Marion High School head wrestling coach Chad Adkins believes his team has probably nine team members who have a good chance to go to state, five or six who can place at state, and two who he thinks can be in the running for state titles.
But they won’t get there without teammates who can push them and make them better every day in practice.
“We try to focus on the team aspect of it,” Adkins said. “That’s really important. For us to have state champions, we have to have guys who can push them.”
He said good teammates will hold one another accountable for working hard in practice. They also hold one another accountable in school, both in academics and discipline.
“No bonehead decisions,” he said.
Adkins reminded the team of that on Nov. 14, telling the wrestlers that if they miss practice because of disciplinary action, they won’t be getting better and they won’t be helping their teammates get better.
Every practice begins with running to help wrestlers improve their endurance. Adkins said he thinks endurance is as or more important in wrestling than any other sport. Each match is an intense, whole-body workout for six minutes.
There are 19 wrestlers on the team this year, down a little bit from last year, but with a big freshman class. With those wrestlers, Adkins plans to fill 14 weight classes. Despite the smaller group, he said he sees just as much talent on this year’s team as recent years.
Adkins thinks Brody Carroll and Evan Slater are capable of competing for state championships. Both are strong, aggressive, skilled, and with a lot of experience.
“Brody is one of the better athletes I’ve coached in terms of pure athletic ability,” Adkins said.
He added that the coaching staff will have to throw a lot at Slater to challenge him enough to keep him improving through the year.
Adkins also thinks Beretta Janzen and Eric Regnier have the ability to place at the state tournament, and John Nordquist, Zac Lewman, and Brayden Putter are all looking much better from 2011.
“They know the drill, work hard,” Adkins said.
Putter will be counted on to make Carroll the best he can be, and Nordquist, Lewman, and coaches will challenge Slater in practice.
He said there are other wrestlers on the team who are ready to turn the corner and make a big improvement if they’ll do what Adkins and assistant coaches Andy Hansen and Luke King ask of them.
The Warriors begin their season Dec. 1 at the Mission Valley Tournament.
Anticipated weight classes
Brian Hiebert, 106 pounds; Beretta Janzen, 113; Remington Putter, 120; Eric Regnier, 126; Dakota Funk, 132; Brayden Putter, 138; Brody Carroll, 145; Luke Steele and Zac Dvorak, 152; Derrick Dvorak, 160; Zac Lewman, 182; John Nordquist and Dylan Cochran, 195; Evan Slater and Dirk Young, 220; Adam Kjellin and Jacob Smith, 285.