PREVIEW: Panthers hope to add team wins to individual success

The Monticello wrestling team, first row from left: manager Breanna Koppes, Chase Luensman, Travis Heinrich, Noah Halder, Mason Reuter and manager Cassidy Covington. Second row: Garrett McCoy, David Bagby, Andrew Wall, Tyler Kuper, Thomas Broderick and Jordan Smith. Third row: assistant coaches Chuck Luensman and Casey Reyner, Lake Stahlberg, Keegan Achenbach, Wade Picray, Tyler Ungs and Gavin Holub. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Sports Editor



     Individual success has not eluded the Monticello High School wrestling team in recent years.

     Now, the Panthers are hoping to add some team success to the mix.

     With 15 wrestlers out for the team, including seven returning letter-winners, Monticello is hoping the overall program is on the rise.

     “We have some very experienced wrestlers that are ready to lead this team,” seventh-year head coach Ryan Luensman said. “Our attitude is in the right place, and it will be fun to see what this team can do.”

     Two district qualifiers from last year will lead the Panthers.

     Chase Luensman, a sophomore, was Monticello’s lone state tournament qualifier last year, finishing with a 43-4 record. Lake Stahlberg, another sophomore, went 33-16 while qualifying for districts and finishing third.

     Two others – junior Gavin Holub and Tyler Kuper – were fourth place finishers in the sectional meet.

     Three more juniors, Thomas Broderick, Noel Halder and Andrew Wall; also lettered last year.

     It’s a fairly young team, with David Bagby and Keegan Achenbach as the only seniors, and four freshmen joining the squad.

     “We have some new guys on the team,” coach Luensman said. “It will take some extra time to get them up to speed, but it will be exciting to see their improvement throughout the year. They are athletic and eager to learn.”

     Luensman added that the team will work hard in hopes of improving every day.

     “We need to learn how to compete and challenge ourselves to higher goals,” he said. “Every individual has a goal of what they want out of wrestling. It is our job to help them achieve that goal.”

     Chuck Luensman, Jordan Richardson and Casey Reyner are the assistant coaches.



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