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Indians have some experience and a new coach
LAWRENCEVILLE - Adam Seaney, the new coach of Lawrence County's cooperative high school wrestling team, is learning alongside of his pupils.
A health teacher at Lawrenceville High School, Seaney didn't learn until late July that he would be coaching the LHS team, which is made up of wrestlers from both county schools.
Seaney, formerly head football coach at Palestine, has never wrestled or coached the sport.
"But I'm surrounded by two guys who know whole a lot about the sport, in Jim Dunn and Tom Tewell. Some of the past wrestlers have been a source of information, too," Seaney said. "Outside of that I've done a lot of researching. Learning as we go has been the biggest thing."
Both Dunn and Tewell are former head coaches for the Indians. Tewell stepped down after last season when he accepted a new job, but still attends practice when he can.
Like Seaney, Dunn had never wrestled when he took over the program in the late 1970s. But quickly picked up on things, then guided the Indians to a third-plade finish in the 1983 state tournament and a fourth-place finish the following the season. He has been enshrined in the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame.
"It's good to know that it's been done before," Seaney said. "I hope it can be done again."
The Indians, who open the season Saturday by wrestling multiple duals at Vincennes Lincoln, have had just 22 participants in the pre-season workouts. They're more or less spread out evenly between the four classes.
"They're working hard and they'll give it everything they have," Seaney said. "They're a good group in terms of attitude and work ethic and we're expecting some good things out of them."
Seven seniors return, including the Red Hill trio of Jacob Wirth, Trevor Richards and Raymond Knightstep and the Lawrenceville foursome of Hoa Bobe, Mitch Meek, Ryan Seed and Jake Greentree.
Wirth, who advanced to the sectional last season at 170 pounds, returns after finishing 21-18 last season. He's agains expected to compete at 170.
Seaney hopes that Richards will be able to again wrestle at 220 this season. He finished with a 20-14 mark last season.
Bobe, who was injured for the majority of last season and finished 8-7, is stated to take part at 138 or 145. Seed, 9-15 a year ago, will likely take part at 152 or 160.
Knightstep hopes to wrestle at 152, while Greentree and Meek both fit into the picture in the upper weights.
LHS junior Jacob McKinstry is back after finishing 17-12 a year ago. He'll likely wrestle at 132 or 138. Another returning junior is Lawrenceville's Tristan Davis, who saw a promising season cut short by injury a year ago. Davis will likely compete at 132 or 138.
Among the other returnees are LHS junior Evan Briner, at 126, after going 10-15 last season. Tyler Thompson, a sophomore at LHS, is slated to wrestle 126 or 132 after finishing 8-24 as a freshman.
Other juniors out for the team include Shawn Emmett (195-220), Cole Westall (160) and Jordan Reeves (145).
A talented group of sophomores includes A.J. Mendenhall (132-138), Logan McGuire (145-152-heavyweight), Wade Godfrey (220), Zane Green (145-152) and Jordan Reeves (140).
Freshmen out for the team include Curtis Meek (106-113), Leif Curtis (126-132) and Eric Ault (220-heavyweight).
Nov. 30 Vincennes Duals, 8 a.m.
Dec. 7 LAWRENCE CO. INV., 9 a.m.
Dec. 12 CARMI, 6:15 p.m.
Dec. 21 Cumberland Invitational, TBA
Jan. 9 Olney, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 Robinson Duals, 9 a.m.
Jan. 16 Mt. Carmel, 6 p.m.
Jan. 18 Sullivan, Ind. Duals, 8 a.m.
Jan. 21 FAIRFIELD, 6:15 p.m.
Jan. 15 LeRoy Invitational, 9 a.m.
Jan. 29 EFFINGHAM, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 Eastern Illinois Tourney, TBA