Tournament time

SHS is hosting a new wrestling competition Thanksgiving weekend

This year marks the first year that the SHS Wrestling team will be hosting its very own home tournament, The Gobbler, on Nov. 27. With SHS only hosting sectionals and the IHSAA conference meets in the past, they hope to finally establish a meet where wrestlers can see SHS as a place to compete.

With head wrestling coach Nick Skinner and athletic director Brian Murphy doing much preparation for such a tournament, they hope to have this tournament become a new annual competition for the SHS wrestling team and the entire wrestling community. 

“We thought we have a great venue, we have really good wrestling, and so why not host a wrestling tournament,” Murphy said.

Josh Foxworthy (’24) throws his opponent to the ground. Foxworthy is excited for The Cards wrestlers to gain experience during the tournament. (Grace Elder)

As this is the first year hosting the tournament, Skinner and Murphy have put in many hours of hard work to make this possible. Including contacting numerous schools, prepping the mats and materials, contacting shirt vendors, and preparing awards for all the wrestlers to receive at the end of the meet. 

Although it has taken a lot of effort to prepare the Fieldhouse for a first-time event like this, Skinner hopes that it puts SHS on the map as a place wrestlers want to compete at.

“It’s a lot of backend stuff the first year, and the next year it’s kind of rinse and repeat,” Skinner said. “But it’s really about establishing Southport as a place that those kids want to compete at.”

Many schools have already contacted Skinner to join this tournament, and the turnout is huge. Schools such as Franklin Central, Perry Meridian, New Palestine, Lebanon and Mount Vernon are all attending this meet, and many more are making appearances. 

With so many schools taking part in this tournament, boys and girls will both have a chance to get experience in wrestling. Especially since this tournament, unlike many others, is combining weight groups instead of having set ones which means instead of competing with people just at your weight, you can wrestle with other people who are close to your weight as well. 

“It’s nice that all our wrestlers can join in it, wrestle and get experience,” junior wrestler Josh Foxworthy said. 

Another benefit this tournament has is the number of girls that will be making appearances. Skinner believes that right from the beginning, the girl’s side will be fairly competitive, which is beneficial to such a quickly-growing sport. 

“Girls wrestling is one of the highest-growing sports right now in America,” sophomore wrestler AvaLyn Mosconi said. “So adding that and having that environment, where everything is joined together, is really nice to have especially at Southport High School.” 

As the tournament approaches this upcoming Saturday, Skinner believes that his wrestlers will do just fine as a result of competing in such large tournaments like this in the past.

Although this may be a first for The Gobbler, Skinner is sure that it will be a success and will be here to stay for many years.

“I think what will happen once word gets out that it’s really good, the venue is great and the wrestling is good. I think it’ll get bigger as we go,” Murphy said. 

Kyla Johnson (’25) attempts to drag her opponent down to the mat. Johnson wrestles I the 113 pound weight class. (Grace Elder)