Moore looks to six veterans to lead BW wrestling squad
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
Big Walnut enters the 2012–13 wrestling season looking to six returning letter men to lead a young and inexperienced Golden Eagle squad through what promises to be a challenging Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division schedule.
Back from last season’s 7–8 squad which finished fifth in the OCC Capital with a 3–4 mark for fifth-year head coach Luke Moore, are senior three-year letter winner CJ Harness (16–15 record) at 160 pounds, three junior two-year letter winners in Alec Eisnnicher (19–11) at 170, Jhordan Lang (8–23) at 182 and Austin Carr (7–5) at 152 pounds along with sophomore first-year letter winners in Donny Didion (30–18) and Tyler Satterfield (14–19) at 113 and 132 pounds, respectively.
“Alec and Donny are both returning Division II Central District qualifiers, Alec in 2010 and Donny in 2011,” Moore said. “They have put in a lot of time during the off season, and combining that with their postseason experience, that will help them develop their leadership roles for this season.”
Moore also pointed to the hard off-season work of Harness, Carr and Lang as a key to the Golden Eagles’ success for the upcoming season.
“CJ, Austin and Jhordan have also been working very hard and have gotten a lot stronger as a result of their efforts,” Moore said. “Their success will be a huge key to the team’s success.”
The Big Walnut squad also has some big shoes to fill with the graduation of four seniors, including four-year letter winners in Jason Griffith (285), Gene Hogg (220) and Aaron Gase (152) along with three-year veteran Tyler Schenz (145).
Gase was the recipient of the coveted Golden Eagle Award, Schenz the Most Valuable Wrestler Award, Griffith the Most Improved Wrestler Award and Hoff the Most Courageous Wrestler Award.
“We graduated four great senior leaders which equates to a loss of 300 wins, eight trips to the District and three District placements,” Moore said.
Schenz was a two-time District placer while Gase, who was also a District placer, joined Griffith and Hogg as District qualifiers. Schenz and Griffith earned First Team All-OCC honors, Gase earned Third Team All-OCC and Griffith Fourth Team All-OCC recognition
“Finding replacements for Jason, Gene, Aaron and Tyler will be tough,” Moore said. “But we have a group that is eager to step up and accept that challenge.”
Moore will look to 16 newcomers to fill out the Golden Eagles’ varsity roster.
Four juniors head up the list, including RJ Martin (138), a transfer from St. Francis DeSales who was a 2010 District qualifier, along with Logan Lucas (145), Michael Takatch (145) and Austin Crow (220). Sophomore Michael Nash moves up from BW’s junior varsity squad.
Rounding out the Golden Eagle roster are senior Joe McDonnell (285), sophomore Jack Schnurr (145), freshmen Drew Cochran (120), Nico Grier (113), Jacob Hadden (120), Tyler Hogg (195), Wes Landrum (120), Anthony Pisano (152), Evan Watkins (170), Brad Whitesed (152) and Daniel Zitello (160).
Looking to the OCC Capital Division competition, Moore sees the division tougher than it has been in past seasons with the addition of Olentangy which switched OCC Divisions with Hilliard Bradley, the Braves moving from the Cardinal Division to the Capital Division and the Jaguars leaving the Capital Division for the Cardinal Division.
“I think the OCC Capital Division will be the toughest its has ever been with addition of Olentangy and the continued development of the other programs within the division like Olentangy Orange and Delaware Hayes,” Moore said. “The battle for the top spot will be like a dog fight week in and week out.”
Big Walnut placed sixth with its 3–4 mark in the Capital Division, trailing Bradley (7–0), Mount Vernon (6–1), Olentangy Orange (5–2) and Delaware Hayes (4–3). The Golden Eagles return four All-OCC members from last season, including Eisnnicher (Second Team), Didion (Third Team), Satterfield (Fourth Team) and Harness (Fourth Team)
“We have a young, inexperienced team that is going to take some lumps throughout the season,” Moore said. “However, I think our group is extremely hard working and ready to take on all challengers. I look for our guys to show steady improvement throughout the season and continue to grow and learn from every competition we have … this should be an extremely fun team team to coach and the potential to become a great team when we reach the end of the season.”
Moore’s coaching staff includes assistants Aaron Morris and Tony Eisnnicher.
Big Walnut’s varsity opens its 2012–13 slate on Saturday, December 8, hosting the Big Walnut duals beginning at 10 a.m. at the high school. The Golden Eagles open their OCC Capital schedule on Thursday, December 13 at 6 p.m. at Olentangy.
The Golden Eagle JVs open their competition on Saturday, December 1 at 10 a.m. at Northmor.