Woodmen await Johnson County Wrestling Tournament


Logan Connor, Feature Editor

The Woodmen wrestling program has had a tradition of excellence the past four years. From the likes of Nick Willham to Anthony Walker, GHS has had two representatives at the State finals in the span of three seasons. 

Carrying on the tradition of putting at least one wrestler onto the big stage is in the mind of all wrestlers and coaches. Many dream of having their names on the wall of Woodmen greats in the matroom. 

“My biggest goal is obviously to make it to the State finals,” sophomore Michael Schrader said. “But we have to start off with the early duals and tournaments including County. Our County has a few teams that consistently send guys to State, and if I can get experience against them early on and even beat them, then my goals will become more realistic.”

Success in the County tournament has been scarce for the last decade with athletic powerhouses, such as Center Grove and Franklin. This season’s Johnson County tournament will be no different with the talent-loaded squads of the Trojans and Grizzly Cubs.

“Center Grove is obviously one of if not the best teams in the County,” Schrader said. “They have extremely talented guys who are strong and fast on their feet and are so technically sound in every position.”

With wrestling having specific weight classes into which guys have to fit, one of the challenges is to cut weight. Most guys walk around 10-15 pounds heavier than what they may wrestle. 

“The hardest part of any tournament is making sure you make weight,” Schrader said. “Cutting weight is just a part of our sport, and a lot of us have found our secrets that help us lose weight easier and safely. Safety is the biggest part of it all, making sure we don’t harm our bodies.”

With only a few seniors on the squad, sophomore and junior leadership will be key in the long season.

“Veteran leadership plays a big role in the County and even further into the season,” junior Gabe Folco said. “We have a lot of juniors who have been wrestling together for a really long time, and we need to come together and bring up these younger guys to step up into bigger roles. Our underclassmen are very talented, and if we can help improve their leadership skills, it will help us to win in the County.”

Woodmen wrestling will host the Johnson County tournament in the varsity gym tomorrow morning with matches beginning at 9 a.m.