Simpson 2009-10 Season Preview
INDIANOLA, Iowa – In his second year at the helm of his alma-mater, Simpson head wrestling coach Clint Manny has high hopes for the 2009-10 Storm and expects to see a number of quality wrestlers make strides throughout the season.
Manny has a good mix of veterans and newcomers on the team, led by 2009-10 conference placewinners, Caleb Brus (141) and Calvin Barber (149). A number of talented newcomers including some key transfers give Manny a lineup in which he feels confident.
"Year in and year out, the Iowa Conference is one of, if not the nation's toughest conference, but we feel good about our situation," Manny said. "We've got the right people in the right spots. We've got guys who are willing to work and do what it takes to take this program where it needs to go."
Simpson added a key component to the squad in transfer Tyler Linderman (So., Creston, Iowa/Creston), who should compete right away in one of the toughest weight classes in the conference. Linderman was chosen as a D3wrestle.com "Newcomer to Watch" during the preseason.
Freshman Jeff Sand (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) will shoulder the load at 133-pounds for the Storm after a successful high school career that saw him qualify for the state meet as a senior.
The 2009-10 season marks the third year at 141-pounds for Caleb Brus (Jr., Creston, Iowa/Creston). Brus looks to improve upon his 27-17 record a year ago, as he took a fifth-place finish at the Iowa Conference meet.
One of the deepest weight classes for the Storm is at 149 pounds, where three wrestlers will compete for mat time in senior Wade Dowling (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) and freshmen Austin Pottebaum (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar) and Cory Stratton (Grimes, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes).
"Wade will most likely have the spot at 149, but not without being pushed by two solid underclassmen," Manny said. "Wade has wrestled at 157 and 165 the last few years, but made a commitment to 149 this year, which should help him be a much stronger competitor in the Iowa Conference."
Calvin Barber (Sr., Winterset, Iowa) moves up to 157-pounds from 149, where he wrestled for his first two seasons after transferring to Simpson from Buena Vista to wrestle with his twin brother, Curtis. Freshman Kasey Green (Elmer City, Wash./Lake Roosevelt) will also compete at 157.
"Calvin battled injuries his first two seasons here," Manny said. "If he can stay healthy, he should be a tough competitor in the IIAC and on the national scene."
Freshman Ethan Hess (Bedford, Iowa/Bedford) mans the 165-pound weight class after a senior year in which he lost only one match at Bedford. Manny expects the newcomer to contribute right away.
"Ethan will most likely have the nod at 165 and will have to make a quick transition to collegiate wrestling, but he has a style that will allow him to be successful at this level," Manny said.
Jordy Ammons (Jr., Knoxville, Iowa/Knoxville) takes the reins at 174-pounds, as Manny looks to the third-year wrestler for leadership.
"Jordy has developed into a solid leader on this young squad," Manny said. "He has put in a ton of time in the offseason lifting program and has continued to improve on the mat. The young men on this team will look to Jordy to provide leadership throughout the season, and I'm very confident he will thrive in that role for us."
A national qualifier in 2006, Curtis Barber (Sr., Winterset, Iowa), Barber is the only wrestler on Simpson's squad with experience on a national level. Barber looks to rebound from missing nearly the entire 2008-09 campaign due to a knee injury.
"Curtis struggled with a knee injury for a majority of last season, but he is still a high-caliber wrestler," Manny said. He will be determined to finish his wrestling career with a successful senior campaign."
Senior Sam Collora (Mt. Pleasant, Iowa/Mt. Pleasant) and junior Trent VanDorin (Eddyville, Iowa/Eddyville-Blakesburg) will battle for time at 197-pounds. Collara went 5-29 a year ago, while VanDorin returns to the team after taking year off in 2008-09.
"After taking last year off, Trent is refocused and looking to strengthen the upper portion of our lineup," Manny said. "He has worked very hard in the offseason to prepare himself for this season.
"Sam will see time at either 197-pounds or heavyweight this year and is looking to cap off his senior year with some quality wins. We are expecting great things out of both of these guys."
A pair of newcomers in Danny Kelley (Fr., Mt. Pleasant, Iowa/Mt. Pleasant) and Taylor Stroud (Jr., Winterset, Iowa/Winterset) Kelley will join the wrestling team upon completion of the football season and was a state qualifier as a prep at Mt. Pleasant. Stroud comes to Simpson from Coe, where he played football for two years before transferring. He will lace up the wrestling shoes for the first time in two years after a successful career as a heavyweight wrestler for Winterset high school under Randy McDonald, and current Simpson assistant Drew Duff.