State-ranked wrestlers commence

Wrestling team begins journey to the state finals, following in the footsteps of last years’s five finalists

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Photo by Julie Albertson

ROAD TO VICTORY: Freshman Bryce Lowery wins by tech fall, 16-1, in his match against Baugh (Greenwood) in the varsity dual meet Dec. 5th.

Following a year in which the Rebel wrestling team had five state finalists, this year’s team has big shoes to fill. 

With 10 of 14 starters returning from last year, coach Wade McClurg has a reason for optimism.

“There is a really good balance of varsity experience returning on this year’s team, coupled with a lot of freshmen and sophomores that will contribute right away and bring depth to our line-up.” 

Along with the addition of new wrestlers to the lineup, new coaches also joined the team. In his first year at Roncalli, head assistant coach Bryce Martin wrestled for Indiana University, while compiling a career record of 89-52. New assistant coaches include DJ Smith(2014 IHSAA State Champion and 2-year starter at UIndy), Joe Kieffer (R’13 and wrestled collegiately at UIndy), and Nick Clifton(R ’04, 2004 IHSAA State Medalist 7th). 

Being new to the team, the freshmen bring great talent to the wrestling room according to McClurg. With Luke Hansen following in his brother Sam Hansen’s (R’17) footsteps, another brother duo on the team includes freshman Bryce and senior Brayden Lowery. With Bryce Lowery being a 2x Middle School State Champion, multiple time ISWA State Champion, and CYO City Champion, he is expected to be a major contributor right away in the varsity line up. Along with Lowery, other incoming CYO City Champions include Hansen, Brady Neu(middle school state place winner), and Luke Swartz. The team hopes the freshman will be able to learn and mature from their upperclassmen, taking on the new role of Roncalli high school wrestlers. 

We really like this freshman class and the enthusiasm that they have for the sport of wrestling.   This group is young and talented, but very eager to get better,” said McClurg.

This season brings many new people, but also new facilities. The new gym will have the opportunity to house many CYO and youth club tournaments this season. While the new gym will be great for these, the team would prefer to stay in the Woodshed for high school meets.

The Woodshed provides a very intimate experience and loud atmosphere for the spectator, and that makes it a really good fit for our wrestling program,” McClurg said.

With the team preseason ranked #7 in the state as well as having two #1 ranked wrestlers, seniors Alec Viduya and Brayden Lowery, the team is positioned for a successful season. The varsity squad started strong Dec. 5th with a home dual meet win vs Greenwood with a score of 62 – 11 and again in Ohio at the Harrison duals, going 5-0 on the day.