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January 7, 2014

WRESTLING WEDNESDAY: Hayes leading Pioneers’ squad with 10 freshman starters

Fleming says future is promising for his program

CLARKSVILLE — Entering this season, Providence wrestling coach Patrick Fleming knew the 2013-14 campaign would be full of growing pains.

So far, the former Pioneers’ standout has been right.

Fleming has 10 freshman starters on his squad this season. But despite dealing with an inexperienced team this year, Fleming has seen improvement from his rookies and is optimistic the future is bright for Providence wrestling.

“We’re probably the youngest team in the area. But we’re getting better,” Fleming said. “This is the first year that we’ve actually had some freshmen feed into our program. It bodes well for our future. We also have better classes behind them. We hope there are some good things to come.”

Three freshmen have stood out to Fleming at the midway point of the season, and he thinks they have a chance to advance out of the Jeffersonville Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 1. They are Cody Sprigler at 120 pounds, Micah Oberhausen at 132 and Michael Hayes at 138.

Providence junior Matt Hayes, the older brother of Michael Hayes, and the rest of the Pioneer veterans have been showing the freshmen the varsity ropes throughout the season.

Matt Hayes (182) has been the leader of this year’s Providence squad with a 25-5 record. Last season as a sophomore, Hayes won the 182-pound title at the Jeff Sectional and then advanced to the Evansville Reitz Semistate by placing third at the Jeff Regional.

“He’s wrestled a couple of really good kids this year, and he wrestled well against them. Each week he is getting better,” Fleming said.

Fleming also has been happy with the performance of the Logsdon twins — Robbie and Blake — who are both seniors.

Fleming says Robbie Logsdon’s goal is to reach semistate this season in the 220-pound weight class. He qualified for regional last year at 220 by finishing fourth at sectional.

“We hope he makes a run at semistate,” Fleming said.

Blake Logsdon will try to make a postseason run in the 285-pound division.

“He’s been good this season. He’s getting better and better each week,” said Fleming, who also has two other veteran wrestlers in juniors Jason Murner and Justin Wheatley.

The Pioneers will compete in tournaments on each of the next three Saturdays before they participate in sectional.

This coming Saturday, Providence will host a six-team duals tournament that includes Southern Indiana Wrestling Conference rivals Milan, New Washington and Southwestern.

Fleming states that this weekend’s six-way meet is important for his wrestlers in them getting favorable draws for the SIWC meet on Jan. 18 at Southwestern.

“This meet has several conference teams and we will be wrestling for conference seeds. It sets the bar for the SIWC,” Fleming said.

Fleming thinks the invitational-style SIWC will prepare his freshmen for the upcoming postseason tournaments.

“The SIWC will be a good team experience for our younger wrestlers. We hope to get one or two champions at the SIWC,” Fleming said.

On Jan. 25, the Pioneers will compete in the six-team New Albany Duals. Fleming likes the duals-style tournaments because they have his grapplers wrestling in several matches on one day.

“At this time with a young team, we need mat time. I like the duals because we have more time on the mat. [The New Albany Duals] will be good for them,” Fleming said.

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