Pharos-Tribune

Local Sports

January 30, 2013

Pioneer’s Izaak Johnson is aiming for state finals berth

It’s been quite a postseason thus far for Pioneer senior wrestler Izaak Johnson, and he hopes it has just begun.

Johnson was able to repeat as the 106-pound champion of the Midwest Conference and the Twin Lakes Sectional the last two weekends.

Next up is Saturday’s Logansport Regional, where he needs a top four finish to qualify for the Merrillville Semistate.

Johnson’s ultimate goal is to reach the state finals for the first time in his career. First-year Pioneer coach Dan Harder is looking for just that to happen.

“Like I keep telling him, he’s taking me to state, I’m not taking him,” Harder said.

Johnson won the sectional title last year but did not compete at the regional due to having a rash known as mat burn.

This season Johnson has been wrestling better than ever and was named the MWC Wrestler of the Year.

“I was surprised to get voted on by the coaches for that,” Johnson said.

While Johnson has flourished individually, as a team the Panthers have struggled. They did have one other wrestler advance to the regional in senior Jakob Mersch at 138 pounds.

“We have low numbers, a lot of injuries throughout the season,” Johnson said.

Said Harder: “We’re rebuilding the program, kind of starting from the ground up. We’re trying to get an elementary program together and go from there.”

Johnson enters the regional with a 40-3 record on the season. All three of his losses have come at the 113-pound weight class, as he’s undefeated on the year when wrestling at 106.

“He’s been really good at making weight this year. It is a challenge for him, but he’s made it almost every time,” Harder said. “The only problem he had with it was after Christmas break. That’s the only complaint I have is him getting on weight.”

The following is a question-and-answer session with Johnson.

Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?

A. Wrestling, because it is the most physically demanding sport and its all individual, so if you lose you can’t blame it on someone else.

Q. How did you first get started in sports? At what age?

A. I got started with baseball when I was age 6.

Q. Do you have any family members who played sports?

A. My uncle [Blake Wireman] was a wrestler in  the 103-pound weight class.

Q. Have you ever played a sport that you were not successful at?

A. I wasn’t too successful at basketball due to my height.

Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?

A. I feel I’m a better athlete and person by being in extra curricular activities when I could have been doing worse things.

Q. Who do you consider your biggest role model? Why?

A. My biggest role model would be my dad [Michael], because of all the time and effort he has put into my sports.

Q. What experiences have you had in sports have made you the athlete you are today?

A. Winning conference and sectionals my junior year really put in perspective what I was capable of if I worked hard.

Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?

A. I love to work on cars and engines.

Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?

A. Warming up with the team junior year at sectionals just goofing off.

Q. What’s your favorite music, movie, TV show, etc.?

A. Band: Theory of a Deadman. Movie: 21 Jump Street. TV show: Brickleberry. Book: None. Sports team: New Orleans Saints.

Q. Who is the best athlete in your respective sport you’ve ever gone up against?

A. Paul Petrov from Hanover Central my freshman year.

Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?

A. Go to college for something automotive related.

Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • SPL - PT082014 - Cass football Lewis Cass football looks to field another strong team Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.There wil

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - PT081914 - Pioneer football Pioneer football looks to build off last season's success Pioneer’s football team enjoyed yet another double-digit win season and won its first sectional title in five years last season.But it was also a year a youthful Panthers squad saw its 47-game Midwest Conference winning streak end. The Panthers also

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, Aug. 19 North Miami beat Lewis Cass by a score of 219-226 in a girls golf match Monday at Logan Golf Club.

    August 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT081814 - Caston football Caston football looking to get back to winning ways After a run of eight-win seasons in three of the previous four years, Caston’s football team took a step back a year ago when Comets posted an up and down campaign and a 3-8 record.Veteran Caston coach Chris Ulerick was more succinct when talking abo

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Monday, Aug. 18 Dykeman Park G.C. player Noah Lange helped the Kokomo Region PGA Junior All-Stars score a convincing victory over Muncie in a state quarterfinal match Saturday at Rock Hollow G.C. Kokomo recorded 10 1/2 flags while Muncie managed just 1 1/2.

    August 18, 2014

  • DUAL THREAT Winamac football aiming for another big season

    The Winamac football team enjoyed one of its finest seasons in school history a year ago.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs, Aug. 17

    KOKOMO — Logansport’s girls golf team shot a 397 to finish 16th out of 20 teams at the Chippendale Invitational on Saturday at Chippendale Golf Club. Western hosted the event. Hamilton Southeastern won with a 304.

    August 17, 2014

  • SPL - PT081514 - Volleyball preview Volleyball preview: Logan, Pioneer squads enter season with high hopes Dena Kuhn has a veteran group to work with in her first year at the helm of the Logansport volleyball team.Eight of the 10 players in the Berries’ main rotation are seniors.“We’ve got an outstanding varsity squad. They are really going to put it to o

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - PT081414 - boys cross country preview Boys XC runners ready for start of season Logansport’s boys cross country team graduated three of its top four runners from a year ago but does return Cass County Male Runner of the Year, Jacob Graf.Graf was an All-North Central Conference first-team member, led his team to a regional appear

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Thursday, Aug. 14 Sophomore Kristina Kniesly fired a 1-over par 37 on the front nine at Dykeman Park Golf Course on Wednesday to lead the Logansport girls golf team to a 177-224 win over Lewis Cass.

    August 14, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act'
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.