(KMAland) — With winter sports season upon us, we continue our look at conferences and sport in the region with another winter sports preview.
PREVIOUS WINTER SPORTS PREVIEWS
11/8: Bluegrass Conference Girls Basketball
2022-23 CORNER, ROLLING VALLEY & BLUEGRASS CONFERENCE WRESTLING PREVIEW
Last year, previewing the three conferences listed above, I did all of them together. It worked so well that I decided to do it again.
The CAM wrestling program is back. The Cougars are now on their own for the first time in over 15 years after the Atlantic School Board decided to end the Atlantic-CAM partnership. I checked and double checked every name on the Atlantic CAM list last year and I came out with three who will probably wear the CAM singlet this year.
The group is led by state qualifier Brian South (35-20), who became section champion during his junior season a year ago. Juniors Tristan Becker (12-8) and Owen Hoover (30-26) were also CAM students on the Atlantic CAM roster last year.
Coon Rapids Bayard Crusaders
The Crusaders could have four returning wrestlers from last year’s roster, with just two of those competing at last year’s Sectional Meeting. Sophomores Jacob Meshek (5-19) and Tyler Mohr (6-10) wrestled 195 and 220, respectively, or two weights at which newcomers don’t necessarily have the easiest time.
East Mills Wolverines
Headlining the East Mills lineup is senior Ryan Stortenbecker (35-9), who at 145 pounds was section champion and state qualifier, even winning a match at the state meeting. He was the only wrestler from East Mills to progress beyond sections, but there’s some experience here. Seniors Andrew Laramy (12-26 at 132 lbs) and Brodyn Wray (25-19 at 160 lbs) also wrestled in last year’s sectional tournament. Junior Jack Gordon (160lbs) and Senior Thoren Wade (138lbs) are two others who spent some time in the Wolverines lineup last year.
Cale Swain led last year’s Griswold team, finishing with a 13-13 record and finishing third in the section tournament while wrestling at 170 pounds. Juniors Isaiah Valdivia (4-11 at 182) and Tony Bennett (1-8 at 152) also return to the Tigers after wrestling at last year’s section tournament. Sophomore Wyatt Peterson (4-15 at 182), junior MacKade Schroder (113) and senior Alex Rush (220) are also potential returnees this year.
This is a very deep and talented list for the only wrestling school in the Bluegrass Conference. Five of their six district qualifiers are back, including junior Aiden Golston, who qualified 41-8 for the state meeting. The other district qualifiers are seniors Keeton Ellison (21 wins at 138) and Connor Golston (36-8 at 160), junior Matthew McDanel (17 wins at 220), and sophomore Aiden Kelley (24 wins at 132).
Other important returnees:
•Logan Berends, SO (5 wins out of 132)
•Trenton Clayworth, SR (10 wins out of 145)
• Wyatt Hayes, JR (7 wins out of 126)
•Noah Kok, SR (17 wins out of 152)
• Lane Kool, JR (23 wins out of 152)
•Cameron Nicoletto, JR (13 wins out of 182)
•Peyton Robinson, SR (15 wins out of 285)
•Justin Sams, SO (5 wins out of 195)
•Calvin Walton, JR (17 wins of 126)
Southwest Iowa warrior
Junior and state qualifier Seth Ettleman tops a deep list in Southwest Iowa. Ettleman had 39 wins and qualified for the state meeting at 113 pounds. Senior Samuel Daly was the only other SWI wrestler to qualify for the district tournament, finishing with a 23–14 record at 220. Other seniors Kurt Speed (15 wins at 152), Hadley Reilly (22 wins at 160) and Brandon Orozco (12 wins at 285) are joined by junior Gabe Johnson (32 wins at 120) and sophomore Andreas Buttry (24th). wins at 106) joined a group that had individual wins last year.
Other important returnees:
•Philip Gardner, JR (10 wins out of 138)
•Cooper Marvel, JR (11 wins out of 285)
•Christian Mayer, JR (10 wins out of 182)
•Cade Smith, SO (11 wins out of 126)
West Harrison Hawkeyes
Many of the West Harrison wrestlers who competed last year did so at the junior varsity level. They did not send any wrestlers to the section tournament in 2021-22. Junior James Kraft and sophomore Landon Carritt appear to be the most experienced wrestlers for West Harrison, who wrestled 113 and 195 respectively last year.
Woodbine brings back three wrestlers who competed in last year’s section tournament. Senior Colton Walsh (12 wins in 160), junior Thomas Tremel (8 wins in 145) and student Tony Kuker (4 wins in 170) all wrestled in the sectional tournament last season. Junior Garrett Kelley and sophomore Matthew Matusik also saw some time in the lineup for the Tigers last year.
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