Trojan Wrestlers Face-Off for Varsity Positions

The Atlantic-CAM wrestling team hosted a “Meet the Team Night” open to the public.

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Emma Templeton

TIGHT GRIP – Sophomore Joe Weaver grapples with junior Aybren Moore. Both Weaver and Moore are returning varsity members from the 2017-18 season.

Ashley Wendt, Lead Editor

A new season for wrestling means another round of wrestle-offs to determine the varsity squad. Held on Monday, Nov. 26 in the multi-purpose room, community members were welcome to attend and “meet the team.” Two mats were used for the dueling pairs and fans were able to line the outside of the room.

There are 21 boys making up the wrestling roster this year: seven seniors, two juniors, nine sophomores and three freshmen. The Atlantic-CAM Trojans return seven from the varsity lineup, including seniors Kenny Jimerson, Chase McLaren and Connor Pellett, juniors Aybren Moore and Cale Roller, and sophomores Steele McLaren and Joe Weaver.

Head coach Tim Duff is joined by assistant coaches Tucker Weber, Rex Mehrhoff, Mike Greving, Peter Smith Jimmie Swanson, Jordan Newberg, Chase Roller and Matt Williamson to help prepare the boys for all that the season entails.

Also helping out the team are managers McKenna Stuhr, Kayla Mauk, Myah Rubio, Aleigh Bean and Caroline Pellett.

Thirty-one matches were lined up for the evening and to kick it off, freshman pair of Garrett McLaren and Ethan Follman faced off, while sophomore Jaxson Bell and freshman Noah Hensley battled it out on the adjacent mat. The final two matches were between Pellett and sophomore Cuyler Flood-Wachsmuth and another duo of Noah Vandevanter and Cody West. In order to earn a varsity spot, the wrestlers must win two out of three matches. “We want to put a lineup out on the mat of 14 guys who will go out and battle for six hard minutes,” Duff said.

At the end of the night, nine varsity spots were confirmed: G. McLaren at 106, Weaver at 120, S. McLaren at 126, Bell at 132, C. McLaren at 138, freshman Kadin Stutzman at 145, Pellett at 160, sophomore Devin McKay at 195 and Roller at 220. With an opening at 285, only three match-ups were left undetermined and those pairs will wrestle within the next two days to finalize the varsity positions. Moore won the first match against Follman at 113, Fewson won match one against Johnson for 152, and Mullenix won once over Jimerson at 170. With no wrestlers in contention for the 182 spot, either Mullenix or Jimerson will assume that position after the second match to determine who will wrestle at 170.

According to Duff, challenge matches are held throughout the season for those who would like to move up into the varsity competition. “We encourage our kids to compete and try to earn a varsity spot.” The same rules apply as in wrestle-offs: win two out of three matches.

The Trojans head to their first dual on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Audubon at 5:30 p.m. They will face off against the Audubon Wheelers, Clarinda Cardinals and Griswold Tigers.