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Energy high on Corydon mats as season begins

Energy high on Corydon mats as season begins
Energy high on Corydon mats as season begins
Members of the Corydon Central wrestling team work on various take-downs during practice Monday. The season begins tomorrow (Thursday) when the Panthers host Crawford County. (Photo by Brian Smith)

Numbers for the Corydon Central wrestling program are strong. Problem is, a portion of the 26-man roster falls into two weight classes.
The problem doesn’t seem to be an issue at practices that lead up to the Panthers’ first dual of the season, hosting re-start program Crawford County tomorrow (Thursday).
‘It’s a whole lot more fun to see the crowd that has come out,’ said coach Richard Clipp. ‘All the kids are here everyday. All these kids have stuck around so far from the first week.’
Filling out 14 weight classes is often difficult for most schools, and Corydon Central will have that problem this year.
‘We have 26 kids out, but the problem is, about a fourth of them weigh around 130 pounds,’ Clipp said. ‘It’s not like basketball where we can get by with playing an offense with four guards and one center, we have to fill out each class with one wrestler in each.’
Clipp, entering his 31st year as head coach, said three wrestlers who lettered last year, weigh 125 pounds. An option could be to move one up a class to 130, but the coach already has five in that class.
Among those jockeying for position are seniors Chris Falardo and Ryan Hutchinson. Falardo qualified for regional a year ago at 130 pounds for the Panthers. Clipp said Falardo, who went 23-18 last season, is a hard wrestler with plenty of intensity.
Hutchinson is a transfer from Eastern (Pekin) and weighs in at about 125. On Monday, Hutchinson injured himself before practice and his presence was missed, according to Clipp.
‘He is a really intense hard worker and he kind of wears off on everyone else,’ he said. ‘They all feed off his motivation and steam. Today, he wasn’t here and it showed. But it was the first day back from break, too.’
Hutchinson wrestled at 112 last season and was regional champion in his class and a state qualifier when he took second at semi-state.
Also returning with experience is Jackson Fowler, a regional qualifier last season at 119 pounds. The junior ended the year with a 16-18 record.
Other returnees include sophomore Dylan Jacobs and juniors Danny Garrow and Dustin Springer.
The team also has 12 new wrestlers to the program. In practices, Clipp breaks down the mats into advanced, novice and learning wrestlers.
‘The guys are working hard, but it is hard to learn, when there are so many novices, what an opponent is going to do in a match,’ Clipp said. ‘They have been trying and slowly picking things up.’
The team didn’t lose many seniors from last season, so the numbers are continuing to get better.
Once again, the Panthers are going to face a grueling schedule. After getting their feet wet against Crawford County tomorrow, they head to Oldham County (Ky.) for the Olympic Super Sixteen against some of Kentucky’s best. Corydon Central will also participate in two other large tournaments: the Woodford County (Ky.) Holiday Tournament and the Knight Classic at South Dearborn.
Also back again will be the annual Old Capitol Classic, held at Corydon Central on Saturday, Jan. 10.