Lapel wrestlers, coach set goals for new season

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LAPEL — Jason Pedigo was looking for a smaller high school where he, as a coach, could grow and develop.
Lapel was a great fit for him, he said.
Pedigo, a native of Zionsville, wrestled in college at Manchester University.
Recently, he moved from Colorado, where he coached at Holy Family High School in Broomfield.
“Lapel was on my list, and luckily it opened up,” Pedigo said.
The team has just fewer than 20 wrestlers out for this season.
“I want this to grow and build upon that,” Pedigo said.
He’s familiar with the process.
At Holy Family, he started with 12 wrestlers and by the end of four years, he had 30 on the team.
Part of the process entails getting the students in middle school interested.
Lapel is starting a youth wrestling program for the community.
“I’d like to get my face in there, introduce myself, and be a presence but not a nuisance,” Pedigo said.
“I always try to build an identity for the team. Something we’re working on is the top/bottom, and the referees’ position. I want them to have an identity that we’re going to be the toughest out there,” Pedigo said.
Senior Alan Buzan has experience for the Bulldogs.
“My goal is to make it past the regional, to semistate or state this year,” he said.
He’s wrestling in the 120-pound weight class.
As a sophomore, Buzan was fourth in the sectional and went on to the regional.
He likes Pedigo’s methods.
“I really like the way he coaches. It makes sense for us the way he is running things,” Buzan said. “It’s a lot of conditioning, but it’s wrestling conditioning, so it all fits in.”

Junior Braden Dawson wrestled as a freshman but sat out his sophomore year. He’s back at 132 and happy.
“I missed it. I love wrestling, and it’s really the only sport I do,” Dawson said.
Sophomore Trace Pesko is bumping up a class this season to 145.
“I thought it would be better for me. I wanted to get a little bigger and feel better about myself,” Pesko said.
He spent the summer working out and preparing for this year.
Last season, he was named Best Freshman after going 17-11.
“I want to win the county. I want to do well and wrestle right,” Pesko said.
He is also on board with Pedigo’s program.
“He’s amazing. He pushes us harder. Practices are fun, but they’re also rigorous,” Pesko said.
As the only girl on the team, freshman Paige Stires is working to do her best in the 120-weight class.
She was a gymnast up until middle school but turned her attention to wrestling in the sixth grade when her mom, a former wrestling manager, suggested she give it a try.
“I liked it a lot. I like the aggressiveness, and it pushes you to your limits,” Stires said.

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