Coach has high hopes for young team

By Dan Truttschel


The growth of the East Troy High School wrestling team is already starting to show itself.

Now the Trojans have to take those gains from the offseason and through the first several practices and turn those into successes on the mat.

East Troy returns three state qualifiers from a year ago and is looking to mix that experienced trio with some youth to make some noise in the Rock Valley Conference and beyond, assistant coach Tom Larson said.

But so far, there’s plenty to be encouraged about.

“I really like the physical maturity of some our younger kids from last year’s team,” he said. “(They have made) another year of growth in the weight room and on the wrestling mat. We shall see how that has helped here in about five days (with the first meet).”

East Troy will turn to the trio of seniors Chase Coleman (160) and Chris Storandt (220) and sophomore Tommy Larson (106) to lead the way.

All three competed in Madison a year ago, with Larson returning from the state meet with a sixth-place medal. They are joined as leaders by seniors Joe Moede (120) and Jacob Mast (285), Larson said.

“They have spent the offseason either wrestling, the weight room or both,” he said. “They are excited to take the next step.

“(Moede and Mast) have senior leadership, both in the wrestling room and out. With their continued hard work, they both should do very well this season.”

Also on the varsity roster are senior Sean Wilson (285); juniors John Veselka (145), Nikolas Moat (145), Dean Moat (145), Jake Dessart (170) and Victor Chapman (195); sophomores Calvin Collins (126), Kaleb Curler (132), Dustin Bartell (132), Mason Orgas (138), Jackson Dedick (152), Austin Pogreba (170) and Daniel McCabe (195); and freshmen Ian Newhouse (106), Lucas Rasmussen (106), Andrew Hall (113), Gabriel Johnson (160), Samuel Tuttle (170) and Jacob Price (182).

How quickly the younger wrestlers get up to speed will be a key, Larson said.

“We are really inexperienced as a whole, so we have had to slow down a bit to make sure and get everyone up to speed as much as possible,” he said. “We (haven’t had) to divide into two groups to take the experienced kids to the next level, but we will settle into that portion of practice soon.

“We have been a little banged up, so we need to get healthy and get everyone up to speed, and then we can be off and running.”

Larson added that another key to overall success will be how every athlete takes the next overall step in their development – wherever that may be.

“We need our experienced kids to go from state qualifiers to dominating their matches,” he said. “We also need to have our sectional qualifiers to make that step to state qualifiers, and we need our inexperienced kids from last year to take that next step to being sectional qualifiers.”

RVC race

Larson said he expects Evansville, Beloit Turner and Whitewater to be among the teams to watch in the Rock Valley Conference.

Where the Trojans fit into the equation remains to be seen, but the team goal remains clear.

“The team goal is always to win conference and regionals and continue to compete for the team state (tournament),” he said. “We also have a goal of getting as many kids to individual state as possible and on the podium. The unique thing about wrestling is that you can make it as a team and also as an individual.”

East Troy is coached by long-time head coach Mike Howard. He is assisted by Larson, Ryan Holle, Jeff Crandall and Jeremy Dedick.

The Trojans begin their season Saturday when they host their own dual tournament at 9:15 a.m. Twelve teams are slated to compete.


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