#WrestlingWednesday: North Posey goes from life support to Team State
By JEREMY HINES
Four years ago North Posey wrestling was on life support and the school was considering pulling the plug. Now, with a new coach and a new attitude, the Vikings are about to compete for a team state title.
North Posey had just four wrestlers five years ago. The community had grown accustomed to North Posey being a losing team, and the school was starting to question whether it was even worthwhile to keep the program alive.
Then a former Mater Dei wrestler named Cody Moll stepped in and brought new life to the program. Now, in his fourth season at the helm of the Vikings, Moll has North Posey wrestling on the upswing.
“The year before I got there, there were four wrestlers at the school,” Moll said. “During my interview they said that if I wasn’t hired, they were going to shut down the program.”
Moll was asked what his goal for the team was.
“I said I wanted to be better than we were the last year,” Moll said.
In his first year Moll finished the year with 10 wrestlers, and 10 total victories. It wasn’t a good year, but it was a much improved season. One of the freshmen that year was Levi Miller, who qualified for the state tournament.
“Levi came in and everyone knew he was supposed to be good,” Moll said. “But people saying you are good only gets you so far. He came in and proved it. We made him our captain as a freshman. We saw the drive he had and how hard he works.”
One of the most difficult moments that first year, for Moll, was losing to Evansville Memorial 81-0. He had never experienced that side of a dominating performance before.
“That was tough,” Moll said. “That was the first time I had ever been shut out on any team I was ever at. We won a lot at Mater Dei. I didn’t know what losing was like. But, this year we beat Memorial 46-21. It’s pretty amazing what we’ve been doing.”
The Vikings won 21 matches in Moll’s second season, with 15 wrestlers. Last year the team won 23 matches and had 18 wrestlers. This year there are 25 kids on the wrestling team at the school of just under 500 students.
“We talked about how we wanted to approach the team,” Moll said. “We knew we could make things fun and relatively easy and as a result get really good numbers. Or, we could treat every kid like they had state championship ability and go as hard as we could and really build good wrestlers. We chose the second option.”
The North Posey practices are hard. They practice nearly three hours a day which includes a mix of running, drilling and live wrestling. The room is always hot and the coaches are always intense.
“When Coach Moll came in, people were just used to laying down and getting beat,” Miller said. “I was very excited when he was hired. He told us early on that if we were just going to lay down for people, he didn’t want us on the team. That’s not his style. He doesn’t want you in the program unless you’re willing to work hard. This isn’t the old North Posey. Before the wrestlers were just about themselves, too. Now it’s all about the team.”
Moll said changing the culture at North Posey was the biggest key to its recent success. He and assistant coach Sam Goebel (wrestled at Mater Dei and is legendary coach Mike Goebel's nephew), knew they had to change the culture before they’d ever have success.
“Losing almost became OK,” Moll said. “We were in Mater Dei’s sectionals, in every sport. The culture just became that losing was the norm. But we came in and said we’re not going to just give up. We’re going to fight and battle. If we lose, we learn from it and do better the next time.
“Many of our early losses was because we didn’t think we could win. The first couple of years kids were beat before the match because the singlet the opponents were wearing. We’re getting past that now. You have to look in the mirror and understand you’re working harder than these other schools. We are not pushovers. That environment is gone.”
The Vikings placed fifth at team state last season, a finish they were not pleased with. With a deeper, more experienced team this year they are hoping to fare better.
“We are going up there to win,” Moll said. “We wouldn’t go up for any other reason. We believe we belong and we believe we can compete with anyone.”
Miller has that same mentality when talking about his goals. He said he won’t be satisfied with anything less than a state championship, individually. The coaches have instilled that drive in all of its wrestlers.
North Posey will open pool play at team state against Frankton.