Mishawaka was under a new direction in the wrestling program this season. Mishawaka alum Steve Sandefer was the new head coach. The team was relatively young this year, but they still had a very successful season.
Sandefer was a very successful wrestler at Mishawaka and is trying to get the wrestling program back to where it was.
“Going into the season my goal was to improve our team as a whole. I wanted to make sure that we were getting better each week and learning from our mistakes, but also building the confidence in our guys that they can step on the mat and compete with any one,” said Sandefer, “overall, I am very proud of the way our guys battled this year. I believe that this was only a glimpse of the true potential of this young team!”
The team has plenty of reasons to be proud after the successful season.
“There were plenty of heartbreaks we had individually and as a team this season. Those hurt and some take a little more time to move past than others, but we always came back with positive attitudes ready to learn from our mistakes and prepare for our next challenge, said Sandefer, “sometimes the best thing in this sport is a short memory, as Hall of Fame coach Al Smith says, ‘If you're still gloating about what you did yesterday, you haven't done anything today.’"
Going into the upcoming seasons, the bar will be set high.
“Going forward, we would just like to continue to improve and reload every year. I would like to see more and more guys buying in and putting in the extra time in the postseason and summer time, continue to grow our numbers, and work to ensure the success of our youth wrestling club,” said Sandefer, “one goal would be to fill a full JV line up because those are our future guys! In order to build a future for our great program we have to have depth in the room where we all make each other better and battle for the varsity spot.”
Mishawaka looks to compete for NIC titles, sectional titles, and soon regional and state titles, there is plenty to look forward to.
“Next year, I believe we can finish in the top 10 at the IHSAA state finals and potentially win a team sectional and regional title after finishing runner-ups at both this year,” said Sandefer, “we also look forward to hosting the Kingsmen at home next year in a dual meet, should be a great one to be at! Don't miss it!”
Mishawaka will have almost the whole roster returning next year, so expectations are still high.