeated
outside of the DAC last year,” Joll said. “Our goal this year is to win more
conference matches. We lost the first three DAC meets and we want to change
that. We hit the top three teams right away, starting with the best team
“After those first
three matches, I’ll be able to tell you whether we are the first, second,
third or fourth best team in the conference.”