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Article: #WrestlingWednesday: Perry Meridian Loading Up for a Deep Run


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By JEREMY HINES

Thehines7@gmail.com

 

Last season Perry Meridian advanced 14 wrestlers out of sectional with 11 champions. They finished 13th in the state – and that leaves a terrible taste in their mouths.

 

“We weren’t pleased at all with our finish last year,” said Falcon’s head coach Matt Schoettle. “We really felt like we should have been a top 5 team. We had some guys that should have made it to state that didn’t.”

 

Last year was Schoettle’s first year as head coach for Perry Meridian. He had been an assistant coach for 18 years under Jim Tonte, who took the job at Warren Central. Tonte’s Warriors won state in his first year at the helm.

 

“I learned everything from coach Tonte,” Schoettle said. “He has three state titles at Perry Meridian and then another one now at Warren Central. I learned dedication and commitment from him and how hard you have to work to get what you want.”

 

This year’s Falcon squad is poised to make a run for the team title. The team returns state placers Sammy Fair (5th at 106) and Noah Warren (7th at 160). Fair is a sophomore and Warren is a junior this season.

 

“Sammy is an awesome kid,” Schoettle said. “He will run through a brick wall for you. He’s a great student, a hard worker and every year he wins our extra workout award because he doesn’t quit. I look for very good things out of him this season.”

 

As for Warren, Schoettle believes he has a real shot of winning a title this season.

 

“Noah is kind of a clown on the team,” Schoettle said. “I’m an intense guy and he knows how to lighten the mood. His dad is my middle school coach. He works hard, doesn’t get in trouble but he knows how to make people around him have fun. He’s a great leader and he had an outstanding summer.”

 

The Falcons graduated three state qualifiers. Brett Johnson finished 3rd at 152. Daniel Brookbank was 7th at 132 and Chris Ridle was a state qualifier at heavyweight. But, as it have done so often in the past, Perry Meridian believes they have athletes to step up and get the team to that next level.

 

“I have three or four guys that were semistate guys last year that I think have state place-winner kind of talent,” Schoettle said. “Sunny Nier will be either 120 or 126. Kain Rust will go 138 or 145. Kain has multiple ISWA state titles and he could have a really good year. Jack Serview and Christian Warren could also get to state this year.”

 

Incoming freshmen Brayden Littel and Brayden Lowery are also expected to have good seasons for the Falcons.

 

The team has a lot of depth this season. Tuesday they held an intersquad match and there was a lot of competition at each weight class. There were 12 guys in the 138 bracket alone.

 

“I told them that this bracket might be tougher than our first few tourneys,” Schoettle said.

Perry Meridian’s goals are lofty. They want to win the dual team state title and the regular team state title.

 

“We talk about it every day,” Schoettle said. “We have the team that can compete. We have to stay healthy, keep guys fresh and continue to work on improving and conditioning. As with any team, we will also need to get a few breaks. There are a lot of good teams out there this year, but we know we can compete with any of them.”

 

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