Norwin looking for wrestlers to lead program into future
Sunday, December 11, 2022 | 11:01 AM
The buzzword around the Norwin wrestling team this preseason was leadership.
Coach Kyle Martin was searching for movers and shakers to guide the Knights this year — and into the future.
“The expectation is always to be leaders in the wrestling room, leaders in the classroom, leaders in life,” Martin said. “This is a high expectation, and we are anxious to see if the team meets these expectations. We have seen glimpses of leadership in some athletes, but really still looking for individuals to step up.”
Martin said Norwin is “super young” with only one or two potential starters who are seniors.
“It opens the door for any athlete to take leadership roles and really lead the team,” Martin said.
Led by a senior-heavy lineup, Norwin finished 17-3 last season and lost to eventual champion Waynesburg, 52-10, in the WPIAL 3A quarterfinals.
Returnees to watch include senior Gabe Conboy (126 pounds), junior Nate Campbell (145), sophomore Jackson Huss (138), junior Evan Gill (120), senior Aiden Yuscinsky (189) and junior AJ Hewitt (145).
Sophomore Gannon Conboy wrestled at 106 last season.
Numbers are rising in the program, from the youth level upward, with nearly 40 on the varsity/junior varsity rosters and over 50 on the middle school team.
Compare that to 20 high school and 17 middle school two years ago and the upsurge is evident.
The depth is encouraging to Martin, who was not ready to fill out a lineup as the final week of practice merged into the opening weekend of WPIAL action.
He said competition was brimming in the practice room with so many faces looking for mat time.
“We are not approaching the season with the mentality of starter vs. backup,” Martin said. “We are a team: Every single athlete in our program matters, none more than the other.
“No one, including myself, is bigger or more important than the Norwin wrestling program.”
Martin believes the Knights’ future hinges on this year.
“This is an important development year for Norwin,” he said. “If the athletes want the Norwin program to be considered a contender to win section titles and beyond, this is the year we need to begin making a jump.”
Girls wrestling appears to be the wave of the future in the sport in Pennsylvania, and Norwin is on board with the move.
Martin said there are seven female wrestlers on the high school roster.
“They are excited to be a part of the program,” he said. “They have been working hard and picking up the sport very quickly.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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