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Dragons' wresting preview

November 14, 2012
By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School

Head coach: Chad Red

  • 1st year as NPHS varsity coach (11th year as head coach, 69-42 varsity record, previously assistant/head coach at Lawrence Central, assistant at Warren Central and assistant at New Palestine, as well as coaching USA Wrestling national teams).
  • High school: Danville, Illinois. College: Lincoln College, University of Indianapolis
  • Assistant coaches: Steve Ross, Aaron Dowden, Josh Franklin, James McClellan, Chris Lytle.

Last year: 24-4.

Returning letterwinners

  • Tommy Cash (So., 45-2, state qualifier at 106)
  • Taylor Fee (Sr., 33-7, state qualifier at 113)
  • Rylan McCarty (Jr., 21-14, semistate qualifier)
  • Gordon Wagner (Sr., 25-6)
  • Robbie Elsea (Sr., 35-7, semistate qualifier)
  • Logan Hunt (Jr., 10-9)
  • Brian Wagner (Jr., 28-10, semistate qualifier)
  • Wilie Bryan (Sr., 28-9, regional qualifier)

Key newcomers

  • Chad Red (Fr.)
  • Cameron Diep (Fr.)
  • Hunter Jones (Fr.)
  • Eugene Starks (Fr.)
  • Jared Timberman (Fr.)
  • Jaylen Wallace (Fr.)
  • Aaron McMenamin (Fr.)
  • Nick Brickens (Fr.)
  • Andrew Yazel (Fr.)
  • Gabe Estes (Jr.)

Outlook: The Dragons are deep again, with two state qualifiers returning from a squad that was the runner-up in the Hoosier Heritage Conference a year ago. Tommy Cash was one of the state's top wrestlers at 106 last season as a freshman, taking an undefeated record into the semistate rond. Taylor Fee also qualified for the State Finals. The Dragons also had a state runner-up in now-graduated 160-pounder Connor Robinson (Indiana Tech). NPHS also welcomes a new coach in Chad Red, who spent 10 seasons as the head coach at Lawrence Central, and has assisted at both Warren Central and New Palestine before being elevated to the top spot this year.

Rylan McCarty, Gordon Wagner, Robbie Elsea, Logan Hunt, Brian Wagner and heavyweight Willie Bryan bring a lot of experience. Elsea won 35 matches last season, while Gordon Wagner was 25-6 in a deep weight class, and Bryan came close to the 30-win mark at 28-9. A deep class of newcomers has been very strong in club and middle school wrestling and looks to lead a strong Dragon outfit. McCarty, Elsea and Brian Wagner were semistate qualifiers a year ago at 120, 138 and 170, respectively. Bryan was a regional qualifier at 285.

We will be successful if we "stay healthy, work harder than any other team, stay committed to the plan 'practice makes perfect. If we believe in teh coaches and what we are doing and in one another, I believe the sky is the limit for the Dragons," coach Red said.

Tags New Palestine High School • Publisher
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