OSKALOOSA—The Oskaloosa Indians wrestling team opens their new season today at Grinnell.
The Indians have three returning wrestlers who finished third at districts, one match away from state qualifying: Salvador Gonzalez, Cody Gunn and Emmit Boender.
Five of this season’s returning wrestlers have winning records: Cody Gunn, Leland Evans, Kegan Mitts-Butler, Wyatt Krier and Emmit Boender.
This year also features 14 returning letter-winners: Ryllie Siroky, Phillip Abrahamson, Salvador Gonzalez, Zach Beebe, Leland Evans, Aden Scott, Wyatt Krier, Jason Garrett, Cody Gunn, Blake Westercamp, Emmit Boender, Will Campbell, Warren Feudner and Kegan Mitts-Butler.
Head coach Chase Weber said, “We will lean on the seniors a lot to help the team, both as point scorers and as leaders. We are fairly young across the roster, but our lineup has more experience than ever before.”
The team will replace two seniors from last year with some very good talent. Max Larkins was at 126 and is replaced by Junior Salvador Gonzalez, who moves up a spot from last year at 120, where freshman Trey Miller then takes over. Tyson Breuklander was at 220 the last half of the previous year. He will be replaced with sophomore Warren Feudner, who has a few varsity matches under his belt and is well prepared from the practice partners he had last year.
Cody Gunn, Wyatt Krier, Kegan Mitts-Butler and Emmit Boender are team captains this season. All four captains are seniors, and all four have been on the team for four years.
“That means a lot from the coaches to see these guys finish their careers and help shape the future as what to strive to be like,” said Weber.
The primary goal for the wrestlers this year is improvement.
“That’s always been our goal as coaches, whether it’s coming off a one-win season or 30-win season we want you to continue to grow,” added Weber.
As a team they want to secure more dual wins this season. They had a chance for a good year last year, but three separate events were snowed out.
The wrestlers have more lofty individual goals to reach for, specifically the seniors and juniors coming off strong seasons last year, with several of them coming so close to making it to state.
The team will be looking to see increases in their individual winning percentages for everyone. “If they do that, they will find more success up and down the lineup all year,” said Weber.