Wrestlers Open Season Friday at Granby Kickoff Classic
The Oaks varsity wrestling team opens the season Friday afternoon at the Granby High School Kick-off Classic. This is the first time the team has returned to Granby since 2003 and they will see a familiar face: former Oaks coach Mike Hage heads the Comets squad.
The afternoon match is the start of a busy weekend for the squad. The team wrestles twice more on Friday, against Grafton High School at 4 p.m, and Green Run High School at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the team travels to Wilson High School to compete in the President’s Cup. Wrestling will begin at 9 a.m. Coach Mike Newbern, in his eighth season, says the team hopes to improve on last year’s third place finish.
106 lbs. The team will have three first year wrestlers, all 8th graders. Vying for mat time will be Bailey Pettrey, Elijah Nestor, and Chandler O’Connor.
113 lbs. First year wrestler and eighth grader Charlie Bashara has looked tough in the preseason. He will be very competitive come TCIS tournament time.
120 lbs. Returning TCIS 4th placer KJ Edmond, a sophomore, had very good off season workouts and will be a solid point scorer in the post season. Fellow sophomore Necco Lawrence will also see lots of action.
126 lbs. Returning State Champion, National Prep All-American, and team Captain Tony Protogyrou will seek a fourth state medal in addition to AA Honors. The VMI-bound Protogyrou had an excellent off season in the weight room, moving up 3 weight classes. He hopes to break his team record 50 match win streak set last year on his way to the National semi-finals.
Tony will be mentoring backups Sean Kelley, a freshman, and eighth graders James Dublin and Aaron Boutwell.
132 lbs. Co-Captain Nolan Leavitt, past TCIS 2nd and 3rd place finisher will be in the hunt for his first state medal this year after reaching the round of 12 last year. He will be backed up by TCIS JV tournament runner-up Jacob Conn, an eighth grader.
138 lbs. This weight class will have three up and coming wrestlers battling for mat time. Soph Alex Sarris, Frosh Michael Ortiz, and newcomer Michael Thomas, a senior. All have shown promise and they will get after it!
145 lbs. Senior Ian Stokes has returned to the mat after a two year hiatus. In the mean time he became one of the highest ranked sailing team members in NCS history. He is a big “145” and should be in the hunt for a state medal.
152 lbs. Like 138, this weight class has several tough wrestlers vying for mat time. Transfer sophomore Noah Roistacher has looked very slick thus far. He will be pushed by sophomore Johnny Beck, senior Chase O’Connor, and sophomore William Howell.
160 lbs. This is a deep weight class for the Oaks and matches will help decide who starts here and who gets the nod at 170. Returning junior and TCIS runner-up Joey Conn is a proven winner for the Oaks as is freshman Blake Sibley. Sibley was the JV TCIS Champ last year winning all three tournament matches by fall. Cox transfer junior Cameron Ghaffari has also showed promise.
171 lbs. Senior newcomer Eli Oser will compete here with whoever bumps up from 160.
182 lbs. Sophomore David Baldwin, who. like Sibley, pinned his way through the JV TCIS tourney, will split time with fellow soph Cody Bennett between 182 and 195. Both have been impressive so far in practice. Also eighth grader Jack Francis will see considerable mat time.
195 lbs. There is a wrestler on the horizon here, we’ll reveal him at a later date.
220 lbs. So far we will be forfeiting this weight class, still looking though for someone to step up and give it a try.
285 lbs. Senior Auston Sousa-Poza will battle the heavyweights for the Oaks. A great attitude and lot of heart will help the big man this year.
The TCIS in 2012
Cape Henry is the favorite with five state place winners including two returning state champions. The Dolphins, who finished fourth at state last year, two places ahead of the Oaks, are a favorite to win it all this year. Norfolk Collegiate and Bishop Sullivan appear to be in a battle for second. Norfolk Academy should be pushed this year by both Peninsula Catholic and Norfolk Christian to make the top four. Greenbrier Christian is also restarting their program this year after a four-year hiatus.
The Oaks are coached by Mike Newbern. This will be his 8th year as head coach of NCS and 22nd year overall. Coach Newbern is seeking his 400th career victory this season. He currently stands at 387-146-5. He is assisted by long time assistant Charlie Church. Former Oak two-time state placewinner Buddy Curtis will also join the staff this year.