NEO wrestling aims for back-to-back national titles

The Norsemen have won 3 titles in 5 years
NEO wrestling aims for back-to-back national titles

The NEO wrestling team is heading to nationals for the 6th consecutive year.

Over the weekend the Norsemen claimed their 6th consecutive district title, with all ten wrestlers securing top-3 finishes to advance to nationals.

NEO has become one of the best wrestling programs in the country under head coach Joe Renfro, winning three national titles in the last five years, including winning it all in 2018.

The team had 9 All-Americans last season. Four of those are back this year looking to take a new roster back to the top.

“I feel like the guys we do have in the lineup that were there last year, they’ll be able to step up and kind of help those (younger) guys,” says sophomore Boo Dryden, who finished 4th at nationals last season, “(We tell them) You guys are going to go out there and wrestle. It’s going to be a dog fight one way or another. But we’ll get the job done if you guys go out there and perform. Have faith in yourself and trust your training.”

NEO is taking four freshman to nationals, including Columbus (Kansas) High School product Zach Porter. The former Titan is currently ranked #2 in the nation in the 157 pound weight class.

“I want to win. I want to help the team out. So I definitely feel a little pressure,” Porter says, ” I try not to be too nervous and just go out there and wrestle.”

“He’s really grasped onto our philosophy and our strategy here at NEO,” says head coach Joe Renfro, “He works hard. He does the things that we ask him to do. And he’s a good listener. He listens to all of us. When somebody pays attention to that, it’s going to take you a long ways.”

The national meet will begin on March 1st at 9:30 AM.