Wrestlers like their chances

Anna Nelson

Despite the loss of three key members from last year, the members of the wrestling team said they feel good about their chances of success this season.

The team lost Pete Peterson, who finished second at heavyweight in conference, Jake Cimino, who finished fourth in conference at the 149-pound weight class, and Ben Podoll, who finished third in conference at the 174-pound weight class.

“The loss of these affects this season a lot,” coach Don Parker said. “We’ll miss them a lot in conference.”

The team also may have lost senior Travis Buchholz for the season due to a knee injury. He was the team’s captain and a three year-starter.

Another problem facing the team is its youth. There are only two seniors on the roster. In comparison, there are 10 underclassmen on the roster.

There will be three freshmen starters this season. They will be Jesse Miller at the 133-pound weight class, Jesse Matchey at the 141-pound weight class and Matt Renkas at the 149-pound weight class.

“We have a lot of new faces,” Parker said. “The freshmen will fill in.”

A couple of wrestlers will have to step up this season.

“We’ll build around (junior Davey) Starks and (junior Adam) Kolo,” Parker said.

The coach is worried about the effect possible injuries could have on the team.

“We don’t have a lot of depth,” Parker said. “We don’t have anybody to fill the spots if somebody gets injured.”

The team does have a lot of confidence going into the season.

“We’ll do pretty well overall,” senior Josh Spaeth said. “Coach thinks we’ll finish second in conference.”

Part of this confidence is due to Saturday’s meet at Stevens Point. There were several strong teams there including Division I schools UW-Madison and Northern Illinois.

Parker was pleased with several wrestler’s performances.

“(Sophomore Nick) Campbell and (sophomore Troy) Seubert did a great job,” he said.

The coach was also happy with sophomore Josh Frie’s performance.

“Frie wrestled a three-time Div. I state champ and pinned him. That gave him a boost of confidence.”

The team will need that confidence in its meet at UW-Platteville today.

“We’ll struggle against Platteville,” Parker said.

Spaeth also said it will be a tough match. He said facing this caliber of competition will help the team deal with strong competition during the rest of the season.

“It’ll definitely help,” he said. “It’ll make us a tougher team in the end.”