By Steven Kochersperger
The Mount Vernon wrestling program gathered last Monday to celebrate their great year as a program and as individuals. Wrestling is the only sport at Mount Vernon that holds an awards banquet for the program as a whole, honoring both the junior high and senior high wrestling accomplishments of the season.
The junior high wresting team finished the year with an 11-4 record. Three of their four losses came by a combined four points, meaning they could have just as easily finished 14-1 on the year. It was the second year in a row that the Bobcats won their Conference Championship and have now brought home the trophy five of the past seven years. The team had six wrestlers go undefeated on the season and two of those wrestlers finished their junior high wrestling careers undefeated as well.
The strength at the junior high level has helped develop a great program at the high school level as well. This season the high school team had 19 dual meet wins, which is an improvement from last season. This year the team sent five wrestlers to the regional meets, an all time high for the Mount Vernon program.
And while the team accomplished their goals and have set the bar higher for next season, the team also honored several individuals Monday who excelled in many different areas this year. The Wildcats had one lone conference champ, heavyweight Austin Stallings. Coach Alcorn praised Stallings for his hard work this year on the mat as well as in the classroom.
Mount Vernon has three students who were honored with Academic All State honors and one who achieved honorable mention as well. The three Academic All State wrestlers are Julian Suar, Dane Wilson, and Adam Hoehn. The honorable mention went to senior Michael Rynkiewich. These athletes should be proud of their accomplishments in the classroom as they epitomize the true meaning of the word student athlete.
The coaches award this year was given to Dane Wilson. Coach Alcorn praised Wilson for his hard work and says the award was well deserved. The most improved wrestler award went to Julian Suar. Suar’s improvement from last season and throughout the season led to this honor from the team. The Most Valuable Wrestler award went to Michael Rynkiewich. Rynkiewich has the most wins on the season and was thirty seconds away from moving on to the state wrestling meet in Indianapolis. He was a hard draw for any wrestler that he had this year in his weight class and for that reason he was honored with this award.
The state gives out an award every year known as the mental attitude award and this year Mount Vernon had two wrestlers who were candidates for this award. Those two were honored Monday night for their hard work and dedication to the sport while overcoming some pretty big obstacles. Those two were Josh Hester and Alex Vantlin.
The wrestling program is heading in the right direction at Mount Vernon. Coach Alcorn challenged the student athletes Monday night to stick with it and continue to work hard as he has set the goal of contending for a state championship as a team in two years. And while this sounds like a tough goal, it’s one that can be attained if the athletes put the hard work and dedication that is necessary to achieve it.
By Steven Kochersperger
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