New Egypt wrestling in midst of a strong season

BY MIKE WHITE Staff Writer

When the New Egypt High School wrestling team graduated nine seniors from last year’s squad, coach Kevin English was concerned about the lack of experience and leadership.

English wasn’t sure who was going to emerge and direct a young squad into the 2007-08 campaign. He was hoping to have one or two upperclassmen step to the forefront before the season began.

As it turned out, English has three wrestlers who have led this young team to an overall record of 9-6.

Seniors Tommy Morton and Tommy Carr and junior Mike Schwarze all have played an important role in the development of a fledgling Warriors team. Combined, the three grapplers have 56 wins and just five losses.

“Leadership was an issue at the start,” English said. “Anytime you lose that many seniors in one year, there are going to be concerns about leadership. I’m real happy that we’ve had three guys step up and show the younger guys what it takes to wrestle on the varsity level.”

Carr is 20-1 overall. He recently posted a dramatic 1-0 win over Dustin Danfield at 135 pounds as New Egypt suffered a 48-21 loss to Camden Catholic Monday. Carr used an escape in the second period to register the lone point of the match. It was Carr’s determination, experience and savvy that allowed him to hang on for his 20th win of the season.

“Tommy [Carr] had a great junior year and it appears he has been feeding off that success this season,” English said. “He hasn’t looked back at all afterwinning the tournament to open the season. He is a leader, and he is working a lot with the younger guys. They look up to him and he shows themhow they should be conducting themselves during matches and practices.”

At 119 pounds, Morton has compiled an 18-1 overall mark.Athree-year starter, Morton has provided the lineup stability since he began his career three years ago. Ahard worker on and off the mat, Morton is a positive role model in both wrestling and the classroom.

“He is just very consistent with everything he does,” English said. “Of course, he has been a standout wrestler for us for the past three years, but he is a top-notch student as well. He understands how to conduct himself in both arenas. He has a great work ethic on and off the mat.”

Schwarze is 18-3 at the 145-pound weight class. He scored a pin in 3 minutes, 26 seconds over Camden Catholic’s Joe Franz.

“It’s nice to have all three guys realize the need to have leadership for this team,” English said. “We’re getting close to the cutoff date for the state tournament. Ifwe continue towork hard and remain focused,we should have an excellent shot to qualify.”

English citedAnthonyWahler as a key component to this year’s success. Wahler is 8-3 overall and he has come up with a number of big wins in crucial spots for the Warriors.

“He is a key piece to the puzzle,” English said. “He has been as important to this team as anybody. He has come up big for us in a number of different spots.”