Franklin County wrestling preview
Coach: Tony Yaniello, sixth year, 71-27 (.724).
Last year: 13-6 (4-2 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Starters lost: Derek Watson, Brennen O'Brien (transferred to Chambersburg), Steve Manders, Justin Forrester.
Returning starters: Chandler Olson (jr., 126, 34-4, Section I and District 3-AAA champion, placed 6th in the PIAA tournament); Cameron Tinner (jr., 220, 20-13, 4th in section); Nick Kubala (jr., 285, 15-13); Ethan Davidson (jr., 285, 14-13); Levi Shoemaker (jr., 170, 11-12); Trent Mills (jr., 145, 6-9); Mason Harris (jr., 132, 2-11); Casey Gigous (jr., 145, 1-9); Eddie Ocker (so., 152, 3-7); Sterling Shetter (so., 160, 5-15).
Other top wrestlers: Cole Forrester (so., 195, 16-7, transferred from Trinity); Colin Dolbin (jr., 182); Colten Renshaw (fr., 106); Cole Cornman (fr., 113); Ian Reed (so., 138); Austin Neil (so., 145); Jae-Lin Carmack (so., 126); Phillip Torres (so., 145); John Adams (jr., 120); Aaron Haubert (sr., 152); Daryl Hockenberry (sr., 160), Dylan Rotz (sr., 182).
Outlook: Yaniello said, "We have another young, but experienced team led by a talented junior class. We upgraded our schedule so it now includes four individual tournaments (Cumberland Valley, Carlisle, Trojan Wars, West Branch), and they'll be a number of state-ranked teams and individual in them. Between those events and duals against teams like Big Spring and Boiling Springs, we'll have a very competitive schedule."
Notes: Olson has already placed twice at states in his first two years ... Tinner is the only other Greyhound to reach the postseason last year ... Ship's assistants are Joey Finkey and Taryn Hockenberry ... Dolbin wrestled for the Hounds as a freshman, but not last year.
Season opener: Today, at the Cumberland Valley Tournament, 9 a.m.
James Buchanan Rockets
Coach: Matt Gordon, 10th year, 71-146 (.327)
Last year: 6-10 (2-4 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Starters lost: Casey Glunt (P.O. Wrestler of the Year), Jay Lederman, Elise Eidskrem, Cameron Delucia, Kaiden Stinson, Jacob Mowen, Connor Wilson, Zane Bray.
Returning starters: Kyle Lee (sr., 132, 25-9, third in section, P.O. First Team), Seth Carbaugh (sr., 195, 18-10, P.O. Second Team), Cole Egolf (so., 220, 5-16), Aaron Frick (so., 112, 1-11).
Other top wrestlers: Derrick Pine (fr., 106), Devin Harbaugh (sr., 120), Kyler Atherton (fr., 152); Canden Krenzler (so., 285).
Outlook: With only 8 wrestlers, the Rockets will be hard-pressed to do much in dual meets. Gordon said, "We'll just wrestle as hard as we can with what we have. We'll have to prepare for the postseason ... that's all we can do. Well before the season started, I honestly thought we'd have a full lineup. But we had four kids that didn't return, one kid broke his leg in football, and another quit this week. I thought we could be pretty decent, but this is what we ended up with. Kyle Lee, though, is a beast. He's lifting 30-40 pounds more this year and didn't gain any weight."
Notes: Cameron Delucia, 28-7 and fifth in districts a year ago as a freshman, is now wrestling for Urbana, Md. ... The Rockets had only 3 wrestlers on their middle school team last year; this year they have 13 ... Of the eight on the roster, two are freshmen and one hasn't wrestled in at least 3 years.
Season opener: Wednesday, at Big Spring, 7.
Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils
Coach: Rich Binkley, third year, 8-24 (.250).
Last year: 6-15 (0-6 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Starters lost: Jared Starliper (P.O. First Team), Wyatt Binkley, Stefaun Johnson, Brady Klein, Nick Silva, Garrett Langston.
Returning starters: Thomas Richmond (jr., 126, 20-14, P.O. Honorable Mention); Bryan Eckenrode (sr., 106-113, 17-16); Bryce Eckenrode (sr., 106-113, 14-15); Kyle Hengst (sr., 160, 6-21); Nick Wolf (jr., 220, 3-23).
