Strong senior leadership, experience, and former team members returning to the mats give Marion High School wrestling head coach Chad Adkins strong reasons for optimism as his team prepares for the upcoming season.
Senior Brody Carroll complied a 39-6 record and placed fifth in the 130-pound division at the Kansas Class 3A state championship meet last year, and Adkins has high expectations for him this season.
“We are looking forward to him improving that fifth-place finish,” Adkins said. “He is determined to be a state champion and has worked very hard to make that happen. I believe he is up to that challenge.”
Colten Johnson and Cole Lewman join Carroll as team co-captains, and Adkins in enthusiastic about their potential as well.
“Colten is the kind of kid that makes your team better by being there. He rubs off on all of the other kids in our room,” Adkins said. “He is a great leader, he has a great work ethic and is looking to avenge his injury plagued junior season with a state championship.
“Cole wrestled very tough this summer at the team camp we went to in Gunnison, Colo. and we are really excited about his season. Cole has matured as an athlete throughout high school and is at the point where we think he will break out as a senior,” Adkins said.
“We are very fortunate to have this group of captains,” Adkins said. “They make it impossible to not work hard in our room. The other kids feed off of their excitement and hard work.”
Adkins welcomes back two wrestlers, senior Royce Ross and junior Brayden Putter, who have taken time off from wrestling.
“Royce is back out after wrestling as a freshman and sitting out the last two years. He missed the sport and wanted to give wrestling another shot before he graduated. If he puts his mind to it he could see some success,” Adkins said.
“We are really excited to have Brayden back this year. He wasn’t out last year as a sophomore and we missed him. He can come right back in and be successful if he works hard,” Adkins said.
Juniors Derrick Dvorak, Evan Slater, and Eric Regnier, and sophomore Zac Lewman return with varsity experience Adkins believes will contribute to their success this season
“Derrick learned a lot last year and has retained the lessons he learned. If Evan can be available consistently he has the ability to be a state placer for us. Eric has gotten much more consistent on the mat. Zac will be bringing back varsity experience and is much stronger this year,” Adkins said.
Adkins expects the team to be bolstered by the addition of two freshmen, Kyle Palic and Beretta Janzen.
“Kyle has had a lot of success in his youth wrestling career and wrestled well at the team camp we went to this summer,” Adkins said. “We are looking for him to compete very well for us as a freshman and he has the ability to be a state placer right from the beginning.
“Beretta has ability and is very competitive. We will be looking to him to score a lot of points for us in team situations,” Adkins said.