Forest Park wrestling dealing with adversityNovember 22, 2019
BY COREY STOLZENBACH
FERDINAND — Forest Park wrestling will be pushing on, even though some things aren't going its way.
The program is still reeling from the Nov. 4 death of junior wrestler Anderson Peters, and coach Craig Recker said the team will be paying tribute to Peters in different ways this season. Recker said the wrestlers served as pallbearers at his funeral, and have jackets to honor him. He added wrestlers will write things on their shoes when tournaments begin, and they will hang Peters' shoes in the wrestling room in his honor. The team missed a week of practice following his death, which has them behind schedule.
Forest Park will not have any replacement for Peters in his weight class this season, and the Rangers will also forfeit two other weight classes as well. Recker confirmed to The Herald that Forest Park will not compete in the 195- and 220-pound classes in 2019-20.
The third one will depend on where senior Isaac Brosmer weighs in. Brosmer made it to semistate last year in the 106-pound class, but the coach said he could move up to the 113-pound class this year. A roster emailed to The Herald on Thursday listed Brosmer in the 113-pound class, and Recker's wife, Tammy, confirmed via text message that Brosmer would be at the 113-pound class at the moment. Brosmer being at 113 would mean Forest Park would forfeit in the 106-pound class.
However, Recker is still optimistic. He knows there won't be a lack of effort or desire from any of his wrestlers. It's a seasoned group that doesn't have anybody new and did not lose anybody outside of Peters. Everybody else is back from a season ago, including the five who made it to regionals last year.
"We do expect to be very competitive," Recker said. "When you're competitive, that means anything could happen."
The others who advanced to regionals, along with Brosmer last year, were sophomore Patrick Recker in the 113-pound class, junior Dylan Niehaus in the 120-pound class, junior Travis Haug in the 126-pound class and senior Cole Mohr in the 138-pound class. The roster emailed to The Herald Thursday had Recker in the 120-pound class, Mohr in the 132-pound class and Niehaus in the 138-pound class.
Recker thinks all of them have what it takes to get to semistate, if not further beyond that point. He thought they were mostly competitive in the regional round last year, and all of them went to watch Brosmer compete at semistate. Recker thinks they all want to get to the next level this year, and his returning wrestlers get to another level next year. Forest Park finished sixth at sectionals as a team.
He praised how dedicated Brosmer is, saying it's his ultimate goal to get to state. Recker said Brosmer is very motivated for his senior year and that he knows what the challenge. He feels like his wrestler has grown up to the next level with the leadership he shows. Recker said Brosmer is going to be tested, but as a senior, he should be ready for any tests that come his way.
"He's going to be a handful for anybody to wrestle," he said of Brosmer.
Recker has focused largely on conditioning and getting his wrestlers into wrestling shape. He's hoping the team can get into shape by December, and added they've been doing a lot of crossfit and running. Forest Park opens its season Saturday at Bedford North Lawrence. Recker was honest in saying he doesn't think Forest Park is ready for Saturday, but added that the team has been working harder and longer in practice to make up for missed time.
He told his wrestlers, though, that they can make up for the conditioning part if they put enough effort in. Recker said Forest Park being experienced helps with this adversity, too. He said he doesn't have to reinvent the wheel, and likened it to riding a bike and going at it again.
"They've had a long break from wrestling, in my opinion, and they're ready to go," Recker said.
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