By Kary Booher (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
To listen to Ozark Excessive Faculty wrestling coach Tod Sundlie inform it, final season could not have been memorable – and he definitely doesn’t need his wrestlers pondering an excessive amount of about it – nevertheless it definitely ought to function motivation.
“Whereas we had some aggressive showings at some robust tournaments final yr, we merely had too many holes and weaknesses,” Sundlie stated. “We’ve got labored to deal with these within the offseason each for this yr and the long run. We’re wanting ahead to competing as a workforce this yr.”
Ozark has lengthy had one of many Springfield-area’s extra aggressive applications, and Sundlie is optimistic about this yr’s workforce persevering with the custom.
The roster ought to embody 25 wrestlers, together with six returning starters. 5 of them certified for the state event final yr, with 132-pound sophomore Braxton Strick one of many space’s most intriguing wrestlers.
Strick positioned third in Class 4 final February within the 126-pound weight class. He was 48-7, and likewise may wrestle at 138 this yr.
“Braxton earns the whole lot he will get, as he works onerous, likes to wrestle, and likes to compete,” Sundlie stated. “He’s lucky to be surrounded by different proficient wrestlers in our room like returning state qualifiers Elijah Maskrod, Lucas Campbell, and Clayton Moison.”
Different returning state qualifiers are senior Maskrod (132 or 138), sophomore Campbell (145), senior Moison (152) in addition to heavyweight Hunter Tennison.
Campbell spent most of final yr on junior varsity however stepped in for an injured teammate. He completed 33-16 as a freshman.
“Which actually verified his work ethic and enchancment all season, in addition to the depth of our workforce in that exact space,” Sundlie stated.
Maskrod is a two-time state qualifier and was 32-17 final season.
“He’s very coachable, an amazing teammate, and has very excessive expectations,” Sundlie stated. “We’re excited to look at him this yr.”
Moison is a three-time state qualifier who completed 36-17 final season.
“He’s additionally seeking to develop from these experiences at state and develop the consistency he must win matches at that stage,” Sundlie stated. “Clayton has grown tremendously within the low season, and may count on to complete his highschool wrestling profession robust this yr.”
Tennison was 35-11 final yr.
“Hunter had an amazing yr final yr, and is happy to make just a few changes this yr to complete even stronger,” Sundlie stated.
The remainder of the projected lineup may see freshmen Daniel Laney and Jovanni Balsamo at 113, senior Jordan Hurst at 120, sophomore Levi Maskrod or junior Dylan Billingsley (126), sophomore Brock Sundlie within the combine at 145, senior Riley Newsom (160), freshman Johnny Williams (170), seniors Harper Kissee and Thomas Dashing at 182, junior Braegan Patman at 195, and sophomore Sean Collins and junior Luke Hulse at 220. The 106-pound weight class is open.
Patman was 25-27 a yr in the past.
“He put collectively a stable season final yr, and actually got here on robust on the finish of the yr,” Sundlie stated. “We count on him to construct off that confidence and have a enjoyable yr this yr.”
Newsom and Kissee ought to present management, and Hurst and Dashing are also being counted on to contribute. Billingsley and Moeller spent loads of time over the summer season on the mat. And don’t be shocked if Levi Maskrod and Brock Sundlie break by way of, as they spent a while on varsity final yr.
“Our workforce depth on this space may lead to some excellent wrestlers having a tough time getting on the varsity mat, in addition to create a really aggressive apply room,” Sundlie stated.
He later added, “We might want to enhance our maturity and consistency in several areas, and to do this our wrestlers should present their dedication to one another and our objectives.”