Greenwood wrestler Jacob Schrader leads with both actions and words.

“Jacob is a three-year captain, so he’s always enjoyed taking on the leadership role,” Greenwood coach Jay Yates said. “He’s very coachable and doesn’t mind being the spokesperson for the team.”

Schrader, a senior, is coming off a season in which he qualified for the Evansville Reitz Semistate at 138 pounds before losing to Jake Schoenegge of Columbus East.

His goal this season is to advance to the state finals for the first time in his career, and he hopes that some of his Woodmen teammates will be making that trip with him. Schrader will likely be jumping up three weight classes this winter; the current plan is for him to wrestle at 160 pounds.

The leadership role is one that Schrader fills away from the mat as well. Owner of a 3.5 grade-point average, he plans to major in nursing once in college. He has narrowed his list of schools to Wabash College, the University of Indianapolis and IUPUI.

“I like to know I can positively affect people in a time of need,” he said.

Schrader won his division at the Mid-State Conference meet as a junior, coming down from 145 pounds in an attempt to enhance his postseason chances. He went on to place second in the sectional and third in the regional, both at Mooresville.

In the offseason, Schrader kept himself sharp by taking part in about 40 or 50 matches during spring and summer tournaments. He relishes the transformation that his personality undergoes when he’s competing.

“One of the things that sticks with me is when you step onto the mat you’re a completely different person,” Schrader said. “Wrestling is basically you fighting in a controlled manner.”

Schrader and the Woodmen start their season Saturday at the Beech Grove Invitational.

Scouting the county teams

Center Grove Trojans

Coach: Cale Hoover

Last year: Won Mooresville Sectional, third at Mooresville Regional, fifth at Evansville Reitz Semistate

Key returnees: Julius Byrd, Jonah Hays, Cory Heinrichs, Gleason Mappes and Shane Stits, seniors; Alex Petro, Peyton Pruett, Tommy Robinson and Ben Stricker, juniors; Evan Shoemaker, sophomore

Fresh faces: Hunter Branham, Sam Hesser, Seth Hicks and Drue Young, freshmen

Outlook: Petro, Pruett, Hays, Mappes and Heinrichs made it to semistate last season, with Mappes then placing fourth in the state at 160 pounds. The senior starts the season at the same weight, as do Petro (113), Hays (170) and Heinrichs (285). Pruett makes the jump from 126 pounds to the 145 class. Hoover expects to start four freshmen when the Trojans open their season at the Bloomington South tournament Dec. 2.

Franklin Grizzly Cubs

Coach: Bob Hasseman

Last year: Third at Mooresville Sectional, seventh at Mooresville Regional, ninth at Evansville Reitz Semistate

Key returnees: Manny Cheam, Chandler Mills and Ranger Soots, seniors; Ethan Pritt and Josh Rigel, juniors; Jalen Haltom, Ethan Nash, Cash Nelson, Gavin Raber, Gavin Samples and Wyatt Strain, sophomores

Fresh faces: Jake Bechert, Harris Eason and Tyler Fuqua, freshmen

Outlook: Youth is served in healthy quantities, as Hasseman expects to have two freshmen and six sophomores in the starting lineup when the Grizzly Cubs open the season with a dual match at Southport on Nov. 30. Seniors Cheam and Soots are the experienced leaders of this squad; both placed sixth at regional last season. Cheam, a 220-pounder as a junior, is now wrestling at 285, while Soots goes from 152 to 170.

Greenwood Woodmen

Coach: Jay Yates

Last year: Sixth at Mooresville Sectional, 11th at Mooresville Regional

Key returnees: Noah Jackson, Keegan Overton and Jacob Schrader, seniors; Juron Franklin, Miguel Partidia, Jake Stover, Bryce Taylor and Nick Willham, juniors; Jackson Paris and Noah Willham, sophomores

Fresh faces: Chris Ping, Eli Ross, Jake Ryan, Ethan Stover and Anthony Walker, freshmen

Outlook: Yates said the core of this Woodmen squad will be seniors Overton and Schrader along with Nick Willham. Overton placed second at sectional at 106 pounds, with Schrader doing the same at 138. Willham, meanwhile, won sectional at 152. There are numerous younger wrestlers vying for starting spots at the varsity level.

Indian Creek Braves

Coach: Pat Dowty

Last year: Second at Mooresville Sectional, fifth at Mooresville Regional, 11th at Evansville Reitz Semistate

Key returnees: Grant Goforth, Brad Trietsch and Alex Tran, seniors; Tony Hall, Gabe Pitzulo, Ethan Sego and Bryce Woods, juniors; Cameron Elmore, Owen Sego, Avery Schaub, Jarrod Snyder and Trent Watkins sophomores.

Fresh face: Jackson Fenton, freshman

Outlook: Goforth, Pitzulo and Owen Sego all qualified for semistate a year ago and are expected to lead the Braves this season. Sego, a sophomore, jumps from 106 pounds to 126, while Goforth remains at 195. Watkins made it to regional at 113 pounds and is expected to remain there or jump up to 120 pounds.

Whiteland Warriors

Coach: Dave Thompson

Last year: Eighth at Mooresville Sectional, 10th at Mooresville Regional

Key returnees: Aaron Adkins, Garrett Curtis, Ryan Hammond, Brett Kenner, Peyton Russell and Addison Watson, seniors; Ryan Glitherow, Isaiah Hurt, Dante King, Kobe King, Jake Ramey, Luke Richardson and Seth Wassman, juniors; Kole Hughes and Devon Williams, sophomores

Fresh face: Caidyn Bauman, freshman

Outlook: Now in his 28th season as Warriors’ coach, Thompson is excited about the fact that half of his 40-man roster gained varsity experience during the 2016-17 campaign. Semistate qualifier Hammond leads the way at 195 pounds, while Williams, a sophomore who captured a Mid-State Conference title at 126 last season, is expected to wrestle 132. Adkins made it to regional last season at 113 pounds.

Author photo
Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.