Chad Red and Josh Holden preach preparation and confidence.
Even though wrestlers for the New Palestine and Greenfield-Central head coaches will take the mat this weekend in the biggest arena and in front of the largest crowd of their prep careers, there’s no reason to be nervous.
“I’m trying to keep the mood really light and energetic,” said Red, who will have four wrestlers competing Friday in the State Finals first round at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “It’s supposed to be fun. Yeah, it’s the state finals and there’s a lot of stake, but these kids have worked really hard to get there. And I keep telling them, ‘You’ve got to relax and know that everything you’ve done all year, it’s time to put it together for 24 minutes.’
“Four perfect matches. As I always tell our kids, ‘We can end a match at any time we want, it doesn’t have to go six minutes, we can always put them away earlier. I’m okay with that.’”
Red’s 120-pound wrestler and sophomore son, Chad (CJ) Red, knows of perfection. The younger Red went 48-0 last season to win the 106 state title. He’s ranked No. 1 in the state (and 20th in the nation) this season at 120, and CJ will put a 40-0 mark on the line Friday when he faces off against Yorktown’s Brad Laughlin (34-9).