Other top wrestlers: Demetrius Burton (so., 170); Tyler Trail (so., 120); Dylan Neikirk (so., 126-132); Noah Ezolt (so., 145); Dylan Holdsworth (so., 182); Kolton Oberholzer (sr., 195); Bryce Fisher (so., 285); Youssef Mohamed (so., 285).
Outlook: "We have 13 on the roster, and seven are sophomores," Binkley said. "Richmond had a good year last year. I think the Eckenrodes should do well this year. They both gained some weight so they'll be close to their wrestling weight. Last year Bryan was wrestling 113 and weighed 90 pounds, but he's put on 15 pounds. Both of them should have decent years. We think Burton will do well, too -- I think he had only two losses in middle school last year."
Notes: Binkley said the middle school has 20-21 wrestlers this year, which is up ... Last year, Greencastle lost its first 9 matches, but was 6-6 in its last 12 contests, with all six wins coming in dual meet tournaments ... The Blue Devils are in the Juniata and Annville-Cleona dual tourneys this winter ... G-A will also compete in Chambersburg's Trojan Wars.
Season opener: Thursday, at home vs. Waynesboro, 7.
Coach: Daniel Craig, first year.
Last year: 12-4 (5-1, co-champion Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Starters lost: Aaron Layman (P.O. First Team), Daniel Shields, Aaron Wertz.
Returning starters: Kody Brown (sr., 220, 22-14, third in section, P.O. Second Team); Cody Frey (sr., 145, 21-12, fourth in section, P.O. Second Team), Ryan Neff (sr., 16-11, third in section, P.O. HM); Elliott Swink (sr., 17-14, fourth in section, P.O. HM); Seth Egolf (jr., 195, 17-12, P.O. HM), Aiden Smith (sr., 182, 15-13, P.O. HM), Dalton Mowen (so., 138, 15-14, P.O. HM); Austin Wise (sr., 132, 20-8); Patrick Zimmerer (sr., 152, 10-14), Shawn Robinson (sr., 285, 14-15).
Other top wrestlers: Matt McCann (fr., 106), Laken Rouzer (fr., 113), Quinten Harris (sr., 160), Austin Kassman (sr., 160), Liz Trace (sr., 170), Raul Shatzer (fr., 170).
Outlook: Craig said, "We have a lot of experience and I think we should be pretty good this year. Neff, Wise, Frey and Brown have experience at districts and all of them should be pretty solid. Swink and Egolf are looking pretty good and so are the two freshmen (McCann and Rouzer, son of Indian assistant Mike Rouzer). Our lineup is pretty solid except for 160 and 170."
Notes: Craig replaces Eric Mowen, who was the Indians' coach for 9 years, compiling a record of 75-64 (.540) ... Craig, a native of Michigan who wrestled for Lock Haven U., has been a volunteer coach for Bald Eagle Area and Muncy, and at Waynesboro last year ... The Indians return an area-high 10 starters, and will have at least 9 senior starters.
Season opener: Thursday, at Greencastle-Antrim, 7.
Mercersburg Academy Blue Storm
Coach: Nate Jacklin, eighth year, 39-64 (.379).
Last year: 7-12 (1-3 Mid-Atlantic Prep League).
Starters lost: Alex Olajide, Cody Frost-Eisenburg.
Returning starters: Nick Furigay (sr., 160, P.O. Honorable Mention); Steve Min (jr., 126); Chris Fazekas (so., 132); Brian Nelson (sr., 138); Fernando Cervera (sr., 145); Carson White (sr., 152); Sam Ahern (jr., 195); Slater Laird (so., 220); Daniel Davis (jr., 285); Stefano Antoniazzi (sr., 285).
Other top wrestlers: Rafael Gotera (fr., 106); Joseph Yonke (fr., 113); Thomas Yonke (fr., 120); Gnim Dazim (sr., 170); Brendan Loveng (jr., 182); Christian Recker (jr., 182).
Outlook: "Nelson has four years of experience wrestling, and that's the most of anybody on the team," Jacklin said. "We have some seniors in the lineup who haven't wrestled much. But we shouldn't forfeit many weights and we can bump some guys around to make it work. We're very young and inexperienced, but we do have a lot of good athletes; it's just that wrestling isn't their No. 1 sport."
Notes: The Blue Storm, for the first time in a while, do not have any post-graduates on the roster ... Jacklin said there are 39 wrestlers in the practice room, which is the most for several years ... "I did a lot of in-house recruiting," he said.
Season opener: Saturday, at the Holloway Tournament at St. James, 9 a.m.