Despite a roster that features only two seniors and lost the program’s most accomplished wrestler, Zach Diekel, longtime head coach Robert Diekel believes the team has the components for a successful season.
“We have a mix of experienced talent and young talent ready to take off,” Diekel said. “I’ve been very pleased with our younger kids and everyone is training to get better every day.”
With the departure of Zach Diekel, who won a state championship last season at 195 pounds, the leadership role falls squarely on the shoulders of Al Aubin and John Diekel, each of whom is hoping to put an exclamation point on what has been for both, very successful varsity tenures.
Aubin and Diekel are both coming off seasons in which they qualified for the state tournament and each has won a Section II title, Aubin at 120 pounds two seasons ago and Diekel at 138 pounds last year.
Sparring partners since their peewee wrestling days, each is hoping to advance deep into the second day of the state tournament.
“We’re going to try and chase down that state championship,” Diekel said.
“I at least want to get on the podium,” added Aubin, who suffered from a concussion and other injuries that prevented him last year from wrestling at the level to which he’s accustomed.
Robert Diekel said if the two work hard and wrestle the way the way they are capable, each has a chance to accomplish their goals this year.
Although each is certified to wrestle at three weight classes and will be moved around during the season, each hopes to wrestle in the same weight class they did a season ago.
They round out a roster that is very talented at the lighter weight classes.
“We’re very strong between 106 and 145 pounds,” said John Diekel.
Chad Amerio, who finished second at 113 pounds at the Section II tournament last year, is expected to build on that success this year and Austin Rich and Ryan Love should be in the mix at the lower weight classes.
Brandon Steves, Jake Gregory and newcomer Josh Desantes should fare well in the middle weight classes. And Robert Diekel is looking for solid contributions from Logan Dudley, Brandon Donaldson and Zach Rozell in the heavier weight classes. Eighth-grader Lucas Morse also has talent.
“I’ve been very pleased in the practice room. All the kids have worked hard and have been using this time to learn new techniques,” said Robert Diekel.
The team’s ability to field a wrestler at most weight classes should help it pick up wins in league competition.
“We’re fielding 13 strong kids,” said Aubin. “I think a league championship is within the realm of possibilities.”
“We should be right there,” John Diekel added.
“Our goal is always to win the league. Salem will be tough and so Corinth and Warrensburg,” said Robert Diekel. “Hopefully we’ll wrestle tough.”
Chad Amerio, So.
Al Aubin, Sr.
Julian Barber, So.
Josh Desantes, Jr.
John Diekel, Sr.
Brandon Donaldson, Jr.
Logan Dudley, Fr.
Justin Eagan, So.
Cody Garner, So.
Dominic Gregory, Jr.
Jake Gregory, Fr.
Ryan Love, So.
Lucas Morse, 8th
Austin Rich, So.
Zach Rozell, So.
Brandon Steves, Jr
2012-13 Varsity Wrestling Schedule
Saturday, Dec. 1 Whitehall @ Granville 1 p.m.
Fri./Sat., Dec. 7/8 Columbia Duals 4 p.m./9 a.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 12 Whitehall @ Warrensburg 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15 Amsterdam Duals 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 18 SGF @ Whitehall 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 20 Corinth @ Whitehall 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 2 Whitehall @ Fort Ann 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5 Saratoga Tournament 9 a.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 9 Whitehall @ HL/LG 6 p.m.
Fri./Sat., Jan. 11/12 Eastern States 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 15 Whitehall @ Hudson Falls 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17 Salem @ Whitehall 6 p.m.
Fri./Sat., Jan. 18/19 Lansingburg Duals 4 p.m./9 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26 Cambridge Tournament 9 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 Class D Sectional @ Warrensburg TBA
Fri./Sat., Feb. 8/9 Super Sectional @ GFCC TBA
Fri./Sat. Feb. 22/23 State Tournament @ TUA TBA