Tyler McMichael, the Marion Warriors’ new head wrestling coach, anticipates the team will do great things this year if all goes according to plan.
“We expect quite a bit out of this team, especially the veteran wrestlers who went to state last year,” McMichael said. “I can see them doing a lot of great things.”
McMichael replaces former head coach Chad Adkins.
“This is my first year coaching so I’m still figuring some things out,” McMichael said. “I love everything about the sport. I hope I can inspire others to enjoy it, too.”
Despite the modesty, he is no stranger to the sport. Wrestling three years for Central-Burden High School and one for Ark City, he was a four-time state placer before he wrestled for Midland University where he became a two-time all-American wrestler.
“I don’t think it will be a problem to get the guys fired up,” McMichael said. “It’s the last shot at state for the seniors.”
McMichael has longtime assistant coach Andy Hansen and new assistant coach Kyle Palic, Marion’s first state wrestling champion, to help.
“It’s a fun dynamic,” McMichael said. “They’ve seen the guys wrestle and know what they can do. It helps make the team more a tight knit group.”
With six state qualifiers and two state placers on the roster, a lot of talent has returned to the team.
Last year’s state placers Bryce Shults and Tyler Palic will no doubt be ones to watch. Shults placed 4th at 138 pounds and Palic took 6th at 195 pounds.
Last year’s returning state qualifiers Ezra Darnall, Jarrett Johnson, Noah Albin, and Charlie Nordquist all will likely be working extra hard to get back to state, too.
“We want to get as many guys to state as we can,” McMichael said. “We believe we can get everyone on the starting lineup there, and we’d like to see the guys that placed get a little higher up on the podium, and the guys that made it but fell short, get up on the podium this year.”
The team won’t be able to fill all weight classes this year, but he said that they would be solid at the weights they fill.
During the first weeks of practice, the Warriors have been listening to rock music while doing sprints between takedown drills, and McMichael said the team has made leaps and bounds in conditioning and technique.
“Success will come if the team continues to work how they have been working,” he said. “It’s all about time and effort.”