Experience, plus youth, bring high hopes for SC mat squad
Returning state champion Zach Tucker works for a takedown against Alex Depperschmidt during practice earlier this week.
By Rod Haxton, editor
Jon Lippelmann finds himself in a rare situation just a week ahead of Scott City’s first wrestling action of the season.
He has a team that will enter the Hoxie Invitational with nearly three weeks of practice.
“I’m always glad to see the football team play as long as they can, but it sure does help us out to have this extra time in the practice room,” says the SCHS wrestling coach.
“Technique will come with mat time, but the big difference will be our conditioning. We might actually be able to wrestle three periods.”
With a mix of experience, along with young boys to fill in some weight classes, Lippelmann feels he has “a good 3-2-1A squad.”
The Beavers, however, may be more than just good. While their ability to compete in duals remains to be seen, this has the potential to be a strong tournament squad.
They return three state medalists from a team that finished fifth in last year’s state tournament. That trio is led by Zach Tucker, a state champion at 106-pounds last year who will be moving up to the 113-pound division.
Senior Cooper Griffith will return to the 195-pound division where he was a third place medalist last season.
Sophomore Jarret Jurgens, who was fourth at 132-pounds a year ago, won’t get back on the mat again until late January when the cast is finally removed from the broken ankle that occurred during football. Lippelmann is hopeful of seeing Jurgens wrestle at 138-pounds, “but given the short time that he’ll have to lose weight we’ll have to wait and see,” says the head coach.
The lineup also features four other experienced grapplers who have yet to taste state experience, but have the potential to be qualifiers. Lippelmann has high expectations for junior Trey Loftus (152/160), senior Abe Wiebe (170), junior Tre Stewart (182/220) and junior Garrett Osborn (220).
“Each of them had success last year and were close to qualifying (for state),” says Lippelmann. “Another year older, another year of experience and I don’t just expect them to get to state, but I think they each have the ability to medal.”
A newcomer to the team is sophomore Alex Depperschmidt (120) who was a 113-pound state qualifier while wrestling at Sublette last season.
“I like what I’m seeing from Alex. He’ll be a help in the practice room because he matches up well with a couple of lighter weights and that’s going to make all of them better,” says Lippelmann.
Two freshmen who are expected to make an immediate impact at the varsity level are Jack Thomas (132/138) and Wyatt Hayes (152).
“Both have some bad habits to break, but they’re very competitive and they hate to lose,” says Lippelmann. “They aren’t typical freshmen.”
At the present time the only open weight classes are 126 and 285. It’s likely the Beavers will fill in the 126-pound class later in the season, but each of the possible grapplers are underclassmen with limited experience.
“I want them to gain some confidence at the JV level first,” says Lippelmann.
Depending on how much weight some wrestlers are able to lose prior to Hoxie, the head coach says it’s likely the team will have three open weight classes. And some will be competing at heavier weight classes than is expected after the Christmas break.
“I don’t push the weight loss too hard before Christmas. I’ve been here long enough to know that kids often rebound (regain weight) over the break and then it’s harder to get back down the second time,” Lippelmann says. “It’s a long season. Eventually, everyone will get to the weight where they belong.”
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