Gone are some of
the names that the average fan recognizes, but don’t feel sorry for the
Chesterton wrestling program.
“We might not have
five undefeated guys that go to State and finish in the top four,”
Chesterton coach Chris Joll said. “But, we’ll have 10 guys with five losses
that can get to State.”
The Trojans return
two State place winners from last year in juniors Brock Ellis (4th at 152)
and Evan Bates (3rd at 182).
“Brock and Evan
wrestled well at the national level, but they’ll be even better when they
are wrestling for their team,” Joll said. “We have an incredible junior
class that has been great from day one in elementary school. They are really
good wrestlers and have a bond where they don’t want to let each other
The duo will be
buoyed by a five-man senior class that includes Nick Winland, Doug Waters,
Tyler Martin, Steve Nelson and newcomer Shea Jackson (Colorado).
“Nick has been on
varsity every year and Tyler Martin won the CP meet for us last year,” Joll
said. “Steve Nelson came in weighing about 230 and now weighs 195, so no
matter what happens to him, something good has already happened.
“We have a move-in
from Colorado with pretty good talent who is a really hard-worker too.”
In the lower
weights, junior Ethan Kaiser and freshman Aiden Torres should also add to
the point mix.
“Aiden Torres has
been a triple crown ISWA winner for several years now,” Joll said. “He’s
been on national teams since he was old enough to be on them. He just has to
get used to the grind of high school wrestling.”
The Trojans numbers
are up near 40 for the first time and that should add some needed depth.
“We have more kids
out this year than we’ve ever had on a team,” Joll said. “We’ve got 5-6
weight classes where we are two deep and both guys could be Sectional
champs. And then we have other classes where we are barely one deep.
“In the room right
now, we are trying to balance between challenging the better guys and still
teaching the less experienced guys. We all want to end up at the same place
at the end of the season.”
its season on Friday when they travel to Antioch, Ill., for the Ted DeRousse
Invitational two-day event.
“It’s an individual
sport on the mat, but you can’t get as good as you can be if you only worry
about yourself,” Joll said. “We have a bunch of kids that are focused on
making sure Chesterton does well. I expect that we’ll win a lot of matches
this year because someone will pick up the slack.”