Panthers looking to improve on last season on the mat

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers’ hopes for success this season hinge on a solid group of returning starters and improvement from the younger wrestlers.

The starters, who are also the team’s returning letter winners from the 2012-13 campaign, are led by senior 145-pounder Trevor Miske. Miske qualified for the Division 2 state tournament and was a regional champion. He was selected the Panthers’ Most Valuable Wrestler last season when he finished 39- 12 at 138.

Miske was the Panthers’ top finisher in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference Tournament with a second place.

The other returnees include seniors Austin Wiese and Nick Hildebrand at 152 and 195, respectively; and juniors Keagan Gustin and Izack Ohman at 120 and 160, respectively. Gustin and Wiese placed third in regional competition.

The Panthers have a young squad with nine freshmen and only three seniors but head coach Lucas Lechnir expects the less-experienced wrestlers to improve as the season progresses.

“As a team we should be better than we have been in the past couple years. We are inexperienced at a couple weights but hopefully their talent will allow them success during the first part of the season until they get some more mat time,” said Lechnir who is in his fourth season at the helm.

The Panthers had a rough 2012-13 season – going 0-7 in EWC dual action and 5-17 overall – but had to forfeit at several weights in many meets and had a lot of inexperienced wrestlers in the varsity lineup.

“We are getting closer to filling all the weights as a team and are looking to be strong in the middle of our lineup with two seniors at 145 [Miske] and 152 [Wiese],” Lechnir said.

“We are only going to forfeit two weight classes this year as opposed to more in the past.”

Among the newcomers, Lechnir said freshman 126-pounder Eric Ohman has impressed him the most thus far.

The coach said the main keys to having success are keeping everyone healthy and getting better each day. He thinks the squad’s strength is the five returning starters, with the weakness being the inexperience around them.

Lechnir pointed out his top goals for the season:

“Have the kids develop by the end of the year into a wrestling team that is ready to make a run during tournament time, and to try and fill all the weight classes.”

Lechnir isn’t sure how the EWC competition stacks up this season until the Panthers wrestle those teams. Two Rivers is the two-time defending EWC Tourney champion and returns five individual league champions from last season. PHS finished seventh in the conference tournament.

Dec. 27 – @ Oshkosh Classic
Dec. 28 – @ Oshkosh Classic
Jan. 10 – Kiel, here
Jan. 11 – Plymouth Invite (V), here
Jan. 14 – @ Kewaskum
Jan. 18 – @ Sheboygan Falls JV Invite
Jan. 18 – @ Sheb. North Invite (V)
Jan. 21 – New Holstein, here
Jan. 25 – @ Ozaukee JV Invite
Jan. 30 – Campbellsport, here
Feb. 1 – @ Manitowoc JV Invite
Feb. 8 – EWC Tourney, @ Two Rivers
Feb. 15 – Regional, @ Oshkosh North
Seniors – *Trevor Miske (145
pounds), *Austin Wiese (152) and
*Nick Hildebrand (195).
Juniors – *Keagan Gustin (120),
Lucas Johnson (138), *Izack Ohman
(160), Jake Flowers (170) and Cole
Bruggink (182).
Sophomores – Glen Yolich (126),
Alex Schmidt (132), Skyler Simenz
(160), Jesus Guzman (170), Max Haun
(170), Davon Mayer (182) and Ryan
Brooks (195).
Freshmen – Chase Hartman (106),
Peter Feldman (120), Eric Ohman
(126), Dennis Macheel III (126), John
Klunk (126), Ben Mrozinski (132), Jake
Wiesensel (138), Jeremiah Wodarczak
(160) and Joe Chandler (170).
___* _=_ R_e_t_u_rn_i_n_g_ le_t_te_r_ w__in_n_e_r._____

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