While Pacific has a young wrestling team, hopes for a successful season are still high for the 2012-13 campaign.
A total of 34 wrestlers are in the Pacific program this season.
“We have a few bumps and bruises and are dealing with some injuries, but we’re excited about things,” said Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa. “We’re a young team. None of our big guns are seniors. We also have several freshmen who will step in the varsity lineup.”
Pacific returns a pair of juniors who were state medalists last season as sophomores.
Austin Repp placed third in Class 3 at 145 pounds last season. He jumps all the way up to 170 pounds to start this season.
“Austin looks very good. We might see him go down to 160 pounds later in the season. I think he’ll be in the running for a state title,” Schimsa said. “Austin has gotten a lot bigger. His style of wrestling is best suited for the size he is this year. He looked good wrestling at this weight over the summer.”
Jeff Miller finished fifth in Class 3 at 126 pounds last season. He’ll start the season at 138 pounds, but could eventually move down to 132.
“Jeff also looks very good,” Schimsa said. “He was fifth in the state last year and I expect him to at least equal or hopefully improve on that this year.”
Sophomore Joe Rind was a state qualifier at 106 pounds last season. He’ll start at 120 pounds.
“Joe is a lot bigger. I expect him to have another good season,” Schimsa said. “We’ll see how jumping from 106 to 120 affects him. Hopefully it will be a smooth transition.”
Sophomore Dalton Voyles is another top varsity returner. He’ll compete at 160 pounds.
“Dalton had a good season as a freshman,” Schimsa said. “He has a chance to do very well this year.”
Other wrestlers who had varsity experience last season are seniors Joon Kim (145), Zach Schlemper (145 or 152) and Curtis Paglusch (152).
“Zach will be in the mix once he returns from an injury,” Schimsa said. “Joon and Curtis both have varsity experience.”
Filling the 182-pound spot figures to be senior Andrew Cooper.
“Andrew is an athletic kid with good balance and strength,” Schimsa said. “Once he learns a few more moves, he should be solid.”
Senior Ryan Byron (220 or 285) currently is out with an injury suffered during the football season. The Indians hope to have him back after Christmas. “We have some younger kids who can fill the heavier weight classes,” Schimsa said. “I probably won’t throw them in the fire right away.”
The Indians have a promising group of freshmen who will be in the starting varsity lineup.
Leading the way is Josh Franek, who will compete at 106 pounds.
“Josh is going to be a good one,” Schimsa said. “I expect good things from him this season. He’s a solid kid.”
Other freshmen in the starting lineup are Zane Mathena (113), Matthew Schimsa (126) and Lane Smith (132).
“All four of those freshmen have several years of Little League experience,” Schimsa said. “They all might be young, but they’re pretty solid.”
Schimsa likes the potential of the team.
“I think we’re capable of having a very good season,” Schimsa said. “We could get five or six kids to state and have three or four medalists. We’re looking forward to getting started.”
Pacific opens its season at the Westminster Tournament Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The first home meet is Dec. 4 against North County.