The Norfolk Catholic Boys’ wrestling team will be a mix of state qualifiers back from last year and newcomers to the squad.
“Overall we’re still a relatively young team, but we have good qualities to come back,” Knights coach Henry Aschoff said. “Isaac Wilcox is a returning heavyweight finalist, but he’ll be at 220 this year. Spending the summer at Fort Benning, Ga. In training camp made him a little better, and I think he will compete very well at 220. ”
Ben Sousek, who had a record 220 weight class wins last season, will likely move up to heavyweight, Aschoff said.
“Allan Olander has qualified twice, won games in the United States in both years to score points for the team and is coming back as one of our key leaders,” said Aschoff. “Dominic Liess was a first-year qualifier last year at 106 who has also won games in the state.”
Another seasoned wrestler who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the state over the past two seasons, junior Kanyon Talton, will also be back for the Knights along with second student Brandon Kollars, who has won 32 games over the course of. his first year before failing to qualify at the district meet.
“Kanyon will be back at 138 which is a very good weight class for him; he has high expectations for himself, and we’ll do everything we can to help him achieve that, ”Aschoff said. “Brandon is a 170 pound comeback who will be another strong guy for us.”
Norfolk Catholic will have depth in the top weights with “some young guys, some freshmen and other quality kids who struggled last year who will be back and looking to have some really good second seasons.” , a group that includes sophomores Noah Morland, Mason Weidner, Carter Fisher and Javier Hernandez.
“These four sophomores struggled a lot for us last year,” Aschoff said. “They are looking to take good steps and become strong wrestlers. “
The Knights also have freshman candidates from successful junior high school careers, such as Yair Santiago, Mason Dusek, Shaun Clinch, and Tyson Risinger.
“The freshmen all had really good eighth-grade years,” Aschoff said. “Some of them have been successful in the playoffs as well, but they will adjust to wrestling in high school early in the season.”
Aschoff said he is hopeful that Norfolk Catholic, who will compete again in Class C, can improve his team’s results in invitational tournaments and also improve on last season’s double-record 7-10.
“We would like to bring home more gear throughout the year and with our improved depth we think it’s more viable,” said Aschoff. “Our goal is to improve every day – with our team’s motto being ‘Devotion: Champions do more’ – and to develop a mindset worthy of a championship.”
“We have finished third to fifth in many tournaments; we want to push more guys into the finals at a lot of games and score points, ”he said. “We want to be a team that encourages each other, helps each other improve in training with the older guys helping the younger guys and the younger guys pushing the older guys.”
Although the Knights’ preparation for the season was delayed by the football team playing in the Class C2 State Championship game, Aschoff expects the wrestling team to be “at full strength right after. Christmas”.
“We want to fight our best at the end of the season, at the district and state level,” Aschoff said. “We finished 28th at State last year and we’d like to improve on that. In fact, I would like to be in the top 15.
Aschoff’s assistants are assistants Travis Fisher and Mace Kant, as well as junior high coaches Kevin and Riley Classen, as well as volunteer coaches Doug Liess and Andy Mendez.
Norfolk Catholic Boys Wrestling List
Elders: Isaac Wilcox, Allan Olander and Josh Gubbels.
Juniors: Kanyon Talton, Caden Arens, Gavin Yosten and Ashton Cunningham.
Sophomores: Dominic Liess, Ben Sousek, Brandon Kollars, Mason Weidner, Javier Hernandez, Noah Morland and Daniel Vuchetich.
Freshmen: Carter Fisher, Yair Santiago, Mason Dusek, Owen Snodgrass, Brenden Flood, Shaun Clinch, Tyson Risinger, and Sam Johnson.