Vatch seeks talent

By Fred Konrath

With the high school individual state wrestling championships being held at Champaign, Ill. this weekend, NIU’s head coach Ed Vatch and his assistants will be heading south for recruiting purposes.

Vatch is seeking future Huskie grapplers to fill some gaping holes that have been dug into the recent Huskies lineup.

“We’ll be down there scouting for talent at certain weight classes,” Vatch said. “We are looking for a 126-, a 134-, and a 150-pounder, and heavyweight. We’ve been evaluating some high school wrestlers, sent letters, and have had responses, but our real recruiting won’t start until after our season is over.”

Of the four hundred wrestlers competing this weekend from IHSA Class AA and Class A, there may be some headed north for DeKalb next year. “We’re not exactly scouting people who place in state (top five), we are looking for wrestlers with talent,” Vatch said.

In the past, Vatch recruited big group, but now he is looking for a few individuals who can have an immediate impact.

The 2-15 Huskies have lost some close meets this year after surrendering 12 points every meet due to forfeits at 142-pounds and heavyweight.

The Huskies have the wrestlers at those weight classes, but they don’t have the physical tools they need to take with them on the mat. “They’re down in the weight room lifting, but it’s frustrating because we don’t have the weight room at the times these guys need it,” Vatch said. “They basically have to lift weights on their own, because we only have the weight room from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and that’s when everyone has their classes.”