10. Lowell Red Devils
2022-23 RECORD: 14-5
OUTLOOK: Lowell is coming off of an NCC championship a season ago. The Red Devils made some huge moves this year as they have hired Kevin and Wesley English as the new head coaches of their wrestling program. Kevin English is a longtime presence in Region wrestling. His brother, Wesley, was a state champion for Merrillville High School.
The Red Devils are led by senior Kenneth Bisping, a state qualifier last season and ranked #10 in the state. RDP is also returning five semi-state qualifiers looking to punch their ticket to the state tournament this season.
DEVILS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Kenneth Bisping (SQ)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 20 at Griffith
9. Hanover Central Wildcats
OUTLOOK: Like all of their other athletic programs, the Wildcats will be making the jump to the NCC for this wrestling season. Coach Andrew Bradbury leads the Wildcats; as they are coming into this 2022-23 with a runner-up finish at last year’s GSSC conference championships.
Junior Jayden Bartoszek leads the Wildcats, as he comes into this preseason ranked #12 by Indianamat. The Wildcats have a tough schedule that consists of the “meat grinder” that is the Crown Point regional. Nonetheless, look forward to seeing some Wildcats making noise this year in their first season in the NCC.
WILDCATS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Jayden Bartoszek (SQ)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 21 at Highland
8. Highland Trojans
2022-23 RECORD: 12-9
OUTLOOK: The Highland Trojans are led by former state placer and Highland alumni, Mark Maldonaldo. The Trojans come into this season with four returning semi-state qualifiers. It starts and ends with a stud heavyweight in #3 ranked and returning state placer Aramis McNutt. The Trojans are on the rise and show no sign of slowing down.
TROJANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Aramis McNutt (5th)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 15 at Illiana Christian
7. River Forest Ingots
2022-23 RECORD: 5-5
OUTLOOK: The GSSC’s first and only team in the rankings are led by longtime head coach Mark Hidalgo. The Ingots have dominated the conference, going for their fifth conference title in six seasons.
River Forest are also coming off a third place finish at the Portage sectional. The Ingots are on a 4-year streak in state appearances. RF will be looking to continue the winning culture in the GSSC, as Hanover is on their way to the NCC. Senior football standout and Semi-State Qualifier De’aris Beason leads the Ingots team going into the Winter.
INGOTS TO LOOK OUT FOR: De’aris Beason
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 15 vs East Chicago
6. Portage Indians
2022-23 RECORD: 12-4
OUTLOOK: 3rd-year head coach Luis Acuna and assistants Dante Colza and Montell Pace lead the Portage Indians. The young and gritty portage staff hope to bring back the success of the past. The Indians are coming off a Sectional Championship in the 2022-23 season and are returning seven semi-state qualifiers.
The Indians are led by sophomore Cameron Woods, who is coming off a ticket-round finish in last year’s 106-pound East Chicago semi-state bracket. Woods is ranked #19 in the state by Indianamat at 120 pounds
INDIANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Cameron Woods
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 21 at Crown Point
5. Chesterton Trojans
2022-23 RECORD: 9-6
OUTLOOK: 3rd-year head coach Andy Trevino leads the Trojans, who are coming off of a great season in 2023 that was capped off by Aiden Torres winning a state title in the 145-pound weight class.
The Trojans are coming off of a 6th place finish at the East Chicago semi-state; Chesterton returns two semi-state qualifiers from last season, both of which have state experience. Isaiah Wilson was a state qualifier last year at 120 pounds, while Senior Hayden Demarco lost in a ticket round the previous year but has two state medals under his belt. Demarco is ranked #4 at 132 pounds, and Wilson is Ranked #10th at 138.
TROJANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Isaiah Wilson (SQ) , Hayden Demarco (7th in ’22)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 24 RedHawks Super Duals at Goshen
4. Hobart Brickies
2022-23 RECORD: 14-5
OUTLOOK: The Brickies are in a year of change as longtime assistant coach Zachary Johanson takes the helm. There is also the addition of former River Forest assistant coach Eric Keith. The Brickies are coming off of a Sectional runner-up finish last year, as well as a top-10 finish at the East Chicago semi-state.
Hobart is returning seven Semi-State qualifiers, led by two returning state placers, Seth Aubin and Aiden Costello. Aubin is ranked number #7 at 120 pounds by Indianamat’s preseason magazine, and Costello is ranked #3 at 175 pounds.
BRICKIES TO LOOK OUT FOR: Aiden Costello (5th), Seth Aubin (8th)
FIRST MATCH: Dec. 1 vs Morton
3. Lake Central Indians
2022-23 RECORD: 5-2
OUTLOOK: 5th-year head coach Luke Triveline leads the Tribe, as the Indians have been consistent over the past couple of years, competing for spots at semi-state year in and year out.
Lake Central has five returning Semi-State Qualifiers, one of which is senior Mason Jones, who comes into this preseason ranked #3 at the 106-pound weight class after a 5th place finish in Indianapolis last year. The Indians also return another state placer in Gurillemo Rivera, who is coming off a Friday Night Finish at the State Tournament.
INDIANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Mason Jones (5th) and Guillermo Rivera (SQ)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 18 Fall Brawl at Calumet
2. Merrillville Pirates
2022-23 RECORD: 13-2
OUTLOOK: Coach David Maldonado has been a staple for Merrillville wrestling, as the Pirates are coming off of a Sectional and Regional championship and a third-place finish at last year’s East Chicago semi-state.
The talent is going away yet, as Merrillville is returning seven Semi-State qualifiers led by junior Adrian Pellot, who finished 7th last year at the IHSAA State Finals.
INDIANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Adrian Pellot (7th), Cameron Crisp (SQ)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 18 Lake Station Invitational
1. Crown Point Bulldogs
2022-23 RECORD: 7-0
OUTLOOK: It is likely no shocker here that Crown Point has built a dynasty and is continuing to do so coming off of a Duneland Athletic Conference Sectional, Regional, Semi-state, and State title last year as a team.
The Bulldogs have not only had success in the state of Indiana but also around the country. CP has six wrestlers who were at Gainbridge Fieldhouse last February. Those six is led by reigning 220 pound state champion Will Clark. Both Will and his brother, Paul, are committed to the University of Buffalo.
INDIANS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Logan Haney (8th), Sonny Sessa (SQ), Gavin Jenderas (5th), Griffin VanTichelt, Anthony Rhinehart (7th), Will Clark (1st) , Paul Clark (3rd)
FIRST MATCH: Nov. 21 vs Portage