A vast roster plus the return of several district qualifiers should help the 2018-19 season be a successful one for Archbold wrestling.
“We expect to have a majority of our lineup represented at the district tournament and a few guys wrestling on Saturday in Columbus,” said head coach Brian Becher on the outlook of his team.
The Blue Streaks return 18 letter winners this season, led by Mason Babcock who was a state qualifier a season ago. Also back are Andrew Francis (district alternate), Shane Eicher (district qualifier), Juan Garcia (district qualifier), Dawson Liechty (district qualifier), Zach Rocha (state alternate), Zeke Miller, Logan Moore, Brennan Short (district qualifier), Josh Nofzinger, Johnathan Yoder, Kasyn Schaffner (district qualifier), Owen Roehrig, Carson Meyer (district qualifier), Caleb Ranzau, Brayden Hall, Gibson Burkholder (district qualifier) and Izzy Reyes.
“Having 9 returning district qualifiers gives us a lot of postseason experience to build upon,” explained Becher. “We have great numbers as we are starting the year off with 34 guys. Our stat girls are amazing, and we have Lars.”
Their biggest challenge will be replacing last year’s Division III state champion at 145 pounds, Gavin Grime. They also lose Colton Soles who was eighth at 152 pounds, and a pair of two-time district qualifiers in Trevor Short and Anthony Gonzalez. Nibel Welch-Rose departs as well for the Streaks.
“We have only one wrestler with state tournament experience. We do not have many guys with experience at either end of the lineup,” stated Becher.
The Northwest Ohio Athletic League should be competitive once again, says the Blue Streak coach.
“The NWOAL once again has a few good dual meet teams and some really good individuals on most of the teams,” he said. “Six of the nine teams in the NWOAL (Archbold, Delta, Liberty Center, Patrick Henry, Swanton and Wauseon) had at least one state placer in 2018 and I expect that trend to continue this year.”
Becher has Wauseon at the top over Delta, then his Streaks, Liberty Center, Patrick Henry, Swanton, Montpelier, Bryan and Evergreen.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010