2020 Lake area wrestling preview

MICHAEL LOSCH, Lake Sun Sports Editor
Osage junior Chase Cordia.

CAMDENTON LAKERS

From Head Coach Grant Leighty:

2019-20 Record/Finish: 16-7

Moved or graduated athletes: None

Top returners and any accolades: Grant Garrett (Ozark Conference and district champion, third at state), Dakota Davis (Ozark Conference champion, district runner-up and state qualifier), Taylor Mustain (Ozark Conference champion and district runner-up, sixth at state in 2019)

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

A: We gained a great deal of experience from the 19-20 season. We return 12 starters and 18 lettermen. We have a strong freshmen class coming in on both the boys and girls squads. The girls programs bring back two strong returning wrestlers.

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

A: Many of the wrestler gained a great deal of athletic maturity from this year’s football season. When you couple that with the season of experience they got from the 19-20 season, good thing should happen. We have a strong lineup and the competition for the starting spot at many weight classes and it should be a great combination.

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

A: Getting an earlier start on the season for may of our wrestler should be very helpful. We hope to get a strong start and just continue to build upon that each and every day.

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

A: If we can come into practice and work hard each and every day, work to improve on our basic fundamental skills and do the little things right, the big things will take care of themselves. We would like to improve on our dual record and continue to improve our tournament finishes. Those are just a couple of things that help make the season fun. We have improved the number of state qualifiers each year. We would like to continue that trend and improve the number of state placers. These are a couple of the reason we all put in the hours that we do.

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach Randy Satterlee:

2019-20 Record/Finish: 13-4, sixth in the state in Class 2

Moved or graduated athletes: Rudy Escobar, Eric Westbrook, Tristan Satterlee and Abby Cordia

Top returners and any accolades: Chase Cordia (state champion at 160), Ryan Schepers (fourth place at 132) and Jackson Creasy (third place at 195)

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

A: We are looking forward to a season full of opportunity. We have our three returning state placers, backed by solid returners throughout our weight brackets. I am excited about our prospects in our lower weights as we have several young kids coming in with good experience. Our girls team will miss last year’s senior Abbey Cordia, but we have two solid returners in Cammy Walters and Kamill Burch and also a host of eager freshmen.

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

A: I would say the best strength for the Indians program so far is the attitude and work ethic I am seeing in our practices.

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

A: Our main focus in these uncertain times is to keep our kid focusing on wrestling, and taking the season one day at a time.

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

A: We would like to better our performance from last year, keep our kids healthy and have a positive experience for all of our wrestlers this year.

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Ryan Bird: 

2019-20 Record/Finish: T-22nd at the state tournament

Moved or graduated athletes: Graduated state champion Kaden Dillon and 3-year starter Jonathon Schoenfeld

Top returners and any accolades: Olivia Chapman (sixth place as a freshman last season), Annie Dillon, Sam Coppock, Aidan Gerber, Killian Wilson and Ian Birdno

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

A: We are a pretty young squad. We have a lot of freshmen that are going to be leaned on to step up and do a lot for us. I'm excited for the work to get put in and to see the growth from these guys. Last year we had several first-year wrestlers on varsity. Year two is going to be fun to see the growth they make and see how they compete, with another year under their belt.

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

A: To this point, we have a bunch of wrestlers that really enjoy the process. They enjoy practices, to a point. They get along well. They work hard.

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

A: I'm hoping we find the mental toughness to grind out those 1-point wins and to respond, in a positive way, when things don't go their way.

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

A: Just like every year, we want to become better students, athletes, sons and daughters. Improve every day at something.

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Shawn Brantley:

2019-20 Record/Finish: Boys: 10-2 dual record, 5-1 in Tri-County Conference and Class 1 District 2 team champions. Girls: Dual record of 1-4

Moved or graduated athletes: Boys: Riley Rademann (2-time state medalist), Payton LaFoy (2-time state qualifier), Gage Tessier (state qualifier), Brycen Reynolds and Bobby Silvey (state qualifier)

Girls: Alana May (2nd place at state in 2019, state qualifier in 2020), Bethany Howard (state qualifier in 2020) and Ellie Dunnaway

Top returners and any accolades: Boys: Sr. Zach Radefeld (2-time state qualifier), sr. Mason Hibdon (state qualifier), jr. Kannen Wilson (state qualifier and 1st Team All-Conference) and jr. Connor Lehman (state qualifier)

Girls: Sarah Huffman

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

A: Boys: The main thing is just getting the opportunity to have a season. COVID has wreaked havoc on the sports world, so we are very grateful just to be back on the mat. This team has a lot of potential and I am excited to see how everything comes together. If everyone can jump to that next level, whether it is a qualifier from last year getting a medal or some of the younger kids going from JV to varsity and being a contributor, we can be really good.

Girls: Just to see how much they can continue to improve.

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

A: Boys: Depth. This is the biggest team we have had in my tenure as the head coach Girls: I think the main strength is the willingness of the girls to learn. They are all very new to the sport and are really soaking up everything.

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

A: There isn’t any one thing that I can point at right now that needs to be improved, 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.

Girls: Kind of the same as the boys. There isn’t any one thing that I can point at right now that needs to be improved. 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 the keys to success are for this year?

A: Boys: Our goals have been the same for the last six or seven years- conference champs, districts champs and a state trophy. Obviously, the ongoing COVID pandemic could have a huge impact on things, but that is really out of our hands for the most part. We just need to continue to get better every day and be prepared for every opportunity we get to step on the mat.

Girls: Our goals are also the key to our success, and that is simply get better every day.

Camdenton senior Grant Garrett.