LEWISBURG — Tri-County North’s wrestling program graduated a lot of talent from a season ago.
They lost two state qualifiers and three more district qualifiers – all to graduation – and will only return two wrestlers from last year’s team.
“It’s going to have an effect. That will give weight classes to younger guys and they’ll have to step up,” said head coach Brad Statzer. “We’ll see where to go from there. We have youth that will get experience and improve throughout the year.”
To add to the uphill battle, that ‘youth’ Statzer was referring two are nine freshmen, that will fill out a large portion of the roster.
But even though the talent is young and untested, the sky is the limit for North, says Statzer.
“We have unknown freshmen. They could come in and be one of those freshmen that do really, really well. So they’ll set the goal and we’ll make them achieve it,” he said.
The Panthers return Matthew Duncan, who will be wrestling 145, and senior Joe Morrow, who will compete in the 182-weight class. It’s a big leap for Morrow though, who competed at 138 last season.
Other upperclassmen on the roster include juniors Trenton Singleton (170), Robert Martin (170) and Tyler Gray (182).
Rounding out the roster are freshmen Hunter Heck (106), Chayse Eby (120), Blake Noble (138), Cole Croucher (152), Dylan Curtain (152), CJ McKellar (152), Clayton Finney (170), Zane Krull (170), Brandon Jewett (220) and Wyatt Hutchins (220).
The Panthers open up their season at the Brookville Dual meet at Brookville High School on Saturday, Dec. 5.