Last night was our first practice and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by the turnout. Yes, our numbers are up and we do have a lot of quality kids, but there were a few missing for whatever reason and one of our regional qualifiers decided he would rather sit at home then wrestle this year. That was heartbreaking for me, especially since it was a kid who I had coached in middle school and had potential to be a really good wrestler. Another kid that has wrestled since 6th grade and should have been a horse for us this year didn’t come out because he wanted to get a job.
I was also disappointed by the off season participation. A few kids went to camps and were there for open mats, but not the kind of turnout you expect from a team that wants to be really good.
However with that said I am encouraged. We picked up two quality kids this year. One is a big strong heavyweight that I think will turn out to be an all-state wrestler if he sticks with it until he is a senior. The other is a transfer from Adrian who was all-county last year and could be even better this year. We really have a lot of depth this year–going almost two deep at every weight class which is ideal!
But again, with my optimism comes pessimism. Our returning state placer has a torn ACL and is limited in what he can do. We also had some good numbers last year and by the end of the year we were struggling to fill all the weight classes. But if everyone stays out and stays healthy it should be a great year!