By Scott Springer, email@example.com / Photo by Alex Vehr for the Enquirer
KENWOOD - After winning the Greater Catholic League-South wrestling title from 2003 to 2015, Moeller High School fell short last season to Elder. Enter Germane Lindsey, Moeller Crusader 2007 state champion, to flip the program forward.
An assistant last season, the former NCAA All-American at Ohio University has seen the podiums and won the medals. In a pinch, he provides formidable opposition for the Moeller mat men on practice days.
Moeller may not reach the mountain this season, but Lindsey hopes his stable of talent fares well this winter and can follow up on their success. The Crusaders recently competed in the Catholic Invitational Tournament at Otterbein and will soon travel north for more grueling grappling with Lakewood St. Edward on Jan. 28.
"Jake Thompson took second at the CIT (182 pounds) and Brett Bryant won the tournament (195)," Lindsey said. "Jordan Ward (126) also won the tournament. I thought those three guys looked pretty good as well as senior Zach Taylor (160) who took fourth."
Some of the Crusaders have packed on pounds for this season, most notably Jake Thompson, who was a state qualifier at 132 as a sophomore and is now grinding 50 pounds heavier.
"He's kind of gearing for the football scene and didn't want to go through the struggles of cutting weight," Lindsey said.
The solution was to allow the junior to get bigger and better technically. He spent plenty of time in the weight room over the summer and again has had an impressive run thus far at 182 pounds.
"Cutting weight can take the passion from the sport as you're always worrying about cutting your weight," Lindsey said. "Personally, I would like to see him at 170, but he's been holding his own at 182. He just had a great match with the returning state champ. It was a winnable match and he lost in the third period."
Senior captain Brett Bryant has also gone up 35 pounds after finishing sixth in Division I last year at 160 pounds. He wrestled most of 2016 between 170 and 182. He has also competed well against formidable competition at 195 pounds.
"He's another football player that got in the weight room and got big," Lindsey said. "His body is actually slimming down a bit. We're trying to have him walk around at 193 and no higher than 200. It's a little bit more difficult for him at this weight than it is for Jake (Thompson) but his passion for the sport is tremendous. He didn't want to spend his senior year focusing on cutting weight."
At 220 pounds, Lindsey hopes to return state qualifier Trevor Hankins. Hankins has missed about five weeks and freshman Andrew Yeager is the Moeller heavyweight.
"He's got a lot of learning to do but he's probably going to be a four-year starter at heavyweight," Lindsey said.
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