By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – During the offseason the question surrounding Mike Hoyle was if the Solon sophomore would wrestle at 145 pounds or bump up two weights from his freshman season to 152.
By the time preseason practice began there was a new set up questions for Hoyle.
A growth spurt and some work in the weight room pushed Hoyle from 138 pounds as a freshman to nearly 180 pounds as his sophomore season approached.
Suddenly Hoyle, who was projected at the middle weights was looking for a new spot.
“We were talking about is he going to be 145, 152 and then all of a sudden in the preseason we are in there and he’s weighing 175,” Solon coach Blake Williams explained. “We said you aren’t going to make it to 145 so you might as well just wrestle 170 because you could tell where our guys are.”
Hoyle started the season at 182 pounds, five weight classes higher than where he competed at in his first season of high school
After going 6-4 to open the season Hoyle has found a home at 170 pounds.
Hoyle is unbeaten while competing at 170 pounds, winning 12 straight matches including an 11-6 win over tenth-ranked Jarron Trausch of Prairie City-Monroe in his final match of 2016.
This is my first time competing at this level because I went from 138 to 170,” Hoyle said. “At 138 it’s a lot more energetic, more scrappy and 170 is more a who wants it more kind of thing.”
Hoyle showed potential as a freshman.
He went 16-12 last season in his first year of varsity competition.
Hoyle explained his offseason weight gain as a combination of natural growth and weight room work.
“I grew a couple of inches and just got bigger,” Hoyle said. “I put most of it on during the summer, just lifting.”
After outgrowing the lower weights Hoyle had a conundrum with ranked seniors Graeson Dall and Trevor Nelson stalwarts at the middle weights.
When he entered the season at nearly 180 pounds Williams saw an opportunity for Hoyle to crack the lineup full-time.
“Sometimes that is so much better for kids not having to worry too much about their weight just wrestling and having fun and I think that’s what he’s doing,” Williams said. “He’s always had the ability but he’s just always made some silly mistakes as a freshman. He would show glimpses but when he puts a full match together and doesn’t make mistakes he is pretty tough to beat.”
Hoyle isn’t concerned about what spot he wrestles in. He is more interested in making an impact.
“I figured would just go out and wrestle my best and see what happened,” Hoyle said. “No matter what I do I wanted to be proud of how I wrestled.”
100 And Counting: West High senior 160 pounder Carter Rohweder picked up win No. 100 last week at the Al Dvorak Memorial Invitational in Illinois.
Rohweder went 4-3 on his way to a sixth place finish at the 35-team tournament and is 22-5 on the season and ranked seventh at 160 pounds.
Number One: Five area wrestlers entered the holiday break ranked number one by IAwrestle.
Regina senior Jared Brinkman (16-0) is top-ranked at 285 pounds in Class 1A while West High junior Nelson Brands (24-1) is ranked number one in 3A at 152 pounds.
Solon has a trio of top-ranked seniors as Bryce West (21-1) is No. 1 at 120 pounds, Drew West (21-1) at 126 and Trevor Nelson (13-2) at 160.
Unbeaten: Only two area wrestlers will enter 2017 with unblemished records.
Brinkman brings a perfect 16-0 record into the new year and has won 58 consecutive matches over the past two seasons.
City High senior 220-pounder Jordain Buckland is 13-0 on the season and ranked seventh in Class 3A.