Lewis goes 3-0 at national duals

Former four-time state high school champion Matthew Lewis runs out to the mat during action for the Indian Hills men's wrestling team at the Multipurpose Center on IHCC's Centerville campus last season

CENTERVILLE – The Indian Hills men's wrestling season begins this weekend and head coach Cole Spree has a new-look program ready to compete on the national stage. The Warriors open up the season Saturday in Indianola at Simpson College's Ruth

The 2022 season will mark just the third year in program history for the Warriors. Spree's inaugural class that competed in each of the first two seasons resulted in 10 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American honors, 13 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American honors, a pair of eighth-place finishes at the national tournament and the 2021 NJCAA Central District Championship.

Spree will look to a bevy of new individuals to continue the rise to national prominence for the Warriors.

"We will have a lot of new faces in our lineup this year after graduating eight of our 10 starters from a season ago," Spree stated. "It's exciting though and you can tell the returners and new guys are excited for the challenge."

Sophomore Kawaun Deboe returns for the Warriors after earning All-American status and a seventh-place finish at last year's national championship in the heavyweight division. Matthew Lewis, coming off four state championship wins at Centerville High School, is looking to build off a strong freshman campaign that resulted in a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in the 149-pound class.

Indian Hills will once again feature an ultra-competitive schedule that Spree sees an opportunity for his squad to grow throughout the year.

"Our schedule is set up so that we can get a lot of matches and exposure for the younger guys the first half of the season," Spree noted. "Hopefully, this will allow them to catch up and find what it takes to be competitive at the collegiate level."

The Warriors return home on Tuesday for the opening Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) dual against North Iowa Area Community College.

"We will have six conference dual meets and like every year these should be extremely competitive as it looks like the ICCAC is loaded once again," Spree added.

Following the home dual against NIACC, Indian Hills will host Iowa Lakes Community College on Nov. 15. All home duals will be held at the Multipurpose building on IHCC's Centerville campus.

The Warriors will travel to Ellsworth on Nov. 30 and Iowa Central on Jan. 18 before the team's home dual finale on Jan. 25 vs. Iowa Central. The Warriors' final conference dual will be held at NIACC on Feb. 1.

Indian Hills will also travel to William Penn University for a non-conference dual on Jan. 27. The annual matchup with the Statesmen is part of the yearly CoEd Clash with both squad's women's programs as well.

New this year for the Indian Hills wrestling program will be a pair of home doubleheaders with the Warrior women. The women, who will now compete against ICCAC opponents beginning this year, will compete against NIACC on Tuesday and Iowa Central on Jan. 25.

The 2023 NJCAA North Central District Championship will be held on Feb. 12 in Iowa Falls, hosted by Ellsworth Community College. This year's national championship will be held at the Mid-American Center in Council Bluffs Mar. 3-4.

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