TERRE HAUTE —
The last time Terre Haute South and Terre Haute North wrestled each other in a dual match — Dec. 8 in the Gregory S. Stultz Memorial Tourney at Northview High School — South routed the Patriots 56-14.
But unique injury circumstances kept North from fielding a full team then.
The Patriots (8-15) will be much closer to full strength tonight when they play host to the Braves (19-9) for their “Senior Night” regular-season dual match at 6 o’clock. At stake will be “The Hammer of Pride,” which goes to the winner.
“We’re probably as close to full strength as we’re going to get,” North coach Mark Frisz told the Tribune-Star on Tuesday. “We’re not going to have five [weight-class] forfeits like we had when we wrestled them before. We’ve got everybody back now. We just don’t have bodies at 106 and 182 [pounds].”
“They’ve got a good lineup,” South coach Gabe Cook said of the Patriots. “It should be an exciting dual. All of their kids are good wrestlers.”
Cook added that some of his wrestlers are battling nagging injuries of their own. “Our guys are going to wrestle hard and get after it,” he promised.
Among South’s top wrestlers are senior Ryan Uppal (26-2) at 106, sophomore David Lewis (26-6) at 120, junior Phoenix Adams (26-5) at 138, senior Cody Helms (28-4) at 152, junior Duane Deerwester (25-8) at 170 and junior Junior Berry (16-7) at 285.
Some of North’s top grapplers are likely to be previously injured junior J.J. Low (10-6) at 120, senior Eric Elia (21-7) at 126, junior Austin Bishop (15-13) at 132, junior Tyler Gilmore (24-3) at 152, junior Ryan Moshak (18-9) at 170, 2012 semistate qualifier and previously injured junior Ethan Edington (7-4) at 220 and senior Andrew Londo (17-11) at 285.
If everyone stays in their usual classes — not a guarantee when coaches are trying to maneuver lineups to their advantage — Helms vs. Gilmore at 152 should be one of the night’s most entertaining matches.
“I’d say that would probably be the marquee matchup,” Frisz noted. “That’s two outstanding wrestlers. I kinda hope it happens.”
Deerwester vs. Moshak at 170 also could provide plenty of action.
Frisz also mentioned that sophomore Gavin John, who had been wrestling up at 120 to fill in for Low while he was out, has returned to his more natural class at 113, which could help the Patriots this time.
“It’s definitely going to be closer than last time,” Frisz summarized. “South looks like it’s favored, but I know our kids will battle hard and do their best… I’d like to think we have a good chance to pull it off.”