The Delta wrestling team should still remain strong this season despite losing three previous state champions and another state placer. Although it may be tough for them to repeat as the state individual champions in Division III, they should be able to achieve many great things.
“After graduating a great senior class last year, we’ll be looking to younger boys and a few upperclassmen who got limited varsity experience last year to step up,” said head coach Anthony Carrizales.
The Panthers were also winners of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title last season.
Back for Delta are Cole Mattin who took fourth at state, Drew Mattin who was a state champion, Colin Hoffman (state qualifier), Dylan Rogers (state qualifier), CJ Leffler (district qualifier), Travis Barnes (district qualifier), Jake Wolford (district qualifier), Dawson Swicegood, Jarren Heinemann, Tristen Saeger, John Mlynarek, JD Osborn and Dalton Richard.
“Strong group of seniors setting a positive tone for the underclassmen,” said Carrizales, referring to his team’s strengths.
He also highlighted the fact that they have many state qualifiers, and most notably two-time state champion Drew Mattin returning. The senior has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Michigan upon graduation.
Promising newcomers for the Panthers are Robie Boulton, John Burling, Hayden Marquez and Trent Hyott.
Their returning letter winners and newcomers will look to fill the void left by five letter winners who graduated. Gone are Jake Spiess who was a three time state champion, Chance Veller who won state in 2015, Dustin Marteney who won state last season, Devon Richard (state placer) and Ross Rayfield (district qualifier). State champion Jesse Beverly is also not listed on the roster.
One weakness for the Panthers is that they will have multiple weight classes missing in duals and tournaments. They also only have one freshman which lowers their overall numbers, said Carrizales.
While the Panthers claimed the league wrestling title a year ago, they know they can expect a closer fight for the title this season.
“Wauseon is the most balanced solid team up and down their lineup,” said Carrizales. “Because we will have multiple void weights, it will be a tall order to beat them in a dual and defend the league tournament championship. As usual, our league has many outstanding individual wrestlers who will be state qualifiers and placers come the end of the season. Winning an individual league title will continue to be a major accomplishment.”
Delta begins the season by hosting the Stultz Memorial this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010