HUBER HEIGHTS — Last season Wayne had less than a dozen varsity wrestlers to work with and at times fewer than that at certain matches. As a result, the Warriors had to forfeit in multiple weight classes and lost matches they should have won.
This year the outlook is much better. Wayne has 25 wrestlers out for this year’s team and depending on their weight; the Warriors might have a competitor available in every weight class.
Returning wrestlers include senior Cole Clyne who could wrestle in the 126, 132 or 138 pound weight classes this season. Jordan Hardrick (31-6 record last year), a junior, and sophomores Zarik Brown (21-11 last year) and Tyler Wilcox (26-6 last year) are back. Jonathan Hoover, who went 14-12 last season with 10 pins, will probably compete at 145 pounds again this year or possibly at 152.
“We have a good solid core and then we have some really good additions to the team like Jacob Padilla and a state qualifier from Alaska – Gary Emerson along with Jayden Hardrick, who is quite a wrestler, and Mason Lawson who should be a nice addition too,” said Wayne Coach Randy Bitsko. “We’ve got a lot of talent on the team and this season should be very exciting for our program and our movement towards success.”
With some experienced wrestlers back and promising new faces, Bitsko is optimistic about his team’s potential.
“It’s the beginning of the turn,” Bitsko commented. “I told you last year that we weren’t going to be close to the same team at the end of the season as we were in the beginning, and we made a lot of progress. This year is the turning year. We have 25 kids this year, and not just 25 kids, but quality wrestlers. We are young. We only have three seniors out of 25, so we are getting back to the program that we need to be in order to be successful in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.”
Bitsko acknowledged that his team has its work cut out for it before it can compete at the top level, but he feels that by the end of the season his team could finish among the top five teams.
Wayne opens the season this Friday and Saturday when the Warriors will compete in the Edgewood Invitational. The tournament’s opening rounds start at 5 p.m. Friday, December 9 and resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 10. On Thursday, December 15 Wayne will compete in the Eaton Super Dual against Eaton and Piqua starting at 5 p.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind