There is a buzz around the Evergreen wrestling program with the return of many district qualifiers from last season plus an expanded coaching staff of seven.
“This season should be one of the more successful seasons in Evergreen’s recent history,” said third-year coach Dalton Nicely. “The season goal is to have seven district qualifiers, and at least two state qualifiers. We want to continue to develop and grow these students into young men who are building leadership skills, discipline and responsibility.
“Evergreen has also started a girls wrestling program. Interest has been outstanding, currently having anywhere from 5-8 girls going to open mats.”
The most notable returnee the Vikings have is junior Brodie Setmire who placed sixth in the Division III Rossford District at 113 pounds. They also return fellow district qualifiers and league placers in Grant Richardson and Rylan Fahrer, plus league placer Ayden Gleckler.
Other letter winners include Braden Studenka, Max Mossing, Trevor Johnson, Jack Stubleski, Jason Head and Adam Smith. A newcomer to the squad is Joey Okus. They will have to replace Austin Pennington at 145 pounds and Cody Sheller at heavyweight.
“Teams’ lineup will be full except for two to three weight classes. Kids are spaced out pretty good from 106 to heavyweight. Have a lot of potential to get wrestlers to the district tournament,” Nicely said on strengths of the 2022-23 team.
However, there is one aspect that concerns Nicely. “Numbers are lower than I would like to have,” the Viking coach said.
He aims for Evergreen to be much more competitive as it relates to the Northwest Ohio Athletic League race.
“Looking to having seven league placers, doing so would get us in the mix with the current power houses in our league of Wauseon, Delta, Archbold, and Liberty Center,” said Nicely on his hopes for the NWOAL. “Archbold who finished in third had seven league placers. LC who finished in fourth had eight league placers.”
Evergreen opens the season at the Jim Derr Memorial Invitational held at Northwood Dec. 2-3. Action begins Friday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.