Marion High School head wrestling coach Chad Adkins is looking forward to see where the season takes his team.
“We are not going to be at full strength this year,” Adkins said. “But we have a lot talented kids with a lot of experience, and a huge number of freshmen at the bottom of our lineup.”
There are 11 freshmen wrestlers. Among those, Jarrett Johnson and Noah Albin are two with a lot of prior experience.
“Jarrett is at 106 lbs. and Noah is at 113 lbs.,” Adkins said. “They have been wrestling since they were in diapers.”
Adkins is not exactly sure what to expect from his team but with the large number of freshmen, he took the opportunity to change up the way practice is structured.
“This year we are going to focus on action/reaction drills in a live situation,” Adkins said. “We want to connect everything, all the moves, all the way down.”
In years past Warrior practice time was split between learning moves and live drilling.
However, with the large amount of skilled freshman, Adkins and assistant coach Andy Hansen thought it was a good time to change up the practice routine and further develop the team’s solid base.
In the system’s approach, the coaches seek to tie together wrestling situations with offensive and defensive move possibilities through drilling in live situations.
Adkins said the goal is to do so much live situational drilling that the wrestlers don’t even have to think about their moves before they execute them.
“Muscle memory is what we are after,” Adkins said. “I’m excited. It’s going to help us.”
Adkins also expects to see good things from his upper classmen.
“Twins Beretta and Adam Janzen, both juniors, have the ability to place or win their respective weight classes at State this year,” Adkins said. “Kyle Palic has a good chance at state too. He qualified for state his freshman year.”
Wrestlers Zac Lewman, Luke Steele, and John Nordquist have a good chance at state this year, Adkins said, and he hopes to get a few other wrestlers there too.
The wrestling season begins Saturday with an away tournament at Mission Valley.