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New head coach helps TC junior reach semistate

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

FAIRLAND -- What Trey Miller has done for the Triton Central wrestling program can be summed up in one name -- Matt Guhl.

A first-year head coach who wrestled for the program just a few seasons ago, Miller has put the Tigers back on the map. Another head coach noted it early in the season. After qualifying four wrestlers for regional competition, Miller and Triton Central proved it.

And Guhl, after quitting the team midway through his freshman season and not wrestling last year, proved something to himself. The junior will be the lone TIger to represent the program at the New Castle Semistate on Saturday.

“I actually didn’t plan on wrestling this year,” Guhl said, who won an individual title (182 pounds) at the Shelbyville Sectional. “A few of my friends talked me into it. I wrestled my whole life (from kindergarten). I wasn’t expecting much of it, just getting back into it. But the coaches have made me much better than I thought I could ever be."

Guhl, who is a wide receiver and cornerback on the football team, said he has used his quick feet to maneuver around slower opponents. Most 182-pound wrestlers are cutting down to that weight, he said, while Guhl is a little lighter.

“My technique also helps since I have been wrestling so long,” Guhl said, who also won an Indiana Crossroads Conference title this season. “At 182, there is not a lot of speed, but there is a lot of strength. Most of my matches ended in a pin, so now we are working on the ground and being neutral.”

Miller said Guhl grew up wrestling in Cathedral’s feeder program. He had the experience and skillset. It was just a matter of putting it all together after time away from the sport -- although his potential has not been reached.

“Matt is super athletic,” Miller said. “He will just explode all of the sudden. His dad and uncles were big wrestlers at Cathedral. His cousin will be at semistate this weekend, too.

“Matt is just still so raw. He has all the talent. But that is part of being out so long. Semistate is the top 64 in the state. It is a big deal (for him).”

In his first match Saturday, Guhl (26-7) will face junior Jalen Morgan of Elwood. Morgan is 37-5 this season. If Guhl wins, he will advance to wrestle either Austin Williams (20-3) of Southmont or Jonah Rolfes (30-3) of Lawrenceburg. Both Williams and Rolfes are seniors. Guhl will need to win his first two matches to advance to the state finals, which is held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Feeder regionals for New Castle include Perry Meridian, Richmond, Pendleton Heights and North Montgomery.

Tigers Keyan McKee, Jonathon Riggins and Seth Ortel also qualified for the regional last weekend. Miller, with the help of assistant coach Randy McPheron, has helped transform a program that had just two wrestlers last year. This season TC had 16 individuals out for the team, according to Miller. 

“I know Randy is kind of old school and is really good at bringing the team together,” Miller said. “I am the new school guy and show them some new and more explosive moves. A lot of them I helped coach in club or in middle school when I was in high school."

Added Guhl: “The team is always pushing each other in practice to be the best we can be. The coaches have been great. We break down our huddles on the word family.”

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.