BACK ON THE MAT
Published 5:08 pm Friday, December 11, 2015
The Bainbridge High School wrestling team is getting a late start to their 2015-16 season due to the football team’s extended run in the playoffs. All but four of this year’s varsity wrestlers are also football players and the team’s run to the state semifinal forced wresting coach Chad Smith to cancel a few early season matches.
The team finally hit the mats for the first time this past Monday as they prepare for a season-opening tournament Saturday in Cook County.
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“Our kids get a total of 61 matches this year, which is the most we ever had,” Smith said about the upcoming season.
The Bearcats return two state qualifiers from last year’s squad in junior Ryan Adams, in the 220-pound weight class, and senior Tyler Storey, in the 170-pound weight class.
Adams finished the season with a 29-12 record with 10 pins. He enters this season as the favorite to win region at 220 and with a chance to make a deep run in State tournament.
Storey posted a 37-9 record with 12 pins en route to a seventh place finish at the state tournament last season. He will once again wrestle in the 170 weight class after maintaining his weight during the offseason.
“Usually you move up a, or two weight classes,” Smith said. “He maintained his muscle mass and didn’t gain any [weight] which is going to benefit him greatly this year.”
He enters the season as one of the favorites to win the Class AAAA state championship at 170-pounds and to graduate with the most career wins in school history.
“He’s going to be our only wrestler in school history to break 100 wins, which is phenomenal,” Smith said. “The next closes guy is like 75. He’s already there and will break 100 this year.”
Storey is the lone returning senior for the Bearcats who are made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores.
“We are looking a little down this year not because of talent, but because of youth,” Smith said. “That’s based on what I see right now, but they can grow and we can become something totally different.”
Sophomore Tanner Brown is expected to be among the breakout candidates this season as he makes the jump from the 132-pound weight class to 152 for this season.
“He’s a three year wrestler,” Smith said. “ [He] gained a lot of experience on varsity last year as a 9th grader. He moved up three weight classes, but he added a ton of strength so I’m looking to get a region champ out of him.”
Additional breakout candidates include Trey Story at 195-pounds and Nick Hancock at 132-pounds who missed last season with a broken arm.