Camdenton Lakers, Eldon Mustangs, Osage Indians and Versailles Tigers

CAMDENTON LAKERS

From Head Coach Grant Leighty:

Class/District: Class 3, District 3

2017 Record or Finish: Senior Zion Vasquez qualified for state

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Zion Vasquez

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Jacob Fuglsang, Ryan Rothove, Gabe Blain, Winton Neal, Blake Lapine, Jesus Ramirez.

Q: What are you looking forward to as you begin your first season as the head coach of the Camdenton wrestling program?

A: I am looking forward to working with the other new coaches, and as a staff, to help the program to return to the level it was once at. All programs go through ebbs and flows, it is the nature of athletics. I believe that if we do the little things right, we will begin an upward swing. Our numbers have increased significantly and that is a great start.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our increased numbers this year tell me the future is looking brighter. When you include the increased participation with the core group of seniors (and a few underclassmen) that lead by example, good things will happen. That core group has worked very hard during the offseason and it is starting to show. When you include these factors with the coaching staff the administration has helped to assemble, it is very exciting.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Level of commitment, consistency and match management. We as a staff are trying to help the wrestlers understand these facets of wrestling and what it can do for a wrestler.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say are the keys to success for this year?

A: Learning how to drill technique properly, dream big and developing an attitude of “Finishing Strong.” If we do the little things right, the big things will take care of themselves. Learning how to not only make ourselves better, but the wrestler across from you is a big part of success in wrestling. Believing in yourself is another. You will never reach high expectations by setting your goals low. Being willing to go the extra mile is one of the biggest. If you are willing to go a little harder, last a little longer, give a little bit more than your opponent, good things will happen.

“Finishing Strong” is our motto, but it is more than that to us. It is a way of life for us. It is something we hope the athlete will take away from their time in the program and take into the other aspects of their life. We believe it will help these athletes be successful in whatever they do.

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Ryan Bird:

Class/District: Class 2, District 3

2017 Record or Finish: (3-2 Tri-County, 12-12 overall)

2nd Place at St. Clair Classic and Thundering Herd Invitational, 11th at state (highest finish in school history)

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Trenton Kidwell (6th at state), Bobby Harkness (2-time state qualifier) and Edward Wester

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Shane Strickland, Isaiah Simmons (District Runner-Up, 2-time state qualifier, 41-11), Zach VanHooser, Hunter Waller, Xander Strickland, Brent Mullet, Trenton Dillon (District Champ 1st in school history, State Runner-Up 1st state medalist and finalist in school history, 54-2 set school records for wins in a season and career wins), Dawson Brandt (5th at state, Academic All-State 1st in school history, 47-13), John Schoenfeld, Scotty Johnson)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a new season?

A: We have to continue to improve. Last year, we made some really big jumps in our development as wrestlers and as a program. We’ve brought in a couple more assistant coaches, guys that I’ve known for 15 years or more. We have a really good shot at bringing home multiple medals from the state tournament, which is always a goal. I’d like to see the wrestlers and coaches, myself included, all take the next step in development as people and improve in the classroom, mat and life in general. We have the opportunity to improve in every aspect of wrestling and that is exactly what we will train for.

I’m looking forward to the new coaching staff coming together and raising the level of Mustang wrestling. What we accomplished last year can be a great catalyst for this year. It is always exciting to see the wrestling growth of athletes in year two of a new program, but I really enjoy seeing the growth of these young men as people. That’s why we do what we do, to create champions in life and on the mat.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: A big strength of this team is the top-end talent. I don’t believe there is a team in Class 2 with a better 160-170 or 160-182 combo in the state than Trenton Dillon and Dawson Brandt. Those guys flat out get after it. It’s also nice to have some really good wrestling down low in Isaiah Simmons. His season ended one match shorter than he was planning on last year and he’s had a great first few weeks of practice. We also have some guys back this year that didn’t come out last year and a couple of new wrestlers giving it a try. It’s going to be a fun year.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: As the season goes on, I expect our physicality to increase. I’d also like to see our wrestling IQ improve. As always, I want to see us improve in every aspect while training for districts and state. Taking a loss is not always a bad thing, as long as you can learn from it and improve the next time you step on the mat.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say are the keys to success for this year?

A: Just like last year, our key to success is going to be outworking everyone. We’ve also changed our tournament schedule, a lot, in order to see most of the top teams in the state and to see more Class 3 and 4 teams. I’m a firm believer in wrestling a harder schedule so you are prepared for anything come districts and state.

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach Randy Satterlee:

Class/District: Class 2, District 3

2017 Record or Finish: 13-8 overall and sent three wrestlers to state in Hayden Carlson (4-time state qualifier), Austin Magnuson (5th at state) and Ian Schaumburg (3rd at state)

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Ian Schaumburg and Hayden Carlson

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Austin Magnuson (5th at state)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a new season?

A: We are very optimistic about the 2017-18 season. We will have some great senior leadership in Austin Magnuson, Steven Crosby, Dillon VanNevel and Bob Baker. 

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our team has a good work ethic and I really feel like we are well ahead of where we were last year. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Our team will need to focus on the long haul. Our season is a marathon, not a sprint. We will have to stay clear of injuries and keep everyone healthy.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say are the keys to success for this year?

A: Our keys to success will be to keep our lineup filled and to keep the enthusiasm that we have currently going strong for the entire season. 

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Shawn Brantley:

Class/District: Class 1, District 2

2017 Record or Finish: 17-3 dual record. 5-0 in Tri-County Conference (Conference Champions). Ray Stockdale Invitational Champions, 3rd place in Class 1 District 2 tournament, 14th place at state tournament.

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Willie Schotte (4-time state qualifier and 3-time medalist), Konner Shewmaker (4-time state qualifier), Jacob Aeschbacher (2-time state qualifier), Jacob Vogt (state qualifier), Zach Reed (state qualifier), Ayden Easton (state qualifier), Sam Dornan & Brody McGowan all graduated. Clyde Hoxworth & Mason Bradley moved.

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Senior Kooper Wilson (3-time state qualifier, placed 6th in 2015 at 113 pounds), junior Michael Trotter (placed 5th in 2017 at 170 pounds), junior Clayton Coleman (state qualifier at 106 pounds in 2016).

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a new season?

A: Just to see how much this group can improve. There is a lot of talent, but not a lot of experience. We will be replacing 10 of 14 starters from last year’s team so we need some of the younger guys to step up.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: We have good numbers and a very hard-working group that wants to get better and continue the tradition that has been built the last four or five years.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Just being consistent in all aspects and approaching every practice and every match the same way, regardless of who the opponent is. The other thing will be to clean up some things technique-wise.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say are the keys to success for this year?

A: Our goals have been the same for the last four or five years: conference champs, districts champs and a state trophy. For those goals to be realized, the team will have to stay healthy and continue to improve as the season progresses.