skip navigation

2020 Wrestling previews

By Jim Gordillo, 12/10/20, 2:45PM EST

Share

Bloomington North

COVID has made a lot of things disappear this year.

Add to it a number of the Cougars’ best wrestlers following a quarantine break just as the season was getting under way. It includes senior heavyweight Race Stewart (33-1), whose first loss last year was at semistate, and returning 170-pounder Judd Garvin. A growing roster, up a handful from last year, is now down to 16, 11 of them freshmen.

So it’s yet another coaching adjustment among the many already there this season.

“I talked to a lot of the guys this year and several of them were very excited about this year,” coach Ben Farmer said. “We had a pretty good lineup. We had every spot but 106 filled. Now, everything is topsy-tervy.”

As it is for the frosh, who don’t get a wait and learn delay in facing varsity competition. And with such a divide, Farmer has split his practices up, so he can focus on teaching the fundamentals to his youngsters and later working on higher level details with his veterans.

“The good thing about wrestling is one of the best ways to learn is to be christened by fire,” Farmer said. “It’ll be basically survive, learn, adapt and move on. And the guys are trying really hard. Now, I’m relying on the older guys to basically pull along the younger guys.”

Leading the way will be junior Chase Hostettler (30-7 last year) at 152 pounds and seniors Riley Fish at 126 and Cesar Cielo at 220.

Hostettler worked over the summer and has 182-pound freshman brother Grey to help push him. Fish needs to overcome slow starts but will not have much in the way of experienced drill partners this year as there will be holes in the lineup at 106, 113, 170 and 195.

Two freshman are vying for the 120 spot in evenly matched Kanye Roberts-Gray and Anthony Fender. More freshman figure to fill the lineup at 132 (Zion Manning), 138 (Jeremiah Casillas and Luke Kerns), 145 (Cael Hickok), 160 (James Kidwell) and 285 (Parker Roach). Sophomore Fernando Casillas could return later this season to push for the 160 slot.

Grey Hostettler got off to a good start this year at the Bloomington Invite. “He’s a natural when it comes to a lot of stuff,” Farmer said. “I’ve got good expectations for him this year.”

Cielo is at 220 right now, but has a goal of getting stronger and getting down to 195, but will be hurt by not having Stewart in the room for practice.

Bloomington South

The Panthers roster is also a bit smaller than usual, and injuries and COVID issues are cutting the numbers down even further early on. Junior Nicholas Castelluccio, a 29-match winner last year, is not back. But South has a solid group of returning varsity wrestlers, including senior and state medalist Tristan Ruhlman (fifth) and sophomore brother and state qualifier Delaney.

Tristan Ruhlman (40-4) is bumping up from 170 to 220 and kept busy at national tournaments in the off-season. “He’s really at another level now,” coach Mike Runyon said. “He’s put on muscle over the summer. I think this is a good weight for him. He’s shot up too. I think he’s 6-4 now.”

Delaney Ruhlman (36-4) is also moving up the ladder to 140 and hit the same tourney’s Tristan did and is ready to make another run to state.

Among the top returners are junior Ethan Roudebush (18-14) going up from 113 to 126 with some added strength, senior Cade Meier, back from injuries and ready to tackle 132; and junior Aiden Reynolds (21-16) going to 145 from 132. At some point, junior Cade Bengtson (12-12) will be back at either 126 or 132 and junior Ryan Younger will be in that same area as well. So that part of the room will be fiercely pushing each other all season.

“They’ll make each other better for sure,” Runyon said.

Also back are junior Tuff Fender at 160, wiry junior Chandler Deppert at 170 and senior Boone Fowler (18-14) returning at 182 where he made a nice postseason run last year and has Ruhlman to push him again this time around.

From there, South has 106-pounder, and adds sophomore Miles Libby at 113, junior Aiden Gann at 120, sophomore Andrew Chandler at 152, senior Joseph Ortega at 195, junior Aiden Akers, going from 220 to 285 after working behind Conor Lucas, who did not return for his senior year. Jackson Lynch will also help at the upper weights after he gets back from injury.

Edgewood

The Mustangs were forced out of the practice room until Monday but will be able to put an older and experienced team on the mat. Edgewood is slim on smaller wrestlers, and starts with no one at 113 or 120.

And given the state of the wrestlers coming back after the COVID break, there could be a jumble of athletes up to the 145-pound spot.

“We started some young guys last year,” coach Greg Ratliff said, “and even with our off-season not big, we did get a couple of weeks of practice in and those younger guys who took their lumps seem like different wrestlers this year.”

One of them is sophomore and state medalist (7th) Cash Turner, who is moving up from 106 to 126/132 after a growth spurt. Junior Lane Deckard (31-8) and junior Jared Owens (17-15), who are both moving up a weight class or two, sophomore Masen Cornwell (138) and freshman Andrew Bell are a hard working group.

“We’re putting them in groups of four and with Turner, Deckard, Owens and Cornwell, those four are battling each other hard,” Ratliff said. “Lane can be dominant and Masen has turned a corner for us. Last year, confidence was a big thing for him. The trick now is to get them all in the lineup.”

Also back are senior Landon Bell (19-19) from 145 to 152, then at 160 are sophomore Gaeb Novak and junior Colten Hubbell. junior Daniel Wilson is back from injury and readt to go at 170, with senior Reece Novack (22-15) likely going up to 195 after a strong postseason last year. Moving up to 220 is senior Marley Klick with senior Kyle Goble and fellow lineman, freshman Chris Davis, pushing each other at 285.

Junior Rylie Austin will move down to a better weight class at 106 but she is the smallest one in the room by 20 pounds. Sophomore Logan Anderson will have a chance to start out varsity at 182 and sophomore Gabe Fleener will also push at 220.

— JIM GORDILLO

AREA SCHEDULES

BLOOMINGTON NORTH

Dec. 10: Bedford North Lawrence, 7 p.m.

Dec. 12: at Columbus North Invitational, 9 a.m.

Dec. 15: Northview, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 19: Bo Henry Classic, 9 a.m.

Dec. 29-30: at Mooresville/Martinsville Holiday Classic, 9 a.m.

Jan. 5: Terre Haute North, 7 p.m.

Jan. 12: at Edgewood, 7 p.m.

Jan. 16: Conference Indiana Tournament at Southport, 9 a.m.

Jan. 20: at Mooresville, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 21: Indian Creek, 6:30 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON SOUTH

Dec. 9: Greenwood, 6 p.m.

Dec. 12: at Evansville Mater Dei 6-Way, 8:30 a.m.

Dec. 15: Floyd Central, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 19: Bloomington South Invitational, 9 a.m.

Dec. 22: at Terre Haute South, 6 p.m.

Jan. 2: State Team Duals at Fort Wayne, 9 a.m.

Jan. 9: at Penn Quad Meet, 11 a.m.

Jan. 13: Columbus East, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 16: Conference Indiana Tournament at Southport, 9 a.m.

Jan. 20: Edgewood, 6:30 p.m.

EDGEWOOD

Dec. 10: Greencastle, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 12: at Zionsville Tournament, 8:30 a.m.

Dec. 15: Monrovia, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 29-30: at Mooresville/Martinsville Holiday Classic, 9 a.m.

Jan. 6: at Martinsville, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 9: at Evansville Memorial Tiger Duals, 9:30 p.m.

Jan. 12: Bloomington North, 7 p.m.

Jan. 15-16: Western Indiana Conference Tournament.

Jan. 20: at Bloomington South, 6:30 p.m.