Three sophomores leading Mitchell wrestlers in winsMitchell wrestling coach Travis Carpenter frequently talks about the youth of his team.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Mitchell wrestling coach Travis Carpenter frequently talks about the youth of his team.
About halfway through the season, three sophomores are leading the squad with the most victories.
Robert McCardle (HWT) has a team-best 14 wins in 18 matches, Ethan Parr (126) holds a 13-3 record and Matt Larson (145) is 11-7.
“Right now, we’re putting kids on the mat, going as hard as we can and learning as much as we can,” said Carpenter, whose team has only one senior, Ben Kummer.
This weekend Parr will be wrestling in his first Mitchell Invitational, known as one of the most difficult one-day tournaments in the state. Parr is in his first season as a regular on varsity. Last year he got about five matches, but is showing the coaches good things right away this year.
“He’s been a pleasant surprise,” Mitchell coach Travis Carpenter said. “He’s progressing quicker than we thought because he’s kind of a sponge. He likes to learn a lot and that’s really helping him on the mat.”
Mitchell’s only other wrestler with a winning record is junior Alex Herrick at 132 pounds. Herrick, a multiple-time state-tournament qualifier, is 8-4 this season. Herrick wrestled at the 120-pound weight class a year ago and, like Larson, is learning how difficult it is to jump to classes from one season to the next. Larson was a 132-pounder a year ago.
“They’re both in very good weight classes,” Carpenter said. “We need to learn from every match. Every time you jump up that much, the style changes a little bit. Obviously kids are stronger, and we have to get stronger also.”
Besides Parr, five other Kernel wrestlers will be in their first Mitchell Invitational, which starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. Others are Tanner Vilhauer, Austin Mohr, Ben Kummer, Noah Taylor and Preston Skinner. Carpenter said seventh-grader Briggs Havlik (103) will not wrestle in Saturday’s tournament.
“Whatever they can get experience-wise, whether it be their own wrestling or watching someone else, that’s a positive,” Carpenter said.
Before the Kernels host their home invitational Saturday, they dual Brandon Valley at 7:30 p.m. today in Brandon. Mitchell’s dual record this year is 1-6 and 0-3 in the conference.