By Aaron Eshelman, Staff Writer
The Newman Wrestling team has lofty goals this season.
“We have high expectations to be in the top 10 nationally this year, and at the same time we want to make sure we’re in the top 10 academically as well,” Head Coach Ryan Smith said.
Redshirt sophomore and 133 pound wrestler Vincent Eremita said the wrestlers share their coach’s high expectations.
“The standard we have set for ourselves is a top five finish at the NCAA tournament,” said Eremita.
Smith said that one of the Jets’ strengths is depth.
“We have six or seven guys we expect to be wrestling at the end of the year,” Smith said.
Some of the wrestlers to watch include Tyler Lawley, Kevin Kissane, Nate Panagakis, Noah Perkins, Kendall Frame, Thor Balavage, and Kameron Frame who was an All-American last season, Smith said.
Smith, who finished his college career at Newman before getting into coaching, has put together a staff of coaches with impressive resumes.
Associate Head Coach Blake Fisher was the first Jet wrestler to make the NCAA tournament, accomplishing the feat in 2010.
The other two assistants, Tyler Mies and Noel Torres, were both named All-American while wrestling at Newman, and Noel Torres brought Newman its first NCAA national championship when he won the 184 pound division in 2018.
Smith said Torres is an equally effective coach.
“Noel is an awesome guy and an awesome coach. He just brings it, and the guys look up to him,” Smith said.
The Jets’ first MIAA action will come Nov. 9 at the Oklahoma City Open.
The Jets will be holding an exhibition dual at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Fugate Gymnasium.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Newman Athletics.