A look at La Porte Wrestling
Coach: Louie Kuzdas
Last year: 19-7 (3-4 Duneland Athletic Conference), second in La Porte Sectional with 232 points.
Key losses: Skyler Gomez (126 pounds), Kyle Simpkins (220 pounds), Cesar Leon (182 pounds), John Hernandez (120 pounds).
Key returners: Senior Noah Perez (182 pounds), junior Matt Neff (160 pounds), junior Tyson Nisley (138 pounds).
Key newcomers: Senior Skyler Querry (152 or 160 pounds), senior Jacob Dewes (132 pounds).
Outlook: Despite losing two state qualifiers to graduation, La Porte is confident in its returning core of grapplers. Last year, it had three sectional champs and sent 12 to the regional. Skyler Gomez and Kyle Simpkins advanced to state. “Every year’s different,” the longtime coach Kuzdas said. “We want to feed off last year when we had two kids down at the state finals. Unfortunately, both of them graduated. But you build from where you left off.” Leaders for the squad will be Noah Perez (182 pounds), Matt Neff (160 pounds), and Tyson Nisley (138 pounds). After advancing to the semistate as a sophomore, Perez is eager to at least make it back there. He got upset in last year’s regional. “He’s focused and ready to take it to that next level,” Kuzdas said. “So he definitely has some potential, to No. 1, be a leader, and No. 2, to maybe break through.” Other contributors will be Nico Torres (285 pounds), James Freel (195 pounds), and Will Stone (220 pounds). The team is younger in the lighter weight classes. “Hopefully, we get a couple more down at state with the possibility of someone getting a medal,” Kuzdas said.
-- compiled by Zack Eldridge