Lisbon Lions varsity wrestling coach Brad Smith talked about his team’s chance at success in the approaching season, and didn’t sound the least intimidated.
“We’re going to have a shot at a state title, I think,” Smith said.
The longtime coach acknowledged his team would have company.
“Don Bosco’s always good. We’ve been second to them the last couple of years,” said Smith, noting that the two years before that, Don Bosco had ended up in second place to the Lions. West Sioux, Logan-Magnolia, and Underwood were the other programs Smith listed as always in competition.
“We’ll pretty much dominate our conference,” Smith predicted.
The Lions have made it to state duals for the past eight years in a row, said Smith, “so we’re planning on nine.”
Smith has a supporting cast of 12 returning letter winners, and seven wrestlers returning with state meet experience.
Quincy Happel, a senior from a very decorated wrestling family, is trying for his fourth appearance at state this year. Boasting a 123-23 record, the team captain will be “one of the top 126-pounders in the state,” according to Smith.
Happel’s father, assistant coach Dean Happel, was also coached by Smith, appearing four times at state, and champion three times. Happel’s older brothers Carter and Cael were each four-time state champs.
Other returning state qualifiers are Indy Harbaugh, Lincoln Holub, Max Kohl, Jamien Moore, Brandon Paez, and Cade Siebrecht, whom Smith says “dominated last year.”
Matthias Kohl, Teague Krob, and Wyatt Smith round out the returning letterwinners.
Others that Smith said will see varsity action in the upcoming season are freshman Wesley Sadler 106, freshman Lucas Capron-113, freshman Tiernan Boots 132, freshman Gage Holub 132, junior Junior Krob 145-152, freshman Jacob Walerius 170, sophomore Indy Ferguson 195-220.
Freshman Jensen Nost 195, sophomore Henry Neymeyer 138-145, sophomore Cole Butteris 145, sophomore Manny Nineen 182 and sophomore Jonah Reiling 285 round out the roster.
Team Managers — Statisticians — senior Sophie Jennett, junior Gabi Moehlman, junior Riley Boots, and freshman Aislin Andrews.
The season kicks off Tuesday, Nov. 30, with a meet at New London.