WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW: Cardinal wrestling impacted by freshmenCale looks for return to state
Head Coach: Tom Lamansky, 5th Year
Key returnees: Ryan Cale (Sr.), Josh Ramos (Sr.), Tyler Albert (Jr.)
Outlook: The team consists of eight freshmen, and experienced veterans. Ryan Cale and Josh Ramos will lead the way. Both of these wrestlers have a chance to go to the state meet.
This may be the year that Tom Lamansky looks back on and thinks, “everything turned around for us in 2014.”
Small teams have plagued the program during Lamansky’s five years as the head coach of the Cardinal wrestling team. This season is different. Eight freshmen have joined the program, which means for once the Comets can look to the future while also focusing on the present.
“Eight freshmen is quite a bit for a little school,” Lamansky said. “Working with that many newcomers will be a different experience.”
The freshmen will still have to wrestle at the JV level during duals and tournaments, which means some of the varsity weight classes either won’t be covered or will be covered by an already exhausted freshman.
What Cardinal does have is a senior stud named Ryan Cale (113), who placed fourth in the state in 1A last year. Cale will be shooting for a state title, which could very well happen with another year of experience under his belt. Fellow senior Josh Ramos and junior Tyler Albert also have the ability to be state contenders. Ramos fell during district competition last season.
“He had a tough go of it at districts, but I think he’ll make the state tournament this season,” Lamansky said.”
Dakota Miller (152) and Johnathan Rupe round out a cast of characters that could be extremely competitive but still might not manage many team wins, purely because of a lack of numbers.
Their conference will be competitive yet again. Mediapolis is the gold standard of the SEISC right now, and don’t sleep on Columbus Junction either.
“Our goal is to get in the top five of the conference,” Lamansky said. “We need to look realistically at our team. I think we will grow a lot during the upcoming year.”
The Comets start the season at Pekin on Dec. 7. After that they will have two more road competitions before hosting Highland and New London on Dec. 19.
Cardinal 2013-14 Schedule: Varsity Wrestling
12/7 @ Pekin*
12/12 @ Columbus
12/14 @ Tri-County*
12/19 vs. Highland/New London
12/21 @ Lynnville-Sully*
1/4 @ Van Buren*
1/9 @ Davis County/Pekin
1/14 @ Tri County/WACO
1/21 Home Duals*
1/23 Home Duals*
1/25 @ Interstate 35*
1/30 @ Wapello/Louisa-Muscatine
2/1 @ Pekin*
2/8 @ Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont*
2/15 Districts @Pleasantville*
* — tournament