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Season Preview - Wrestling
Hopes are high, and Sean McGinley is fine with that.
Cathedral High School wrestling is accustomed to expectations, and McGinley said it’s OK that they are high – very high – entering the 2018-2019 season.
That’s Irish wrestling’s standard these days. And McGinley said the Irish welcome the chance to live up to that standard.
“The guys that are coming back – these guys have had multiple years of success,” McGinley, in his 19 th season as the Irish’s wrestling coach, said recently. “The guys who have had a little taste want a bigger taste. I think they’re ready.”
How high are the Irish’s aspirations entering ’18-‘19? As high as imaginable.
“If we do what those kids did last year, we’ll definitely be in the mix,” McGinley said.
Cathedral, the 2018 Indiana High School Athletic Association state team champions in 2018, return a state champion and two state runner-up finishers from that team. The Irish enter the 2018-2019 season ranked No. 1 in Indiana according to
. They were 7-0 to start the season.
“They’re humble,” McGinley said. “They realize that No. 1 ranking they have is really based on last year’s results and everything they did last year. They have to be ready from the git-go.”
McGinley said that’s the case because the Irish have upgraded an already difficult regular-season
schedule. Not only will the Irish participate in the prestigious Super Six, Calumet, Mishawaka
invitationals, they also will complete against Detroit Catholic Central – the nation’s seventh-ranked team according to
McGinley said of the Top 20 schools in Indiana, the Irish will face 12 before the postseason. The Irish are ranked 35 th nationally, according to
“Having that group back, we really wanted to challenge them in several ways,” McGinley said. “One of the ways was, ‘Hey, let’s go out and see what other people in the country are doing.’
“They were very excited when they heard we had an opportunity to wrestle two of the top 10 programs in the country. They see who these teams have. They want to see where they stand.”
The Irish this year are led by:
*Senior Jordan Slivka, 2018 state champion at 145 pounds who has moved up to 160. He is ranked No. 2 in the state at 160 and No. 1 in the Irish’s semi-state – the New Castle semi-state.
*Senior Alex Mosconi, 2018 state runner-up at 132 pounds who has moved up to 145. He is ranked No. 3 in the state at 145 pounds and No. 3 in the semi-state.
*Junior Elliott Rodgers, 2018 state runner-up at 152 pounds who will stay at that weight class. He is
ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in semistate.
*Junior Logan Bailey, a 2018 third-place finisher at 106 who has moved up to 132 pounds. He is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in the semistate. “People don’t know how he’ll handle the weight increase, but I think he’ll be fine,” McGinley said. “I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people.”
*Senior Lucasz Walendzak, a 2018 third-place finisher at 120 who has moved up to 126 pounds. He is ranked No. 5 in the state and No. 1 in the semistate.
*Andrew Wilson, a 126-pound state qualifier who has moved up to 138 pounds. He is ranked No. 15 in the state and No. 1 in the semistate.
“We have guys who are bumping up some weight classes, so it will be a little different feeling for them,” McGinley said. “It’s probably a little more than usual, but you never know which kids are going to move up. You get some kids who come in as freshmen and never grow very much. Then you’ve got kids who come and move up six or seven weight classes before it’s all said and done.
“You just hope everybody can find a spot. We have a couple of guys that are outside looking in who are going to be right there ready to help us out in a pinch or if we need to throw them in. I feel fortunate with a couple of backups we have.”
McGinley said the Irish also have a strong freshman presence, including Zeke Seltzer. He will wrestle at 113 pounds, is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in the semistate, and McGinley said has a bright future.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if when it’s all said and done with his four-year career he wouldn’t be listed as one of the greats coming out of Cathedral,” McGinley said.
McGinley said the offseason held no surprises, which he said is a positive – and which means the Irish enter the season feeling good about their lineup.
“With the amount of high-quality kids coming back, you never know who’s going to grow, who’s not
going to grow and where you’re going to put them in the weight class,” he said. “When you have several lids back to back to back, you don’t want a guy sitting out who can be a high point scorer.
“I’m excited to go wrestle some of these teams, and excited to see if we can live up to the expectations. Obviously, they’re high. It’s always exciting. We’ve got a long time. We’re ready to blow the whistle and get going.”