Lions take to the mat under new leadership

Clear Lake 2019-20 Wrestling Team - Members of the 2019-20 Clear Lake wrestling prograom include front row (L-R): Cheerleaders Brook McCoy, Valeria Campos, Gabriela Gonzalez, Olivia Larson, Stephanie Penning, Jordan Bailie, Abigail Hartkopp.  Row 2 (L-R) Statisticians Trinity Malek, Haley Munn, Grace Beard, Sam Jones, Isaiah Smith, Anthony Aragon, Hayden Rieck, statisticians Danielle Mennenga, Emma Pingel, Cat Aragon-Bauer.  Row 3 (L-R):Row Head Coach Doug Munn, Coach Andrew Nelson, Hunter Rieck, Conner Morey, Carter Morey, Max Currier, Connor O’Tool, Roman Gabrielson, Coach Brad Brosdahl, Coach Evan Johnson.  Row 4 (L-R): Hunter Trenary, Thomas Gansen, Carter Markwardt, Kaleb Hambly, Caden Jones, Sasha Hrubes, Marcus Skidmore, Austin Larson, Alex Flickinger.  Not Pictured:  Dylan Kruckenberg, Jacob DiCamillo, Kennedi Colbert

Excitement is high for the Clear Lake wrestling program this season.

New Head Coach Doug Munn has inherited a State place winner, a District place winner and a district qualifier from a team which was 16-10 overall last season and 5-2 in North Central Conference dual meets.

“We have a great nucleus of upperclassmen coming back who have been through the program and understand what it takes to be successful,” said Munn, who has been an assistant for the Clear Lake program for nine years.

Sam Nelson, a junior, begins the season ranked third at 126-pounds by IAwrestle.  Nelson was a conference, sectional and district champion who placed fourth last season at 113-pounds.  He is expected to fill the 120 or 126-pound slot in the Lions’ lineup.

Senior Dylan Kruckenberg, a sectional champion who just missed a State berth last season, also appears in the pre-season rankings.  He is ranked 10th at 220-pounds. He will wrestle at 195 or 220 this season, according to his coach.

District qualifier Thomas Gansen, a junior, is also back for the Lions.  Gansen will compete at 152 or 160 this season.

Additional returning letter winners include senior Connor Morey at 132 or 138-pounds; senior Isaiah Smith at 132 or 138; and senior Connor O’Tool, competing at 170 or 182-pounds.

In addition to a solid roster of wrestlers who made the Lions a strong team last season, newcomer Max Currier is expected to make a good impression.  Currier, a freshman, is a multiple AAU/USA State place winner.

“We did not attend a camp as a team, but several of our kids wrestled for area clubs throughout most of the summer and fall,” said Coach Munn.

“The conference, I feel, will be wide open this year,” he continued.  “You look up and down the lineup and there’s as many as five or six teams that could take home the trophy.  We definitely feel we can be in the hunt for a conference championship.”

The Lions are also excited to have been named the host of a Class 2A Sectional.

“That provides a great opportunity to qualify for the State Dual Tournament,” said

Assisting Munn this season are Brad Brosdahl and Evan Johnson.  Volunteer coaches are CLHS alums Ryan Schmalen, Jason Currier and Andrew Nelson.

Comments are closed.