ZIONSVILLE – Second-year Zionsville wrestling coach is a big believer in success breeding success.
He is hoping that belief is rewarded this winter with his talented group of wrestlers.
With the opening match right around the corner, Welch said his wrestlers have watched Zionsville have an extremely successful fall sports season, and now are ready for their time.
“Our guys are excited to compete,” Welch said. “They have seen other Zionsville sports have success, and the Zionsville community is a great place to be right now. All the sports are doing well, and our guys are excited to hit the mat and keep that going. I believe success breeds success, and hopefully the success we had in the fall sports continues.”
Welch said when looking ahead to the season, he just wants the team to focus on taking things one day at a time, so that when the four-week post-season series starts in February, his team is peaking at the right time.
“We talk about goal setting just about every day, both individually and as a team,” Welch said. “Right now, we are just focused on getting one percent better every day. We try to stay out of the win and loss goals, and just try to praise effort, getting better and developing as people and athletes. The guys react better to that, the guys are buying into that and it will lead to us reaching our goals.”
Logan Wagner is back to lead the team, after placing sixth in the state at 126 pounds a season ago.
A junior, Wagner has made it to state each of his first two years and has the potential for an even higher finish this year.
“Logan has set his sights on the being the best he can be, which is getting on top of that podium on Saturday night,” Welch said. “He lives a state championship lifestyle. He does everything right. He steps up in the classroom, he works hard in the weight room and the wrestling room. He just has to just focus on getting better each day, and when that time comes, giving 100 percent effort and believing in himself.”
Wagner won’t be alone by any means when it comes to leaders on the team.
The Eagles graduated state qualifier Matt Mangus, but return eight total regional qualifiers from a season ago and four semi-state qualifiers.
“Chase Poynter has really stepped up,” Welch said. “He has had a great pre-season. Logan Wagner has had a great pre-season and looks ready to go. Hudson Harreld has done everything right and Vincent McDonald put in a lot of work. Shane Bates and McDaniel are going to bring a lot too coming off a successful season in football.”
Last year, the Eagles were a fairly young team overall, gaining experience as the season went on.
Welch said that so far, the biggest strength of this team has been the way they push each other, and are learning from one another on a daily basis.
“We have great leaders,” Welch said. “That is probably our greatest strength. It’s like we have 15 coaches in the room, with the leaders we have, and that’s the kind of culture we want. It’s friendship, it’s teamwork and we are just building each other up and helping each other out.”
Zionsville will start the season on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Noblesville for the opening dual of the season, with the annual Shamrock Duals tournament that Saturday.