As was the case with most wrestling teams, the 2020-2021 season didn’t offer a lot of opportunities to compete in dual meets, but the Wright City Wildcats boys and girls wrestling teams hope to …
As was the case with most wrestling teams, the 2020-2021 season didn’t offer a lot of opportunities to compete in dual meets, but the Wright City Wildcats boys and girls wrestling teams hope to compete and improve with more opportunities this winter.
With both girls and boys returning, coach Fred Ross believes there can be improvement across the board as the season progresses. Among the returners on the girls side are sophomore Elizabeth Riggs and 2020-2021 state qualifier junior Samantha Byerley.
“For Elizabeth, the goal is just to improve. She was one match away from going to state last year,” said Ross. “She really has some talent and just has to get it all tied together. She’s already off to a 3-2 start this season and took third in the Wright City Tournament.”
Byerley, meanwhile, is also hoping to take the next step.
“She won her first match at state last year,” noted Ross. “This year, she went 3-0 in winning the Wright City Tournament.”
With 10 girls coming out for the team this year, Ross believes some good recruiting has the girls in a position for a good season.
“The girls I have are really good. We had four of our five freshmen that wrestled in our tournament win a match,” he said. “We always preach that as a team we want to show improvement. With two girls having experience we want to improve and show a hard work ethic — then good things will happen.”
On the boys side, there are five competitors returning this season including junior Kyle Hornecker (220 pound weight class), senior Daniel McGowen (145), junior Joe Rice (120 or 125), junior David Riggs (130 or 135), and senior Riley Shive (heavyweight).
“We have some younger kids out, 16 boys and 10 girls, the biggest ever team at Wright City,” Ross told The Record. “We’re excited to have them competing in the wrestling room, and we will have challenges (to earn starting spots), and that’s really going to help us out a lot.”
Ross expects his returners on the boys side to all have strong seasons.
“Joe didn’t compete last year after qualifying for state two years ago, but Riley and David were each one match away from state last season,” he said. “Our big goal is to try to get those three to state this year. We hope the others will get some experience and follow their lead.”
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