Trojan wrestlers have good mix, hope to realize potential
The Worthington High School wrestling team opens its regular season Thursday in Sheldon, Iowa
WORTHINGTON -- A smattering of experience and a little bit of youthful talent make the Worthington Trojans high school wrestling team intriguing in 2022-23. But it’s only through sweat, says head coach Kirk Feit, that the potential can pay off.
“We don’t have 3 to 5 state champions out there. We’re going to have to base our season on hard work. And we’re going to have to grind. We have to be a bunch of grinders. That’s how we’re going to have to win matches,” Feit said.
“We’ve got a mix of young talent and senior leadership. We gotta have the older guys help the young guys through. The young guys do have some talent.”
The team’s first regular season meet is Thursday at a triangular event in Sheldon.
At this point, the lineup is by no means firm, but it’s taking shape.
Alex Galvez, a sophomore, is at 113 pounds after placing in the sectional tournament last season as a freshman. He’s strong on his feet and he’s aggressive. Sophomore Emanuel Sararia is penciled in at 120 after doing spot varsity last year.
At 126, freshman Dalton Larson, who won more than 20 matches in 2021-22 as an eighth-grader, looks to solidify the weight class. And at 132, senior Oscar Galvez, brings leadership and a no-quit attitude as he hopes to build on his section placewinner status from a year ago.
Ethan Meyer, a “silent leader” in Feit’s words, and a section placer who leads by example, is a senior working in the 138-pound category. Senior Miat Htoo, who’s strong on his feet, works at 145 pounds after missing half of last season with an injury.
At 152 pounds, senior Moo Bleh hopes to win the spot full-time. Pushing him should be sophomore Levi Hennings, who improved steadily last season.
Chase Byrne, another section placewinner from last winter, is a sophomore at 160. When he’s aggressive, says Feit, he does well.
The 170-pound weight class is open for grabs. Evan Neuberger, an athletic senior, looks to fill the 182-pound class. He wasn’t out for wrestling last year, but has experience plus a strong frame.
Mason Schutz has filled out enough to wrestle at 195 pounds. The senior is another team leader and a hard worker in practice.
At 220 and 285, it appears to be junior Mu Shee and senior Kasey Gerhard. Shee, who Feit remarks “has legs like a tree trunk,” exhibits good quickness. Gerhard has a great heart and he’s always willing to engage in a fight.
Worthington will compete in a tough section this winter, with Fairmont, Hutchinson, Marshall and New Ulm all expected to be highly competitive.
“Week in, week out, we’re going to have to be ready to wrestle and want it more than some people,” said Coach Feit, who singles out four Trojans who are capable of earning state tournament berths.
Meyer, who placed third in the section a year ago, was affected somewhat by a knee injury. But he’s tall and lanky, and he’s added strength from last season.
Oscar and Alex Galvez both enjoy wrestling. Oscar, said Feit, “won’t back down” and can win by either being flashy or by grinding it out. Alex was worn down a bit through weight maintenance as he worked at 106 and 113 pounds last season, but he’s another active fighter.
Byrne was inserted into the team lineup as a seventh-grader during the section tournament, and he responded with an important victory, by fall. Said Feit, “Once he lets his offense open up, he’s gonna be a handful.”
During the 2021-22 campaign, Feit said his Trojans were sometimes up, sometimes down.
“We showed glimmers of a team I thought we could be, but we didn’t follow through with it,” he said. But when queried about his 2022-23 unit, he added, “I think we can come through and compete.”