Wrestling Previews

Doug Curnes returns as Troy wrestling coach.

The Trojans wrestling has grown in a big way this season.

“We have over 30 this year with a large freshman class of 18 that we are looking to develop,” Curnes said. “It is the most competitive wrestling room in years. “

The top returner is Nathan Brewster (144), who was a couple matches from state last season.

“We have really good lightweights this season to start things off and solid upperclassmen at the uppers to close things out,” Curnes said. “There are extremely hard-working, blue collar mentalities in the wrestling room, weight room and classroom.”

PIQUA

Hunter Bryant returns as Indians coach.

Returning letterwinners include Averi Wiley, Dylan Johnston, Brady Mikolajewski, Max Kaye, Gavin Nelson, Jackson Lambert, Landen Martin and Parker James.

Leading the way are Wiley, a returning girls state placer who is ranked fourth in the state and Kaye, a returning district qualifier who is ranked 25th in Division I.

“We have had many new faces come up from the junior high program, and even more new wrestlers show interest and begin wrestling this summer, Bryant said. “So I struggle to pick one or two kids as the top out of this large group of in coming wrestlers to the high school level.

“We have a large group of returners that know what the expectation is in this room every day and they set the tone that these new wrestlers have to keep up with. They all have been working hard and showing commitment to the team and pushing themselves to be the best they can.”

Bryant hopes to battle for a conference title.

“As any coach will say, we are aiming to win the MVL title, but i do strongly believe that we are a top 3 team in our league,” Bryant said. “ The MVL has many teams that have big numbers and are very well coached, but when I look at the hard work and commitment our wrestlers have shown this off season, I am not counting any of our wrestlers out of any match. The conference tournament placing will ultimately come down to some of our younger wrestlers stepping up in the placement matches which I am confident they will.”

Bryaant hopes for a solid season.

“As for the season as a whole, the state tournament in Columbus is our ultimate goal,” he said. “Every wrestler on this team is striving to wrestle at the Schottenstein Center in March, and make the podium. They have been putting in the work so now they just have to transition it all to competing in front of a ref. We are excited to get the season rolling.”

COVINGTON

Eric Vanderhorst returns as Covington wrestling coach.

The Buccs were 189-20 last year and won the Bellefontaine Invitational, Troy Invitational and TRC tournament.

Covington will be led by seniors Brian Morrison, Aaron Jackson, Tyler Bayse and Lane Jay and juniors Luke Brown Michael Hagen, Jericho Quinter, Carson Taylor, Chase Vanderhorst and honorary member Kamden Hughes.

Hagen is already a two-time state placer and Quinter and Vanderhorst are returning state placers.

Taylor is a returning state qualifier.

The sophomore class includes Jack Blumenstrock, Colt Basye, Ashtin Gardner, A.J. Garman, Aveyen Meek, Izaiah Sherman, Kaden Thompson and Zeb Woodward Roeth.

The freshman include Andrew Basye, Aubrey Bishop, Elijah Carnes, Christian Clark, Aiden Collins, Carter Dupuis, Mason Epperson, Zane Lemp, A.J. Reyes and Caleb Ryman.

MIAMI EAST

Rich Randall takes over as Miami East wrestling coach.

The Vikings are coming off another successful season, finishing third at sectionals, fourth at district and fifth at state a year ago.

Cooper Shore returns for the Vikings after finishing third at state a year ago and second the year before, He is also a Ohio national team qualifier.

Layton Hughes is a returning state qualifier and Drake Bennett and Hunter Randall are two-time district qualifiers and Ohio national team qualifier.

Daniel Martin and Dusty winner are two time district qualifiers and Aaron Mills is a returning district qualifier.

Also returning is Christopher Smith.

Leading the newcomers will be Gabe Cole, a Greco state champ who qualified for the Ohio Schoolboy national team last spring.

Randall expects the conference to be competitive.

“The TRC conference will have some great individuals,” he said. “We are looking for great things from our wrestlers. Our schedule is challenging, as it has been in the past, in preparing to get as many on the podium postseason as possible.“