Coach: Louie Kuzdas (24th year)
Last year: 14-11, third in La Porte Sectional with 188 points.
Key returnees: Tyson Nisley, Sr. (138 pounds, 2019 semistate qualifier), Matt Neff, Sr. (170 pounds, 2019 semistate qualifier), Jaden Browder, Jr. (182 pounds, 2019 regional qualifier).
Key newcomers: Ashton Jackson, Fr. (160 pounds), Tray Anderson, Jr. (145 pounds).
Key losses: Noah Perez (182 pounds, 2019 state qualifier), Nico Torres (285 pounds).
Outlook: With some talented grapplers back and some promising youth entering the program, La Porte is optimistic. It placed fourth with a 5-3 record in its season-opening invite at Lafayette Harrison Friday and Saturday. It beat Goshen 39-33, Twin Lakes 39-36, Hammond Gavit 49-27, Fairhaven 41-39, and McCutcheon 38-36, but fell to the host Raiders 61-17, Columbia City 31-29 and South Bend Riley 38-36. “We are showing good youth,” Kuzdas said. “We've got a handful of underclassmen that are going to be in our varsity lineup. We're still going to come battle like we normally do. The young kids we do have are going to get in your face and do what it takes to battle and wrestle our Slicer style.” Nisley, Neff and Browder won their weight classes in the invite. Nisley and Neff each qualified for the semistate last year. Nisley was one win short of advancing to state, falling 10-2 in the ticket round. Kuzdas thinks he's poised for a breakout senior campaign. “Tyson is a little bit more focused this year knowing it's his senior season,” Kuzdas said. “He's done some offseason wrestling. He wrestled in several tournaments throughout the summer. He went to some big tournaments all over the country to make sure he's competing at the elite level.” A young grappler, the freshman Jackson began the season 4-0 and is expected to be a point getter throughout the season. “He's a good young kid with some experience,” Kuzdas added. “He's been wrestling in some tournaments in the offseason. He's someone to keep an eye out for down the road. Anderson is another one we're going to be keeping our eyes open for, around semistate time.” Last year, LP had nine make the regional and two sectional champs. Kuzdas achieved a coaching feat of 300 career victories with the team's win over Fairhaven Saturday. “It's one of those feathers in the cap,” he said. “There aren't too many coaches who get to 300 victories. There might be 15 coaches in the history of Indiana wrestling who have reached 300, so it's special. It's a little different when you only get 20 to 25 matches a year to keep adding that up.” Kuzdas is the winningest coach in La Porte wrestling history and has coached over 20 state finalists.
-- Compiled by Zack Eldridge