GENEVA — Despite having three returning state qualifiers, the Fillmore Central wrestling team’s lineup will be overflowing with underclassmen. The Panthers have just two seniors on the roster, and, other than the three juniors, the rest of the 13 grapplers are made up of freshmen and sophomores.
“Having 18 athletes out will make it a fun and interesting year,” Komenda said. “With seven freshmen and six sophomores, we may be overmatched at times, but these kids have wrestled a lot as youths and will be competitive.”
Senior Gavin Hinrichs, junior Conner Nunn, and sophomore Aidan Trowbridge make up the three returning state qualifiers. Hinrichs, who went 1-2 in the 160-pound weight class at state last season, will likely wrestle at 160 or 170 this year. Nun is projected to compete at 126 or 132 pounds, while Trowbridge will wrestle at 113 or 120.
Komenda has five wrestlers coming back after earning letters last season. Junior Dillon Fushia (120) and sophomores Noah Monroe (132-138), Bob Smith (145), Jared Stephens (170), and Brant West (285) will look to make solid contributions for the Panthers.
Fillmore Central has seven freshmen that could add some depth to the program. They are Travis Meyer (106), Alex Schademan (113-120), Ben Stoneer (113), Maverick Rhoten (120-126), Aidan Hinrichs (138-145), Izzic Paling (126-132), and Nathan Schram (182). Senior Wil Stephenson (152), junior Conner Asche (285), and sophomore Thomas Barnes (195) are three more newcomers that are hoping to make an impact.
Komenda is going into his 21st year as head coach. He’s coached all three state champions in the Panthers’ history, including last year’s 285-pound winner Riley Moses.
Fillmore Central will begin its season Saturday at the Friend invite. The Panthers will host their own invite on Jan. 4, 2020.