With a mixture of a strong group of returning varsity wrestlers and some new faces, the Lynnville-Sully wrestling figures to be a potent unit once again this winter.
The Hawks are coming off a 2011-2012 season in which they went 11-11 in dual meets, took third in the South Iowa Cedar League Conference tournament and third at districts. They return eight kids who had significant varsity experience last year.
The most prominent of those returners is junior Caden Doll, who was an overtime loss shy of placing at state last year at 152 pounds. He finished with a record of 27-9, and will bump up to 160 this year.
“Him and us coaches have pretty high expectations for him,” Lynnville-Sully coach Steve Northcutt said. “He was one point away from medaling (at state). That experience will help him. Hopefully he picks up where he left off.”
Another wrestler to keep an eye on is junior 145-pounder Manny Meyer. He made it to state as a freshman, but came up short last year as he went 26-19 while wrestling out of his comfort zone at 160 for most the season. He’ll be back at 145 this winter, where he’s hungry to get back to Wells Fargo Arena when February comes around.
“He wants to make it back there badly,” Northcutt said. “Last year he was giving up two or three weight classes compared to where he should have been. He’s looking forward to being back at 145.”
Lynnville-Sully had a somewhat disappointing third place finish at sectionals last year and sent only two wrestlers — Doll and 2012 graduate Kyle Terlouw (285) — onto districts. It figures to have a lot more district qualifiers this year, as six wrestlers return who placed fourth or better at sectionals. Terlouw went 37-7 last year, falling one match short of medaling at state.
At 106, sophomore Cole Nikkel is back after a 19-24 freshman campaign, and senior Jamison Goodyk returns to wrestle at 126 after going 14-22 at 120 last year. Both wrestlers took third at sectionals.
At 132, senior Austin Newell returns experience after going 6-6 a year ago, and then junior Payton Scandridge is back at 138 a year after going 8-12.
The middle of Lynnville-Sully’s lineup is its bread and butter. It includes Meyer at 145, at 152 is senior Levi Bennington — who went 18-17 last year — and then Doll at 160.
Sophomore Noah Zylstra returns at 170 after going 12-20 last year, and the Hawks’ other returner is senior Shane Thompson, who will begin the season at 285 after going 9-9 at 195 a year ago. Northcutt said Thompson eventually will drop down to 220, at which point freshman Shannon Dunsbergen will take over at 285.
Dunsbergen will be one of five freshmen in Lynnville-Sully’s projected season-opening lineup. They include Colton Roorda at 113, Jack Hardin at 182, Dillon Van Manen at 195 and Cooper Scandridge at 220.
“It’s going to be a little tougher for those kids, being that young, especially at those upper weights,” Northcutt said. “But it’ll be good experience for them.”
Another wrestler to watch is senior Malin Meyer — Manny’s brother — at 120. He was a district qualifier as a sophomore but missed most of last season.
“He’s looking good and strong at that weight class,” Northcutt said of Malin.
The Hawks begin the season Tuesday by hosting a quadrangular at 6 p.m. in Sully.